By Steve Newton
You may have heard that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced the nominees for its class of 2021.
And man does the list suck in spots.
The Go-Go’s? Dionne Warwick? That’s what passes for rock and roll these days?
Here’s the full list of 15 nominees: Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, JAY-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Tina Turner, Todd Rundgren, and Dionne Warwick.
Apparently the official Rock Hall in Cleveland has been taking cues from Newt’s Rock Hall, because three of the nominees–Iron Maiden, the New York Dolls, and Todd Rundgren–have already been inducted into my personal rock and roll hall of fame, which is based near Vancouver, Canada, on the Ear of Newt website. I inducted Rundgren last year in the Class of 2020, I inducted the Dolls in the Class of 2018, and Maiden was solemnly ushered into Newt’s Rock Hall’s inaugural Class of 2015.
So I’m way ahead of you Jann Wenner. (Wenner actually retired from the position of Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation last year, but he’s still on the board of directors, so surely still helping to fvck things up as far as getting worthy acts inducted.)
I don’t have any real complaints about acts like the Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, and Tina Turner getting nominated this year, but, like I say, what the frig are the Go-Go’s and Dionne Warwick doing on the list? I’ve argued since day one that the most deserving and overdue artists for induction at this point are Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray. Those are three artists who personify “rock and roll”.
As for artists like Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, and LL Cool J, they clearly should go in the yet-to-be-established Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. And I would create a Pop Music Hall of Fame for Kate Bush, Devo, and Carole King.
Since the official Rock Hall has nominated 16 acts for its class of 2021, I have to do the same. Those are the rules. So without future adieu, here are the nominees for Newt’s Rock Hall, class of 2021. (Keep in mind that only artists not already in the “official” Rock Hall can be chosen):
Dick Dale, Soundgarden, Bad Company, the Replacements, the Guess Who, Boston, the B-52s, Badfinger, Scorpions, Megadeth, Angel City, the Edgar Winter Group, Slade, Midnight Oil, the Stray Cats, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. When the other Rock Hall announces its inductees for 2021 in May, I will choose an equal amount of mine. Get your votes in, although I reserve the right to totally ignore them and just pick my own personal faves, as usual.)
Here’s the list of current inductees in Newt’s Rock Hall (none of which are in the official Rock Hall, if you can believe that):
Class of 2020: Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren.
Class of 2019: Mountain, the Cramps, Roy Buchanan, Nazareth, the Georgia Satellites, the New York Dolls, and the Tragically Hip (yes, I’m Canadian).
Class of 2018: Motörhead, Mahogany Rush, Free, the MC5, Humble Pie, and the J. Geils Band.
Class of 2017: Warren Zevon, Albert Collins, Jethro Tull, Ronnie Montrose, Rick Derringer, and Gary Moore.
Class of 2016: Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, UFO, Ten Years After, and Robin Trower.
Class of 2015: Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Link Wray, Iron Maiden, and Thin Lizzy.
To hear my audio interviews with the legends of rock since 1982, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon. The interviews posted so far include Newt’s Rock Hall inductees Link Wray, Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, and Steve Harris), Blue Oyster Cult (Buck Dharma), Warren Zevon, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, Motorhead (Lemmy Kilmister), Mountain (Leslie West), the Cramps (Poison Ivy), Roy Buchanan, and the Tragically Hip (Gord Downie).