Rock Hall finally inducts Link Wray, can Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher be far behind?

By Steve Newton

After ten years of my complaining about Link Wray not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the boneheads who run the high-falutin’ joint in Cleveland finally caved and decided to induct him, in the “musical influence” division.

It’s about freakin’ time.

Wray, who pretty well invented the raunchy guitar riff, has been eligible for induction into the Rock Hall for decades. Having gotten sick of waiting for Jann Wenner and his questionable cronies to recognize Wray, I went ahead and inducted him into the inaugural class of Newt’s Rock Hall back in 2015, along with Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, Iron Maiden, and Deep Purple.

(For the uninitiated, strict rules demand that Newt’s Rock Hall can only include bands and artists that haven’t already been inducted into the official Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so when the RRHOF finally saw fit to induct Deep Purple in 2016, I had to replace them in mine with Thin Lizzy [which I reckon was a fair exchange]).

But can you believe that Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher, considering how long they’ve been eligible, still haven’t been inducted by the Cleveland institution? I mean, how much more rock ‘n’ roll can you get than those two? It’s a bloody outrage, if you ask me. Or even if you don’t.

I guess we have to be thankful for small mercies when it comes to the small-minded, though. So I’ll take the Link Wray, and just hope that Johnny and Rory receive their shockingly overdue honours soon.

Just so you know, the seven RRHOF Class of 2023 inductees announced today include Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Missy Elliott, Sheryl Crow, George Michael, and the Spinners. Not surprisingly, more deserving nominees–actual rockers like Warren Zevon, Soundgarden, the White Stripes, and Iron Maiden–got snubbed.

Since the official Rock Hall just announced seven inductees, Newt’s Rock Hall will counter with seven of its own, to be announced soon, maybe even tomorrow. (I’ll also have to find a replacement for Link Wray from my Class of 2015). Keeping in mind that only artists not already in the “official” Rock Hall can be chosen, the nominees for Newt’s Rock Hall, Class of 2023 are:

Dick DaleSoundgardenthe Replacementsthe Guess Who, Bad Company, Scorpions, NRBQ, the Edgar Winter Group, Slade, Midnight Oilthe Stray Cats, the B-52s, Procol Harum, Joe Satriani, Mahogany Rush, the Shadows, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Please note: Newt’s Rock Hall has been shuttered due to the pandemic, so there were no Classes of 2021 and 2022.

Class of 2020: Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Boston, Little Feat, and Badfinger (replacing Todd Rundgren, finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2021; Boston replaced Judas Priest, who were finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2002).

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, Free, the MC5, Humble Pie, the J. Geils Band, and Angel City (replacing T. Rex, finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2020).

Class of 2017: Warren Zevon, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Rick Derringer, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull.

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 (replacing Deep Purple, finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2016).

To hear my audio interviews with the legends of rock since 1982, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon. The raw, unedited interviews posted so far include Newt’s Rock Hall inductees Link Wray, Gary Moore, Warren Zevon, Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson, Dave Murray, and Steve Harris), Blue Oyster Cult (Buck Dharma), Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Motorhead (Lemmy Kilmister), Mountain (Leslie West), the Cramps (Poison Ivy), Roy Buchanan, the Georgia Satellites (Rick Richards), Steve Earle, Judas Priest (Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton), Little Feat (Bill Payne), and the Tragically Hip (Gord Downie, Rob Baker).


One thought on “Rock Hall finally inducts Link Wray, can Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher be far behind?

  1. About freaking time Link got just due. Now, what can be done with Blue Cheer, Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, Savoy Brown, and Budgie?

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