photo by the newt
By Steve Newton
It’s good to have hobbies.
I was astonished and, frankly, disgusted that those three immense talents and bona fide music legends were being constantly overlooked for nomination–despite being eligible for decades–by artists whose music was nowhere near rock and roll.
In 2013 I built a page on my website called Slagging the Rock Hall, and a year later wrote a blog with the headline Rock Hall proves itself slag-worthy again snubbing Johnny Winter, Link Wray, and Rory.
Then in 2015, as my frustration with the RRHOF grew, I expanded my hobby by creating Newt’s Rock Hall, into which I would induct artists who weren’t already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You wouldn’t believe how many deserving rock greats had been shunned.
Newt’s Rock Hall, Class of 2015, included Johnny, Link, and Rory, as well as Deep Purple and Iron Maiden. (I had to replace Purple with Thin Lizzy shortly thereafter, because the official RRHOF finally got around to inducting Ritchie Blackmore and company, and the rules of Newt’s Rock Hall clearly specify that there can be no crossover between the two halls.)
Anyway, as you may already know, the RRHOF has finally recognized Link Wray. At an induction ceremony last Friday (November 3) none other than Jimmy Page made his first live appearance in eight years to perform Wray’s influential 1958 song “Rumble”.
It was a total joy to see Link finally get his due, receiving a “Musical Influence Award”, although he surely should have gotten it while still alive. I doubt that my ten-year effort to have him inducted had anything to do with it, but I’m glad I supported such a worthy cause.
Now I’m gonna set my sights on getting Johnny and Rory inducted. I know a lotta folks will say–and have said–“Don’t bother, they’re too good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Lame,” and “They wouldn’t care anyway,” but their absence from the RRHOF is just so damn infuriating that I refuse to give up the fight just yet.
I will say here and now, though, that as soon as Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher are inducted and join Link Wray in achieving what the RRHOF claims is “Rock’s Highest Honor”, I will close down and archive Newt’s Rock Hall. It’s a lotta work, and my time might be better spent digitizing old interviews from audio cassettes for my Patreon page.
I could always change my mind, of course.
For those who haven’t been keeping track, here’s the full list of inductees in Newt’s Rock Hall. Shocking that none of these are in the actual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, right? (Please note: my Hall was shuttered during the pandemic, so there were no Classes of 2021 and 2022.
Class of 2023: Dick Dale, Soundgarden, the Guess Who, the Replacements, Bad Company, the Edgar Winter Group, and the Stray Cats.
Class of 2020: Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Mahogany Rush, Little Feat, Boston (replacing Judas Priest, who were finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2022), and Badfinger (replacing Todd Rundgren, finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2021).
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, Dick Dale (replacing Link Wray, finally inducted into the RRHOF in 2023), 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 current Newt’s Rock Hall inductees Gary Moore, Dick Dale, 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), Paul Rodgers (Free and Bad Company), the Cramps (Poison Ivy), Roy Buchanan, the Georgia Satellites (Rick Richards), Steve Earle, Little Feat (Bill Payne), and the Tragically Hip (Gord Downie, Rob Baker).