Varacchi’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Ballot
19 acts are on the list of this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations. I stand by my opinion that the Rock and Roll HOF is a joke to begin with, a weird type of popularity contest melded with music snobbery. Pop acts that sold a billion records don't make it because they were too commercial, but some guy who recorded one song in 1924 that Eric Clapton name-dropped once gets in for his influence. It's all subjective nonsense, and we can yell and scream all we want about why our favorite band isn't in the Hall, while some band we hate is.
Fans again can participate in the selection process. Between October 5th and December 5th, you can visit rockhall.com/vote to select the most deserving artists. Voting requires a Facebook login, and there is a limit of one ballot per day. The public's top five artists will make up a fan ballot and tallied along with the other ballots.
Obeying the limit of 5 votes, here are mine: Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine.
Here are my deeper opinions about this year's class:
Bon Jovi - Fine, yes. It's commercial rock at its best - whether or not that's a compliment, you decide. They've survived the test of time, the band deserves to be in.
Kate Bush - Honestly, I don't know enough about her. That alone makes me say No, but I do know she's beloved by the critics, so she'll probably get in.
The Cars - I love the Cars, they have a solid number of hits, and an influence that can be felt today.
Depeche Mode - I personally love Depeche Mode, and their influence and longevity is definitely worth induction.
Dire Straits - This is a perfect case of "how can this band NOT be in the Hall, while ___ is?"...because there are plenty of bands already in the Hall that I think are way less deserving than Dire Straits.
Eurythmics - This is just me, but I cannot stand Annie Lennox. Her voice just hits my ears in the totally wrong way, so I'd be fine to leave this band out of the Hall.
J. Geils Band - People seem to love these guys way more than I do. They had their string of hits, but it all sounds dated at this point, and I don't think many people point to them as ground-breaking or inspiring.
Judas Priest - I know the 70s/80s metalhead crowd will hate me, but this band does nothing for me, and I don't think the Hall suffers without them.
LL Cool J - A solid hip-hop influence with crossover appeal. I have no problem if he makes it.
MC5 - "Kick Out the Jams" is one of my favorite songs ever, but one smash does not a Hall of Fame career make.
The Meters - No idea. The Hall loves to honor these types, but even in those cases I've usually at least heard of them.
Moody Blues - I feel like people like to talk about "the story of rock and roll"...and as great as some of their songs are, I feel like they aren't essential to "the story".
Rage Against the Machine - Mothereffing yes. Whether or not you like them, the influence they had, both musically and politically, are undeniable.
Radiohead - They've released nine albums, each one totally different and innovative and influential. I don't think voters will get them in on their first year of eligibility, but they should be in.
Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan - I've heard of Chaka Khan, but I'm out of the loop as far as Rufus goes.
Nina Simone - An amazing voice, one of those that people will argue isn't "rock and roll", but deserves to be recognized by the Hall.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - I got nothin'.
Link Wray - The fact that authorities thought THIS SONG would incite riots is just insane. The Hall loves to enshrine the founders of rock and roll, so I'm sure he'll get in at some point.
The Zombies - I do enjoy the Zombies. They're something of a cult favorite, never really as popular as some of the other British Invasion bands, but as the years went by more people appreciated them. I don't know if they make it in with this lineup of nominees, but they should get in.
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