Thursday, 2 October 2008

The 2008/2009 ballot and how it will affect the Rock Hall backlog

In my previous post, I said I would be looking at the backlog of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and attempt to see which artists will be cleared betwen now and when the next major newly eligible artists appear in 2012/2013.

Whether artists like

- Bon Jovi
- the Butthole Surfers
- Cyndi Lauper
- Slayer
- the Smiths or
- Stevie Ray Vaughan

were discussed by the nominating committee is yet unknown, but even if some of them were, it is by no means certain they will get on the ballot any time soon. Importantly, as Future Rock Hall points out, it is extremely unwise to predict the induction of any artist who has not been previously considered by the Nominating Committee. With the low turnover of membership and the control of Jann Wenner and John Landau it is exceedingly improbable that Committee members would either change their mind about an artist or newly appointed members would have different opinions. Exceptions only exist if an artist's earliest recordings have been either:
1) disowned or
2) not widely released or
3) recorded by a band very different from the one which garnered fame, influence or critical acclaim

The candidates for the 2008/2009 ballot are:

- Jeff Beck
- Chic
- Wanda Jackson
- Little Anthony and the Imperials
- Metallica
- Run DMC
- the Stooges
- War
- Bobby Womack

It is very hard for me to say who will be inducted. The nearest analogues to the obvious candidates in Metallica and the Stooges (Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols and Patti Smith) took around five ballots each to be inducted. Even Run-DMC, whom I initially saw as the most certain candidate, have as their nearest analogue Grandmaster Flash who still took several ballots to get in. In contrast, the lesser-known artists like solo Jeff Beck, War, Bobby Womack (proof they have a bias in favour of 60s and 70s black music) and Little Anthony and the Imperials have amongst their nearest analogues artists who got in very quickly after reaching the ballot.

What this does mean is that if Metallica, Chic, Run-DMC and the Stooges do not get in, the Rock Hall will probably keep trying to nominate them through at least the next three ballots. If they do get in, I am much less sure that those four artists not elected will be repeatedly nominated between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 and there will be more artists from the backlog to consider.

I do guess Metallica, the Stooges and Run-DMC will get in, but I feel little guilt if I'm completely wrong.

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