Nirvana/ Photo by Michael Lavine
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which has had little consistency and no transparency in its nomination and election process, changed the rules last year and allowed the public to collectively cast one vote for the first time along with 600 industry experts and musicians. (Maybe that explains why Rush got inducted last year.)
I suspect five acts will be elected through this process, and some others will be chosen by the Hall of Fame board of directors for special categories. My ballot will include votes for Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Kiss and the Replacements. I'm sttill debating which act will get my fifth vote.
Here are my predictions for this year’s nominees.
Nirvana (first-time nominee, first year of eligibility). A no-brainer. They defined grunge. No need to say more. 100 percent chance of election.
Linda Ronstadt (first-time nominee, eligible for 20 years). Her nomination is long overdue and she deserves to get in, sympathy vote (she recently announced that she has Parkinson’s) or not. She was one of the greatest and most versatile female pop/rock singers of the past 45 years. 90 percent.
Peter Gabriel (first time as solo nominee). He’s been inducted with Genesis. He’s not a sledgehammer cinch but a good bet. 80 percent
Kiss (one previous nomination). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They revolutionized the concert business – both the concert side and the business side. The fan vote will help Kiss’ chances. 75 percent.
Hall & Oates (first-time nominee, eligible for 15 years). Pop’s greatest duo. Huge in the Twin Cities. Why did it take them so long to even get nominated? 65 percent
N.W.A. Very influential West Coast rap crew that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E. 62 percent
Yes (first-time nominee, eligible since 1994). Prog-rock finally entered the Hall of Fame with Rush and Genesis. You say Yes, I say no. 60 percent.
The Replacements (first-time nominee, eligible since 2006). No, our homeboys didn’t sell an impressive number of albums or score a hit single, but it seems like nearly everyone who bought one of their albums or saw them live started their own band. Very influential, the missing link between classic rock and grunge. 60 percent
LL Cool J. Long-active rapper who has become more popular because of his TV work. 60 percent
Cat Stevens. British folk-rocker who had his moments in the 1970s with “Moon Shadow,” “Peace Train” and “Morning Has Broken.” 45 percent
Deep Purple. Hard-rock mainstays known for lots of personnel changes and “Smoke on the Water,” “Hush” and “Woman from Tokyo.” 45 percent
Paul Butterfield Blues Band. One of the first prominent second-generation U.S. blues bands. 20 percent
Chic (been nominated 8 times, most of any act not elected). Sorry, disco dudes, it’s another rejection. 15 percent
The Meters. A pivotal New Orleans funk act on its own and as studio musicians. 15 percent.
Link Wray. Influential punk and metal guitarist. He’s more likely to get chosen by board of directors than by the voters. 15 percent
The Zombies. These rockers had three hits in the 1960s British Invasion – “Tell Her No,” “Time of the Season” and “She’s Not There” – but they were short-lived. 10 percent