Jon Bon Jovi still may not have heard of them, but Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters have finally shown a familiarity with the Replacements. The Minneapolis rock legends made the nominees list for the first time for next year’s hall of fame inductions, it was announced last night.
Other first-time nominees among the 16 nominees include Nirvana, Yes, Linda Ronstadt, Hall & Oates, the Zombies, Link Wray and Peter Gabriel for his solo work. (He was inducted with Genesis in 2010.) The holdovers from previous years are Kiss, Chic, Deep Purple, N.W.A., the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Meters, LL Cool J and Cat Stevens.
Unlike Nirvana – who made the list in their first year of eligibility, and are undoubtedly a shoo-in – the Replacements have been eligible before. Nominees can make the cut 25 years after the release of their first album and single. That means the ‘Mats could have first been voted for in 2006, given the 1981 release of their debut album, “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash.”
Even if voters went by the Grammys’ outdated methodology of counting major-label releases as new-artist eligibility, 1985’s “Tim” album for Sire would have made them eligible in 2010.
The hoopla around the Replacements' three reunion shows this year might have been the tipping point for the hall of fame nomination. Perhaps they should announce more shows to put them past the threshold from nominee to inductee. Fans can show their approval for the band via the "fan ballot" vote via RollingStone.com, which reportedly made the difference in Rush getting into the hall earlier this year.
About 600 voters from the rock hall vote in the nominees. Good thing Bon Jovi hasn’t gotten in yet, given Jon’s infamous reaction to when Musician magazine declared the Replacements the “last, best band of the ‘80s.” Said Jon, “How can they be the best band of the 80's when I have never heard of them?” Should the 'Mats actually make the cut for induction -- a long shot, to be sure -- maybe they could team up with the long-overlooked Kiss for "Black Diamond," a song covered on the band's seminal 1984 album "Let It Be."