2019 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Def Leppard, and Stevie Nicks
Criteria: 2019 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees. Names are in alphabetical order.

(Note: DDD is not affiliated with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame)
Last Updated: 2019-01-10
2019 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees
One of these years the long national nightmare will finally be over. Those currently in power will die off, their diseased aging bodies will give out, eaten away from the inside by corruption and left to rot in the ash bin of history.

But there's no assurance of when that will happen, it might take years for people to come to their collective senses and instigate a change in leadership... then again the regime could all come crashing down any day now amidst a flurry of easily proven charges of collusion, lies and deceit.

While it lasts however those who are shamelessly benefiting from the sordid mess at the top will claim there's nothing improper about a system that's being systematically exploited by those in charge for their own perverse benefit. They'll refuse to acknowledge the intentionally stacked deck that affects the integrity of the primary process which results in a highly questionable ballots year after year. They'll turn a blind eye to the widespread gerrymandering tactics designed to disenfranchise entire demographics based on age, race and gender in the general election. Then they'll categorically deny the validity of any of these complaints by claiming they're nothing more than sour grapes of the losing parties.

In their never-ending lust for dictatorial control they'll remain completely oblivious to the fact that more and more of the disgruntled populace regards them and the entire institution they lead as being wholly illegitimate. By now though the scandals all seem to blur together and few people are surprised anymore by each new outrage that occurs with numbing regularity. The absurd has become normalized and it's obvious to all but the most delusional members of the party that the entire administration has to be thrown out swiftly and without mercy for the good of civilization.

Yes, it's time to impeach those responsible for The Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame.
Some who are clinging to the belief that the Hall Of Fame isn't beyond redemption may point out that this year's class is hardly any worse than usual, as two of the three most deserving candidates made the cut while two others that got in were at least reasonably worthy of induction.

But meeting that modest standard shouldn't be anything to be proud of and once again it's not just who makes the grade that determines the legitimacy of the institution, but rather it's who gets repeatedly passed over with far better objective qualifications that really matters.

For the Hall to be credible it has to be reflective of the full scope of rock 'n' roll over the seven plus decades of the music's existence. But if certain smaller segments of rock are continually being rewarded for merely appealing to a narrow demographic which controls the voting mechanisms then rock history as defined by the Hall winds up getting completely distorted. Over the years artists from the same few eras and styles have become so overly represented that more and more truly deserving candidates from perpetually neglected segments of rock get shut out altogether.

That's the case this year as well as once again it's the same demographics claiming the majority of the spots while those with far greater qualifications who were left out fit the same profile as those from the past who've been systematically ignored. If this happens once or twice it may be coincidence, but when it happens every year for three decades then you need to recognize that all of their organizational decisions have been designed to ensure these outcomes.

Because you all know the credentials of these artists, assuming they have any, it's hardly necessary to rehash them here and give this election the whiff of validity in the process. So instead we'll give the Hall the snide, sarcastic and totally disrespectful attitude they've worked so hard to earn over the years as we present the esteemed Class Of 2019.
Leading off a decidedly British flavored class are some guys from England, which may just be a coincidence. Not too popular outside of there but they had some strong influence and at least recorded in the 1990's making them a rarity in that regard, something I'm sure will come as surprise to the voters who stopped listening to all new music at the end of the 1980's right after The Cure's only really big hit.
After years of ignoring this entire segment of rock The Hall finally began electing hair metal groups when they began running out of recognizable white acts from more "acceptable" styles. Because of that decision however they're now forced to grimace awkwardly as they announce some of the recent acts being inducted to their hallowed shrine like this one, but hey, at least it allows them to continue to ignore most of hip-hop, which has only been the most commercially successful and culturally impactful form of rock over the past four decades.
Only after being far and away the most qualified name on three ballots does the most dominant artist between 1986 and 2001 finally get inducted. During that time the Hall somehow found a back door to slip Wanda Jackson in, apparently thinking that Jackson-based inductions should be based on seniority, not merit. For those of you who read about rock 'n' roll just to brush up on your math skills, Janet has twenty more Top Ten singles on the US Pop Charts than the other six inductees of this year's class combined.
All you cynical people who wondered what fighting with your former lover/bandmate over who gets to tour with a group that hasn't been a big deal in four decades would get you? Well now you look pretty silly don't you, as that messy Fleetwood Mac drama combined with losing your pal Tom Petty earlier in the year gets Rolling Stone, the magazine which boldly promises its 34 remaining readers "the most current musical news of 1977!", to champion your candidacy. See, these things pay off after all.
What's this? A 1990's era artist making The Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame and one that was entirely deserving of the honor besides? How shocking is this? Glad you asked, because by comparison in the first five years artists from the 1970's were eligible 18 acts who had their most indelible recordings issued during that decade were inducted... Radiohead makes just four who made their name in the 1990's to be inducted in that decade's first five years on the ballot. This is because people who were around in the seventies and liked that music best were the primary voters twenty years ago… and are still the primary voters today.
The third British group inducted that happens to also be from Great Britain, which is surely a record. To further hammer home a point, what's not a record is that despite artists from the 1970's being eligible for the Hall since the late 1990's there will be more of them inducted (in 2019!!!!) than artists who cut their first records IN the 1990's. These guys were sure lucky Rip Van Winkle got all those mail-in ballots delivered to him and his pals.
Well they've finally done it and inducted a group who've been dead so long that they've turned into zomb... never mind, it's not funny. But then again neither is their induction. Welcome to Steven Van Zandt's record collection, otherwise known as The Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum, a perfect way to close out another mostly irrelevant year.
It wasn't a great ballot to begin with, for the same reason as always, namely the Nominating Committee never changes and thus the same people with the same perspectives have the power to determine what is and isn't considered important in rock's entire 72 year history when they themselves have a reverence for (and awareness of) barely a quarter of that history.

Still, a reasonable class could've been built around four of the inductees - Janet Jackson, who is the obvious headliner, sharing the stage with Radiohead, Def Leppard and The Cure, and joined by the second most deserving nominee, LL Cool J, who continually gets passed over by out of touch voters, and rounded out by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan who've also faced an almost impossible uphill climb each time they're up for consideration due to their pigmentation.

That's the white elephant in the room and people don't like to talk about subjects where they can be rightly accused of bias, but it's mandatory to discuss if you want to address the Hall's most glaring weakness.

Here's some stats to chew on if you weren't keeping track: There have been thirty-four years of inductions to date and white artists comprise 56% of Nominees in that time, which itself is barely excusable, yet they make up a whopping 66% of inductees. The trend has gotten far more alarming recently as in the last five years thirty-one white artists have been inducted as Main Performers compared to just five black artists. Considering the era that is now ostensibly being focused on by the Hall (1980's and 1990's) was thoroughly dominated by black artists who've made hip-hop the most consistently successful style of rock in its entire history makes this discrepancy all the more appalling.

What made rock 'n' roll the cultural force it became was the fact it was a black art form that over time welcomed white artists and listeners without reservation, knowing that the varied sounds and influences they all brought to the table, as disparate as they may seem at first listen, only strengthened the genre as a whole. Yet rather than celebrate that integrated ideal the Hall has instead looked to build walls between these stylistic factions by bestowing voting privileges to those fitting a homogeneous demographic profile. Those people then overwhelmingly vote for their tastes and for their peers rather than for the most objectively qualified artists. Though this problem is easy enough to fix by simply overhauling the voting body to bring in younger, more diverse viewpoints, The Hall manages to stack the deck further when each new class is comprised largely of artists fitting the same narrow description... artists who with their induction then become next year's voters, ensuring the cycle continues.

That's The Hall's fatal flaw no matter how you slice it. They've put into positions of power those who view it simply as a way to validate their own era and their own tastes, to reward their friends and to brashly display their own arrogance at how effectively they've manipulated the system year after year. They want to celebrate the small faction of rock history they personally identify with while ignoring everything else.

No wonder nobody takes it seriously anymore.

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