The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its list of nine potential inductees for the Class of 2009 on Monday.
Votes for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are cast by more than 500 musicians, journalists and industry professionals and the top five finishers are announced in January and inducted to the hall in April.
As usual, the list of candidates evoked a mixture of praise, protest and snarky indifference.
Run-DMC, a pioneering hip-hop act, was on the list. Some may quibble about the inclusion of the trio from Hollis, Queens, but Joseph Simmons (Run), Darryl McDaniels (DMC), above, and Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) did break down barriers by collaborating with Aerosmith and crossing over to a rock audience. Currently, the only hip-hop group represented in the Hall of Fame is Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
Mega-metal stars Metallica and proto-punkers the Stooges are under consideration in the final nine and few people complained. Ditto for Jeff Beck, one of the legendary guitarists of our time, who was on the list. Oklahoma's Wanda Jackson, a somewhat obscure rockabilly pioneer with hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, was on the list, too.
Those nominations didn't raise many eyebrows.
The others, however...
Chic was a disco act. If you include them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, should the Beatles and Rolling Stones demand inclusion in the Disco Hall of Fame?
Bobby Womack? He wrote some good songs and some success on the R & B charts. Little Anthony and the Imperials? A nice doo-wop group, but do you see them standing next to Led Zeppelin?
"It's an interesting group because it really shows the nominating committee showed some thought and energy into who should be inducted," Joel Peresman, president of the Rock Hall foundation said in announcing the finalists.
"It truly shows it's never a closed door for any artist to be nominated."
As is usually the case, the omissions drew a lot of attention. The eligible / overlooked acts include Kiss, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel, Chicago, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Waits, Bon Jovi, The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division, Graham Parker and Milwaukee's own Violent Femmes.
We wrote a story last year detailing the Femmes' chances for making the Hall of Fame. We're not sure if the fact that the band hasn't played a show in nearly a year -- amidst rumors of a breakup -- is a factor in the decision.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.