Are the Replacements going to be inducted? Sonic Youth? Husker Du? Joy Division? The Go Betweens? Pavement? Guided By Voices? If they’re not, it’s bullshit: for people who actually still really, truly care about rock and roll, these are the bands that have carried on in the tradition the Hall of Fame has always held dear. But if they are inducted, the Hall of Fame will surely lose the massive cultural appeal it so obviously strives for, considering barely any of those bands have sold as many copies of all their records put together as most current inductees have of even their least successful record.
One solution is to continue doing what they’ve been doing, which is to sneakily distort the definition of rock and roll. Madonna, Run DMC and even Miles Davis have been inducted in recent years, and next year’s list of nominees includes another rapper, LL Cool J, along with ABBA and Donna Summer, both of whom are easily identified as disco artists. Disco, if you’ll remember, was considered the mortal enemy of rock and roll upon its inception.
In a way, it would be arrogant of the Hall not to induct those artist, but in another way, it’s even more arrogant if they do. That Wenner and company feel its within their rights to cross genre lines and claim whatever they want as part of rock and roll, especially when the genres they’re from which they’re cherry picking came to exist in order to give people some options outside the very white, very male, very dominating world of rock and roll, is presumptuous and offensive. I suppose I’d be getting nervous too, though, if John Mayer was my last great hope.