The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today announced its next slate of nominees for its enshrinement. It's another list that swings wildly between the obvious and the real head-scratchers.
And the nominees are ...
- "shock" rocker Alice Cooper
- rap group the Beastie Boys
- stadium rockers Bon Jovi
- disco purveyors Chic ("Le Freak")
- Neil Diamond
- flower-child folkie Donovan
- New Orleans funk-pianoman Dr. John
- Boston's bluesy J. Geils Band
- rapper LL Cool J
- Blossoms singer Darlene Love
- Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro
- Disco queen Donna Summer
- Soul legend Joe Tex
- The inimitable Tom Waits
- Singer-songwriter Chuck Willis ("C.C. Rider")
A ballot now goes to more than 500 voters. The winning inductees will be announced at the end of December, then feted at a ceremony in March.
The window of eligibility -- a performer must have debuted at least 25 years ago -- has now slipped forward to 1985, into the heart of Generation X. The Beastie Boys would, in so many ways, represent, and they'd better be a shoo-in. LL Cool J is really the only other formidable '80s act here; the J. Geils Band had its MTV hits in that decade but reaches back further into Boston's blues scene. It's maybe a little crazy that the Smiths have been eligible for two years now and not received a nod, though maybe Morrissey's recent racist comments aren't helping that cause.
The list of bands eligible for consideration and so far NOT chosen is long and now includes Camper Van Beethoven, Dinosaur Jr., the Happy Mondays, the Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, Robyn Hitchcock, INXS, the Cars, Dire Straits, Joy Division, the Buzzcocks, Wire, Big Star, Brian Eno, the 13th Floor Elevators, T. Rex, Rush, Leon Russell, Richard Thompson, on and on, even (c'mon!) Spinal Tap.
Last year's class of inductees included ABBA, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies and the Stooges.