Paul Shaffer gets a vote

I have no quibbles with this year’s inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Madonna, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, Dave Clark Five, and the Ventures. (Although it’s hard to figure why Madonna qualifies for something called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) But just thinking about the eligible bands that haven’t been voted in yet makes me want to kick Jann Wenner in the nuts.

Can you believe that neither Iggy Pop (eligible for election in 2002) nor the Stooges (1994) are in the Hall yet? Rush (1998) also hasn’t been inducted, let alone nominated. Other Sellers shoo-ins who have been snubbed: Genesis (1993), the Buzzcocks (2002), the Cure (2003), Minutemen (2005), Hüsker Dü (2006), New Order (2006), the Replacements (2006), Beastie Boys (2007), Metallica (2007), and Sonic Youth (2007). I mean, how the hell hasn’t Iggy Pop been inducted yet? Who the hell gets to vote for this? How the hell does the voting process even work?

Apparently “an international voting body of rock experts” (some 500 strong) casts votes on a select number of nominees. Each year, nominees are chosen by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee. This process is about as flawed as it gets. Why bother with a nominating committee at all? Why not just allow these so-called rock experts to vote for any and all newly eligible bands in addition to any previously eligible band that garnered enough past interest, a la the National Baseball Hall of Fame? And who picks the nominating committee? Jesus, just look at that list. Paul Shaffer! This guy! I wasn’t able to find the ages of every committee member, but the average age has to be close to 55. (Touré is the only guy on there who is definitely under 40, although I think Nathan Brackett may be as well.) I’d say 85% of the problem I have (and a lot of other people have) with the RRHOF could be solved by simply eliminating the dumb-ass nominating committee.

As a way of example, the geniuses in the nominating committee haven’t ever even nominated Rush or Iggy Pop (the Stooges have been nominated) — and they didn’t nominate Sonic Youth this year. All three of these artists fit the Hall’s definition of who should be elected: “Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.” It’s retarded that a bunch of fogeys have so much influence on the process.

Anyway, until these problems are solved — and until either Iggy Pop or the Stooges is elected — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will remain a joke.

Sonic Youth wasn’t even nominated.