This might seem hard to believe, but there has only been 330 rock musicians that have made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re a stickler for the genre, some of the inductees might not make your cut. For Pear Jam Bassist Jeff Ament, it was the ones that are noticeably missing from the list that motivated him to make a statement at Pearl Jam’s own inductee ceremony in 2017. That statement came in the form of the now famous t-shirt that lists nearly 100 artists ignored by the organization. The 2018 announcement of The Cars, Nina Simone, the Moody Blues, Bon Jovi and Dire Straits ticked a few of the names off Ament’s shirt, giving him some room to add Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine. This year marked a few more off including Radiohead!
The process for inclusion is not as easy as one might think. First, a musician isn’t even eligible until 25 YEARS after the release of their first “commercial recording.” Additionally, they have to be talented and demonstrate “unquestionable musical excellence.” And if your favorite artist can get past those two criteria, they would also have to “have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll.”
There are also different categories. In 2018, the foundation added a category called “The Singles” I guarantee you cannot read this list without singing part of each song:
- Link Wray – “Rumble”
- The Kingsmen – “Louie Louie”
- Chubby Checker – “The Twist”
- Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats – “Rocket 88”
- Steppenwolf – “Born to Be Wild”
- Procol Harum – “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
So who made his list? Below is the original and the two additional from 2018.
Brian Eno/Can/Buzzcocks/The Cars/Slayer/Faith No More/Fela Kuti/Alice in Chains/Flipper/Gang of Four/Grand Funk Railroad/Guided by Voices/Mötley Crüe/Hüsker Dü/Iron Maiden/Jane’s Addiction/Joe Jackson/New York Dolls/B-52s/Jonathan Richman/Kate Bush/King Crimson/Duran Duran/Love/Lenny Kravitz/The Cult/Dinosaur Jr/King Diamond/Minor Threat/Minutemen/Misfits/The Monkees/Motorhead/Mountain/Mudhoney/Nick Cave/Nina Simone/Nine Inch Nails/PJ Harvey/Richard Hell/T. Rex/Roxy Music/Judas Priest/The Sonics/Soundgarden/Steppenwolf/The Damned/Hipgnosis/Thin Lizzy/Waterboys/Bad Brains/Dead Kennedys/Bauhaus/The Replacements/Pixies/The Black Crows/Black Flag/Big Star/Billy Idol/Björk/Bon Jovi/Smashing Pumpkins/Blue Öyster Cult/Pil/Melvins/Fugazi/Dio/Elliot Smith/Psychedelic Furs/X/Free/New Order/Tom Waits/Emerson, Lake and Palmer/The Jam/The Smiths/Descendants/Kraftwerk/Sonic Youth/Todd Rundgren/Ted Nugent/The Cure/MCS/Captain Beefheart/Warren Zevon/Linx/Wray/Weather Report/Devo/Flaming Lips/Nick Drake/Harry Nilsson/Neu!/Chad Channing/Sweet/Raymond Pettison/Oasis/Bad Company/Radiohead/Rage Against the Machine.
Oasis! Bad Company! Dead Kennedys!
Who votes on this stuff?!!
Well, you, but you have to wait for the slate of nominees put out by the foundation. The current inductees can vote, other music industry people are included,and, in 2012, they added a public poll. Write-ins aren’t possible so you might need to make your own t-shirt to give your favorites a push..