Earlier this week, the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class 2012 were announced. The theme of this year’s crop seems to lean toward that of pioneers. Heart, Joan Jett, The Cure, and Eric B & Rakim have all been nominated for the first time, while the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers have received second-time bids to be inducted. It could be debated that all of them were pioneers in their field.
The strange thing is, no one’s really debating anything this year. It is usually the case that when nominees are announced, debate is heavy on who should be nominated and isn’t, or who out of the current crop should be inducted over the others. There is a smattering of the above debates going on, but it seems that, this year, the list of nominees was met with a resounding shrug.
How did it come to be that what has always been such a polarizing topic among pop culture enthusiasts is now met with the greatest of apathy? There are many names that legions of fans say each year should be members of the Hall already, but it always seems that fan favorites are perennially passed over in favor of...what, exactly?
Many would argue that those in charge in voting, mainly industry performers and insiders, are often overruled by the man largely seen as being in charge of the Hall - Rolling Stone magazine’s Jann Wenner. Many times, the nominees and inductees are seen as being allowed in by his own personal tastes. There have been several reports of Wenner’s preferential treatment, the most recent happening earlier this year.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website had a poll as to who should be inducted in to the Hall. It was an open poll, with fans and site visitors allowed to participate in the voting.
The poll was only up for a few hours. At the time it was taken down, Rush was in second place with over 600 votes. In first place were the Monkees, with over 11,000 votes.
Wenner has been seen as having a grudge against the idea of the Monkees being inducted despite their accomplishments. Band member Peter Tork addressed the matter with the New York Post in 2007, stating that Wenner “doesn't care what the rules are and just operates how he sees fit. It is an abuse of power. I don't know whether the Monkees belong in the Hall of Fame, but it's pretty clear that we're not in there because of a personal whim. Jann seems to have taken it harder than everyone else, and now, 40 years later, everybody says, 'What's the big deal? Everybody else does it.'[does not play their own instruments] Nobody cares now except him. He feels his moral judgment in 1967 and 1968 is supposed to serve in 2007.”