–By Sean Derrick
The inductees for the 2017 Class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced today. As usual, there were some slam dunks, some surprises, and at least one What Were They Thinking?
The inductees are, in the Performers Category:
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
And Nile Rodgers gets in with an Award for Musical Excellence
Back in October I studied the inductees and gave my votes and predictions. They weren’t too ground shaking. I played it safe with my picks, rationalized my choices and gave arguments why I thought they were best bets. I correctly predicted four of my five choices (Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac and Yes).
My other choice, Janet Jackson, seemed like a no-brainer as well. What with her resurgence the past couple years and once again taking her place as one of the great musical divas influencing many artists.
I have trouble with the selection of ELO, insomuch as they were looked upon with a cheeky cynicism to many other artists. Not a lot of artists will list them at the top of their influential listing. Journey? Sure. Pearl Jam? Absolutely! Tupac? Of course! Yes? Why, yes! Janet Jackson? Many say yes! ELO? (Generally crickets)…
I am not sure what the Rock Hall was thinking on this. But if they let in an artist like ELO, who made their name in the heavy disco-influenced era of the 1970’s then next year is certainly CHIC’s turn. The Hall did pick out Nile Rodgers for his innovative work that influenced many artists that followed.
However, the bad thing about this was that he was a founding member of CHIC. So, to just pluck one member out of the group and (rightfully) recognize him for musical superiority while the same year snubbing said artist’s own group is a slap in the face to the rest of the members of CHIC. Hopefully the Hall does the right thing and inducts CHIC next year.
Folk activist Joan Baez was a surprise inductee as well. Not many gave her a great chance this year, given the strong choices the Hall had. Apparently it even surprised Baez herself. Perhaps the Rock Hall was sending a message given the turmoil the country is in at the moment. It’s hard to tell.
The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place not in Cleveland, where the Rock Hall is located, but in New York. The ceremony will occur on Friday, April 7, 2017 and will be the third time it is held at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Ticket dates will be announced next month and the ceremony itself will be broadcast later on HBO.
An exhibition at the Hall of Fame in Cleveland will open March 30.