In a surprise announcement, released in the early morning hours on April 1st, the Rock Hall said that they have amended their latest rules regarding the process of picking what band members are deemed induction worthy. Stung by the criticism of the way they handled the KISS induction, the Hall has decided that as of today ALL future and past band members will now be inducted. Also, it doesn't matter if a band member played on 1 record or ""none at all, as long as they were in the group at some point." Also, the Hall will let the groups themselves submit a list of names to be inducted. That, along with the Hall's own list should satisfy everyone, the Hall states. As for the tricky situation regarding many variations of certain R&B vocal group inductees like the Drifters, Platters, Coasters, etc., that have toured with many different lineup changes, Rock Hall CEO Joel Peresman said that if they missed anyone in this first inductee group, they will "make certain those names are added soon." He stated, "this is a very fluid situation", and "our past record of doing the right thing when it comes to the induction process speaks for itself."
This is especially good news for fans of KISS, Black Sabbath, Nirvana and many other high profile names. What this means is that Gram Parsons (Byrds), Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac), Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath) and Pete Best & Stuart Sutcliffe (Beatles) are now members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And don't forget Jake Clemons, nephew of Clarence, who will now be part of the 2014 E Street Band induction. Of course, this is only a fraction of the new members to be inducted. As Peresman noted in his press release: "Jann Wenner & I agreed that from here on out the Hall will be devoid of controversies when it comes to what band members should and shouldn't get on stage to accept their trophy."
The Hall also announced that there will be no ceremony for the newest inductees (except for Eric Singer & Tommy Thayer of KISS), but that every new member will receive a plaque in the mail "very soon." Also, the Hall's website will soon be updated to reflect the newest inductees and the artists bio page.
Of course, adding all these new names means that the voting bloc will change dramatically. Every new member to be inducted now becomes a voting member for future Hall ballots.
This announcement should put an end to the endless complaints about who should and shouldn't be inducted when it comes to band members. By taking this universal approach the Rock Hall has finally shown some much needed leadership and that they take public complaints about the induction process very seriously. What a relief it is to know that with this controversy put to bed, we can now concentrate on other Hall related miscues. Hats off to Joel Peresman and the rest of the NomCom for a job well done.
Despite the inclusion of every member of KISS, Paul Stanley & Gene Simmons still won't play at the induction ceremony. Stanley told unofficial KISS spokesman Eddie Trunk, "While I'm pleased the Hall now sees things our way, and are inducting all current members, I still smell a rat. Now they say we can do whatever we want at the Ceremony? A week before? They are desperate." Trunk himself took a swipe at the Hall, "This is ridiculous, and outrageous the way they treat acts like KISS and all REAL Rock and Roll acts. I mean these people once inducted Abba and Madonna. Do you hear me? Abba and Madonna!" Stanley continued, "You make us wait 15 years and at the last minute try to make amends? KISS bows to no one. What we do and if we play will be decided by only Gene and Myself. See you suckers in New York City."