Reading Twitter posts from Rock Hall Nominating Committee
Members Robert Hilburn
, I'm beginning to wonder how seriously this whole yearly meeting is. Hilburn
says he sent in his picks, but judging by them, not one got on the ballot. Hell, somebody asked him who would make a good Early Influence/Sideman inductee and he came up with nothing. Toure
says his main job was to champion LL Cool J. No other name was brought forward by him. It can't be all haphazard. The final ballot is always a mix of genres. Which means somebody
is overlooking the whole process. Yet they always come up with B-list nominees: Laura Nyro, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Jimmy Cliff.
What I'm trying to say is that the whole process is getting staid. I'm big on adding a whole new set of 30 Nominating Committee
members every 3 or 5 years. Yes, there are 30 people (or "experts", if you will), scattered throughout the world, who can easily fill slots every few years. Why keep Little Steven or Hilbun or or Seymour Stein or Dave Marsh or Robbie Robertson as NomCom
members when all we're going to get from them are the same staid choices. And how did Paul Shaffer get on this committee? Do you realize that Hilburn has been on the committee since 1986! It took these Non-Com's until 2009 to finally nominate a Prog-Rock group! There is an arrogance to it all. A genre like Prog didn't register on their radar, because it wasn't critically acclaimed. But it's a popular genre. So the Non-Com's have pretended that it doesn't exist, until this year. You want Rush, Neil Diamond, Roxy Music, the Smiths, Alice Cooper, Yes, Barry White, the Spinners (my personal fave), ELO or Willie Nelson on the ballot? None of whom have ever been nominated. Get fresh voices who can argue their worth. Why aren't critics/Pop music experts like Rob Sheffield, Chuck Eddy or Sasha Frere
-Jones on the committee? And I know I'm missing some African-American critics, too. Until then, we'll have to wait forever, like we did this year with Kiss and Genesis, for these people to get to overlooked artists
that have been eligible for years.