The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is arguably the least essential hall of fame in the world—worse than The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, the Insurance Hall Of Fame, and of course, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (which should just be a shrine to Bruce Springsteen and nothing else, if we're being honest). But it has two things going for it: cranky music stars give great drunken speeches at the ceremony, and it is an annual reminder that we are all getting old, so very old, so very quickly. And this year's crop of nominees—including Pearl Jam and 2Pac—are especially timely on that front.
This is the first year of eligibility for both Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur, whose first albums were both released in 1991, which is 25 years ago, which means you are so goddamn old it isn't funny. They are joined on the nomination list by Depeche Mode, Bad Brains, Jane’s Addiction, Electric Light Orchestra, and Joan Baez. Previous nominees Kraftwerk, Janet Jackson, Chic, Chaka Khan, MC5, and the Cars were nominated once again as well.
There are a few glaring absences on this year's ballot: Nine Inch Nails and The Smiths, who were both nominated the last two years, are missing this time. We can't imagine Morrissey is torn up about there being no cause for speculative Smiths reunion stories this year though. Also missing is Phish, which has for decades been ahead of the curve on the value of live music in a struggling industry.
Either way, five of the nominated artists will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in an April 2017 ceremony whose location and exact date will be announced in December. Hopefully one of them will challenge Mick Jagger to a fight.
Oh, and because we know you were wondering about this: only current Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and co-founder Dave Krusen will be included if they are inducted. Sorry Matt Chamberlain, Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons!