We all know by now that The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is less important than The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, but it's all worth it because aging rock stars and celebrities often give GREAT drunken speeches at the ceremony—whether draped in retirement beards or oozing resentment at former bandmates and rivals. And this year's crop of nominees include tons of stars who could potentially fly off the handle—or possibly completely ignore the handle—if given the chance.
Among the first-time nominees this year are Radiohead, Nina Simone, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Dire Straits, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Eurythmics, Judas Priest and The Moody Blues. Also up for the Hall are past nominees including J. Geils Band, Bon Jovi, MC5, Depeche Mode, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Link Wray, The Cars, The Zombies, The Meters and LL Cool J.
Notably absent: past nominees Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, The Replacements, Jane's Addiction, Bad Brains, eleven-time nominees Chic, and Janet Jackson, as well as never-nominated bands including Phish, The Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden, whose lead singer Chris Cornell died in May.
Now as I re-read the list of nominees, maybe I was presumptuous in saying there was a lot of potential for classic drunken speeches. Maybe Tom Morello will go off on Trump and Enron? Or Mark Knopfler will call out Don Henley (or more likely, his brother, who happens to be the band's co-founder)? Or, I don't know, LL Cool J will very respectfully thank his CBS sponsors? Jeez, imagine all the shit-talking Billy Corgan could have done with that platform!!!
Among this year's nominees, Radiohead seem like the most obvious shoo-in of the new batch, and also the group least likely to care about getting in. In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, four-fifths of the band sounded ambivalent about the honor. "I don't care. Maybe it's a cultural thing that I really don't understand," said Johnny Greenwood. "I don't want to be rude about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because for a lot of people it means something, but culturally I don't understand it," said Ed O'Brien. "It seems very show-biz and I'm not very show-biz." Thom Yorke: "It wouldn't be the first place...don't ask me things like that. I always put my foot in my mouth." Phil Selway: "It's a bit like having the free bus pass in the UK when you reach a certain age."
But at least Colin Greenwood would be game for it: "I'd be grateful if we got in. Look at the other people that have been inducted. I don't know if everyone else will go though. It might be me just doing bass versions of everything like, 'Come on, you know this one!' I'd have to play the bass part to 'Creep' five times." Hopefully if he does go, he will get drunk enough to challenge Mick Jagger to a fight...or I guess someone more contemporary like Liam Gallagher? Ugh, we can't wait until Oasis are eligible in 2019.
You can expect about five of the nominated artists to get in (well, four + Radiohead). The ceremony will take place April 14th, 2018, at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, with excerpts from it later broadcast on HBO.