Classic Rock News

Classic Rock News

Classic Rock News

In April of 2017, Pearl Jam was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and all of them looked pretty sharp at the ceremony. Jeff Ament, though, got the most attention for his outfit: his t-shirt included a long list of artists who he felt should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This list ranged from rock to metal to punk to jazz to Afrobeat to new wave to avant-garde and even some visual artists. However, he is still a fan of lots of rock radio favorites through the decades, including Grand Funk Railroad, Bad Company, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Steppenwolf. Others are not as well known to radio listeners, including Can, Flipper, Gang of Four, King Diamond, Minor Threat, the Jam and Captain Beefheart.

Interestingly, he included two bands who have vocal about not liking Pearl Jam: Oasis, the Smashing Pumpkins, and the Black Crowes. Also, interestingly, he included former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, who wasn’t included in Nirvana’s induction. But he didn’t include former Pearl Jam drummers Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons, who weren’t included in Pearl Jam’s induction.

Here, we go through the list name by name, minus the artists who have since been inducted: Nina Simone, T. Rex, Bon Jovi, Todd Rundgren, the Cars, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, Roxy Music, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Kate Bush and the Cure. We’re also not including Tom Waits, who was inducted in 2011, but appears on the shirt.

We size up each of the artists who have yet to be inducted and discuss how likely they are actually to be nominated and ultimately become Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

  • Brian Eno

    WHO: Eno has often referred to himself as a “non-musician.” He played synthesizer in the early days of Roxy Music and then put out a series of influential solo albums. He also collaborated with David Bowie. Plus, he produced classic albums for Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay, among others.

    STATUS: Eno became a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, as a member of Roxy Music, in 2019. He’s been eligible as a solo artist since 2000, but he has never been nominated.

    ODDS: 10%: since he’s already been inducted as a member of Roxy Music – and he declined to attend the ceremony – it’s unlikely that there will be a huge push to get him inducted a second time.

  • CAN

    WHO: A very experimental German band, they were an early influence on electronic music.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1994, they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. The nominating committee is probably glad that they got Kraftwerk inducted, in the Early Influences category. And Kraftwerk has a higher profile than CAN. With electronic music becoming a bigger force in our culture, the Rock Hall may look to honor more of the pioneers of the genre.

  • Slayer

    WHO: Oh, you know, just one of the most influential speed metal bands of all time.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2009, they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 60%. Other than Metallica, most metal bands take a long time to get the momentum to be nominated and voted in. It took Black Sabbath over a decade, and Judas Priest is only getting in this year, after 20 years of eligibility. Slayer is way more radical than Priest or Sabbath, and has never had a radio hit. But there is a sense that the Rock Hall is playing “catch-up” in regards to hard rock and metal. However, it’s hard to see Slayer getting in before Motorhead and Iron Maiden. But it could happen.

  • Faith No More

    WHO: The San Francisco quintet paved the way for most of the loud alternative rock bands that followed them in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, and for the nu-metal movement after that. They’d probably take the previous sentence as an insult. Then again, they were total contrarians: after scoring a top 40 hit with “Epic” they got increasingly less commercial with every album.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2011, never nominated.

    ODDS: 50%. They’re often put into the “alternative rock” category, and it’s hard to imagine them being inducted before, say, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and Alice In Chains, to name just a few bands who had a higher profile in the press and on radio.

  • Flipper

    WHO: An underground band that was something of a precursor to many of the heavy rock bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Beloved by Rick Rubin and Henry Rollins, among others, they, unfortunately, don’t have a high profile. In fact, a lot of people may have heard of them for the first time when Kurt Cobain wore one of their t-shirts. His bandmate, Krist Novoselic, joined Flipper for a while in the early 2000s.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “Love Canal,” was released in 1980, so they’ve been eligible since 2005, but they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 5%. If the Rock Hall was going to nominate an influential underground punk band, it’s more likely that they’d go with one that is more well-known, like Bad Brains, Black Flag or Fugazi.

  • Gang of Four

    WHO: A very influential post-punk/funk band. Their guitarist Andy Gill produced the first Red Hot Chili Peppers album. They made a big impact on Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, System of A Down, St. Vincent, Nirvana and R.E.M., among others. A 2021 tribute album, The Problem Of Leisure, featured Flea and John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, as well as IDLES, Helmet and Gary Numan.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “Damaged Goods,” came out in 1978, so they’ve been eligible since 2003. They’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. Despite their massive influence, they have a low profile, and never really had a radio hit.

  • Guided By Voices

    WHO: A lo-fi indie rock band that has over 30 albums to their name.

    STATUS: Their debut EP, Forever Since Breakfast, came out in 1986, so they’ve been eligible since 2011. They’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 1%. We’re confident in saying that it’s never gonna happen.

  • Motley Crue

    WHO: Surely, they need no introduction. They are often lumped in with “hair metal,” much to their chagrin. That association has definitely not helped them to get respect among those on the nominating committee.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2007; they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 50%. Ten years ago, we would have said that they have a zero percent chance. But with Def Leppard and Bon Jovi being inducted in recent years, as well as Journey, it seems that radio-friendly bands that music critics hated in the ’80s and ’90s, now have a path to the Rock Hall. Their recent biopic helped bring them to a new audience, and the fact that they’ve just headlined a stadium tour doesn’t hurt either.

  • Jane's Addiction

    WHO: Arguably more than any other band, they were the ones who started the alternative rock revolution of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Other Hall of Famers would testify to that point, including members of Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Green Day.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2013, nominated twice.

    ODDS: 80%. It’s probably a question of when. But the Rock Hall has been inducting a steady stream of ‘80s/’90s alternative rockers over the past decade. Voting committee members Dave Grohl and Tom Morello will likely push for their induction until it finally happens.

  • Joe Jackson

    WHO: A British singer/songwriter/piano player who came out of the new wave scene and was often compared to Elvis Costello.

    STATUS: His debut single, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?,” was released in 1978, so he’s been eligible since 2004, and has never been nominated.

    ODDS: 40%. He had critical respect and a bunch of solid hits, but the nominating committee seems to veer towards artists who have some relevance to contemporary music, and that’s a tough argument to make with Jackson.

  • Jonathan Richman

    WHO: A former member of the Modern Lovers, a band that also included future Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison and future Cars drummer David Robinson. Richman went on to be a solo artist, whose most significant career break was appearing in the film There’s Something About Mary.

    STATUS: His solo debut, ‘Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers’ was released in 1976, so he’s been eligible since 2002, but he’s never been nominated.

    ODDS: 10%

  • Love

    WHO: A L.A. psychedelic garage rock band from the 1960s, they were beloved by Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant and also by rock critics, but history hasn’t been kind to them. There’s not a lot of awareness of Love these days, which is a shame.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1992, but never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. If they didn’t get in during the era when the Byrds, the Doors and the Jefferson Airplane were inducted, it feels a bit of a stretch at this point. Short of Robert Plant personally campaigning to the nominating committee and then calling voters at home, it’s tough to see this happening.

  • Lenny Kravitz

    WHO: In the ‘80s and ‘90s, he was seen as a bit of a nostalgic/throwback artist, trying to bring back the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s. These days, we tend to appreciate him more for his amazing songs and great performances.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2015, he’s never been nominated. At this point, it seems like an oversight.

    ODDS: 70%. Expect to see him on the ballot in the next few years, along with Sheryl Crow, who also dealt with some very similar criticism.

  • King Diamond

    WHO: He’s the singer of Mercyful Fate; we’re not sure why Jeff chose King Diamond on his own and not with his band. But King Diamond influenced a lot of extreme metal bands, without going anywhere near the mainstream.

    STATUS: King Diamond’s solo debut, ‘Fatal Portrait,’ was released in 1986, so he’d be eligible in 2012. Mercyful Fate, meanwhile, debuted in ‘83 with ‘Melissa,’ so they were eligible for the 2009 ceremony. Neither has been nominated.

    ODDS: 5%. There are a lot of more well-known metal acts that would likely get the nod before King Diamond or Mercyful Fate.

  • Minor Threat

    WHO: The Washington DC hardcore punk band is iconic… but only if you know who they are. They only lasted three years (Ian MacKaye would go on to form Fugazi), but they helped to define the sound and ethics of D.I.Y. punk rock.

    STATUS: Their self-titled debut EP was released in 1981; they’ve been eligible since 2007. They’ve never been nominated and it would be a shock if it ever happens.

    ODDS: 10%. Unless Dave Grohl goes to every voter’s house personally and explains why Minor Threat deserve to be voted in. And even then, it’s doubtful that the band members would acknowledge the honor.

  • The Monkees

    WHO: Conceived by television producers for a sitcom, they eventually morphed into an actual band with quite a few memorable songs.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1992, they’ve never been nominated. It’s surprising that Steven Van Zandt hasn’t started a campaign; he’s definitely helped the Rascals, Darlene Love and the Dave Clark Five to get inducted.

    ODDS: 25%. The Rolling Stone editors and writers who dominated the nominating committee and voting body didn’t vote them in during the ‘80s and ‘90s, so we’ll say that their window of opportunity has probably closed. But with Carly Simon and Lionel Richie being inducted this year, it feels like there’s a new appreciation for hitmakers from the ’60s and ’70s.

  • Motorhead

    WHO: They’re kind of like metal’s Velvet Underground. They never sold a lot of records, but it seems like everyone who bought one, started a band. In 1995, at Lemmy’s 50th birthday, Metallica played a set of Motorhead covers. They dressed like him and called themselves “the Lemmys.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, nominated in 2020. And that year, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest were also on the ballot, so they likely split the metal vote.

    ODDS: 60%. How can you deny Motorhead? We think it’ll happen at some point. It’s just too bad that it didn’t happen while Lemmy still walked the earth. We’re going to assume that this is another priority of Dave Grohl’s.

  • Nick Cave

    WHO: A highly respected post-punk era singer/songwriter who has also written novels, screenplays and poetry. He’s never been too commercially successful, but he gets a lot of respect and has an extremely dedicated fanbase.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2010, he has never been nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. He might get on the ballot at some point, but it’s hard to see him being voted in… at least without having a Kate Bush-like cultural moment.

  • Richard Hell

    WHO: An important figure in ‘70s punk, he was a member of Television and the Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders’ band, not Tom Petty’s) before starting his own band the Voidoids. Their “Blank Generation” was a big punk anthem.

    STATUS: Blank Generation was released in 1977, so he’s been eligible since 2003, but has not been nominated.

    ODDS: 10%. From that scene, Television or the New York Dolls stand a much better chance of being nominated.

  • The Sonics

    WHO: Another big punk influence: they were a garage rock band from the Pacific Northwest who influenced generations of punk bands, from the Stooges to Nirvana. You might know their classic, “Have Love, Will Travel.” Robert Plant is also a big fan, and he took them out on tour a few years ago.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1991, they have yet to be nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. A lot of their peers from the era had a handful of great singles, but haven’t made the ballot, including the Stems, the Shadows of Knight, the Strangeloves, the Electric Prunes, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Blues Magoos, just to name a few. Perhaps the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should give some sort of special recognition to the 1972 compilation Nuggets, with a special shout-out to Patti Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kaye, who put it together.

  • Soundgarden

    WHO: They should have been the first band from the Seattle scene of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s to be inducted. Yes, before Nirvana. Yes, before Pearl Jam. We’re not necessarily saying that they’re more deserving. But Soundgarden was eligible first, in 2012, and that’s when they should have been voted in, period. Soundgarden’s debut single, “Hunted Down,” came out in 1987, one year before Nirvana’s first 7”, “Love Buzz.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 2012, nominated twice.

    ODDS: 90%. As far as we’re concerned, they should have been in a decade ago. But there’s still so much goodwill and respect towards the band, it seems inevitable.

  • Hipgnosis

    WHO: You might not know the name, but you know their work. They’re not musicians, they’re designers, and they’ve worked on some of the most iconic album covers of all time, including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals, Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, The Song Remains the Same and Presence, Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Peter Gabriel’s second and third albums and Def Leppard’s High N Dry, to name a few.

    ODDS: 75%, but only if the Rock Hall decides to start honoring visual artists. They’ve certainly created some of rock’s most enduring and memorable imagery.

  • Thin Lizzy

    WHO: Legendary Irish hard rock band. Surely you know “The Boys Are Back In Town,” right? Their catalog is a lot deeper than that, though.

    STATUS: Eligible in 1996. As mentioned, they’ve been nominated once in 2020, on the same ballot with Judas Priest and Motorhead; they probably canceled each other out.

    ODDS: 20%. A great band, but we wouldn’t bet on them being voted in.

  • Dead Kennedys

    WHO: A San Francisco-based very political hardcore punk band. Frontman Jello Biafra was a tireless fighter against the PMRC.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2005, never nominated.

    ODDS: 5%. the mainstream music industry didn’t seem to respect them. And the feeling was more than mutual. Like Minor Threat, they’d probably be offended to even be mentioned.

  • Bauhaus

    WHO: One of the definitive bands of Britain’s post-punk goth scene.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2005, they have yet to be nominated, despite their influence.

    ODDS: 15%. From that era, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Smiths are more likely to be nominated.

  • The Black Crowes

    WHO: No explanation is needed if you love rock and roll! But when they hit the scene in 1990, they were kind of pegged as being ‘60s/’70s revivalists, much like Lenny Kravitz. And like with Lenny, all these decades later, all that matters is their great songs. And that’s something the band has been reminding us of over the past two years on their reunion tour. By the way, props to Jeff Ament for including them, as they were often critical of Pearl Jam and the Seattle bands back in the day.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2016, never nominated.

    ODDS: 70%.And even though they’re not the type to campaign, it would be higher if they sent tickets for their current tour the members of the nominating committee.

  • Black Flag

    WHO: One of the most important bands from the hardcore punk scene. Henry Rollins was the fourth person to dare to front the band (after Keith Morris, Ron Reyes and Dez Cadena), and it catapulted him to a kind of underground stardom. Rollins’ book about his era in the band, Get In The Van, is essential reading.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2004; they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 20%.Check out the guest list on the 2002 tribute album, Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three, which included Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Chuck D and Iggy Pop, as well as Corey Taylor, Hank Williams III, Mike Patton of Faith No More, Ice-T, Lemmy and Tom Araya of Slayer. But like a lot of their hardcore peers, if nominated, they probably wouldn’t show up anyway.

  • Smashing Pumpkins

    WHO: One of the most enduring and ambitious bands of the ‘90s alt-rock explosion.

    STATUS: They dropped their debut single “I Am One” in 1990, so they’ve been eligible since 2016, but they have yet to be nominated.

    ODDS: 70%. It’s insane that they haven’t been nominated, but it’s probably a matter of time.

  • Fugazi

    WHO: After Minor Threat broke up, Ian MacKaye formed Fugazi, a band that took hardcore punk to new places: they really weren’t classifiable. Which was fine with them and their very loyal fans: they sold most of their albums in indie stores, and didn’t care about radio or MTV. They had an admirable code of ethics, too: they kept their concert tickets at around $5 and didn’t sell merch at their shows.

    STATUS: They debuted with 1988’s self-titled EP, so they’ve been eligible since 2014. Unsurprisingly, they have not been nominated, and it’s unlikely that they would acknowledge it if they were.

    ODDS: 20%. Although they deserve it!

  • Dio

    WHO: The original frontman of Rainbow, and the man who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. Ronnie James Dio put together his own band, Dio, in 1982. He’s one of heavy metal’s most influential and iconic singers and frontmen.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2007, never nominated.

    ODDS: 66%. He (and Dio drummer Vinny Appice) probably should have been inducted with Black Sabbath in 2006, but the Rock Hall only went with the founding members. As the years go by, it’s more and more clear what an oversight that was. Dio, along with Iron Maiden and Motorhead, are three metal bands that need to get in at some point. Whether or not it will happen for Dio remains to be seen.

  • Elliott Smith

    WHO: Indie-rock singer-songwriter, most well known for “Miss Misery,” the Oscar-nominated song from 1997’s Good Will Hunting.

    STATUS: Smith wasn’t even eligible as a solo act in 2017 when Jeff wore that shirt: Smith’s debut was 1994’s ‘Roman Candle.’ He’s been eligible since 2020, and has yet to be nominated.

    ODDS: 5%.

  • New Order

    WHO: The legendary British band combined post-punk with dance music; three of the members had been in Joy Division (and, surprisingly, Ament didn’t include Joy Division on his shirt). But New Order’s “Blue Monday” and “True Faith” still sound ahead of their time, four decades later.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “Ceremony,” was released in 1981, so they’ve been eligible since 2007. They’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 80%. Now that the Cure and Depeche Mode are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see New Order on the ballot. And with electronic music so prevalent in popular music these days, it’s easy to trace the band’s influence. Don’t be surprised if they’re lumped together with Joy Division, the way the Rock Hall did with the Small Faces and the Faces in 2012.

  • The Jam

    WHO: A mod-punk band from the U.K. They’re so beloved in their home country; if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a British institution, they would have been in years ago.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “In The City,” was released in 1977, so they’ve been eligible since 2003. They’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. There are still a number of post-punk and new wave acts likely to be inducted before them.

  • The Smiths

    WHO: The short-lived but incredibly influential indie rock band from Manchester, England led by Morrissey.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “Hand In Glove,” was released in 1983, so they’ve been eligible since 2009. They’ve been nominated twice.

    ODDS: 50%. A few years ago, we would have said 75%. They, or New Order, would be a likely next pick from the post-punk scene, following Depeche Mode and the Cure’s inductions. But in recent years, Morrissey has seemingly embraced right-wing ideology, which likely alienates most of the nominating committee and voting body. Anyway, Morrissey likely wouldn’t show up if they were inducted, and certainly wouldn’t play with his former bandmates. He said – and we’re quoting here – “I would rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that’s saying something for a vegetarian.”

  • Sonic Youth

    WHO: They were the standard bearer for what was cool and credible in the ‘90s…. to the chagrin of much of the music industry, who didn’t understand their appeal (to be fair, Sonic Youth never sold a ton of records).

    STATUS: They debuted with the Sonic Youth EP in 1982, so they’ve been eligible since 2008.

    ODDS: 55%. They have a lot of support from the (many) bands that they’ve influenced, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Beastie Boys… not to mention Neil Young, who took them out on their first big arena tour in 1990. They’re kind of like their generation’s Velvet Underground. It could happen.

  • The MC5

    WHO: They’re really one of the first punk rock bands; they have a handful of great songs, but all you need to hear is “Kick Out The Jams.” 

    STATUS: Their debut single, “I Can Only Give You Everything,” was released in 1966, so they’ve been eligible since 1992. They’ve been nominated six times. 

    ODDS: 75%. Like other seminal artists Kraftwerk, LL Cool J and Judas Priest, the nominating committee knows that they should be inducted, but they haven’t been able to get the votes. Don’t be surprised to see them inducted via the Award for Musical Excellence.  

  • Captain Beefheart

    WHO: Who is the weirdest, most musically bonkers artist that you can think of in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Tom Waits? George Clinton? Frank Zappa? Captain Beefheart makes them sound like the Eagles by comparison…

    STATUS: … so, no: he has never been nominated. His debut single, a cover of “Diddy Wah Diddy” was released in 1966, so he’s been eligible since 1992, if you’re keeping track.

    ODDS: We’ll say it: 0%.

  • Weather Report

    WHO: A legendary jazz-fusion group, co-founded by keyboard player Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter; later members of the band included Jaco Pastorius, Alphonso Johnson and Chester Thompson.

    STATUS: Their self-titled debut was released in 1971, so they’ve been eligible since 1997; they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 5%: as inclusive as the Rock Hall is of non-rock genres, there hasn’t been a big push to induct jazz artists, although Miles Davis was inducted in 2006. It’s likely that they’d look to icons like John Coltrane or Thelonius Monk over a jazz-fusion group if they wanted to include more jazz.

  • Devo

    WHO: The late ‘70s and ‘80s were wild, man. That’s the only thing that explains how this bizarre post-punk new wave band got so popular… and we’re glad that they did. They’re another band that brought a really weird sensibility to the mainstream. They’re also one of the first bands to make really interesting music videos in the early years of the medium.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, they’ve been nominated three times.

    ODDS: 75%. Most voters probably acknowledge their impact and influence, and if they have a big cultural moment (a documentary, if their music is licensed for a popular tv show or movie), it could definitely happen. Don’t be surprised to see them get the Musical Excellence award or to be honored as an Early Influence.

  • Harry Nilsson

    WHO: He wrote Three Dog Night’s “One,” and also “Jump Into the Fire”: Ament covered the latter song on Temple of the Dog’s 2016 tour. Nilsson was also famous for hanging out with John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper and Keith Moon in the “Hollywood Vampires,” a drinking club that inspired the name of Cooper’s recent band with Joe Perry and Johnny Depp.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1993, he’s never been nominated.

    ODDS: 5%. It’s unlikely to happen if it hasn’t happened by now.

  • NEU!

    WHO: A German krautrock band formed in 1971 by Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother after they left Kraftwerk.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1998, never nominated

    ODDS: 3%. it was hard enough to get Kraftwerk in, and Neu! is not as well known as Kraftwerk.

  • Raymond Pettibon

    WHO: An artist who designed album and single covers for the legendary punk label SST, his credits include iconic art for Black Flag (My War, Nervous Breakdown, Six Pack and he also designed their iconic logo) and the Minutemen (What Makes A Man Start Fires?). His most high profile album cover, though, is Foo Fighters’ One By One.

    STATUS: Never nominated

    ODDS: 0%. Unless the Rock Hall starts recognizing visual artists AND not until bands like Black Flag and the Minutemen start being inducted.

  • Buzzcocks

    WHO: A British punk/power-pop band; they’re another one of the artists who would have been inducted a long time ago if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was based in the U.K. But they didn’t make quite as big of an impact in the States.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, never nominated

    ODDS: 10%, but it would be fun to see someone play “Orgasm Addict” at the induction ceremony.

  • Fela Kuti

    WHO: A politically charged Nigerian musician/singer; many of his albums had just two songs, one on side one and one on side two. Needless to say, for that and other reasons, his music didn’t get radio play or much media coverage in the U.S. His 1971 Live! album saw him collaborating with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ginger Baker (formerly of Cream), but even that is a bit too uncommercial to have gotten much traction among rock fans. His life was the subject of the off-Broadway show Fela! in 2009, which was co-produced by Jay-Z and Will and Jada Smith.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1995, he’s been nominated twice.

    ODDS: 20% He probably needs a big cultural moment – like being sampled in a popular new song – to get the momentum needed to convince voters that he deserves to be on their ballot. Or a campaign from a prestigious artist, like Questlove of the Roots (who is on the nominating committee), Flea, or Jay-Z.

  • Alice In Chains

    WHO: One of Seattle’s “Big Four” from the ‘90s. Nirvana and Pearl Jam are in, and it seems like Soundgarden would be next. But we’re betting that Alice will definitely be inducted at some point, they’re one of the best and biggest bands of ‘90s, which was the last era where rock ruled the pop charts.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2016, never nominated. Come on nominating committee!

    ODDS: 70%.

  • Grand Funk Railroad

    WHO: One of the quintessential arena/stadium rock bands of the ‘70s, but Rolling Stone hated them (so did most critics). But in their heyday, they sold out Shea Stadium as quickly as the Beatles had a few years earlier.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1994, they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 25%. It seems like the nominating committee has mostly left ‘70s rockers in the past, but you never know. Grand Funk had a lot of great songs.

  • Husker Du

    WHO: An underground punk band that recorded for SST Records (the same indie label as Black Flag and the Minutemen). They were a bit more melodic, but they never really crossed over; guitarist-singer Bob Mould had more commercial success with his next band, Sugar.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2007, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. Black Flag and Bad Brains would probably be on the ballot before Husker Du. Although nominating committee member Dave Grohl is a big fan; he name-dropped their album New Day Rising in “Times Like These,” and frontman Bob Mould guested on the Foo Fighters’ “Dear Rosemary.”

  • Iron Maiden

    WHO: This is one of the Rock Hall’s more embarrassing oversights; in the eyes of metal fans, until they induct Iron Maiden, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cannot be taken seriously.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2005, only nominated once.

    ODDS: It would be fun to say 66.6% but we’re going with 80%: now that Judas Priest is being inducted (via the “Musical Excellence” honor), it seems like Maiden and Motorhead would be next. As the years go by, even the most resistant rock critics realize that metal is one of rock’s most enduring subgenres, and even if they don’t like the music, they respect it. Without ever really having a radio hit, Iron Maiden still sells out arenas, decades after their commercial heyday. They also headline stadiums in other parts of the world.

  • The New York Dolls

    WHO: A seminal glam/punk band. Former Smiths singer Morrissey (who was the head of the band’s U.K. fan club in the ‘70s) organized their reunion in 2004; at one point, Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue was said to be considering delaying a Crue tour so he could fill in for the Dolls on bass. How many other bands have had that kind of impact on the Smiths and the Crue?

    STATUS: Eligible since 1999; nominated three times.

    ODDS: 50%. As with Judas Priest and Kraftwerk, it’s tough to deny their massive influence. We could see them getting the “Musical Excellence” honor, or being honored as an “Early Influence.”

  • The B-52s

    WHO: One of the wildest, weirdest, kitschiest bands of the late ‘70s /early ‘80s new wave movement. They also had one of the most dramatic comebacks ever: after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson, they rallied to make their most popular album ever, 1989’s Cosmic Thing.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2004, never nominated.

    ODDS: 40%. If it happens, it should probably be soon, as they’re wrapping up their farewell tour.

  • King Crimson

    WHO: One of prog rock’s most challenging and confusing bands; the only constant member is guitarist Robert Fripp. They’ve never really had a hit single, but they get the respect of all of their more popular peers… like Yes, Genesis, Rush and Pink Floyd, all of whom have been inducted into the Rock Hall.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1995, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. The nominating committee likely feels that prog-rock has been sufficiently covered, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer would likely be before them, as ELP have a few big radio hits.

  • The Cult

    WHO: British band that went from the goth underground to the hard rock mainstream, thanks to their 1987 album Electric, produced by Rick Rubin.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2009, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. Great band, but it’s unlikely.

  • Dinosaur Jr.

    WHO: Highly respected indie-punk band, led by guitar god J. Mascis. Apparently, Kurt Cobain wanted him to join Nirvana.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2010, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%.

  • The Minutemen

    WHO: Another SST band from the ‘80s indie underground, they were a punk band with a free jazz influence. The Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicated their Blood Sugar Sex Magik album to bassist Mike Watt.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2005, never nominated.

    ODDS: 7%. The documentary We Jam Econo was released in 2005 and didn’t get them a nomination, so it seems unlikely to happen now.

  • The Misfits

    WHO: Horror movie-inspired punk rock band fronted (in its prime) by Glenn Danzig.

    STATUS: Their debut single, “Cough/Cool,” came out in 1977, so they’ve been eligible since 2002, and have never been nominated.

    ODDS: 7%. The band reunited in 2016, after fighting bitterly for years. They’ve headlined a few arenas including Madison Square Garden; if that didn’t convince the nominating committee to put them on the ballot, it’s hard to imagine what would.

  • Mountain

    WHO: One of the earliest hard rock bands, they’re most well known for their classic “Mississippi Queen.”

    STATUS: They played the original Woodstock, but didn’t release their debut under the name Mountain until 1970; they’ve been eligible since 1996. They’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 10%. As we’ve mentioned, the nominating committee seem to have moved past the ‘60s/’70s classic rock era.

  • Mudhoney

    WHO: A seminal Seattle band, and one that Jeff Ament has a connection to: before he and Stone Gossard formed Pearl Jam, they were in a band called Mother Love Bone. Before that band, they were in Green River with Mark Arm and Steve Turner. Arm and Turner went on to form Mudhoney. Pearl Jam later recorded a song called “Lukin,” inspired by Mudhoney bassist Matt Lukin.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2013; never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. Soundgarden and Alice In Chains will probably get in first and there are a lot of other more successful bands from the ‘90s alternative rock era that would probably be a bigger priority for the nominating committee.

  • PJ Harvey

    WHO: In the ‘90s, there was a huge chasm between the amount of respect Polly Jean Harvey (deservedly) got, and the amount of radio play she received. Besides “Down By The Water,” she didn’t enjoy much mainstream support, but still enjoyed an incredibly loyal audience. She headlined theaters, and she opened big tours for U2 and LIVE.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2017, never nominated.

    ODDS: 40%. She was ahead of her time, like the Velvet Underground, George Clinton and Black Sabbath, but the Rock Hall caught up to them, and hopefully, they’ll catch up to PJ as well. But unfortunately, she’ll probably have to wait for the more popular artists of the era to get in.

  • Steppenwolf

    WHO: The hard rock band was loved by bikers, due to their timeless anthem, “Born To Be Wild,” not to mention “Magic Carpet Ride.” You’d think that those two songs alone would be enough to get Steppenwolf into the Rock Hall!

    STATUS: Eligible since 1994, they’ve only been nominated once.

    ODDS: 10%. “Born To Be Wild” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Singles category, introduced in 2018. That’s about as close as the band will get.

  • The Damned

    WHO: They were the first British punk band to release a single: 1976’s “New Rose” (later covered by Guns N Roses). They were also the first to release an album with 1977’s Damned Damned Damned, and the first to tour the U.S. They were also a link between the punk and the goth scene.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2002, they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. There are so many other punk bands with a higher profile in the U.S.

  • The Waterboys

    WHO: A very respected folk-rock band led by Scottish singer/songwriter Mike Scott, and featuring musicians from Scotland as well as England and Ireland. This is an interesting choice by Ament.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2008, never nominated. Frankly, it would be shocking if they were nominated.

    ODDS: 5%.

  • Bad Brains

    WHO: One of the pioneers of hardcore punk, some would cite them as the most important band in the genre, which is amazing, as they started out as a jazz fusion band. They were a huge influence on Nirvana (and particularly Dave Grohl), the Beastie Boys, Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine, Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2008, nominated once.

    ODDS: 60%. Despite the fact that they’ve never had a hit single, the odds are pretty strong. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee members Dave Grohl, Tom Morello and Questlove will probably keep making a case for them until they are inducted.

  • The Replacements

    WHO: One of the best and most influential garage rock bands of the 1980s, they’re another example of a band whose influence far exceeds their record sales.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2007, nominated once.

    ODDS: 60%. Now that the Cure and Depeche Mode are in, it seems that the nominating committee and the voting body is warming to the post-punk/alt-rock era of the ‘80s. The Replacements would be a great choice: despite not-great record sales, they are revered by nearly every rock band who followed.

  • The Pixies

    WHO: Like the Replacements, the Pixies are another one of the best and most influential rock bands of the ‘80s. Their loud/quiet/loud dynamic was a huge influence on Nirvana, along with nearly every other guitar-driven alt-rock band of the ‘90s. Back then, if you didn’t love the Pixies, you didn’t have good taste, and you lacked credibility. Even David Bowie was a huge fan (he covered “Cactus”).

    STATUS: Eligible since 2013, never nominated.

    ODDS: 70%. This seems like another band that Dave Grohl would champion; songs like “Monkey Gone To Heaven,” “Gigantic,” and “Here Comes Your Man” seem to creep into pop culture every few years, so who knows: they might have a “Kate Bush” moment that could give them some extra momentum.

  • Big Star

    WHO: Another band that is revered in the critical and artistic community, but they’re considerably lower profile than bands like Bad Brains, the Pixies, and the Replacements. The Bangles covered their song “September Gurls,” and the Replacements paid tribute to their leader in their song “Alex Chilton.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1998, never nominated.

    ODDS: 3%.

  • Billy Idol

    WHO: A punk rocker who became one of the faces of MTV in the early years, much to the disgust of “real” punk rockers. But the truth is, he was the gateway drug for many fans, helping them to discover punk. And he has a lot of classic songs.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2007, never nominated.

    ODDS: 65%. ‘80s artists from the early MTV era are suddenly being reconsidered by the nominating committee, like Pat Benatar, the Eurythmics and Duran Duran.

  • Bjork

    WHO: In the ‘90s, a lot of weird stuff got on the radio, and none of it was weirder – or more original – than Icelandic singer Bjork. There are, frankly, a lot of women from the ‘90s who should be in (including the aforementioned PJ Harvey), and Bjork is at the top of that list.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, never nominated.

    ODDS: 60%. Her chances increase as the nominating and voting body moves from people who came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, to those who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s.

  • Blue Oyster Cult

    WHO: A band that bridged the gap between metal and progressive rock; they predated Rush by a few years. They might suffer a bit from being kind of faceless: Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom may not be household names, and your average music fan (or Rock Hall voter) wouldn’t recognize them if they bumped into them on the street. But everyone knows “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Burnin’ For You” and “Godzilla.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1998, never nominated

    ODDS: 20%. They deserve it, but there are a lot of hard rock and metal bands that are likely to get in first (like Iron Maiden and Motorhead, to name two). We’d love to see them in the Rock Hall, but we wouldn’t bet on it happening.

  • Public Image Limited

    WHO: Johnny Lydon’s band after the breakup of the Sex Pistols. P.I.L. was even more adventurous than the Pistols, but didn’t make as big of an impact. Still, they are very respected.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. There are a lot of other post-punk bands that would come first. And Lyndon didn’t show up for the ceremony when the Sex Pistols were inducted in 2006, so it’s unlikely that anyone will go too far out of their way to campaign for a band who is a long shot anyway.

  • The Melvins

    WHO: An underground band from the Pacific Northwest , who were very influential on the Seattle scene, particularly Nirvana and Soundgarden. Drummer Dale Crover played on a number of Nirvana songs, including “Floyd The Barber,” “Hairspray Queen” and “Aero Zeppelin.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 2011, never nominated.

    ODDS: 10%. They’re too underground, and they don’t have the cache of Black Flag or Bad Brains.

  • The Psychedelic Furs

    WHO: The British post-punk/new wave band is probably most well known in America for “Pretty in Pink,” “Heartbreak Beat” and “Love My Way.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 2003, never nominated.

    ODDS: 17%. That could rise if there’s a huge push for more ‘80s bands to be inducted.

  • X

    WHO: The west coast punk country hybrid is another band revered by ‘90s rockers, including Jane’s Addiction (who covered “Nausea”), the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who name-dropped them and sampled “White Girl” in “Good Time Boys”) and Pearl Jam (who has taken them out on the road). Their first three albums were produced by Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2004, never nominated.

    ODDS: 19%. It could happen, but it’s far from a certainty.

  • Free

    WHO: Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke’s band before they formed Bad Company, most well known for “All Right Now.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1994, never nominated.

    ODDS: 20%. It’s more likely that Bad Company would be inducted, but it would be cool to see them get in together, a la the Small Faces and the Faces, or George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic.

  • Emerson Lake and Palmer

    WHO: One of the quintessential progressive rock bands, along with Yes and Genesis (both of whom have been inducted).

    STATUS: Eligible since 1996, never nominated.

    ODDS: 15%. The nominating committee probably feels that progressive rock has been sufficiently covered at this point.

  • The Descendents

    WHO: A punk rock band that probably influenced every single act who played the Warped Tour.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2005, they’ve never been nominated.

    ODDS: 10%. Unless someone like Billie Joe Armstrong does some heavy campaigning for them.

  • Ted Nugent

    WHO: You’re probably familiar with the Nuge. The outspoken guitarist/bandleader is most well-known for “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” Actually, he’s probably most well known for being very loud about his right-wing politics.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2000, never nominated.

    ODDS: 10%. His politics don’t help, as it’s reasonable to assume that most of the nominating committee and voting body leans left. And the Nuge will likely use that as an explanation for why he hasn’t been nominated. But he has relatively few essential tracks compared to the other hard rock acts who have been inducted.

  • Warren Zevon

    WHO: Possibly the most surprising oversight of the Rock Hall. We say that only because, as we’ve mentioned, the early Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee and voting body was heavy with Rolling Stone staffers and Zevon was an absolute darling of that crowd (and deservedly so). Of course, everyone knows “Werewolves of London,” but he has a bunch of classics, including “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” “Lawyers Guns and Money,” “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner,” “Boom Boom Mancini” and his heartbreaking farewell, “Keep Me In Your Heart.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1995, nominated in 2023.

    ODDS: 25%. If it didn’t happen while Jann Wenner was the chairperson of the nominating committee, it’s hard to see it happening now, sadly.

  • Link Wray

    WHO: Legendary guitar player, most well known for “Rumble,” which has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Singles category.

    STATUS: Eligible since 1984, nominated twice. Inducted as part of the 2023 class as in the Early Influences category.

  • The Flaming Lips

    WHO: A psychedelic rock band who seemingly exist in their own genre, much like Bjork. And like Bjork, they somehow ended up on the radio in the ‘90s; in their case, it was thanks to the classic “She Don’t Use Jelly.” But they’ve remained popular in the decades since, with “Do You Realize??” entering popular culture because of frequent licensing. Speaking of pop, these weirdos have collaborated with both Kesha and Miley Cyrus, bringing them to a much younger generation.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2010, never nominated.

    ODDS: 40%. The Rock Hall loves to honor older artists who influence younger ones, particularly those with pop culture relevance, and the Lips definitely have done that… and they’ve done it without much mainstream support.

  • Nick Drake

    WHO: The critically beloved singer-songwriter released three classic albums before dying of a drug overdose at age 26 in 1974. You might have heard his lovely and sad song, “Pink Moon.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1995, never nominated.

    ODDS: 25%. With the right song placement, he could get some new relevance in pop culture.

  • Chad Channing

    WHO: This is a strange one, as Chad Channing has never released a solo album; Ament is likely referring to the fact that Channing played drums on almost all of Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach, but was not included with the band when they were inducted in 2014. One might argue that Jeff should have also mentioned former Pearl Jam drummers Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons. Abbruzzese played on two of the band’s hugest albums, 1993’s Vs. and 1994’s Vitalogy, and wasn’t included in the induction. Irons, meanwhile, played on 1996’s No Code and 1998’s Yield, and also wasn’t included (but he’s already a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, as a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

    ODDS: 1%. Channing wasn’t inducted as a member of Nirvana, so, unless the nominating committee comes up with a way to add members who weren’t included with bands when they were inducted, there’s zero percent chance, unless he gets the award for Musical Excellence, which is how they inducted Ringo Starr for his post-Beatles career, Leon Russell, Nile Rodgers (when Chic didn’t get in after eleven nominations). But if they didn’t include him with Nirvana, it seems unlikely that they’d give him this award, unfortunately.

  • Sweet

    WHO: A seminal British glam-rock band, probably most well known for “The Ballroom Blitz,” “Love Is Like Oxygen” and “Fox On The Run.”

    STATUS: Eligible since 1993, never nominated.

    ODDS: 10%.

  • Oasis

    WHO Beatles-obsessed British band from the 1990s (who famously didn’t like Pearl Jam or most American rock acts of that era). Oasis was insanely popular in the U.K. and headlined arenas in the U.S. for a while.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2020, nominated in 2024.

    ODDS: 40%. But as more and more ‘90s bands are included on the ballot, they have a shot. Their commercial peak was relatively short, but they packed a lot of classics into a short time.

  • Bad Company

    WHO: Fronted by Paul Rodgers, created from the ashes of Free and signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label. It’s mindblowing that this band has never even been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rodgers is one of rock and roll’s greatest singers, and they were one of the definitive rock bands of the ‘70s. “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Bad Company,” “Shooting Star,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Rock and Roll Fantasy,” “Ready For Love” are iconic.

    STATUS: Eligible since 2000, never nominated.

    ODDS: 50%. While the Rock Hall seems to have mostly moved past ‘70s rock bands, they also have been acknowledging popular favorites over the past decade or so, inducting KISS, Rush, Def Leppard, Yes and Pat Benatar. Bad Company seems like such a huge oversight. Hopefully, they’ll correct it while Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs still walk the earth (bassist Boz Burrell died in 2006). While we’re talking about some of rock and roll’s greatest singers, it’s shocking that Joe Cocker also has never been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

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