Although I am familiar with their music I don’t own a single record by Bon Jovi, The Cars or The Moody Blues and never have done. (I think I may have received a complimentary Moodies album back when receiving complimentary albums was a daily occurrence but it flew in and out of my life quite rapidly.) I do have a Nina Simone compilation but, truth to tell, it hasn’t been played in years. I do, of course, own and play records by all those I voted for.
I’m surprised that J. Geils didn’t make it as their brand of rockin’ R&B and their long and fairly distinguished history places them among the kind of acts that the R&RHoF seems to favour. There is good reason to believe that Jann Wenner, the editor and publisher of Rolling Stone, is foreman of the jury that decides who’s in and who’s out, and the usually critical Albums Guide published by his mag is pretty generous to them. Also, I’d have thought that the death of guitarist John Geils in April of this year would have accorded a sympathy vote and enhanced their chances.
The Moody Blues, on the other hand, slot into the category that R&RHoF generally ignores, UK soft or prog rockers of their ilk being generally relegated to the naughty corner. That same Albums Guide is hilariously dismissive of them, awarding most of their albums one and a half or two stars out of five, with adjectives like ‘nonsense’, ‘truly crass’ and even ‘offensive’ finding their way into the critique of their work. Only Queen, Journey and John Denver fare worse in the whole book.
I’m largely ignorant of The Cars and imagine they deserve their induction through long service, and I suppose Bon Jovi earned their induction on the strength of their popularity. Nevertheless, I always thought BJ and his men were Bruce Springsteen clones wherein clichés, carefully coiffured tresses and pin-up looks substituted for Bruce’s showmanship, intelligence and stamina. And though it’s doubtless wrong to hold it against them, I couldn’t help but shudder when that awful Heather Mills woman to whom Macca foolishly pledged his troth told the press she preferred BJ to The Beatles.
Nina Simone deserves her place and I ought to have voted for her. So do Dire Straits whom I did vote for and what’s interesting here is that the band members inducted include Mark Knopfler’s brother David and drummer Pick Withers, both of whom were in the original line up but haven’t turned out in the DS strip for donkey’s years. As well as Mark and long serving bassist John Illsley, DS revolving keyboard players Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher will join them on the podium.
As for the others for whom I cast my votes, Eurythmics and Radiohead will almost certainly get another chance though I fear it may be curtains for The Zombies if for no other reason than that those older voters like me who actually remember them are falling by wayside while younger voters won’t know the time of the season from a hole in the ground, to misquote Randy Newman.