My batting average is getting better. Three of the five nominated acts that I chose to be inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame last November have been given a place. Usually I pick only one or two successful candidates at the most.
Inducted next month will be The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and The Zombies. Of those I voted for the last three, Radiohead and Roxy my own choices and The Zombies by popular demand among the readers of Just Backdated and Facebook friends whose advice I now traditionally take for my fifth vote. My other two (losing) picks from the 15 2019 nominees were John Prine and Kraftwerk.
I think John Prine will get in eventually because his songs are of a quality that deserve this recognition. I’m not so sure about KW who’ve been nominated and rebuffed a few times before, and I cannot help but think that part of the reason is the need to induct all four members of the group that made the remarkable series of albums between Autobahn (1974) and Computer World (1981). Nowadays only Ralf Hütter remains, leading a KW made up from later arrivals, while Florian Schneider, Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Fleür languish elsewhere and would probably be unwilling to share the podium with Hütter, let alone join him in a ‘jam’ which, of course, would be wholly contrary to the KW ethos.
Still, it will be a crowded podium on the night as my R&RHoF booklet tells me that nine members of The Cure, eight members of Roxy (including Eno), seven members of Def Leppard, along with the expected five members each of Radiohead and The Zombies will be up there alongside Janet and Stevie. That’s 36 happy musicians jostling for a place amongst those chosen to give the nominating speeches, so Betty Everett’s ‘Getting Mighty Crowded’ would be an appropriate send off.
My reasoning for KW’s exclusion is probably mirrored by The Smiths who’ve also been nominated more than once but given the cold shoulder. The thought of Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce standing together with their arms around each other’s necks warms the heart but is too unlikely to contemplate when you think about it.
By the way, the cheapest seats for the ceremony are $3,000 so I won’t be attending.