So, the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations came out today...
I look at this list;
J. Geils Band
LL Cool J
And man, it's not like I can argue with a lot of the choices. I mean, seeing Tom Waits up there makes me very, very happy. The Beastie Boys totally deserve it, as well as Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper, I guess. It's neat to see deserving off-the-mainstream choices like Dr. John, J. Giles Band and Laura Nyro.
But Bon Jovi? They've only been eligible for TWO YEARS! There's a lot of acts I might say "the first year they're eligible, they ought to go in," but Bon Jovi ain't one of them. (Down the road? Sure.) Def Leppard is higher on the list, if we want to pick someone from that era. Hell, Van Halen didn't go in until after 4 years of eligibility.
I hate to bring up something I always do with RNRHOF posts, but Rush? Eligible for 12 years. They've been recording for 37 years! They are third behind, get this, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for consecutive Gold and Platinum albums. They're cited as an influence for at least one of the current HOF acts, Metallica. They're not a "revolving door" band, their lineup has been set and unchanging, recording-wise, since 1975. The've been honored by everyone from the Canadian government to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. This is a band that has earned it's rightful place in your club.
Plus, they're still a viable musical force. Rush's last three albums may not be the sheer genius of the absolute best of their catalog, but their work is always compelling and energized. Certainly more inspired that anything Bon Jovi's put out recently, or even Eric Clapton, and how many times have you inducted him, now? Ok, I'll admit that's an unfair comment, not every band can, like Led Zeppelin, call it quits before inertia sets in, but still, Rush has put out 18 albums of original material in it's 37 years. I couldn't call any of those records "bad," or even "weak."
I thought, maybe, after the attention paid to the band this year (the movie, and all that), it might finally happen. Alas, I underestimated the advisory board's ability to just be, as Matt Stone put it, "old dickheads."
Of course, it's all opinion. Everything is. I understand that after you get past the obvious inductees, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, etc, it all comes down to taste. It just makes me sad that, with all the factual information above, someone hasn't overridden their own dislike for this great band to make a gesture.