Missing Links Rock and Roll Winners and Losers Rick Langenberg

WEB TMJ 12.15.15 Page 1-4-1
It’s time for some well-deserved kudos and final comments regarding the grand Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crowning process, an annual tradition of this often controversial Cleveland, Ohio institution.

The big local winners of our first annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Critic Contest are Jeff Attaway and Stacy Lewallen. Congratulations to both winners who will be receiving prizes and, more importantly, you may be seeing their names in our paper for various music reviews

Quite frankly, none of our contest participants quite got all the 2016 final picks correct. But that’s not surprising, as the Hall official voters (whoever they are) always throw everyone for a few loops.

However, the above-mentioned winners lobbied hard for several of the new RR Hall of Fame champs, most namely Steve Miller and Cheap Trick. Here are a few of their choice comments:

“I have seen Steve Miller in concert several times. A little trivia regarding, Steve Miller, his step father was Les Paul…With access to all the people Les knew, Stevie had a great chance of becoming famous! But, he would never ride on the skirt tales of anyone!
Standing firm in his version of Rock and Roll. Myself, being a musican for over thirty years, I would love the opportunity to work with all of you at TMJ.” Jeff Attaway

“Once upon a time, I was a disc jockey where I worked primarily for Classic Rock formats. I’ve been writing about our local music scene in my community for almost two years now. I have a facebook page called Music Matters where I help promote live music in this area. Even though I miss my old radio days, I still fill my life with music and have successfully brainwashed my children into being classic rock fans. My son Cody, 24, is an EDM dj in Tulsa. I recently purchased it on vinyl as a Christmas gift for my 30 year old son’s lp collection. I included Cheap Trick in my nominations because I believe their live LP Live at Buddhokan is a truly masterful work and one of the top rock albums of all time.” Stacy Lewallen

Congratulations to both of our fine contest winners, who obviously have some passionate views about music.

In case you haven’t heard the news, the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Class, please beat the drums now, includes the following: Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, N.W.A. and Steve Miller. The snubbed out class (those nominated this year, but not making the cut) are: the Cars, Chaka Khan, Chic, Janet Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, the J.B’s, Los Lobos, the Spinners and Yes. The on-line fan poll winners, meanwhile, were Chicago, Yes, the Cars, Deep Purple and Steve Miller.

RR Hall of Fame Politics
So once again, the Hall picks are raising a flurry of questions about the voting system for the chosen and the exclusion of certain performers. I am beginning to believe they should just go by the on-line tally, but make it more official. The way it’s set up now allows people to vote as many times as they want. Either that, or have a more open democratic policy regarding who makes these great votes, instead of resorting to an insider good ol’ boy and girl buddy system. The infamous RR appointment system raised concerns of too much RR politics, especially the way it is now designed.

Based on the latest turn of events, I would say Chicago and Deep Purple are the big winners. Chicago had been overlooked for years, and it’s amazing they weren’t even nominated until this year. Deep Purple fans have lobbied hard for years for their band’s inclusion into the rock music land of the great. Both this year and in the 2014 vote, Deep Purple fans really rallied behind the “Smoke on the Water” giants.

The big losers this year are Yes and the Cars, who both fared extremely well in the on-line voting poll. For Yes, it marked the second time in the last three years, the British prog-rockers, (who still actively tour with an amazing vigor) got the snub after receiving millions of votes in the fan tally. Based on this latest Hall snub, it’s safe to conclude that prog rock acts like Yes just face an uphill political battle in getting inducted into the RR Hall of Fame To date, the only other bands chosen from this great and unique genre of music include Pink Floyd, Genesis and Rush.

Yes seemed like a shoo-in this year, especially in lieu of the unfortunate death of their great and influential bass guitarist Chris Squire. Chris incurred a sudden bout of leukemia in the spring of 2015 and even reportedly gathered several band mates around his bedside, when he knew he wasn’t going to make it, in an effort to keep the band’s active legacy alive. Besides their great showing in the fan vote (they actually finished second), Yes was cited as a probable inductee by virtually every respondent to our contest.

However, Master Rolling Stone Magazine Dictator Jann Wenner, a big player in this RR institution, has publicly stated that bands like Yes will get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over his dead body. Talk about a little bigotry there, Jann. This musical idiot clearly needs to retire or stick to politics.

In fact, the Janet Jackson snub also was equally surprising, as virtually every major music writer in the country regarded her as a big favorite this year. Is she still being punished for her infamous Super Bowl performance a number of years back?

So again, the secrecy regarding the Hall of Fame so-called official vote is getting ridiculous. If you have a fan vote, then make it amount to something. Otherwise, the RR Hall of Fame appointment process will become irrelevant or look like another Republican or Democratic political caucus charade.

On the upside, stay tuned for more reader contests in our paper.