Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Announced Final Vote Closely follows fans’ on-line poll – Rick Langenberg

After months of speculation and Monday morning music quarterbacking, the winners of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anointed performers’ and inductee list for this year are: Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur and Yes.
The winners of our annual poll actually belong to our own TMJ staff, who picked the victors pretty much right on the money, even though they didn’t agree with all the picks. Nope, we are not flying off to the grand induction ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, unless the city of Woodland Park wants to pay our way. (But with their pocketbooks these days, we may have better luck panhandling our way back East).
The losers, based on my opinion, are The Cars and Janet Jackson. They will have to try again, again and again.
The official induction ceremony for the class of 2017 is slated for April 7.
As for big surprises, actually the biggest shocker is that the Hall insiders (900 or so secret voters) actually pretty much followed the fans’ vote in picking four out of the chosen six, based on the tallies of people who participated in an on-line public poll. That hasn’t occurred since the poll began about five or so years ago. Journey, ELO, Yes and Pearl Jam grabbed the top four spots respectively, based on the sentiments of the fans.
Also, this is the first time that so many first-time nominees fared so well in recent years.
For performers snagging winning positions, most writers say they are most surprised by Baez. The popular folk star from the 1960s, who often played with Bob Dylan in his early years, was shocked herself by her big win.
Others, including myself, were pleasantly surprised by the selection of Yes, the prog-rock ambassadors of the 1970s, who still actively tour nearly 50 years after they started. In the past, the Hall, and their insiders, has displayed an outright bigotry towards prog-rock bands. Besides Yes, only three other acts from the genre have gained admission to the Land of Rock Fame, namely Pink Floyd, Rush and Genesis.
Yes could be one of the more unique acts in the ceremony, featuring a reunion of sorts between current and former members, if they don’t kill each other on stage. It could mark the first time since 2004 that former singer Jon Anderson, a big favorite among classic rock buffs, unites with old band mates Steve Howe and Alan White. However, bad blood has circulated for years between Anderson and Howe, since Anderson got dumped from the original lineup due to health reasons and a war of egos. And there could be the clash between Howe and former South African Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin (who actually tours now with Anderson). These two musician titans like each other about as much as Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
However, rumors are circulating that all these past feuds are being put aside and as many as 10 to 15 band members from various Yes lineups could be performing together.
The other possible reunion could involve Steve Perry with his old band mates from Journey. But that possibility could take a lot of lobbying. In recent years, Arnel Pineda has emerged as Journey’s head singer during their regular tours, a factor that has created a little controversy. Consequently, there may be too much bad blood there to overcome. Insiders say the Yes reunion is more likely event. Still, Journey gets top nods for conducting the most aggressive campaign on social media for their induction. And their performance of Don’t Stop Believin’ will become a big highlight.
But everyone has their eyes set on Pearl Jam, a rookie nominee, to modernize things at bit at the ceremony and to teach these old fart performers a few lessons in explosive, contemporary rock that combines a variety of styles from Seattle grunge and alternative, to even heavy metal.
That said, the ceremony will feature plenty of nostalgic moments with Baez’s induction, a big plug for music historians. And of course, the festivities will pay tribute to the long litany of former musical legends that passed away. That seems to be a familiar trend these days. In the last year, the music world has lost such giants as Paul Kantner, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson, Glen Frey, Leon Russell, and of course, the great Prince and David Bowie.
Another great feature for the ceremony: Look for a great jam at the end. That is a quality that has been missing for the last several years. Don’t think there will be a problem with that in the ceremony in April.
Howe and Rabin of Yes and some of the players of ELO, dubbed once by John Lennon as the “sons of the Beatles,” and Pearl Jam will make up for that void in true style. This may be one time I may have to watch HBO, which is filming the ceremony live.