Let's look at this year's list:
Don't Deserve It. Like, At All:
* Madonna - Um, guys, it's the "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame," not the "Bland Eighties Pop Hall OF Fame." Seriously, let's look at the work and not the "brand" here, because her music is pretty dang bad. Seriously, if she hadn't been such an attention-grabbing hoochie in the 80's, she's be sitting alongside Cindy Lauper, Tiffany and Debbie (Sorry, "Deborah") Gibson as VH1 I Love the 80's punchlines.
Although I will admit, that song "Ray Of Light" is pretty dang catchy. Um, anyway...
* John #$%^&*!@ Mellencamp - This one pisses me off the most, mainly because I have a burning fire of purest hatred a'burnin' deep within my heart of hearts for Little Johnny #$%^&*!@ Cougar. Dude is a big fat phony. Also, his music sucks a llama's butt. Just total watered-down Springsteen faux-Americana, Ford-truck-selling pap. My brain gags from just thinking about it.
Got In Even Though They Are Not Really Necessary To Rock:
* The Dave Clark Five - I always get them confused with Paul Revere & the Raiders or like Gerry & the Pacemakers or any one of those bland Beatles rip-offs. The DC5 were responsible for "Glad All Over", "Bits and Pieces" and "Catch Us If You Can" and were a moderately successful British Invasion Band. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) I mean, they were a solid pop group, but come on. Really? They got in because, basically, they just copied their neighbor's test.
* The Ventures - The band that launched a million crappy surf rock garage bands. The Ventures are cool, I will admit, but incidental to the bigger picture of Rock as a genre. You don't hear a lot of people saying "'Walk, Don't Run' really spoke to me, man. It changed my life." It's cool that they recognized them and all, but yeah, I don't know. I'd rather Dick Dale had made it there first.
[ sigh ] I am a total rock snob, aren't I? Oh well. I yam what I yam.
Now let's look at People Who Deserve It, But You Have No Clue Who They Are:
* Little Walter (pronounced: "Token Blues Guy") - According to the always reliable Wikipedia: "Little Walter ... was a blues singer, harmonica player, and guitarist. Also, he had an excellent nickname." Okay, that last part was me.
* Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff - Again with the Wiki: Gamble & Huff (pronounced: "Token Soul Guys") produced some minor soul records by the O-Jays, The Jacksons and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, so, yeah, sure let them in. Whatever. If you're letting Johnny Cougar in, who cares any more?
Finally, The One Who Deserves To Be There:
* Leonard Cohen - Why Lynrd Skynrd managed to make it into the Hallowed Halls Of Rock Fame before Leonard Cohen is one of the great injustices of the universe. Cohen has deserved this ever since he put out Songs Of Leonard Cohen and Songs From A Room, his first two albums, chock full of haunting melodies and Biblical dread. He could have pulled a Buddy holly after that and been legendary, but still managed to put out some of the most beautiful and haunting (and sometimes funny) music you will ever hear (and also some stuff that was ... well, not so good, but hey, who doesn't?). If you can listen to "Famous Blue Raincoat" and tell me "Freebird" is a better song, well, there is no hope for you and may the heavens have mercy on your soul. We weep for you tears of purest blue sadness.
So, until next year, when Patti Page, The Cowsills and Linkin Park get the nod in, you can find me here in my corner of the Internets, sulking and tearing up copies of Scarecrow in effigy. Peace.