So is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame changing names? Does the term rock mean anything anymore? Music genre has many different sounds. Country, Southern rock, classical, new wave, disco, contemporary, jazz and yes the one that many do not consider music – rap. The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes Deep Purple, Chicago, Steve Miller, Cheap Trick and N.W.A. Some people would ask “Who is N.W.A.”?
Well you are not alone. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It is home to some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have had influence in the music industry. The Hall of Fame museum curator James Henke, along with the staff, rock critics and music experts, created a list of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. The list contains songs from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Paul Simon, Ozzy Osbourne, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, and so many more.
A person, or band, can be eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Originally, there were four categories of induction: performers, non-performers, early influences and lifetime achievement. In 2000, a category “Sidemen” was introduced as a category.
There can be some arguments over some of the inductees in the past who have not been associated with “Rock”, however, they have been inducted on their lifetime achievements in the music industry. Michael Jackson, Bee Gees, Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire, The O’Jays to name a few. All these groups had a major influence in a positive manner in the world of music.
This year’s inductees when looking at the list is pretty self-explanatory. Deep Purple is a long time coming and their song “Smoke on the Water” has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in rock history. An English rock band formed in the late 60s. Deep Purple was ranked No.22 on VH1’s Greatest Artist of Hard Rock and the British radio station Planet Rock ranked them as the 5th most influential bands ever. Eligible in 1993, the band was nominated for induction in 2012 and 2013. This created a lot of controversy amongst musicians such as Gene Simmons, Geddy Lee, Steve Lukather, Slash and the band Metallica.
Chicago is an American band that was formed in 1967. Originally they were self-described as a “rock and roll band with horns”. Behind the fantastic vocals of Peter Cetera, Chicago had a string of pop hits including “Saturday In The Park,” “25 or 6 to 4,”, “If You Leave Me Now,” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” During the 1970s and 1980s, Chicago was second only to The Beach Boys in Billboard singles and albums chart success among American bands. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups and one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time, having sold over more than 100 million records.
Steve Miller is being inducted as himself and not associated with the Steve Miller Band. Steve Miller was actually “stunned by the news and baffled at how it works and had given up thinking about it.” Steve Miller who is 72 has been eligible since 1993 and actually served as an informal consultant with the Rock Hall as it designed its museum in Cleveland during the early 90s. Steve Miller actually shared the stage and toured with Chicago and is happy to be joining Chicago the same year as an inductee. As for Miller being inducted as himself, he will acknowledge people that he has performed with over the years and even on his website, he honors the greats that have been with him. As for the Steve Miller Band, Steve started the band in 1966. The music was written by Steve Miller, the vision, the direction, the tours, all Steve Miller. Some of his greatest are “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Take The Money And Run,” and “Jungle Love.”
Cheap Trick is an American rock band formed in 1973. Their music has been favorites of the mid-west and the band succeeded with the hits “Surrender” and “Dream Police”. Their “Live at Budokan” album is one of rock’s best-known live sets. The band also had great presence on stage and performing live with the great guitarist Rick Nielsen and drummer Bun E. Carlos.
N.W.A. was led by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and actually was unsuccessful in prior nominations in a year when the movie about their career “Straight Outta Compton” was a box office hit. N.W.A. was a provocative chart presence in the late 1980s with the song “F— The Police”. This also gave way to other acts who took to the genre of rap.
Agree to disagree, the selections came from more than 800 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and the ceremony will be held April 8 in New York. With the name Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, some critics wonder if it is time to change the name since it is obvious that the term “Rock” has no more meaning with this particular Hall of Fame.