Balls to the Hall


As Patti Smith waxes poetic about being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Roundheaded Boy lists the bands that have, amazingly, been denied.

25. Deep Purple. What kind of Hall of Fame doesn't have a place for the creators of one of the greatest riffs in the history of rock and roll that wasn't written by Keith Richards or Jimmy Page? Admit it, you're doing the head-nod to Smoke on The Water right this minute, aren't ya?
8. Los Lobos. Another head-scratcher. They may be the greatest roots rock American band of the last few decades, always working under the radar creating beautiful music that ranges from border song to experimental fuzz-rock. One of those boundary-pushing, genre-defying bands that has never gotten its proper due.
5. Link Wray and Dick Dale. If rock and roll is a primal scream of electric guitar, how can you leave off the men who gave us Rumble and Miserilou?

And so on. The list of actual inductees from every year is here: Some of them (Jackson Browne? Before Black Sabbath?) still don't quite compute. And this year's inclusion of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five gets many things wrong. It's not that they're a hip-group—it's that the acts they sampled (like Liquid Liquid) deserved recognition first. Actually the entire histories of electronic music and progressive rock have been unrepresented so far: No Kraftwerk, no Depeche Mode, no Yes, no King Crimson. I agree that Los Lobos and the Hollies et al should get there first, but if you're honoring "the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll," it seems odd to retcon the synthesizer and the 15-minute Tolkein-inspired keyboard solo out of history.