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  • ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

    HOW TO CHOOSE?

    Transparency is missing from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination process — and that's how hall wants it
  • So, the rock hall nominations were released recently and, per usual, the list included a few "Well, duh, of course they should get in," along with a couple of "Wait, they're not in already?" and one or two "Really, them? Before artist X?"
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  • So, the rock hall nominations were released recently and, per usual, the list included a few "Well, duh, of course they should get in," along with a couple of "Wait, they're not in already?" and one or two "Really, them? Before artist X?"
    Anyway, usually after the announcement, I get a few irate emails/ calls from folks wondering what the hell those rock hall nominators are smoking in New York City. And I have no idea, in part, because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which chooses the nominees, wants it that way.
    Transparency is not a part of the process and likely never will, be as the international voting body of more than 600 "artists, historians and members of the music industry" that votes for the inductees from the group of nominees generally doesn't seem to give a crap about what the fans (you know, the folks who made these artists potential hall of famers) think about the credibility of the rock hall.
    Nevertheless, for the first time, the foundation is throwing fans a tiny bone this voting cycle by allowing them to have a collective vote (and pushing up the page-hit counts for rockhall.com, hbo.com, cnn.com and rollingstone.com, where fans can cast votes).
    In other words, if 50 or 50,000 music fans vote for, oh, let's say Rush, when the time comes to tally the votes, those 50 or 50,000 votes will collectively count as one vote — versus the other 600 voters whose votes will count as one per voter.
    It'll be interesting to see whether the rock hall will be transparent with the fan-vote count.
    Another aspect of the process that may affect the result is that I've always had the feeling (and this is based on absolutely no solid information) that the bulk of the voters are of a certain age.
    I think that many of the 600 voters are friends and associates of rock hall executives, so their age likely would be within a decade or so of rock hall bigwig Jann Wenner's 66 years and the hall's biggest bigwig Ahmet Ertegun's 83 years (at the time of his death in 2006).
    I hope I'm wrong, and that there are at least a few folks under 50 casting votes or that the voting body is on a rotational system like many corporate boards of directors (perhaps that's how Rush and Deep Purple slipped in this year).
    If not, the nominations might get more odd as we move into potential nominees from the early 1990s, if voters still try to get their favorites in while shutting out those they hate and wondering who all the '90s bands are on the list.
    ("Nirvana? I know them, yes! But, say Jann, what the hell is a Wu-Tang Clan? Some kinda racist Chinese rock band?")
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