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Rock Hall tabs GNR, Chili Peppers, Beasties
December 7, 2011 - Keith Frederick
Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Guns N' Roses. The seminal rock band of the late 1980s and early '90s, best known for hits like "Welcome to the Jungle," 'Sweet Child O' Mine" and "November Rain," leads the 2012 class of inductees announced on Wednesday. Also making the cut is the hip-hop trio Beastie Boys; rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro; Donovan; and influential British rock group The Small Faces/The Faces, which included Rod Stewart and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.
-- The Associated Press
Since I wrote about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees when they were released in September -- and got such wonderfully constructive criticism -- I thought I'd toss my thoughts out there about who actually made it.
Guns N' Roses - As I wrote in September, this is THE rock band of the late 80s and early 90s. Yes, Def Leppard cornered the market on inoffensive pop rock (and, make no mistake, that's exactly what it was). And Metallica set heavy metal on its ear. But no one rode the line between the two quite like Axl, Slash and company.
The Beastie Boys - The Beasties were so much more than a token group of white rappers. They were influential to a huge number of artists in both rock and rap. Several sources, such as Jeff Chang's book "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: a History of the Hip-Hop Generation," cite the Beastie Boys as a big influence on the gangsta rap movement of the 1990s.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - One of my favorite bands of all time, as I said in the nominations blog. It's impossible for me to be unbiased here, but they've been cranking out incredible records for more than 20 years. If you're going to induct any rock bands from my childhood into the Rock Hall, RHCP has to be included.
Laura Nyro - In September, I called Nyro "a cause celebre for the Hall's famous voters." Looking back, I think that may have been too harsh. But I still don't believe a pop/easy listening songwriter deserves to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Donovan - I wrote at the time of the nominations, and still believe, that Donovan doesn't deserve a Rock Hall induction. But I guess maybe he had an influence on artists during his time. Maybe my revulsion at his induction just means I don't know enough about him, outside of his songs. (Although, honestly, shouldn't a person's actual music be the main criteria?)
The Small Faces/The Faces - A quick Google search of "The Faces' influence" brings up endless stories about the huge bands that this semi-successful group affected. And yet, the band had little success in and of itself. If Rod Stewart hadn't been the group's singer, would we be talking about them at all? I'm not so sure.
Performers that were unfairly snubbed this year include Eric B. & Rakim, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Heart. But I believe they'll each get in eventually.