Rock Hall Snubs 1980
Apparently, 1980 just wasn’t a rockin’ year.
In the way of the music world, acts that have seen 25 years elapse since the release of their first record become eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
However, the Rock Hall nominating committee snubbed the newly eligible class of 1980 entirely, seemingly unable to find a band worthy of putting on the ballot sent out to voters this week.
That left room for perennial nominees such as Black Sabbath (now on their eighth bid), Lynyd Skynyrd (seventh bid), the Sex Pistols and the Stooges (five bids apiece).
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, which last year became the first rap act nominated to the Rock Hall, has another chance this year to become the first rap act inducted.
Other holdovers from previous years include the J. Geils Band, John Mellencamp, the Patti Smith Group, Chic and Joe Tex.
First-time nominees to the eclectic ballot include Miles Davis, Cat Stevens, Blondie, the Paul Butterfield Band, the Dave Clark Five and the Sir Douglas Quintet.
The 2006 induction ceremony will be held in New York, though no other details have been released. Inductees will be announced before the end of the year.
Davis, known for his jazz mastery, may seem an odd choice for the Rock Hall. However, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Terry Stewart, who also sits on the nominating committee, said that Davis influenced many rockers musically and in terms of his attitude.
The trumpet player was born in Alton, Illinois, and raised in St. Louis. From the 1940s until his 1991 death from pneumonia, respiratory failure and a stroke at age 65, he pushed the limits of jazz, experimenting with everything from bebop to jazz fusion and beyond.
Stevens, who is now known by the name Yusuf Islam, sold scads of his gentle folk ballads in the 1960s and ’70s, including “Moonshadow,” “Peace Train” and “Wild World.”
In 1977, the singer abandoned his musical career and became a Muslim. Last fall, he was deported from the United States after his name popped up on a federal no-fly list while he was on a plane bound from London to Washington D.C.
New wave rockers Blondie, led by Debbie Harry, topped the charts in the late ’70s and early ’80s with hits such as “Heart of Glass” and “Call Me.”
The Paul Butterfield Band, led by harmonica-blowing singer Paul Butterfield, earned a place in musical immortality when the blues band backed Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Butterfield died of a heroin overdose in 1987.
Disco scenesters Chic scored their first massive hit in 1977 with “Dance, Dance, Dance.” Frontman Nile Rodgers later went on to produce hits for artists including Madonna, Debbie Harry and David Bowie.
The Dave Clark Five was a wildly successful British Invasion band in the 1960s with 24 hit records Stateside, including “Over and Over” and “I Like It Like That.” In the height of the band’s fame, the Dave Clark made a record 13 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show before breaking up in the early 1970s.
The J. Geils Band came together in Boston in 1967 and scored hits such as “Must of Got Lost” and “Give It to Me” in the ’70s before rising to the top of the charts in 1981 with the catchy teen-obsession anthem “Centerfold.” Other hits include “Freeze Frame” and “Love Stinks.”
Heartland singer Mellencamp, known for his numerous Top 10 singles such as “Jack and Diane,” “Hurts So Good” and “Pink Houses,” released his first album in 1976 and cofounded Farm Aid with Willie Nelson.
The Sir Douglas Quintet was formed in San Antonio in the 1960s and scored a 1965 hit single, “She’s About a Mover.” Frontman Doug Sahm died in 1999 of heart failure.
The Patti Smith Group was signed to Arista by Clive Davis and released its first album, Horses, in 1975. The group’s no-frills approach to rock paved the way for the punk movement that followed.
Tex was a soul singer, who scored his biggest hit with 1972’s “I Gotcha.” He converted to Islam that same year and changed his name to Joseph Hazziez . He died in 1982.
Nominees are picked by a 70-member committee of rock ‘n’ roll historians, journalists and label execs, with ballots then mailed to an international voting body of 700 music industry types for the final decision. The five to seven nominees that receive the most votes will be inducted into the Rock Hall next year.
I love Mellencamp, Blondie and the J. Geils Band, but do they belong in The Hall Of Fame? I’m not sure.
Rock Hall Snubs 1980