Of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, Nirvana already a winner

Daryl Hall (left) and John Oates in 2008. The duo, who met in W. Phila., are among the 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Daryl Hall (left) and John Oates in 2008. The duo, who met in W. Phila., are among the 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (AP)
Posted: October 18, 2013

The 16 nominees to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year have been announced, and one of them is absolutely, undoubtedly going to make it in the first year of eligibility.

The no-brainer is Nirvana, the Kurt Cobain-led grunge trio that released its first single, "Love Buzz," 25 years ago, in 1988. That was three years before it turned the world on its ear with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album, Nevermind.

But who among the other contenders are likely to be among the half-dozen who make the final cut? That will be determined by 600 or so secret voters - with the aid of the public, which can weigh in at rolling stone.com or rockhall.com.

Hall and Oates, maybe? Local favorites Daryl Hall and John Oates met at the Adelphi Ballroom in West Philadelphia and sang "Don't Wanna Spend Another Fall in Philadelphia" on their 1972 debut album, Whole Oats. Hall and Oates have been nominated before, and were not a critical favorite in their heyday, but 1970s soft rock is back in style, courtesy of acts like Mayer Hawthorne and Daft Punk. Hall and Oates have a good shot.

The Replacements have long been favorites of the alt-rock generation now entering middle age, and Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson re-formed the 'Mats this year after a two-decade layoff. Bet on them.

How about Linda Ronstadt? The Stone Poneys country-rock singer and onetime Gov. Jerry Brown dater has long been championed by Rock Hall watchers. It's been a long time since she ruled the pop charts in the 1970s, but Ronstadt has a new memoir in which she details her struggles with Parkinson's disease. A shoo-in.

As for Chic, this is the eighth time the minimalist disco-funk innovators have been nominated. They'll likely get in this time because guitarist Nile Rodgers' signature sound is prominently featured on "Get Lucky," Daft Punk's summer megahit.

As for KISS - since Black Sabbath got in in 2006, the failure to induct KISS most incites claims of anti-hard-rock injustice. Still, it's hard for voters to get behind a band that used makeup to make its members look like a demon or a cat. My call is 50-50.

The other nominees are the rappers N.W.A. and LL Cool J, Deep Purple, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Peter Gabriel (already inducted as a member of Genesis), Cat Stevens, Yes, Link Wray, the Meters, and the Zombies.

If I had my druthers, I'd put N.W.A. in, but they may be too incendiary to be first-ballot inductees. New Orleans funkmasters the Meters are clearly deserving, and Yes has its best shot in years, with a prog-rock Renaissance going on. Bon Jovi, it should be noted, was once again snubbed.

The Rock Hall is in Cleveland - and its CEO and president is Bucks County native Greg Harris - but next year's induction ceremony will be in April in New York City.





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