The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Snubbing

Yes, Radiohead should’ve been inducted into the RRHOF this year, even if they didn’t care, if all things were equal, square and fair. However, the RRHOF isn’t fair, it isn’t even comprehensible given its inclusion of non-rock/non-singing acts. In fact, many music listeners don’t care about the RRHOF unless they’re music artists or acts in the seniority or the twilight of their years.

There’s a consistent trend with the RRHOF rejecting somewhat unusual yet popular and innovative acts despite some decades of eligibility. Worthy and/or historically significant acts like KISS, The Moody Blues, The Cars, The Guess Who, and Heart took decades to make it into RRHOF, while lesser, Styx-level acts, like Chicago and Rush are in the Hall with them. I will not even bring up the snubbing of The Smashing Pumpkins, of which I could write essays about.

However, there’s the case of Green Day.

Green Day was big in the mid ’90s, I know because I was there and I was briefly a fan, but there’s no reason they should’ve been in the RRHOF, if induction was truly a competitive process or one controlled by music historians, over Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, or even Kate Bush, as they lacked the timely resonance of innovation. Green Day was loud, energetic, popular, and catchy. But Green Day were not KISS, who had inspired a decade of Midwestern boys and teens, including those who formed Nirvana and later the Foo Fighters, to rock and roll. And yet, KISS and Green Day were inducted a year apart despite being formed decades apart. If it weren’t that, KISS and Nirvana were inducted within the same year.

No, Green Day was a hit act in the mid-1990s, who annoyed everyone with “Good Riddance,” went away and then came back again to heavily criticize the George W. Bush administration. The latter is undoubtedly why Green Day will be remembered, and remembered if at all by Millennials who are too young to remember Dookie or weren’t even born yet. But if it’s all the case of historical significance by politics, then Radiohead—the Pink Floyd and Genesis of the 1990s and 2000s—should be there, and ditto too if it was all about commercial success.

And that’s why a snubbing is okay.

Radiohead, as with KISS and The Moody Blues, continue to perform for adoring crowds around the world. Not only that, KISS and The Moody Blues have had memorable cameos on Family Guy and The Simpsons, respectively. Stan Lee-level cameos.

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