Guns N’ Roses, the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro and the Faces have been announced as the 2012 inductees to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today. The musicians beat out seven others on the list of nominations that was released in September.
Guns N’ Roses, one of the larger and perhaps more obvious choices, was pegged by critics, including Allison Stewart from Click Track, to make it into the pack from the start:
Why: They actually deserve it. And the publicity-loving committee will probably find the lure of a potential GNR reunion (will Axl and Slash accept together? Will Axl pull a John Fogerty and refuse to perform with the original members?) tough to resist.
Another seemingly apparent choice was Laura Nyro, which Stewart predicted back in September:
Why: She's been nominated three years in a row, eligible for 19 and dead since 1997. At a certain point, they'll have to let her in. Women are underrepresented in the Hall, anyway (they usually pick one a year), so it's either her or Heart.
Donovan seemed to be more of a shock for its triumph over other rockers including the Cure and War. David Malitz of Click Track searched the archives of The Washington Post after the announcement of the inductees. The results, he said, were a bit surprising:
Let’s just say that based on these early reviews, there was little reason to expect Hall of Fame enshrinement decades down the road . . .
But the real jewel was finding an October 1967 review of a disastrous Donovan concert at Constitution Hall written by a pre-Watergate-famous Carl Bernstein. Not only does the review have an enormously famous byline, but the remark about the venue’s “atrocious sound system” is still a common complaint 44 years later.
The 1967 review gives credence to the committee’s selection, however:
The incredible musical gifts of Donovan, the English pop singer, Sunday night towered above one of the most ill-managed, rudely produced concerts ever seen in Washington.
The sheer fascination of Donovan’s dazzling vocal and instrumental arrangements, the haunting and mystical words to his songs and his breathy yet immensely soothing voice prevented the Constitution Hall appearance from becoming a debacle.
Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood will be inducted for the second time for their rock group The Small Face, later called the Faces. Stewart was previously inducted as a solo musician, and Wood was inducted as the guitarist for the Rolling Stones. Stewart was excited by the news, the Associated Press reports:
“Well it’s quite a thrill and honor to make it in the Hall of Fame a second time,” Stewart said in a statement. “We [The Faces] were always synonymous with a good party and with this list of fellow artists being inducted I’m looking forward to [it] . . . and it’s a hell of a good reason to reunite and celebrate with my old mates.”
More on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: