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Artists React To Rock Hall Snub

Bon Jovi
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their debut release. For every handful of acts that enter the Rock Hall each year, there are dozens that never make it past the final ballot and hundreds more who aren’t even in the running. The 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held tonight (April 18th) at L.A.’s Nokia Theater, with a truncated version of the evening’s events airing on HBO on May 18th.

The Moody Blues have been eligible for induction since 1989. Frontman Justin Hayward told us that he’s able to take being passed over for nearly 25 years in stride: “If it ever happens, there will be people saying, ‘What are the Moody Blues in there? They don’t deserve to be in’ — so that will always go on. But, it doesn’t impact anyone who’s European. They have no idea what it is — it doesn’t make the news or anything. I totally respect it here, though, because this Rock and Roll Hall of fame means something because it is in the land of my heroes. But that’s where it stops, really. I don’t lose any sleep over it.”

Jon Bon Jovi told us that although he would welcome the honor, he’s not pinning any hopes of Bon Jovi getting into Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame: “Hall Of Fame, in all honesty, would be nice, but I’m not counting on it. I wouldn’t think that that necessarily would be so, and we’ll probably be one of the only bands that sold over a hundred million records and don’t get in. So we’ll see, but I’m, I’m not gonna hold my breath.”

Richie Sambora admits that as popular and successful as Bon Jovi has been over the years — nobody is a shoe-in when it come to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “I think we should get in there at one point. I do. You look at our track record, and how many people we’ve made happy in the world through our music. Yeah, I think we deserve to be in there. Do I think we’re gonna get in? Don’t know. It’s definitely a political situation. It’s almost like running for office over there. I mean there are so many bands that should be in there that are not in there. So you never know. Who knows? You never know what’s going to happen.”

Daryl Hall was asked if he’s upset with the fact that he and John Oates have been eligible for induction since 1997 and have been passed over year after year: “Bottom line; no. But other bottom line if you wanna look at two bottom lines — everything is perception. Most people already think that we’re already in it and they can’t believe it when they say we’re not. What my peers think and what my audience thinks matters to me. I’d rather have Al Green or Paul McCartney come up to me and say they love my music than (Rolling Stone publisher and Rock Hall chairman) Jann Wenner saying nothing about me. Y’know what I mean? If he wants to put me in fine. Maybe I’ll show up.”

Despite “The Twist” being one of the biggest and most influential hits of the rock era, Chubby Checker, who has been eligible since the Rock Hall’s inaugural in 1986, is resigned to the fact that he won’t be inducted: “It’s not a big deal. I mean, it’s not completed without me anyway. I just like to talk about what we’ve done in the music business and what is still being done as a result of our being in the music industry and that will just put the Hall of Fame to shame. We don’t need to talk about them. It’s no sense. The Hall is not completed without Chubby Checker. What we’ve done is so incredible. It’s okay.”

Three Dog Night has been eligible for induction since 1993. Co-founder Chuck Negron says they’ve consistently been passed over simply because the group didn’t write their biggest hits: “It’s a very strange thing. For some reason Three Dog Night has been stuck with this stigma that we weren’t innovative and that’s mind-boggling. Based all on the fact that we didn’t write (our own material). We changed the music . . . the landscape of the touring business, we created stadium tours. And, y’know, if you’re going to talk about writing, Elvis Presley didn’t write a song.”

Chicago co-founder and trumpeter Lee Loughnane takes it in stride that, despite being eligible since 1994, the band has yet to be inducted: “We’ve met all the criteria and that’s just another one that we’ve passed. If they make up any more, we’ve already surpassed those all ones. So if we make it into the Hall of Fame, it’s great. If not, we’re still workin’ and havin’ fun at it. And, y’know, the Hall of Fame will always be there. I think. I know we will.”

Eric Carmen says that although the Raspberries have long been cited as “power pop” innovators and have been eligible for induction since 1997, they simply lack the political clout to get into the Rock Hall: “Having been in the music business now for 35 years, or whatever it is, and having had situations where I’ve bumped into Jann Wenner and some of the powers that be over there, there is so much politics involved in anybody actually getting into the Rock Hall.”

There have been several times during the Rock Hall’s induction ceremonies that band members have been inducted but due to politics and bad blood between group members are forced to sit on the sidelines during the inductees’ performances.

The first occurrence took place in 1993 when John Fogerty refused to share the stage with Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford: “(Doug Clifford) That was our night too. For the band. The band was inducted. And to have that happen, all of our children were there, including Tom’s son who was going to fill in for his dad (Tom Fogerty). And then when we called John on it, he says, ‘I don’t like you. I won’t play with you. You didn’t help me get out of my contract 25 years ago.’ What?! (Stu Cook) You’re the guy who signed it without a lawyer! (Doug Clifford) Yeah. Well.”

In 2006 ousted Blondie guitarist Frank Infante tried to embarrass Debbie Harry and the other members into letting him and former bassist Nigel Harrison perform with the group, Harry made it clear they weren’t welcome and afterwards said it was a tense situation: “I actually sort of expected much worse, if the truth must be known. I don’t know if there’s any way to really handle a situation like that. There’s been, y’know, some bad feeling for a long time — there’s been lawsuits — and, y’know, it’s a bad feeling, really.”

Stu Cook says that bad scenes between former bandmates will probably continue to happen as long as the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame forces estranged musicians back together under the spotlight: “Creedence (Clearwater Revival), Blondie, Sly (and the Family Stone), you know all these misadventures that the Hall has had trying to push their agenda . . . Somebody’s going to get hurt, y’know their feelings hurt or there’s going to be some kind of a scene. I guess they always thought that they could control it. I don’t know, our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wasn’t very satisfying, needless to say.”

THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS ARE NOT IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

Boston, the Monkees, Hall & Oates, Joe Cocker, Yes, Sonny & Cher, Ringo Starr, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, Bon Jovi, Gram Parsons, Grand Funk Railroad, Chicago, ELO, Journey, the Zombies, Frankie Avalon, Squeeze, Pat Benatar, Todd Rundgren, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, the E Street Band, Joan Jett, & The Blackkhearts, Badfinger, Big Star, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Sting, Humble Pie, Eddie Money, Harry Nilsson, T.Rex, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, Beatles recording engineers Norman Smith and Geoff Emerick, Styx, Free, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Rockpile, Culture Club, the Runaways, rock photographers Jim Marshall, Ethan Russell, Gered Mankowitz, Dezo Hoffman, Astrid Kirchherr, Annie Leibovitz, Henry Diltz, and Bob Gruen; Chubby Checker, the Guess Who, rock journalist Lester Bangs, the Turtles, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stones pianist and co-founder Ian Stewart, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Kansas, Ronnie Lane, Thin Lizzy, Joe Walsh, Delaney & Bonnie, Poco, Roxy Music, the Dictators, Brian Eno, Television, Meat Loaf, America, XTC, the Searchers, Leslie Gore, the Raspberries, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Linda Ronstadt, the MC5, Peter Gabriel, Herman’s Hermits, the Moody Blues, Mountain, Blue Oyster Cult, Chic, the New York Dolls, the Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Bad Company, and many more.

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