Now that the Kiss Army has gotten its due and their heavy metal heroes will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight at Brooklyn's Barclays Center (along with Nirvana, Cat Stevens, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Linda Ronstadt, and Peter Gabriel), here are 10 more acts that are definitely worthy of inclusion. Some have been nominated numerous times (like Chic) and never gotten voted in, while others, as impossible as it seems, have never even made it onto the ballot.
These 10 are presented in alphabetical order:
Bon Jovi: Say what you will and there are just as many people vying to keep Bon Jovi out as are fighting to get them in (if not more), but after Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi is the biggest musical act to come out of New Jersey. Bon Jovi, who was on the ballot in 2012, has dominated the world for decades now by staying true to their straight-ahead brand of rock and roll, regardless of fashion or trends (other than their regrettable hairstyles in the beginning). Do you really not sing along when “Livin” On A Prayer” comes on?
Cheap Trick: It”s really impossible to believe that this quintessential American rock and roll band has not gotten in, much less never received a nomination since being eligible 12 years ago. What is more deserving at this point that the sturdy-shouldered, meat-and-potatoes rock that Cheap Trick has doled out since the ’70s?
Chic: For the love of god, quit going back and forth on whether a “disco” band deserves to be in the Rock Hall and go ahead and induct this trail-blazing outfit. Anyone who thinks Chic only created dance music or questions their lasting influence after listening to Daft Punk”s “Get Lucky” or a number of other recent funk-based tunes, needs to go listen to more of Chic”s music.
Chicago: Before Chicago devolved into a schmaltzy ballad-oriented band, they rocked hard, especially when the gruff-voiced, late Terry Kath took the lead. Between their vibrant horns and great embrace of rock, jazz, and funk, they were on to a hybrid, innovative sound long before many acts already in the Hall. Don”t hold what they became against their very solid beginnings (or should I say, “Beginnings.”)
The Cure: For the sheer number of acts that Robert Smith & Co. influenced alone, The Cure should be on everyone”s short list. Think of every mopey act with an androgynous lead singer and a penchant for catchy melodies that has come along since the ’80s and you have The Cure to thank. (Honorable mention to The Smiths because don”t we all want to hear what Morrissey has to say about getting inducted and why he”d never show at such a meat-eating gathering?)
Deep Purple: No, most bands shouldn”t get in on the basis of one song (and Deep Purple has plenty other tunes that should make the heavy-metal pioneers a shoo-in), but do we really need to offer up anything other than “Smoke On The Water” as proof of why they should be included? I picked Deep Purple for the sake of argument here, but a number of other British metal bands, including Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, like Deep Purple, should have been inducted long ago.
Def Leppard: Despite what Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott told Liane Bonin Starr and me about not giving a “rat”s ass” about getting in, these British boys deserve to be in for the same reasons as Bon Jovi. They melded their Faces/Ian Hunter influence with pop in a way that has seldom been replicated. Eligible since 2004, they have never even been nominate.
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: There”s some debate as to whether Jett should go in as a Blackheart, a solo act, or a member of the Runaways, but all that should really matter is that somehow, she go in. She put a snarling danger into her brand of rock while keeping it totally accessible that has seldom been duplicated.
Los Lobos: This seminal rock band draws on its Latin heritage, but also seamlessly melds country, rock, Americana, and other influences in a melting pot of sound that pays homage to its influences, but never seems deriviative.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Not to be crass, but often death or illness allows a deserving artist the chance to bypass the line and go right to the head of the class. That has not happened for guitar wizard Vaughan, who died in 1990, long before he became eligible in 2008.
Do you agree with this list? Who”s on your wish list that we left out?