To celebrate the airing of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction this Saturday, 4/29, we’re running a series of essays and feature analyzing and highlighting the implications of who was inducted in 2017.
One of the perks of getting inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is that, come the night of the ceremony, you’re afforded uninterruptible time at a podium to give an endorsement to other artists that you’d like to see get in after you. Normally, you’ll get a shoutout of maybe one to five names during an already lagging speech, but for someone like Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who has a list a mile long of different rockers, new wavers and punk icons that he’d like to see join him in that oddly-shaped museum in Cleveland, one to five names wasn’t going to cut it.
Ament could’ve spend 20 minutes rattling off his entire list and risked angering the organizers, the fellow inductees and the fans that came out for this year’s ceremony, but no. He decided to get way more creative and wore a custom-made t-shirt with all their names printed on the front. In terms of genius, it ranks right up there with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson’s famed “blah-blah,” speech.
Emblazoned across the bass player’s chest was a catalog of 94 different bands, artists and designers, separated by a super-classy screen-printed tie. Given that the Hall has only managed to induct a little over 300 people in the last 30 years, it’s hard to say which of the names is the most deserving at this point, but there’s a compelling case to be made for each entry on Ament’s list. While I personally think he could’ve added a rapper or two, to the mix — both Biggie and OutKast are eligible for induction next year, just saying — this is as good a starting point as any to begin thinking about who should be honored next year.
Here are the cases to be made for why every single one of Ament’s selections should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ordered as they appeared on his t-shirt.