“I’d rather be sitting at home in front of the fire or going to a gig,” said Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien on all the shit he’d rather be doing than attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Luckily for Ed, Thom, Jonny, and everyone else in the band who may not have wanted anything to do with the Rock Hall, they won’t have to snub the induction ceremony next year; they weren’t invited.
Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2018, and Radiohead was (perhaps in an extremely petty gesture) left off the list. They got some things right: Nina Simone and gospel pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe finally got their due. Your dad’s faves (and maybe my faves?) Dire Straits, The Cars, and The Moody Blues are in. Bon Jovi is a happy man, and also probably still clinging onto an old grudge with the Rock Hall committee. (“I really want to say it’s about time,” he told the New York Times, including a word they were unable to print that probably isn’t “hecking,” which I consider to be profanity.) It’s a fairly standard helping of rock acts who have been eligible for many years and overlooked for one reason for another. (Let’s do this, but with The Cure next.)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been gradually leaning toward inclusivity over the years, but it’s still managing to botch the approach in which it honors trailblazing black artists. The boundaries of how we define rock history are stretching further and further over the years, and we’re all the better for it. The Hall just need to fully shed the stereotypical exoskeleton that kept artists like Simone out of the hall for so many years as it gives them the recognition they deserve.