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  • The 11 Biggest Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Snubs
KISS: A fundamentally silly band, to be sure, but silliness has always been a massive part of rock. And this band's gonzo all-out version of theatrical spectacle has resonated throughout the years; artists from Gaga to Gwar have taken something out of it. Look, nobody wants to see Gene Simmons act all creepy at the podium, but the band's place in history cannot be denied. Similar omissions: Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Thin Lizzy, "Weird Al" Yankovic.

On Saturday, another batch of artists will join the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at a lavish Cleveland induction ceremony. Plenty of them are artists well-worthy of canonization: Guns N’ Roses, the Small Faces, the Beastie Boys. None of this changes the weird reality that the Hall Of Fame is a fundamentally silly institution, one that attempts to recognize artists of worth but leans toward confusing pile-ups of boomer-approved fixtures.

The Hall has made a few attempts to throw bones to artists that come from outside Rolling Stone overlord Jann Wenner’s clear taste-preferences, and it deserves credit for recognizing Madonna, Run-DMC, and Black Sabbath, amongst countless others. But plenty of massively successful and important artists have yet to find a place in the museum; it’s odd, for example, to consider a world in which the Dave Clarke Five are more important than Chic. Check the gallery above for our list of artists who, inexplicably, have not yet made their way to Cleveland.

Comments (101)
  1. woah woah woah: Rush ISN’T in the Hall of Fame?

  2. Only five photos made it into the gallery…

  3. by the sounds of this list it’s probably cooler not to be in the hall of fame.

  4. Yeah. I agree with some of what you’re saying, but I would argue that the Dave Clark Five were bigger in their time (and much more influential) than Chic was in theirs. Do some real research, and you’ll find it true.

  5. Shame on you for using a picture of KISS with They and Singer in it. KISS is deserving for sure, but not because of what either of those guys ever did…

  6. “Thayer,” not “They.” Damn typo.

  7. Can we please stop parroting the modifier “boomer-approved”? It’s lazy, and it says next to nothing. Stick a (pitch)fork in it already. It’s dun.

    I also don’t know a whole lot of musicians who say things like, “No, can’t come over to jam. I haven’t yet mastered my instrument. ‘The Temples of Syrinx’ is still throwing me off a bit, even though I can play ‘By-Tor & the Snow Dog’ note-for-note.”

    I’m all for Rush getting recognized, but the blurb on them is about as overblown as “YYZ,” but with much less ride cymbal.

  8. it’s the Rock and Roll Cemetery

  9. It’s not a surprise these bands aren’t in. Rock critics have been notoriously bias against electronic forms of music because they’re seen as less authentic than guitar-based forms. Chic, especially, is fucked due to their association with disco which will always keep them out because neanderthal rockists look at it as cheap, lightweight pap, and that’s not even touching disco’s connection to gay culture.

    Really, the Rock Hall isn’t about talent. Otherwise Peter Gabriel and a host of others would be in there. It’s still very much an Old Boys Club with out dated views on what was relevant to the worlds of rock and pop music, so don’t expect credibility from the artists they select.

  10. 3…..1…..1

  11. How about Big Star?

  12. nice work with this piece tom… quite well written.

  13. A lot of these people wouldn’t care whether they were inducted or not (even though they really should be in the Hall), but it really makes me happy that Gene Simmons the talentless egomaniac is being denied their attention. It probably just eats at him.

  14. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is so phenomenally pointless it’s amazing there are people who care certain artists do or don’t get in. When I was in Cleveland, I could have went to the hall or an Indians game. I chose the Indians.

    P.S. I’m not one of those types that complains about Stereogum’s articles, I thought this was an interesting read.

  15. I think Electric Light Orchestra is well over due. Seriously, every member of The Traveling Wilburys is in except for Jeff Lynne.

  16. PIXIES and STEVE MILLER, for F sake S Miller owned the 70s and still owns classic rock radio, ridiculous he’s not in.

  17. Television. Biggest Snub Ever.

    • Double snub! Stereogum didn’t even mention them.

    • I think the only way Television would make it in would be if the Hall suddenly had an epiphany about the importance of punk as a revitalizing force in rock. The popular notion of “punk” is the Ramones, but Television were also there at CBGB’s from the very beginning and they represented the other side of the coin. They were the band that proved that rock music could be beautiful, experimental, and technically complex without being self-indulgent. I believe that all of the great atmospheric underground bands are descended from them. I do not think Sonic Youth, my bloody valentine, or Built to Spill as we know them would have been possible without the foundation laid by Television.

  18. “…and it deserves credit for recognizing Madonna, Run-DMC, and Black Sabbath, amongst countless others.”

    No ‘tom’ it doesn’t, in fact it’s part of the problem that you think so. It’s an argument for how the Rock and Roll the HOF ignores Rock and Roll. Madonna and Run-DMC, while great pop and rap artists respectively shouldn’t be anywhere near anything called Rock and Roll.

    Dave Clark Five over “Chic”. In the Rock and Roll world yes.

    • Edit: I do give you credit for your choices rather than just criticizing your into. Minus Chic they are spot-on,

    • Nobody complains about miles davis being in the rock and roll hall of fame…

      • or any of the several country, blues, and r&b guys who aren’t strictly speaking “rock and roll”

      • Yes there’s ‘complaints’ that he and others shouldn’t be. Blues is a different genre and much more connected I think it can be argued. The links between Howlin’ Wolf and Led Zeppelin or Robert Johnson and a host of rock acts can’t be ignored. The link between Miles Davis, while there in the sense that much of music is connected, isn’t to a very large extent.

        I’ll say it again, a ‘Rock and Roll’ Hall of Fame shouldn’t include acts like Madonna, Chic, LL Cool J, etc. Especially not when Rush, Kiss, Kraftwerk, etc aren’t in. Rename it the Pop Hall of Fame if those acts are in I’d say.

        • Dude, its just called the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Its clearly a HOF for all genres of popular and significant contemporary music. Don’t get so caught up in the semantics, it’s very troll-like.

          • Yeah, screw the details. Why should they matter at all? Why doesn’t everyone start dribbling basketballs on baseball fields and tossing burgers in the air instead of pizza dough and giving Grammys to Sean Penn and drinking urine instead of water?

      • Important to add that of course I believe Miles Davis is a genius and to a lesser extent maybe even Madonna is (certainly when it comes to marketing herself as a cultural icon).

  19. Does the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame even matter? Taking a look at so many incredible artists that have been omitted, I submit that it does not.

  20. Many good mentions in the main articles and the similar artists sections. But of all of them it’s the Cure’s omission that most bewilders me. They’ve been eligible forever and are still hugely popular around the world.

  21. Most of these bands/groups/artists will probably get in eventually. People need to consider that the Rock Hall isn’t THAT old.

  22. I’m so happy to see Nick Drake on this list. He gets enough credit.

  23. Why do we care about this meaningless institution?

    But if we are:

    • Who gives a fuck about Chic?

    • Yes, Black Flag

    • Yes, Kiss.

  24. The list of bands who haven’t been admitted reads like some kind of rock & roll hall of fame.

  25. Duran Duran?!? No.

  26. herbbie cann | Posted on Apr 13th

    I’d be on a “night train” to “paradise city” if Axl were to just “live and let [the "civil war"] die” so they can reunite and light up “my world”. “You’re crazy” if you don’t agree that experiencing the “yesterdays” of old GnR would be worth the “patience” we’ve had to endure.

    Axl – please wake from this “coma” and stop beating this “dead horse”. It’s not that I have a “bad obsession” for you, it’s just that when I “think about you”, i realize that you’re “one in a million.” The induction would be “so fine” if you were to be there…it’s abeen over “14 years” since we’ve had the real Guns N Roses.

    My Michelle

  27. Jann Wenner is a douche bag. Anyone that would put the effing Jonas Brothers on numerous RS covers and then deny the Stooges entry into the RRHOF seven effing times (I guess the twat was waiting for poor Ron Asheton to die) obviously has no effing clue what real music is.

  28. With the induction of Rock and Rolls “Best” inducted last night, there are a few quality artists left of the list and a few that don’t deserve induction. Heart and Rush are my choices and KISS should never be allowed in the Hall. I’ve seen a lot of bands live (the true test of talent) and KISS definitely does NOT belong in the Hall. They sounded terrible! They put on a great “show” and they are very loud, but that’s not talent. Rush has, arguably, three of the best musicians in the business, Peart IS the best drummer, period. Heart has one of the best singers, period. And what about Pat Benetar?? Def Leppard?? But The Ramones are in? Beastie Boys??? What a joke.

  29. I know I’m late here and everything, and I don’t mean to bitch, but electronic music absolutely did not start with Kraftwerk, especially “in its most experimental form.” It just didn’t.

    • I was going to say the same thing, but I figured it was a pointless argument. You’re certainly correct, though. At the very least you’d expect people to know about Xenakis and Stockhausen. Maybe some David Tudor. But there are literally hundreds of others (maybe thousands) who came before Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk pioneered a certain type of well produced, album length, song structured electronic music. But by no means did electronic music start with them.

  30. do we have to canonize Kiss? that ish is corny yo. and not good corny.

  31. you have to draw the line some where, early electronic music such as kraftwerk, despite their influence, should not be in a rock and roll hall of fame

  32. What about ELO???

  33. To everyone taking “shots” on “The hottest band in the land”, KISS. They should have been in from the get-go. Best Rock concert history of all time. They rank second behind the Beatles in many “albums sold” categories…, platinum, etc. Do some research. Because you prefer electro-dance-flamer musak sort of proves how the “RnR” hof became out of wack in the first place. You disco types tried killing Rock music in the 70′s….how about you go start your own hof fame for YOUR lame music. I’d end this with all the cool Rock/Metal bands influenced by Kiss but I don’t have the time. Oh, and Pantera, who carried real music through the 90′s….KISS fans. When you learn to play half of Aces’ leads and then Paul’s parts, you’ll finally ‘Hear’ Kiss. The dual guitar attack and the riffs and progressions are fun to play. The songs are fun. The stage show still is second to none. In Rock n Roll I’ve heard of “more cowbell” but I don’t recall ever hearing, more keyboard, keytar or synth, please. I come from an appreciation of The Beatles, The Doors, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Sabbath, etc….The bands I love have never been the ‘media darling’ types. And if Mom and Dad liked it, it simply didn’t Rock enough.

  34. ‘rock’ music is a vast spectrum of styles…a wormhole reaching back & forth…these styles are
    influenced by the rhythms of history and the march of fashion: by tradition, by boom and bust, by peace, protest, and excess…and the wormhole is grabbing for this one & that one…shopping
    …but the r & r hof nominating committee is sort of stodgy w/criteria. it hasn’t studied or investigated ‘influence’…& it has a hard time seeing the big picture…&, on top of that, they overlook groups/songwriters/performers for so long that nominations come near death (not an adam yauch reference)…certain ‘acts’ seem beyond the pale of consideration, because their 25-yr. due date is long expired, and history’s passed them by…there are many oversights. and you wonder why. dick dale, the sir douglas quintet, the 13th floor elevators, steve miller, the guess who & rush (the canadian contingent); yes should definitely be considered. big star, mc5, roxy music/brian eno, nick lowe, the smiths, the cure, siouxsie & the banshees, depeche mode, sonic youth, minor threat, the minutemen, black flag, the replacements (any band in a van crisscrossing the country at some point btwn 81′ & ’85).
    Its not a bad list – its mine, anyway. i may have gone overboard. i don’t expect much; nearly every group mentioned is beyond the 25yr. ‘birth’ date. thankfully, journey is among them.
    but next year, the committee nominates an act from 1988. the mind boggles. lionel ritchie? why not?
    the real fun is imagining the nominating committee, in the future, grappling with what’s become of ‘rock and roll’. is madonna ‘rock and roll’? not to somebody who adores creedence clearwater revival, but she ‘rocked’ a new sensibilty, a new fashion…for a while…then the torch was passed to britney spears, who would be a perfect candidate in ’25. why not?
    between here & then the wormhole yawns very wide, searches harder: sheryl crow, radiohead. wilco, mary j. blige. eminem.
    i cringe when i think about it, but at some point: the backstreet boys, NSYNC.

  35. The RARHOF is NOT just for Rock and Roll albeit the name implys that…Rock and ZRoll can be interpreted in many different ideas

  36. I have a feeling that if KISS does get voted in at some point, they will probably turn around and snub the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! KISS has been around long enough and has more memorabilia than any other band, that they can start their own KISS Hall of Fame that would take you a whole day or two to see everything! I am sure there are fans out there that would love to donate stuff for a KISS Hall of Fame! Gene has previously stated that there are fans out there that have stuff he doesn’t even have! My idea would be to turn Cobo Hall into a KISS museum!

  37. The so-called “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” is a joke.
    I don’t know who is in charge of the nomination process, but they wouldn’t know what “Rock and Roll” is if it hit them in their man-ginas.

  38. KISS should never get in. They’re a joke. Rock as a whole should be ashamed of them. And besides, where’s Electric Light Orchestra? Or Bon Jovi? The Cars? Chicago? The Doobie Brothers? Depeche Mode? Hall & Oates? Def Leppard? Judas Priest? Journey? The Smiths? Soundgarden? Certainly these guys deserve it more than Cheap Trick and Chic!

    • P.s. Bubble Puppy. Nuf said. Savoy Brown. The 5th Beatle Billy Preston. E.L.O. Yes. The winter bro’s J and E Foghat UFO Ween Sly ? Steppenwolf? Small faces sure The trick of Cheep why not great band Blackfoot although there record producer should have been shot oft being unable to get close to there live sound. Journey Chicago. And why not even the monkeys. Valerie, She mike nesmith and his bro sunset Sam.

  39. KISS should be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame LONG TIME AGO

  40. Sure Kiss who did wright one original. Firehouse with a Zappa bass line. Grand Funk wrote some too I’m sure and Yes. F. In YES who are God’s compared to half the trash already in. Fuck me. People Deep Purple, no but Boy George and Abba. Why, who, and how??? I’d burn the joint to the ground before stepping foot into its sham full halls. And Rush should have refused until GFRR. WAS at least invited to piss on its walls.

  41. P.s. Bubble Puppy. Nuf said.

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