Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John, and Darlene Love will be next year’s inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, their legacies as secure as the paraffin wax shells currently slowly encasing their bodies for proper entombment in the corridors of the Cleveland museum. Although all of these performers have been earning their immortality for decades now, everyone save Darlene Love (who sang on many of Phil Spector’s biggest hits and somehow survived) was a first-time nominee.
And of course, while it’s nice to see some recognition where recognition is due, the other side of this annual story is, as always, who didn’t make the cut. This year’s cast-offs included some oft-ignored greats like Donovan, Joe Tex, and Chuck Willis, cult singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, disco artists Donna Summer and Chic, and LL Cool J and Beastie Boys—either of whom could have been this year’s cursory nod to hip-hop. Also ignored: Bon Jovi, who will have to accept as small consolation his recent appointment to a White House advisory council, which he can then hopefully parlay into an executive order forcing the Hall to take him. Or he could probably just keep cranking out potboiler blue-collar anthems for the next 20 years or so.