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KISS and the Rock and Roll Hall

Posted on 03/28/2012
I wrote to Terry Stewart, the President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 3, 2010 complaining why they were, almost it appears on purpose passing on inducting Kiss. I cited numerous inductees who got in before Kiss who obviously should not have. I have been a kiss fan for 33 years, but I advised him that spoke to non-kiss fans who cannot believe they are not in. THIS IS THE B.S. I GOT BACK. "Thanks for your comments. We receive literally thousands of emails every year like yours about hundreds of different artists. Consequently, part of this communication is a standard response as to how the induction process works. Having said that, letís get one thing straight. The only reason that Kiss has not been inducted is that they did not get enough votes to date to make the final ballot. OR, on making the ballot as they did this year, they did not get enough votes to be inducted. There are no conspiracies and no one has veto power. Please remember the following: Everyone personalizes everything about rock and roll when they are brought into the circle of discussion. This is another way of saying that many fans believe that their opinion is uniquely compelling and definitive. Without metrics (see below), the definition of "rock and roll," who is or was important, and who should be inducted is incredibly subjective. As a result, our Nominating and Voting Committees are replete with Inductees (in fact, they are the largest bloc of voters). Someone has to decide, so we built our Voting Committee around the most qualified group possible: the living Inductees, which number around 400 at this time. Thus, folks like Bruce, Metallica, Clapton, Ozzy, Prince and the others are the difference makers. You may disagree, but being an Inductee makes a pretty good case for being the ones who choose. With that overview, hereís how the process works. Nomination and induction into the Hall of Fame is not about popularity, records sales, which label the group is on, or anything other than the process below. Unlike baseball, football, basketball or hockey, statistics are not relevant. Rather, our focus is on impact, influence, and innovation. Like it or not, the evaluation of these factors is highly subjective and can only be answered by the votes of our nominators and voters. In addition, even if an artist meets the influence/impact/innovation test, it doesnít mean that they get inducted automatically. They still need to get the support of both Committees. The entire nomination and induction process is coordinated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in New York City. Artists can be inducted in four categories: Performer, Early Influence, Non-Performer and Side-Men. The latter three are evaluated and decided by separate committees for each category. Unlike the other three categories, the selection of Performers is a two-step process. The only formal criteria for the performance category is that an artist has to have had their first recording 25 years ago under the name that is nominated. The formal selection of Performers begins with a Nominating Committee consisting of a diverse panel of living inductees, journalists, historians, noted musicians, industry heads, etc. In turn, those nominated are sent to a Voting Committee of about 600 people (all living inductees, journalists, historians, music industry management, musicians, etc.) around the world who vote. That said, candidates are reviewed and discussed relative to their impact, innovation and influence on this music that we broadly define as rock and roll. Gold records, number one hits, and million sellers are not appropriate standards for evaluation. Those receiving the highest number of votes and more than 50% of the votes cast are inducted into the Hall. Usually, this means five to seven new performing members each year. Having said all this, I believe that all worthy candidates will be inducted, just not always when they or their fans deem timely. This phenomenon is not unique to us. The sports halls of fame have had many great stars that do not get inducted in their early years of eligibility or for many years to come. Peace & Soul, Rock & Roll! Terry Stewart President Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum P. S. I nominate Kiss every year and I will continue to do so until they get in. Rock & Roll: (noun) African American slang dating back to the early 20th Century. In the early 1950s, the term came to be used to describe a new form of music, steeped in the blues, rhythm & blues, country and gospel. Today, it refers to a wide variety of popular music -- frequently music with an edge and attitude, music with a good beat and --- often --- loud guitars.¬© 2005 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This communication is a confidential and proprietary business communication. It is intended solely for the use of the designated recipient(s). If this communication is received in error, please contact the sender and delete this communication."
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