Neil Diamond is a lock.
Bon Jovi is not.
Tom Waits will get in.
And as for Journey, well, Steve Perry & Co. should probably stop believin' they'll ever get the nod.
On Tuesday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for its Class of 2011 — and per usual, the outrage was immediate and Rush fans were placed on suicide watch.
Diamond and Bon Jovi head a noms list of 15 that also includes Alice Cooper, the Beastie Boys, Chic, Donovan, Dr. John, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex, Tom Waits and Chuck Willis.
The notably snubbed? Journey, Duran Duran, Kiss, Heart, Chicago — and whoever your favorite band is. For a lot of you that's the Canadian prog princes in Rush, who are coming to the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre on Friday. Let the trio know how you support them with a joyous sing-along of Subdivisions!
Hall inductees will be announced in December. And when the 26th annual induction proceedings rage forth March 14 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, you can expect a besequined Diamond onstage strumming Sweet Caroline, America and the myriad hits that make him a shoo-in, not to mention long overdue. Growly troubador Waits should also play, if only because he's a darling of Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner and the HOF's snobby voting board.
Then it gets tricky. Despite the band's serious sales clout, Bon Jovi will probably get dinged as lightweight Jersey rock — not that I would evvver say that.
The Beastie Boys have critical cred — at least more than ab-ripped MC LL Cool J. So if there's a hip-hop nod, it'll will probably go to the funky punks. That said, the rock hall has a fickle relationship with rap royalty.
As for the rest? If Kiss isn't in, then Alice Cooper, another metallic novelty act, shouldn't be in, either. J. Geils would throw a heck of a party, but I don't see Centerfold as a ticket to glory. If there's a sleeper inductee, I'd go with either Dr. John, for the New Orleans sympathy factor, or Donovan, the Mellow Yellow oddity from the '60s, a dizzy decade for which the HOF has special love.
Artists are eligible for the hall 25 years after their first album or single. More than 500 music bizzers vote on the nominees — and then presumably sit around and make fun of Rush: Yeah, they'll make the cut … in 2112! Ha-ha!
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at tampabay.com/blogs/poplife.