Friday, June 22, 2018
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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rights wrongs with inductees Rush, Randy Newman, Public Enemy

In an effort to right past wrongs — and not have an army of whiny prog nerds storm Cleveland — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally invited Canadian trio Rush to the party.

Commence frenzied worldwide air-drumming!

The hall wasn't done making up for lost time (and curious voting practices) with just Rush, though. On Tuesday, the hall, co-founded by polarizing Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner, announced such other about-time 2013 inductees as singer-songwriter Randy Newman, rockers Heart, rap provocateurs Public Enemy, bluesman Albert "Velvet Bulldozer" King and late Queen of Disco Donna Summer.

"I'm very happy," Newman, an acerbic scribe who later softened as Pixar's soundtrack mainstay, told the Associated Press. "I thought I'd have to die first, but I'm glad I'm around to see it."

(On a personal note, that Newman is just getting inducted is more absurd than Rush's wait. If you don't believe me, go listen to 1972's Sail Away. And it's sad that Summer, who influenced everyone from Madonna to Rihanna, died this May and missed hearing her name called for this honor.)

Producers and music-biz honchos Quincy Jones (What — how is he just getting in? He produced Thriller!) and Lou Adler will enter as Ahmet Ertegun Award winners for their wide influence.

Such 2013 nominees as turgid rockers Deep Purple, disco progenitors Chic, German electronicists Kraftwerk and volatile MCs N.W.A. (a far more dangerous rap act than P.E.) didn't make the cut, but hey, at least they were in the running. There are still myriad bands who've been shunned altogether by the hall, which started inducting artists way back in 1986. Believe it or not, Journey, Chicago and Hall & Oates have yet to even get a nomination.

"First of all, it's all water under the bridge and it was a very tiny bridge," Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson told the AP about his best-selling group's long wait for induction. "I think our fans are more upset than we were because they feel a real bond to this band and it's been an important part of their lives in some form, and to be snubbed was snubbing them at the same time."

The 2013 induction ceremony will be April 18 in Los Angeles. There are all sorts of intriguing possibilities for the inevitable jam session: P.E.'s Chuck D and Flavor Flav bustin' rhymes on Rush's Tom Sawyer! Newman doing a mournful reading of Summer's Last Dance! The Wilson sisters in Heart ripping into some of Albert King's nasty Mississippi blues!

By the way, acts are eligible for induction 25 years after their first recording. That means next year's leading 2014 nominee — and almost certain inductee — will be Nirvana. Hmm, I wonder if Courtney Love will make news at that induction ceremony?

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

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