And you can be sure that no one is going to be invited to the party unless they've "matured" enough to act like the very establishment they once attacked. In fact, the punishment for making it 25 years without reaching that level of maturity is being shunned by the hall — which might explain why eligible acts like Iggy Pop, AC/DC, and Black Sabbath have been repeatedly overlooked.
What Is Rock?
Another major problem with the hall is its incredibly broad definition of rock 'n' roll. Despite an "early influences" category dedicated to remembering the pre-rock artists who helped shape the music, every year's list of performers is loaded with doo-wop and R&B artists who cannot in any way be classified as rock musicians.
And does anyone really consider Michael Jackson, being inducted for the second time this year, a rock artist? The closest his solo career has come to rock is having Eddie Van Halen contribute a guitar solo to "Beat It." But he'll be joining the Hall of Fame for a second time before Van Halen gets in once.
The rock hall will soon have to become more relevant, or disappear. The Experience Music Project opened this year in Seattle, a considerably more desirable tourist destination than Cleveland. It has been described as a living, breathing tribute to great rock. There are no strict rules on who can be featured. And there is no attempt to force visitors to learn about what they should know.
Now that the Hall of Fame isn't the only option, it's questionable how long America will continue to care about that group of old men getting together at the Waldorf every year.