For the Class of 2007, it was David Lee Roth of Van Halen
For the Class of 2008, it was John Cougar Mellencamp (and to a lesser extent Bob Bogle of the Ventures)
For the Class of 2009, it was Wanda Jackson
For the Class of 2010, nobody did it (that I know of).
For 2012, the safe money says if anyone, it's Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, should they make it.
Of course, this is referring to the premature revelation of being elected for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, leaking the news that they've been selected before the official announcement can be made by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation. And for awhile, it was fun. One act leaking it out that they've made it gives us a sneak preview. It's like the trailers in the movies: you get a glimpse of the plot and who the major characters are, but it only heightens the anticipation and desire to actually go and see the whole movie. It was much the same for the Rock Hall. Knowing who one inductee would be made you all the more interested to see who got the other four seats, now that one chair has been filled. In the case of Wanda Jackson, it was even more interesting, because it hadn't been revealed that she was an Early Influence inductee.
But after what happened with the Class of 2011, I'm officially declaring that leaks are NOT welcome anymore. For those who don't know, the entire Class of 2011 was leaked before the official announcement. At first, they announced the five Performer inductees. When I read it, I was foremost glad that Darlene Love finally got her proper respect, but also kind of bummed that there was almost no surprise left. Then I remembered that we still had the other categories to go. Any Side-Men? Early Influences? Non-Performers? Well, that could be our surprise.
No such luck. That too was leaked out in short order. There we were, we had the entire class before it could be announced. And it felt like a letdown. A bummer really. The official announcement was a mere formality. Someone joked about wikileaks ruining the surprise, but it still didn't make up for the fact that it actually kinda sucked to know before they could announce it. It was like knowing all the major category winners from the Oscars before they could open the envelopes and announce them.
What made it worse is that NONE of the news came from the actual inductees themselves. Alice Cooper was finally hounded into confirming the rumors, but only after the whole thing had been blown. When an inductee lets on they're going to be inducted, you get their joy, flowing over the brim at the news, showing through even in print form. When it comes from someone inside the Foundation, it's not the same. Plus, that inductee only knows about THEM, not everyone else.
This year, the deadline for the votes is December 5th, this coming Monday, with the announcement slated for the 15th, roughly a week and a half later. So, if there's any way we can spread the message around to eventually get back to whoever does it, make the message clear: DON'T LEAK THE NEWS! Why?
1. If you're not one of the inductees yourself, you don't have the same elan they would have in announcing the news. You're the guy who gets their jollies by wrecking the end of movies for others.
2. It's ultimately classless.
3. For us, this is like the Oscars, and we enjoy the anticipation leading up to the moment because it allows for spirited discussion as the deadline nears. Don't take that away from us either.
4. After succesfully leaking the ENTIRE Class of 2011, there's nowhere else to go. You've climbed Mount Everest. No taller peak than that. Now that we know it can be done, we realize that it's no fun, and there's no way to improve upon it further or outdo it. Doing it again doesn't outdo it, it just makes it redundant.
So please, unless you're one of the inductees, keep your freggin' trap shut. And once one inductee has been leaked, other inductees please don't ruin the surprise for us. We want the elation to build up for your induction announcement so we can share your joy. It can't build up to its proper apex if leaked early.
Thank-you very much.