Prior to the announcement of the six additional Performer inductees, I had just finished part one of analyzing the joint nomination. Its application to the case of the Small Faces/Faces, or as I like to note them, (Small) Faces, essentially comes down to the idea that it really wasn’t a “joint nomination” at all, but really the nomination of one band with very noticeable and almost simultaneous personnel and name changes. That’s what I feel it ultimately was, and that’s how the Rock Hall put it in the biography of the (Small) Faces.

As I said in part one, the Rock Hall got it almost completely right. But it wasn’t merely an error in nomenclature that was made. The defense made by the powers-that-be was also pretty weak. Joel Peresman, in an interview, replied that it would have been too difficult to get either band inducted by itself, let alone both. That opinion was concurrent with what another high power said: “What do you figure the odds are that, having chosen one group or the other, we would succeed in getting both in within the lifetime of the currently living band members. I know my estimation of that likelihood.” Well, if getting them inducted during lifetime is of paramount importance, then why wasn’t it just Faces, since Steve Marriott, the only member in the Small version but not the later, died about the time his group even became eligible? For that matter, then why was Laura Nyro, who died over a decade before she was nominated for the first time, ever on the ballot, or Freddie King? Does this mean that Whitney Houston no longer has any chance? Heck, why not make “still alive” a criterion? Sure, we’d have no Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, etc. in the Hall, but hey, we’d probably have Kiss, Rush, and Deep Purple in by now, and might have gotten to Barry White, Billy Preston, or maybe even Laura Nyro before they all died:

The answer to that is obvious: because what’s important is the impact of the artist in question, not whether or not they’re still alive. This is, after all, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and Fame is the fourth of the six classic victors, the conquest and conqueror (albeit metaphorically) over Death. Naturally, it’d be nice if we could enshrine them all before death, especially since we don’t know for fact what lies on the other side, but metaphysics and eschatology isn’t the point: the point is that it’s more important to do it right than do it before rigor mortis. The Hall Of Fame did do it right, but they were rather weak and almost apologetic with their defense that it makes one wonder what other joint nominations might be coming. Will there be a nomination Free/Bad Company just to make sure we get Paul Rodgers in? How about Blues Project/Blood, Sweat, And Tears to ensure that Al Kooper gets his honors, or Crests/Brooklyn Bridge for Johnny Maestro? I know at least one person who’d hoped that 2010’s induction of Genesis would be a joint induction including the solo efforts of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett, and Tony Banks (but not Phil Collins). And now that we’ve got a supposed joint induction involving (Small) Faces, we’ll probably see that spark of hope for that guy come alive again.

Or even more far-fetched, and just to have some fun with this, what’s to stop a joint nomination for Five Royales/Satins/Keys, since merit-worthy doo wop acts are apparently rather hard to come by? Or Procol Harum/Janet Jackson? Hey, they’re two acts that have a certain amount of merit, but right now seem unlikely for either one to get in, to quote Peresman, so why not? Okay, so we’re intentionally getting carried away, but the point is understood. Do it right; don’t just lump thinly (or not at all) connected acts together because “The Hall inducts five groups or individuals a year.” (Come again?)

With all that in mind, let’s take a more honest look at the joint nominations that we might actually see, should actually see, or might like to see.

-Rufus with Chaka Khan: How about one we’ve already seen? The commercial success of Rufus has landed almost entirely contingent upon Chaka’s participation in the group. But Chaka has had a very respectable solo career outside of the group. In all fairness, it’s not entirely certain whether or not this was a joint nomination. The suggested song list only contains Rufus songs, but the bio for their nomination began, “When Chaka sang ‘I’m Every Woman’,” which is a solo Khan song. Let’s hope they induct both the solo and the group in their proper turns. This shouldn’t be one joint induction.

-Joy Division/New Order(/The Other Two): Admittedly, I have no idea why this one shouldn’t happen. Joy Division resonated with the alternative scene until Ian Curtis committed suicide. New Order was Curtis’ former Joy Division bandmates, with the addition of Gillian Gilbert, with some pop success and much more success on the Dance charts through the ‘80s and ‘90s. (The Other Two being a side project for two of those four remaining members). Still, since neither Joy Division nor New Order are acts that I care enough for to learn the intricacies of the two incarnations’ styles, I’ll admit to not having enough information on this one; so, if someone would care to explain why this one should not happen as a joint nomination, I’m listening. Otherwise, I think this would be a good call. Just don’t include Monaco or Electronic.

-Wham!/George Michael: This is a pretty popular potential joint nomination, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why. Wham! on its own is at the very least as deserving as a couple of the names on this past ballot, and much more commercially successful than about a good third of them. George Michael’s solo career runs about the same kind of course that we’ve seen from other people who went solo after their group’s success, like Sting or Eric Clapton, except with much more commercial success. I’m not a big solo George Michael fan, and only really care for the upbeat songs from Wham! (Seriously, I hate “Careless Whisper”.) The duo had three notable albums, which may be part of the cause for folks wanting the joint nomination. Three albums may not be enough for some people to give an act enough merit for Hall Of Fame induction, although this argument falls flat with just two words: Sex Pistols. Still, I can’t help but wonder if those people who want a joint nomination and induction for what amounts to a viable pair of inductions do so because they don’t want to waste ballot space that should go to more prog, metal, and alternative acts. It probably doesn’t help that Joel Whitburn lumps the duo and the solo under same listing in his Top Singles books, although separately in his Top Albums book.

-Miami Sound Machine/Gloria Estefan: Another pairing that gets combined in all the Whiburn books, both singles and albums. This is one that has a very real chance of happening too. Like Rufus with Chaka Khan, a fair number of the Miami Sound Machine’s singles were credited to “Gloria Estefan And The Miami Sound Machine,” add to that the Miami Sound Machine only had two albums of note. Still, I don’t know if I’d actually want this one to happen for the simple fact that other than “Words Get In The Way”, the group’s records were generally upbeat, Latin-flavored, danceable songs, while except for “Get On Your Feet” and the covers of “Everlasting Love” and “Turn The Beat Around” solo Gloria’s work was usually Adult Contemporary love songs. I’d like it to remain separate, but two albums probably won’t be enough to get the Miami Sound Machine in apart from solo Gloria Estefan. In both this case and that of Wham!/George Michael, it seems that the group is the more worthy candidate, but the solo act has the sheer quantity of output to actually have the chance of being inducted. Still doesn’t mean they should be jointly nominated or inducted.

-The Crystals/The Blossoms: Okay, no one’s suggested this until now, but I think this one should actually happen. Let’s face it: the Blossoms and Darlene Love got shafted by Phil Spector and the ‘60s. The Blossoms were credited as the Crystals on a couple of their biggest records, and between the differing lead vocals of LaLa Brooks and Barbara Alston, I think of the Blossoms like the Five Crowns, who were forced to become the Drifters. The portrait of the Crystals isn’t complete or accurate without the songs that the Blossoms sang. Simply put, if they ever get nominated, nominate “the Crystals”, and list all the following as inducted members of the Crystals: Barbara Alston, Dee Dee Kennibrew, Mary Thomas, Patricia Wright, Myrna Gerrard, Frances Collins, Darlene Love, Fanita James, Gloria Jones, Grazia Nitsche, Annette Williams, Nanette Williams, Edna Wright. Since the Hall Of Fame has yet to induct a backing vocal group, and since the Blossoms were the Crystals for two important records, it’s really only fair that they get inducted as members of the Crystals. It’d be the just thing to do. And if you want to put one more nail in the Phil Spector coffin, give Bobby Sheen (Bob B. Soxx) an Award For Musical Excellence induction, too. No, I don’t think it’ll actually happen, just sayin’.

-The Cookies/The Rae-letts: I only bring this one up because that’s how they were inducted in the “Revisited & Projected “ fanfic project on the Future Rock Legends site. (They were “inducted” in the Sideman category.) The truth is, the two acts were quartets that only had only two members in common, and those two had left the Cookies to join the Rae-letts before the Cookies had their big hits of “Chains” and “Don’t Say Nothing Bad About My Baby”. Both groups would be excellent inductees for the Award For Musical Excellence, if and when the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame actually gets around to inducting back-up vocalists in this category. Nevertheless, it actually would not be a good idea to put these two in together as a single entity.

As we look at these six examples, half of them deal with combining a group and a lead singer that had a big solo career. These type of inductions might be popular for the same reason they’d be unpopular: they cut down on the potential members of the Clyde McPhatter Club: those who’ve been inducted multiple times (now joining: Rod Stewart and Ron Wood). While it’s fascinating to see the interconnected world of music via this phenomenon, it’s also somewhat reviled as a means to honor the powers’-that-be favorite people, cronyism of sorts, by giving them another induction when there are other, supposedly more deserving acts that haven’t gotten their first induction yet. However, I doubt it’d be despised so much were the shoe on the other foot. Fans of Joy Division are also usually fans of New Order and would love to see both inducted separately because the musical excellence of both, to them, is so unquestionable that inducting each one is a no-brainer to them. They, like the diehard Steve Marriott fans who hate the joint induction of the (Small) Faces, would say that once Curtis died, Joy Division ceased to be, he was irreplaceable, and the presence of Gillian Gilbert only accentuated further that the difference. Different person, different band. Again, I’m no expert on that/those band/s, so I’ll defer to one who does know better, but, to that extreme, you could just quote the old Greek philosopher (Heraclitus, I believe) who said, “No man steps into the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.” Should we induct the Beatles a second time, the first being for their pre-Rubber Soul days (or Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s, or whichever album best displays the major shift), and again for their Rubber Soul-onward days? Because those sounds were so drastically different, it may as well be. Or induct Stevie Wonder a second time for when he went funkier, or the Temptations a second time for the post-Ruffin era? If you’re going to cry cronyism this time, just remember to say you’d feel the same way if the situation were reversed, and that you’d always be against the multiple induction.

This however, flies in the face of the Rock Hall’s record. The majority of Clyde McPhatter Clubbers are former lead singers (or group members in general) that had a significant solo career of their own, even if the solo act was enshrined first. For those who support a small Hall, the Clyde McPhatter Club is the worst thing you can have, and the joint nomination is the best preventive measure. Nonetheless, there is just too much precedence to support this kind of thing as an ongoing trend. In short, don’t expect to see Culture Club/Boy George on the ballot anytime soon. Culture Club, maybe, but not combined with solo Boy George. And I doubt solo Boy George will get nominated either.

In conclusion, the joint nomination is not an entirely new concept, but the induction of the (Small) Faces has put a whole new twist on things, which judging by Peresman’s comments, the NomCom or other Foundation members may not have thought through and thus may not be prepared for. It can be used rightly, and it can be used very wrongly. Maybe we’d better put it on the shelf for awhile. Maybe we’d better not have another one on the ballot until there’s a strong majority amongst the NomCom that will support it more soundly. It’s a whole lot of maybes, either way you look at it.