As much as everyone loved my protest ballot, and thank you for all the kind feedback on Twitter, this is going to be my actual prediction for the ballot for the Class Of 2020 for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I was probably going to put this off awhile longer, but then we got wind that the Nominating Committee would be meeting this week, so time to get the rear in gear. Whose names will be on the ballot?
There are a couple good places to start, but we'll start with the kiosk at the museum in Cleveland. Just as there is no actual proof that finishing in the top spot in the fan ballot gets you inducted, it's not ironclad that topping the list on the kiosk gets you a nomination on the ballot, but that's still what happened with Stevie Nicks. So until it fails us, we'll go ahead and suppose that Motley Crue is going to be nominated. And because I haven't given too much thought into the matter, we're gonna go with #2 as well. Last I knew, in second place was Blink-182. It's pretty foolhardy to go for them as well, but since Def Leppard crept onto the ballot as well, it's worth taking a stab that they'll be a surprise newly eligible nomination.
Speaking of those who are newly eligible, everybody's buzzing about The Notorious B.I.G. becoming eligible this year, and he's also a pretty safe bet. With 2Pac getting in immediately, and their legacies inextricably intertwined by their deaths, it would be logical for the other half to get in immediately as well. And for the most part, you have to be nominated before you can be inducted. Predicting two newly eligibles is pretty gutsy, so we'll cut it off there and move on.
Oftentimes, we hobbyists like to conjecture that who will be nominated can be heavily predicated on who just got in. Radiohead just got in, and to that end, I think the concentration will be on honoring fellow NomComm member Tom Morello, and there'll be a third consecutive nomination for Rage Against The Machine. The Hall loves their own, and Morello is one of them, so they won't give up on this band just yet. Because they want to get Rage in, I think they'll hold off on Nine Inch Nails, despite Trent Reznor's amazing speech for the Cure. Despite the Ohio connection, their buddies come first. Even though the two bands are not even similar in sound, to a room primarily full of old Whtie dudes, they're similar enough. Rage first, then the Nails. That said, inducting the Cure will open a door, mainly for more post-punk. I think the push will be on again for The Smiths. They're way too important and esteemed of a band to continue to ignore, they're going to have be revisited at some point. With the Zombies finally in, I think they'll clear the pathway as wide open as they can to get The MC5 in. Janet Jackson is in, and I'll echo Michelle Bourg of the Iconic Rock Talk Show, that ?uestlove is going to double down for Chaka Khan. I think they'll push for her as a solo act this time, and if she gets in, that'll probably be the end of Rufus's ballot hopes. I don't like it, but we know that's how they play the game. And Roxy Music's induction opens a lot of doors as well, and I think a nomination hot off their inducting Roxy Music will be sweet music for Duran Duran, and they'll end up on the ballot, too.
In addition to the already stated, I think there will be a couple more returns from last year's ballot. While Nine Inch Nails won't be on the ballot, I think they'll still want the Ohio connection and go for Devo again. Additionally, the surprise missing out of Todd Rundgren will almost surely result in a duplicate nomination for him as well. Depeche Mode may resurface too.
Of course, we need to load up on the fresh names, because statistically, the ballot is likely to be comprised of more first-time nominees than repeats. Classic rock has a little representation with the Crue and Todd, but there'll be a little more, I think. And as others have already mentioned, the name Irving Azoff is expected to have some clout, even if he's not actually in the room. Many expected The Doobie Brothers to show up last year, and they're betting on the inevitable eventuality of their nomination. So am I. John Prine was a surprise nomination last year, and I think there'll be another left field candidate. I have no idea who it will be, but it's been a little while since a blues name has been on the ballot, and I'll venture to guess Otis Rush will appear for the first time on the ballot. But I'm really going out on limb and saying there'll be a second rap act on the ballot. It's not so much a hunch as it is a wish to see life imitate art. In the song, "We Made You," Eminem closes out with one of his usual shoutouts to Dr. Dre by saying, "Dr. Dre! Two thousand twenty!" Mathers might not have been speaking of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but it'd be awesome if that were the case. So I'm gonna predict the good doctor and hope that it comes true. I don't have too much hope for more women on the ballot, sadly. Despite the pleas of Janet and Stevie, that effort will die on the table. But I'll throw out a couple more women, and hope for the best. Following Stevie Nicks could very well be the nomination of Carly Simon to represent the singer/songwriter from the '70's slot. And I think there will be a sweet sixteen nominees this year. And the one crossover from my protest ballot, I'm going to predict The Pointer Sisters to finally see nomination this year. I hope it happens.
So there we have it, my attempt at ESP, to match the people who'll be in the room this week, presumably, to hammer out the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Some safe picks, some gutsy, and hopefully one or two original names brought up. If you'd care to comment, there's a section below for that..