Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you: The 2012 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This recently announced bunch features a few uncharacteristically modern acts, namely, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns N' Roses. You might read this as a grab for headlines in music publications, or garnering more interest. If this is a trend they want to continue, there are plenty of candidates that would turn heads:
Pixies - It's hard to imagine this not happening eventually, but next year when their debut album Come On Pilgrim turns 25, they'll officially become eligible for induction. The Pixies have had a tremendous influence on many of the bands in alternative and indie that came after; It was 1988's Surfer Rosa that directly led to Nirvana's Nevermind. Their successful mid-decade reunion tour shows that there's still plenty of love and enthusiasm for the band, which makes their candidacy the perfect blend of historical importance and modern relevance.
Public Enemy - If the Foundation is serious about including hip-hop in their broad definition of rock and roll as modern popular music, they will need to honor Public Enemy in 2013. There's a certain symbolism to inducting someone as soon as they're eligible, and after rejecting Eric B & Rakim this year, it would do them well to include the seminal rap group when the light turns green. I refuse to make a pun about a nation of millions holding them back, but it would be an inexplicable misstep to snub Public Enemy.
Bad Religion - I wouldn't be surprised if this never happens, and if it does, I'm sure there would be plenty of reasonable dissent. But in my eyes, Bad Religion is the band that took the political aspect of punk rock the farthest in mainstream spotlight. Their induction would be a recognition of their long career, prolific output and impact as a band and as businessmen in independent music. As of now, the Rock Hall has only recognized punk's original pillars in the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and The Clash. As we get on in our years, they're going to have to look past the first generations of young genres eventually.
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