Cameron Carpenter: Past & Present Tens – Rockin’ The Hall of Fame


It’s that time of year again when I fearlessly predict who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Over the course of the last four years I am sitting at about 65% with my picks. Let’s look at who is on the final ballot for 2105.

The Cars

Do I think they are worthy? No. They made some great singles and their first album is a new wave classic but I don’t think they are going to make it on their first try. They were very much a product of the MTV-era but live they were one of the most boring bands I have ever seen. The public vote for them places them in a solid third at the present time but the only way I see them going in is if there are six inductees this year.


They are the Susan Lucci of the ballot as this is their eleventh try at getting in. I still don’t think it is going to happen. Their best song, “Good Times”, is better utilized in hip-hop songs as a sample. Quick, someone name a Chic album.


If Rolling Stone readers have anything to say Chicago are a shoo-in. They are miles ahead in the fan voting. Although safe and faceless, Chicago ruled the pop and A/C charts and sold more records than anyone else on the list with over 100 million in total. They fused soft rock with horns and were second to only the Beach Boys in the sixties and seventies with charted albums and singles. Can’t say I am a fan but pretty sure they are going into the hall.

Cheap Trick

One of my favourite bands of all time. They never disappoint live, write great singles, can play with anyone and have been touring forever. “Live at Budokan” is one of the greatest live records ever and Robin sounds as good today as he did in the mid-seventies. If only bands voted for the Hall of Fame they would have been in years ago. This is their first time nominated and I hate to say they won’t get in on their first try. I vote yes, the hall says no.

Deep Purple

I think it will be third time lucky for true rock’n’rollers Deep Purple. Everyone from my generation could pluck out “Smoke On The Water” on bass and Ian Gillan had one of the greatest rock voices ever. I don’t know why it has taken the hall so long to let them in. There seems to be a bias against British seventies bands, hard rock and prog. Time to get this sorted and let ‘em in.

Janet Jackson

My ears say no but my gut says she will get in. She had one great album and always lived in the shadow of her brother Michael. She will be forever remembered for “nipplegate” at the Super Bowl and not for her music. However, there are only two solo women on the ballot this year and her last name pretty well guarantees here a place in the hall.

The JB’s

The legendary back-up band for James Brown. Pretty hard for the general public to name even one member. Hell yeah they were influential and the band that provided more beats and samples for hip-hop than any other. I think they will have to wait a year of two but they will get their dues one day.

Chaka Khan

(Editor’s Note – Chaka with my absolute all time favourite group of musicians. Sweet, sweet, smooth jam soul music)

Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan. I feel for you Chaka Khan but fear I can’t tell you something good this year. Pioneer yes, queen of funk, yes, hall of fame, no. Chaka will lose out to Janet Jackson this year but the wait won’t be much longer for her.

Los Lobos

First time nominees Los Lobos are going to find themselves in the Chic boat in the next ten years. One great song does not make for a hall of fame induction. Yes they brought a new sound to the mainstream and introduced tex-mex to a new wave audience but they really only had major success with one album over the course of their thirty year history. Will the wolf survive? No

Steve Miller

This one may be the toughest call. As the Steve Miller Band (with Steve Miller the only known entity) Steve sold boatloads of records in the seventies and was a staple at every high school party I attended. “Fly Like An Eagle”, “The Joker” “Jungle Love”, “Jet Airliner” and “Rock’n Me” were monster radio hits. It is going to be close but I think Steve will be outside looking in on his first attempt.

Nine Inch Nails

I love the band and helped bring them to Canada inking a distribution deal for their first label T.V.T. with their debut album “Pretty Hate Machine”. They influenced an entire generation but I think they are still one or two years away from getting the nod. With Trent up for Oscars I don’t think the Hall is a big concern of his.


I had them picked last year and that was before their break-out movie. They are the only rap act on the ballot this year and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be getting in.

The Smiths

After spending a week with drummer Mike Joyce it pains me to say that they will not be getting in on their second attempt. If the Hall was based in England they would have been handed their gold card on their first eligible date. It is going to take some time but they will be inducted one day, their influence was far too great.

The Spinners

It is their second shot at the Hall and it is not going to happen for them. They have been around for over sixty years but really only have one massive cross-over hit to their names, “I’ll Be Around”. They will get in one day but I don’t see that happening for many more a year.


Yes I say. Although it is too late for Chris Squire to enjoy this will be the year that Yes finally get their due. From “Roundabout” to “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes hits spanned the decades. The band also featured some of the best rock musicians ever.

So, to re-cap. I say Chicago, Deep Purple, Janet Jackson, N.W.A. and Yes are in with The Cars and Steve Miller on the bubble, the rest are going to have to wait.

On a side-note it looks like The Kensington Lodge has been sold and my days of spinning tunes there are over. It was fun and I looked forward to it every Wednesday night. If something else turns up I will let you know.

Looking forward to Saturday November 7th when I get to walk my daughter Kari Seattle down the aisle as she becomes Mrs. Perioris. Good luck and welcome to the family Mario!


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

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DBAWIS_ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

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