The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has released its list of 2015 induction nominees and there is now a chance -- a strong, frightening one -- that Green Day will go in before the likes of Deep Purple, Yes, Sonic Youth and Black Flag.
Green Day was part of a cartoonish pop-punk revival in the '90s and the main thing new it brought to the table was a souped-up production. But the trio led by Billie Joe Armstrong has insider status, mega sales, a Broadway hit and the popularity to attract younger interest in the proceedings.
Consider Green Day's ticket already punched.
The nomination of Sting is even more problematic, as the pompous frontman, who went pretty soft as a solo artist, was already inducted with The Police in 2003. Was his solo career that outstanding that he should go in again before contemporaries like the Smiths (also nominated), Gang of Four, XTC and the Specials and English Beat even get a first shot? I won't even answer that.
So, here is the full list: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A, Nine Inch Nails, Lou Reed, The Smiths, The Spinners, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughan, War and Bill Withers.
My ballot would go:
Nine Inch Nails: A monstrously innovative industrial-rock band, both sonically and visually, led by Mercer's Trent Reznor.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: An absolute beast on guitar. One of the best I ever saw. It's about time on him.
The Smiths: An influential, one-of-a-kind band with an excellent catalog and a beloved cult following for the Morrissey/Johnny Marr combo.
Kraftwerk: Ok, I don't listen to Kraftwerk much, but the German band was an electronic pioneer whose influence is all around us in modern pop.
Lou Reed: He would join a list of multiple inductees that includes Neil Young, Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel. Although his post-VU solo work was hit and miss, he continued to push boundaries (right up to "Lulu") and there is certainly enough there to warrant a repeat visit.
The Spinners: A sublime soul band whose hits -- including "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "I'll Be Around" and "Then Came You" -- have stood the test of time.
Have to go with Lou.
As for the others, Green Day and N.W.A. can wait. Would have no problem with War and Joan Jett should go in with her pioneering girl band The Runaways.
All in all, the inclusion of Green Day and Sting before so many more deserving classic and punk/New Wave artists makes this list yet another Rock Hall letdown.