Creating the illusion that rock fans have some input into who goes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the institution started, five years ago, an online “fan vote,” in which anybody can vote for up to five candidates a day.
Bon Jovi is currently leading this year’s poll, with more than 450,000 votes. The Moody Blues are in second place, with about 367,000. Following them are Dire Straits, The Cars, Judas Priest, Eurythmics and 13 other candidates. Voting ends Dec. 5, and the inductees will probably be announced about a week later.
What most people voting in the fan poll may not know is that winning it does a nominee virtually no good. The five top vote-getters are put on a single ballot, which counts no more than a ballot submitted by one of the hall’s regular voters — according to the hall’s web site, “more than 900 historians, members of the music industry and artists.” It’s unlikely, of course, that that single vote will put a candidate over the top.
Now, it is true that the first five winners of the fan vote — Rush, KISS, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chicago and Journey — did in fact win induction in the general vote, over the last five years. But there is no guarantee that this will happen every year. In fact, it’s going to be very interesting to see if Bon Jovi gets into the hall after, presumably, winning the fan vote this year (their lead seems pretty insurmountable). Jon Bon Jovi has said he believes that some hall executives have some kind of vendetta against him.
Is it possible that hall voters keep an eye on how the fans are voting, and take that into account when casting their own ballots? I doubt it. I mean, it might have some slight effect, but this would not seem to be a major factor, either.
So if you’re a Bon Jovi fan … by all means, vote.
But just keep in mind that the band could win — and then lose, anyway.
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