Rock Hall once again snubs Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston

Bon Jovi (from left, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Jon Bon Jovi).


Bon Jovi (from left, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Jon Bon Jovi).

Chic and War have a chance to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But two of New Jersey’s leading musical icons, Bon Jovi and Whitney Houston, don’t.

Can anyone explain that logic to me?

The nominations for the hall’s class of 2015 were announced today, and while there are some unquestionably worthy candidates on the list — Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A. — it’s not a particularly strong list. Lou Reed and Sting — both already in the hall as members of the Velvet Underground and the Police, respectively — are on it. Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Smiths are certainly deserving. You could make a good case for Kraftwerk and the Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. But then the candidates get much weaker. The aforementioned Chic and War. The Marvelettes and the Spinners. Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

I don’t have anything against any of these acts; all of them have been responsible for some great music. But really, haven’t Bon Jovi and Whitney Houston accomplished more than most of them?

Sure, Bon Jovi’s lyrics can be clichéd, but the group has a few decades worth of indelible hits, and has proven itself, time and time again, as a dependably fiery concert act. (And should get consideration just for the fact that they are one of the few rock bands left that can still sell out stadiums all over the world.)

Houston also had a long string of hits, and has been looked up to as a primary vocal role model for generations of singers. Sure, she’s not exactly a rock ‘n’ roll act, but the hall has inducted jazz, hip-hop and country artists. Why not her?

There are plenty of unfairly overlooked non-New Jerseyans as well, including Yes, the Moody Blues, Willie Nelson, Brian Eno and Chicago.

For the third straight year, the public will help to determine who gets into the hall at next year’s ceremony, which takes place April 18 in Cleveland.

But if an artist is not on the list of nominees, there is nothing the public can do about it.


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