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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced it’s “Class of 2015” inductees today, and as befitting of the genre’s 60 year legacy, those being honored stretch from 1950’s R&B vocal group The “5” Royales to 1990’s pop punk revivalists Green Day. Other first time honorees include Texas blues guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan and his backing band Double Trouble, hard rockers Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, soulful ’70s singer-songwriter Bill Withers, and pioneering ’60 rockers The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Making return appearances will be “punk Godfather” Lou Reed, who was inducted in 1996 as a member of The Velvet Underground, and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who will receive the Award For Musical Excellence.
As usual, the announcement was greeted with excitement by fans of those being honored and disappointment from others who feel the selection process is arbitrary at best and systematically neglects certain genres, such as heavy metal and hip hop. Among this year’s eligible but overlooked artists, the absence of British indie band The Smiths, gangsta rappers N.W.A., ’70s hard rock innovators Deep Purple, and industrial alt-rockers Nine Inch Nails has been particularly noted. Last year’s induction ceremony was marred by the ongoing acrimony among the past and present members of Kiss. This year’s event will occur on April 18th, 2015 at Cleveland’s Public Hall.Hear former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehely talk about why the band didn’t perform at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year and why he thinks his ex-bandmates will regret it.