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Rock Hall 2010: Kiss, ABBA on the ballot, but is there a noticeable omission?

September 23, 2009 | 12:23 pm


Will tongues be wagging at next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony? Specifically, the prodigious one that belongs to Gene Simmons of Kiss, one of a dozen acts that are on the final ballot from which five 2010 honorees will be chosen?

Along with Kiss on the ballot for the first time are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro, Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies and Genesis. Returning for another shot at induction this year are the Stooges (whose lead guitarist, Ron Asheton, died in January), Donna Summer, ABBA, Darlene Love and the Chantels.

Noticeably missing from the list is Sting, whose first solo album, "The Dream of the Blue Turtles," came out in 1985. He made it to the hall in 2003 with the induction of the Police, but would seem a strong candidate for recognition of his solo career.

Others among the missing this year are critically acclaimed figures whose records have not been huge commercial hits such as Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Gram Parsons and X. Newman, for instance, was first eligible for induction in 1993. In a 1995 interview I did with the esteemed singer, songwriter, composer and arranger, he quipped:  “I’m already bitter that I’m not in it. It’s a Hall of Shame.”

Musicians are eligible for Rock Hall consideration 25 years after their first recording was released. The inductees are expected to be announced in December, and the winners will be recognized at the 25th annual Rock Hall induction ceremony scheduled for March 15 in New York City.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Gene Simmons of Kiss. Credit: Associated Press