JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Something I don’t understand

I visited the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame several years ago, and enjoyed it. First, it’s in Cleveland, so even a Dairy Queen with a swiveling plastic cone would seem exciting. But the museum was, truly, unique; a one-of-a-kind honor ground for rock’s greatest performers.

So why, I ask, isn’t KISS in the Hall?

It makes no sense. John Mellencamp (blah) is in the Hall. Back Sabbath (eh) is in the Hall. Lynyrd Skynyrd is in the hall. Hell, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five are in the hall—and they have nothing to do with rock (legendary, of course, but not rockers).

I’ll admit—Kiss’ music could be a wee-bit spotty. But “Detroit Rock City” is an all-time excellent rock song, and “King of the Nighttime World” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night” aren’t far behind. Mostly, the members of Kiss were theatrical geniuses. They stole some from New York Dolls, but then took the makeup-firing-exploding guitar-floating drums to a whole new (and insane) level. They paved a very clear path for groups like Ratt, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, etc—and yet year after year they get snubbed by the elite judges (Rolling Stone Magazine’s Jann Wenner), who think they own the music business.

Here, since you asked, are my Top 5 people who belong in the hall (but aren’t in).

1. Kiss.

2. Hall & Oates

3. Run DMC (if they’re taking hip-hop, you need the kings)

4. Willie Nelson (If Cash is in, which he is, you need Nelson)

5. Menudo.

Here’s the complete list of inductees.

*** By the way, I’m kidding about Menudo. I’d rather suck the lice particles out of my daughter’s camp-weathered scalp than listen to a single note from the mouth of Ricky Martin.