LINK WRAY

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's most glaring omission

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LINK & ROCK HALL 2018 - THE VIEW FROM HERE

With just a little over three weeks until voting closes for the 2018 Rock Hall nominees, I thought I’d take a moment to give you the view from here, and address some points that have been voiced on Twitter, the Link Wray Fan Group on Facebook, and emails we’ve received at LinkWray.com.

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

“Link’s too good for that place.” “It’s too corporate…” “It should be called the Pop Music Hall of Fame.” Hey, I get it. Link was eligible for induction at the Rock Hall’s inception, 33 years ago. With each passing year, his omission is more glaring. Love it or hate it, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an honor. Link’s legacy deserves this, and it means the world to his family and fans.

THE FAN BALLOT

The “fan ballot” is comprised of the Top 5 vote-getters in the fan poll. At the time of this posting, Bon Jovi leads with over 660,000 votes, and a total of 2.4 million votes going to the Top Five.

The fan ballot is ONE Rock Hall ballot to be counted with the other 900 ballot holders, who are previous Rock Hall inductees and industry people. So, if one were to lobby and flip two of those ballot holders, the fan ballot is effectively null and void.

Today, Link’s first generation fans are pushing 80 years of age. Most are not going to be online. On the flip side, Bon Jovi’s first generation fans have smart phones and can easily vote daily.

Don’t put a lot of weight in the fan ballot.

THE INDUCTION PROCESS

The only “cut in stone” requirement for induction is that the artist must wait 25 years after their first release to become eligible for nomination. After that, it’s all subjective.

Let’s take a look at the categories for which Link qualifies.

PERFORMER

This category honors bands or solo artists which demonstrate musical excellence. Includes, but is not limited to, influence on other performers or genres; length and depth of career and catalog; stylistic innovations; or superior technique and skills. LINK FITS.

EARLY INFLUENCE

These artists pre-date the birth of rock and roll, but have had a profound impact on the music’s evolution and its iconic artists. LINK FITS. We blogged about it last year.

THE AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE

Honors performers, songwriters and producers who have changed the course of music history. These artists have dedicated their lives to creating influential, important music infused with originality, and have achieved a level of timeless distinction. LINK FITS.

I used to say I’d like to see Link inducted as a Performer, but Early Influence would be okay too. However, after reading the criteria for the Musical Excellence category, I feel that Link would be honored to know that a group of industry folks and artists like him thought he changed the course of history with his music.

Link’s legacy is on a high like never before. This year, his music has been placed in national commercials. LPs, which were out of print for decades, enjoyed sold-out reissues. There’s a biography due out in a few months. And to cap it off, there’s the film “Rumble.” It played at sold-out screenings all over the world, won Sundance and a dozen other awards and is under consideration for an Oscar nomination next month. Not bad for a rocker who’s been gone a dozen years. There are a few more surprises in the works, and it is going to be a banner year for Link Wray.

But again, let’s not minimize the honor that being in the Rock Hall will bring Link and his family and his legacy. His is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s most glaring omission. But the Rock Hall can change that. Now, more than any time in the past two decades, this is Link’s year. - Greg