With all the congratulations building for Pearl Jam’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one begins to wonder if and when other alternative artists will be inducted or at least be placed on the ballot. Well only Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction jumped the first hurdle of the Hall’s selection process this year. A number of bands were left off, including mega alt. rock giants, The Smashing Pumpkins.
Are The Smashing Pumpkins good enough to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Did Billy Corgan’s comments in Rolling Stone back in March effect the process of gathering artists for this year’s ballot? Well, the answers would seem to be influenced by people’s individual outlooks of both the Pumpkins’ catalog and the Rock Hall.
Arguments can be made that the Pumpkins do belong, and that the Hall’s voting process does not lend itself to enough transparency so a biased snub is possible, while arguments can also be made that while the Pumpkins are good, the Hall truly just didn’t think they were good enough to make the ballot.
Here were Billy’s quotes from back in March to Rolling Stone:
“If it’s a meritocracy, I think my band belongs in there because we were one of the prime bands of our era and we continue to be a top band. Next year will be, technically, our 30th year. So the fact that I’ve been in this band, you know, essentially 25 of the last 30 years, I think that says something.”
“Whole genres of music get overlooked and people don’t get put in because somebody’s mad at somebody from 30 years ago,”
Above, Corgan seems to be implying or referencing a specific event or occurrence, but leaves it in the dark.
“I’m only speaking as a fan, but it’s hard to trust the institution as a meritocracy when you have people in there who weren’t very influential, didn’t sell a lot of records but because somebody somewhere was a fan, they’re in. And then you have other people who were hugely influential and they go, ‘Well, you know…'”
Corgan’s quote above may be a direct reference to Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner, the creator and president of the R&R Hall of Fame.
Corgan also answers whether or not it will matter years from now if the Pumpkins are still not in:
“What if I say I will come and then 17 years later, when I’m in a wheelchair, they finally bring me in? I don’t fucking know. I just saw Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick and I said, ‘It’s about fucking time they put you in. What the fuck?’ And Rick being Rick, he laughed. He said, ‘I don’t give a shit. I’m in now.’ I think at the end of the day you hope that it’s fair and you get in on your accomplishment and it’s not a political thing. But I don’t know what to think about any of that anymore.”
From these comments, it’s clear he is probably disappointed the Smashing Pumpkins were not inducted or on the ballot in the first place. Whether or not we agree or disagree with the Hall of Fame or its importance, as fans, it seems most obvious that the Hall means something to the artists themselves.