Why Smashing Pumpkins Might Have Been Snubbed From Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


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.

  • Chris Hobbs

    BillCo should stop pissing on his chips.

    Dude is systematically destroying his legacy.

  • Kooler Than Jesus

    Bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, AIC, RATM, NIN, STP, etc, will (should) be inducted sooner or later.

    • Anonymous501

      Pearl Jam got in because they had 3 insanely popular albums, 7 other albums, and have never stopped touring arena sized venues (or bigger) in the 25 years they’ve been playing. Bands like Soundgarden/SP/AIC were all big but not that big. At least the Pumpkins were playing NHL/NBA sized arena’s when I saw them in Jan ’97. A month before Soundgarden play an old small hockey arena with a less than 4000 seat capacity. Some

      I imagine that these other bands will get in, but they weren’t as insanely big/popular as the bands that got in on the 1st try. Even Nirvana didn’t have a longevic career but they were insanely huge (allthough I also saw them play that same small hockey arena 4 months before they ended). Sometimes I think they were even bigger after he died than before.

      • dakotablue

        It’s supposedly not a popularity contest.

    • dakotablue

      If Wenner is pouring the strings, AiC may not make it. The band has/had a huge feud with Rolling Stone years ago. Rumor is that’s why Layne wasn’t mentioned at the Grammys in that year’s “those we lost.”

  • drew a

    If a band isn’t in on their first year or two of eligibility, were/are they really worthy?

    It seems like bands that get in several years after they’ve able are only picked out of rhe hall’s lack of choices.

    • Azhar Iqbal

      They inducted Black Sabbath 9 years later, Sex Pistol some 4-5 years later than their 1st year of eligibility., does that mean hall ran out of choices?? Hall has always been bias to some artists. I mean music giants like Queen, AC/DC, Michael Jackson and even David Bowie had to wait… Pink Floyd got in at there 3rd nomination for Gods sake

    • dakotablue

      Because they can only induct a certain number of acts each year, some years are bulging with deserving people who will get passed up. Then they usually make it on a year that didn’t have that many great musicians who just became eligible. (But is that only lack of choices or too many good ones in one year?)

  • astrocreep7

    Smashing Pumpkins deserve to be inducted for sure! I can go on forever listing reasons why. Mellon Collie went “diamond.” What artist has ever gone diamond and not been inducted? They will get in.

  • flankton

    Also certain bands like the pumpkins are shoe ins. They are probably planning out the next five years of headlining acts already. If you have nine bands who are shoe ins, and you are running a business like the rock hall, you put three shoe ins on the ballot each year for the next three years. Maybe only two. They will get in the next five years guaranteed. If not, he is correct there may be a conspiracy. They did inspire more music, almost every rock song you hear today has pumpkins in it. Problem is they can’t play their instruments as well as billy could.

  • Music is art and it doesn’t need any validation or award from anyone to be considered hall of fame.