In March, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will see the induction of Patti Smith, R.E.M., Van Halen, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, along with the Ronettes. These blessed few will be inducted in an extravagant ceremony full of hirsute paunches, stale pot smoke and enough Bengay to choke a donkey. Expect an abundance of popping and locking with episodes of howling and corrosive political spoken word. Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth are supposed to have a bare-knuckle boxing match as the finale. My money is on Diamond Dave.
One of the qualifications for nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is that your debut album must be at least 25 years old. Next year, Sonic Youth, Madonna and the Beastie Boys will all become eligible. When the Beasties released Licensed to Ill, no one among us believed that one day these guys could share the throne in Cleveland with the likes of John, Paul, George and the other guy. Ain't it amazing what two little decades can do?
So far the Hall is inhabited by all your standard meat-and-potatoes artists like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The punk rock infiltration has already begun, with the Ramones, the Clash and the Sex Pistols coming in sticky with gob and smelling of Carbona a few years back. Hip-hop will almost certainly begin its inevitable march inside the hallowed museum, now that Grandmaster Flash has made the leap. Who can deny Public Enemy, or De La Soul?
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
So who will be next? We dusted off the Houston Press crystal ball and got to gazing.
Possible future inductees:
2009 -- The Smiths, Metallica and Slayer (I mean "Slayah!!")
Can you imagine the dreadful mandatory award ceremony jam session with this group of incongruent artists? Metallica teaming up with Morrissey for an aching and pleading dirge through "This Charming Leper Messiah."
2010 -- Depeche Mode, The Cure, Duran Duran
Makeup-smeared fortysomethings finally get their own prom tonight, with no rich, snobby high school quarterbacks there to set fire to their frilly lace tuxedos.
2012 -- The Pixies, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden
In which every salt-and-pepper-goateed Gen X-er worth his Starbucks stock will be selling his children for a bootleg ticket. Expect a lot of Bluetooth, flannel and even more of Frank Black. Literally.
2014 -- Nirvana, Green Day, Nine Inch Nails
Each musical anchor of every late 20th-century subculture will be honored this year. Bangers, punks and goths of yore will all grudgingly share the same auditorium, but not the same table, sort of like the high school cafeteria.
2020 -- Sleater-Kinney, Jay-Z, Alanis Morissette, Foo Fighters and all your favorite pissed-off grrls throw down with Dave Grohl, the coolest man in rock. Beyonc gets to stay at home with the kids.
2022 -- Creed, Papa Roach, Nickelback
Due to Senator Scott Stapp's no-show status, the Honorable Chief Justice Fred Durst will be accepting on his behalf.
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2027 -- Hilary Duff, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson
You may be laughing now, but by 2027 President Timberlake will finally get us out of Iraq, Ms. Duff will have four Oscars on her mantle and Jessica Simpson-Doherty-Federline-Bush will have cured cancer (after someone shows her how to spell it).
2030 -- Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco
There's a delay in the start of the televised ceremony while chubby mascara-smudged man-children sob quietly as they come to terms with the grim reality that their girl pants don't fit anymore.