The Rock & Roll Hall Fame induction ceremony takes place tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and among the 2017 honorees are Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra and Nile Rodgers. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Greg Harris recently shared his thoughts about the various inductees with ABC Radio.
Harris pointed out that Journey’s popularity with music fans was made clear last year when the band “ran away with” the Rock Hall’s online public vote. He added that among the group’s many attributes that making them worthy for induction are “their impact on songwriters,” “musicality” and “great vocals.”
Regarding Yes, who finally was chosen for induction after being eligible for more than 20 years, Harris said he thinks it took so long for the group to be recognized because of “a prog-rock logjam,” where the votes were being split between the biggest acts of the genre. Harris suggested that this supposed jam ended when Rush finally got inducted a few years ago.
As for ELO, Harris noted, “They’re one of those artists that once they made the ballot and you went back and listened to the full catalog, you thought, ‘Wow, this is clearly a huge impact.'”
Rodgers is one of the masterminds behind the influential disco-funk band Chic, but he’ll be inducted separately from the group. Explaining why Rodgers deserves to be celebrated as an individual artist, Harris stated, “if you look at the people that he’s worked with over the decades, it’s pretty remarkable — as a producer, as a guitar player.”
Also being inducted into the Rock Hall tonight will be folk singer-songwriter Joan Baez, grunge rockers Pearl Jam and late rap great Tupac Shakur. The ceremony will be edited down for an HBO special premiering April 29.
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