Imagine this: You have a career in Rock & Roll spanning over three decades. You’ve sold 12 million albums, give or take (official website). You’ve sold out arenas, and your concerts are considered epic masterpieces (Rolling Stone). Your backup band, known for their musical versatility, are some of the best musicians in the world (BBC). You’ve won three Grammys, and had multiple Grammy nominations (Grammy.com). But as far as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is concerned, you’re a non-entity.
That’s right: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, despite his incomparable musical résumé, is not a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (hereafter referred to as “The Hall”). And this is a travesty that needs to be remedied.
Related: Despite His Consistent, Crazy Parodies, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Still Relevant As The Good Ol’ Days (Inquisitr)
According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s own website, an artist must have a career spanning at least 25 years prior to induction. Also:
We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.
So let’s look at those criteria.
1. A career spanning at least 25 years: Check. According to Rolling Stone, Weird Al’s first single to gain national attention was “My Bologna,” a parody of The Knack’s “My Sharona,” that premiered on the Dr. Demento Show in 1979. That’s actually 35 years, but who’s counting?
So why isn’t Weird Al in the Hall of Fame? That’s difficult to say, but the most obvious explanation is that The Hall simply doesn’t want to take a parody act seriously. Either that, or The Hall doesn’t think Weird Al meets its lofty musical standards – standards that have, apparently, been met by the likes of ABBA, ZZ Top, and The Bee Gees.
For his part, Weird Al has mostly taken the issue in stride, choosing instead to take pride in the fact that fans are creating petitions to shame The Hall into inducting him. Last year he told Chicago Now:
Well, you know, certainly, I’d be highly flattered. But just the fact that the fans care so much and they put so much time and effort into trying to make that happen – that to me already is a huge reward. Of course, yes, I’d be very honored… but I’m not holding my breath. Just to know that I have those kind of fans out there means the world to me.
Do you think Weird Al belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Or are they right in leaving him out? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
Image source: The Atlantic