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Fame: What's in a Name?

What are the requirements for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?

by Dr. Spin
November 29, 2004

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Dear Dr. Spin,

Who decides who gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Are there any rules or limits as to who gets in each year?
 
Dear Anonymous,
 
As far as I know, the only rule for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is that inductees must be in the recording industry at least 25 years ago. This doesn’t mean that they’ve been in the industry for 25 year, only that their first recording was 25 years ago (or their involvement with recording music began 25 years ago, like producer Clive Davis). This means that U2 will be eligible (and most likely inducted) for the 2005 class, as will other bands that made their first recordings in 1980.
 
Other than that, I don’t think there are any rules. You don’t even have to be a Rock artist to be inducted; Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole are both in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
 
I have no idea who decides on the nominees; though my guess is there is some sort of committee. Do former inductees vote on them? Do current artists vote too? Is Britney Spears allowed to vote? What about Avril Levine? As my colleague Dear Jon likes to say, “I don’t have time to look that up.”

 
Dear Spin,
 
As long as you’re talking about 80’s bands, do you remember a band called the Silencers? What happened to them?
 
Not So Silent
 
Dear Not So,
 
The Silencers were one of the many bands that followed in the wake U2 created. They were a Scottish quartet that created a bit of a stir with their debut album, A Letter from St. Paul in 1987. They had a few minor hits, “Painted Moon,” “I See Red,” and “Scottish Rain.” Their second album, A Blues for Buddha, failed to capture a larger audience, and they faded into obscurity. I believe they are still recording, and have released several albums, but they never caught on with mainstream listeners. Although they will be eligible for the 2012 class of  the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

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