Todd Rundgren and Pat Benatar stand as two of the most important figures in rock and roll history. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s decision to ignore Rundgren and Benatar’s importance is a slap in the face to rock and roll fans and the artists themselves. Besides Pat Benatar and Todd Rundgren, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also ignored the MC5, Motorhead, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and one of our favorite bands of all time Thin Lizzy. All of those artists played significant roles in shaping the history of rock.
The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame has a horrible reputation for ignoring major rock and roll artists. This year’s ignorance of some of these legendary musicians that were nominated hits a new high point. We try not to ever get negative on this site, but in all honesty, it’s very apparent that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legion of voters apparently suffer from an incredible lack of knowledge of rock and roll history. If it has to do with anything else besides that, well then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should even be more ashamed of itself.
Lets take a look at these incredible snubs.. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame did not vote in Todd Rundgren. They ignored one of the greatest songwriters, musicians and producers to ever grace this planet. Todd Rundgren produced some of the greatest acts of all time. Here’s one for starters…Grand Funk’s We’re An American Band album. Remember how big that song was? Listen to the production on that record. It’s killer. It was one of the biggest songs of the 1970s. And if that don’t tip over your rock and roll boat, how about Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell record. Its only one of the biggest selling rock and roll albums of all time. Listen to the production on that record. Those guitars, those backing vocals, it’s a rock and roll fantasy masterpiece. Todd Rundgren was the only one who got what they were trying to do, and got the job done.
As a prouder, Todd Rundgren also worked with legendary rock bands, Cheap Trick (there in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Badfinger, XTC, The New York Dolls, Hall & Oates, Sparks, The Tubes, and so many more. Todd Rundgren was also not the typical producer who sat in the background. Rundgren was they type that finished writing songs for so many of these groups. He lent his incredible vocal and instrumental talents to these recordings. Just as a producer alone, he deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Then there’s Todd Rundgren the artist and bandleader. As a solo artist, he had an amazing run of big time pop hits in the 1970s. His classic song “Hello It’s Me,” stands as one of the gems of 1970s rock and roll pop music. Originally released with his band Nazz in 1969, his solo recording of the song in 1972 became a top 10 hit. Than there’s also the great singles, “I Saw The Light, Can We Still Be Friends, A Dream Goes On Forever,” and his big time 80’s classic “Bang the Drum All Day.” Throughout his career Todd Rundgren has released over 20 solo albums from 1970 to 2017. Of course, we can’t forget to mention his great rock band Utopia on top of all of that. Utopia was a progressive rock and roll band that crossed many genres. The band released nine great albums between 1974 and 1985. All of that and yet Todd Rundgren was not voted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame? Hello, hello, hello! I have to stop because my blood pressure is rising faster than a Keith Moon drum solo.
Pat Benatar’s denial into the Hall is another insane decision. How does anyone who has just a slight knowledge of rock and roll history not vote Pat Benatar into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Over the years we have constantly heard the argument for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that they induct certain artist into the Hall not because of their body of work but because of the impact they had on rock from being a trailblazer. The Zombies were voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of this. The band had only released two albums of studio material in their entire career. Yet, the impact they had on rock was stated as the reason they were voted in. How could the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not recognize the impact Pat Benatar had on female rock and roll voices? Not only did she have an enormous impact on leading the way for female rock and rollers, she delivered a handful of classic albums in the 1980s that were filled with some of the decade’s biggest rock and roll hits.
Talk about band that had on impact on Rock and Roll. Motorhead was a band that were way ahead of their time. They were incredibly inspirational to millions of hard rock metal bands. Soundgarden also played a significant role in the grunge movement by demonstrating the ability to record dark intense rock and roll played with a Led Zeppelinish swagger not heard from the other Seattle bands at the time. They were indeed the closest thing that rock ever got to having a new Led Zeppelin type band for the 1990’s and beyond. They filled a gap that had been missing for a long time.
Thin Lizzy was probably the biggest rock band besides U2 to come out of Ireland. I saw them in the 1970s and they were one of the most exciting rock bands to ever grace the concert stage. Their albums were brilliant rock and roll records filled with deep lyrical ideas, great rock and roll riffs and melody. They were legendary. Judas Priest also had a major impact on the the growth of metal out of the 1970s that dominated the 1980s.
Listen to Chaka Khan’s vocals on “Once You Get Started, Tell Me Something Good,” or any of the other songs she collaborated on with Rufus Thomas. Those are two legendary artists
An then there’s the Dave Matthews Band. Was there any other band bigger than the Dave Matthews band in the mid to late 1990s. Has there been any other band since the 1990s that developed a massive Grateful Dead type following like Dave Matthews has? I think this years voters may have crossed the words impact, popularity and fans off their rubric.
The list of classic rock bands that have still not made the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is ridiculous. That’s actually fodder for another story. This article is simply about the travesty that this year’s voting has caused among true rock and roll fans. We cant speak for the artists. We have no idea how they may feel about not being voted in. I have a feeling Todd probably doesn’t give a hoot about it. However, why its matters so much is because its insulting to the true classic rock fans who have supported and loved these artist their entire lives. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t seem to understand how the fans feel about the ignorance of so many great deserving classic rock artists like the ones snubbed this year. Now if we could only organize a few million rock and roll fans to stand outsides the ceremony and chant the words…Blah Blah Blah Blah!
Pat Benatar Photo: Heidy Escobar from VALPARAISO; LAGUNA VERDE, CHILE [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Todd Rundgren Photo: Carl Lender [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Dave Matthews Photo: Moses [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]