Boston, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Patti Smith Group, the Talking Heads, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers head the 2002 class of newly eligible artists for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sources close to the process revealed to allstar on Thursday (May 24).
An artist has to have first recorded 25 years ago (1977) in order to be newly eligible.
Others eligible for the first time are Will Ackerman, Blondie, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Peabo Bryson, Burning Spear, John Cougar, Dwight Twilley Band, Firefall, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Amy Grant, Greg Kihn Band, Sammy Hagar, Richard Hell, Nick Lowe, Luther, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Runaways, the Babys, the Brothers Johnson, the Modern Lovers, Deniece Williams, and Warren Zevon.
Patti Smith was actually nominated last year as a solo artist; this year both she and her group are eligible. This offers some hope for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band getting a group nomination in a few years; Springsteen was enshrined in 2000 as a solo artist. John Cougar did not officially (record industry-wise) become Mellencamp for a few years, and if elected he could be enshrined as Cougar – one of the quirks of the Hall of Fame. Luther is Luther Vandross; he recorded a few early albums as just Luther. Joan Jett’s first group was the Runaways. John Waite was a founding member of the Babys, and Jonathan Richman was the leader of the Modern Lovers.
As a guide to help voters fill out their 2002 nominating ballots, the Hall has also listed 64 artists who have been previously nominated or who have consistently received several votes but have never made the final ballot. They include AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, New York Dolls, and many others.