Spirit Of ’77: Ramones, Pistols Nominated For Hall Of Fame

Talking Heads, Gram Parsons, Tom Petty also up for annual induction.

With punk rock progenitors the Sex Pistols and the Ramones sharing the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination ballot with more populist acts such as Jackson Browne and Tom Petty, this year’s end-of-ceremony jam session could be an anarchic sight to behold.

The committee might not be brave enough to elect both punk acts; and though seminal, the Pistols, who recorded only one album proper in their short career, might be too anti-establishment for the typically conservative Rock Hall. By contrast, the Ramones recorded tirelessly for two decades — exerting considerable influence on everyone from U2 to Green Day — and have the sympathy of the industry following the death of singer Joey Ramone, who succumbed to lymphoma on April 15 (see “Punk Pioneer Joey Ramone Dead At 49″ ).

Last week, around 1,000 members of the nominating committee received the 2002 Hall of Fame ballot, which also includes first-time nominees Talking Heads, funk-soul icon Isaac Hayes, alt-country maverick Gram Parsons, ’60s teen-pop singer Gene Pitney, R&B girl group the Chantels and doo-wop acts the Dells and the “5” Royales.

The 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot will also include repeat nominees AC/DC, Patti Smith, Brenda Lee, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Sabbath, the latter of whom may decline their nomination, as they have in years past (see “Ozzy Tells Rock Hall To Forget About Black Sabbath” ).

Artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria includes “the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll,” according to the organization.

This year’s selection process began last spring when a group of around 60 industry professionals made up of record executives, lawyers, managers, journalists and musicians convened to brainstorm potential nominees, said the Hall of Fame publicist. A laundry list of names was pared down to the 16 nominees.

Between five and eight final inductees are typically chosen by the committee, which is made up of a pool of 1,000 voters from throughout the music industry.

Inductees for the class of 2001 were Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Queen, Michael Jackson (solo), Paul Simon (solo), Solomon Burke, Ritchie Valens, the Flamingos, James Burton and Johnnie Johnson (see “Aerosmith Thrilled, Steely Dan Unimpressed At Rock Hall Ceremony” ).

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio.