Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh had some stern words for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The 70-year-old rocker, who spoke about the organization with TMZ Thursday, held his nose in disgust when asked about its methods for selecting artists to be inducted.
“There’s a lot of politics in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” explained Walsh. “The corporate sponsors get to pick [the nominees], and then the people get to vote. There’s a lot of people, I don’t know why they’re in there and there’s a lot of people, I don’t know why they’re not.”
While Walsh declined to name a specific artist who was deserving of a nomination, he did point out one childhood hero had yet to be acknowledged.
“There was a guy that didn’t make it last year called Link Wray,” he shared. “He had a song called ‘Rumble’ in the ‘50s, and all us guitar players wanted to be Link Wray. And he didn’t get in because nobody knows about him.”
Back in December, Ultimate Classic Rock reported Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach campaigned for Wray to be inducted with last year’s Hall of Fame class.
“He was the first to ever have aggression in guitar music,” said Auerbach, 39. “Nobody had ever been menacing before, they were all frilly and melodic and he was just menacing… it was a whole new thing. There would be none of us without Link Wray. When any great form of art starts, there has to be some visionaries, and he and his family were visionaries.”
Rolling Stone magazine reported Wray, who is often credited as the father of the power chord, died in 2005 at age 76 of natural causes.
Walsh hasn’t been the only one to criticize the Hall of Fame. In February, Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott told Fox News the band didn’t need to become a member to maintain its success.
“My opinion on the whole thing about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will soften somewhat when it becomes a fan-driven choice, as opposed to a committee who decides whether you’re cool enough to be a part of their cliquey club,” he explained. “It’s not going to make our careers any bigger or any better to be in there.
“It may be an honor, but it’s only an honor if it’s fan-driven. To be chosen by someone who I don’t even know who they are just to become a member of a club like that? It doesn’t really have any meaning to me. So until they change the rules or make it more fan-based, it’s not going to make or break anything we do. That’s how I feel about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Too many great bands have not been put in or it took 10,12 nominations just to be accepted.”
Stevie Nicks, who’s already in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac, has been nominated for inclusion as a solo artist next year, along with other first-time nominees Def Leppard, Todd Rundgren, Devo John Prine and Roxy Music.
Nine other artists are returning to the ballot for another try, including Janet Jackson, Radiohead and The Cure.
Generally about five to seven nominees each year are voted into the Hall, located in Cleveland, Ohio. Past inductees and industry experts vote on who gets in, and fans have a ballot, too. Winners are announced in December, with the 34th annual ceremony scheduled for March 20, 2019 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
HBO will broadcast the induction at a later date and SiriusXM will have a live simulcast.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.