Hive Five: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Diss Quotes

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's opening ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, September 1995. Photo: Kimberly Barth/AFP/Getty Images

The nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 were announced yesterday, with the Cure, Guns N’ Roses, Joan Jett and Eric B & Rakim leading the charge. But such a prestigious honor isn’t always welcomed by those who’ve been inducted, and not surprisingly, those that they’ve excluded through the years have been critical of the voter’s negligence. While we agree that the whole spirit of an institution that celebrates rock is a bit dubious, it still brings out the best and worst quotes from seasoned veterans. Here’s our favorite.

1. Ted Nugent Decries ABBA

It should probably come as no surprise that the Motor City Madman was all too happy to go on a “the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is bullshit” rant on-camera, even if it was just for a YouTube video series. “How dare any human being ever include in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddly and James Brown and the Stones,” the Nuge intones, “How dare they include Grandmaster Flash and ABBA?”

2. Johnny Rotten is Not a Monkey

The Sex Pistols were inducted in absentia in the Hall’s 2006 ceremony, after Johnny Rotten penned a letter explaining that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was “a piss stain” and declaring “were not your monkey” [sic]. Hall executive director Susan Evans said in reply, “They are being the outrageous punksters that they are, and that’s rock and roll.” Co-opted again, Sex Pistols!

3. Chrissie Hynde Says Rock Isn’t a Sport

The Pretenders frontwoman accepted the nomination and attended the band’s induction in 2006, but a few years later, she changed her tune in an interview with the New York Post: “I didn’t feel too great about it,” she said, “I don’t like the way the music industry turns the music world into sports, as if it’s competitive. I mean, if someone’s in, then who’s not in?” That’s thoughtful of Hynde and everything, but can you really imagine that a rocker would be so crass as to get bent out of shape about not being included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

4. Gene Simmons Decries Yiddish folk bands

Of course there’s someone that crass. The Hall’s voters have denied Kiss entry into its ranks in each of the twelve years that the band has been eligible. “There are disco bands, rap bands, Yiddish folk song bands … but not Kiss,” he complained at a Billboard Touring Conference in 2008. He then presumably proceeded to explain the true meaning of rock and roll while shilling Kiss Condoms and the Kiss Kasket.

5. Daryl Hall Doesn’t Subscribe to Playboy

Coming from a guy whose hair is still gloriously feathered, decrying the Hall of Fame because of a lack of interest in nostalgia sounds a little forced. But Hall recently insisted to Hive that “the difference between me and other people in my generation running out of steam and relying on the past” is that he doesn’t do it, so he doesn’t “really give a shit” about the Hall, which he says is, like Playboy magazine, past its sell-by date. Still no word from Oates.

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