Of Course Ted Nugent Has a Dumb Opinion About Who Belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The controversial musician took issue with artists like Grandmaster Flash and Patti Smith being included

Ted Nugent performs at Tucker Hall on March 26, 2021 in Waco, Texas.
Ted Nugent performs at Tucker Hall on March 26, 2021 in Waco, Texas.
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Ted Nugent doesn’t stand much of a chance of making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame himself, but nevertheless, the musician/far-right political commentator/COVID conspiracy theorist sure has some thoughts about who deserves to be inducted.

In a recent interview, Nugent took issue with the Hall of Fame’s inclusion of certain pop and hip-hop artists. (Should we be at all surprised that the ones he’s mad about happen to be mostly women or BIPOC performers?)

 “What a middle finger to the ‘real’ heroes of rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues to put in those other people,” Nugent said. “Grandmaster Flash? Really? Why don’t we go down to Chuck Berry’s grave and piss on it?”

“Why isn’t a band like Triumph in there, but Grandmaster Flash is? That’s just dishonest!” he continued. “Why are Patti Smith, ABBA and Madonna in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, but not Styx? Are you kidding me?! You can only explain that is that the people who made those decisions are just plain rotten people! The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame should genuflect to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters [and] the Funk Brothers… How dare you put Grandmaster Flash, ABBA and Madonna in that?”

Of course, Nugent’s argument that bands like Triumph or Styx are somehow more deserving than a hip-hop pioneer like Grandmaster Flash is insane. And even if he weren’t coming from a bad place — which, given his history, it’s pretty safe to assume he is — and simply trying to argue that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be limited to “rock” artists, Patti Smith would still certainly fit the bill. (How could anyone seriously argue that a punk icon like Smith isn’t “rock”?)

As dumb as they are, Nugent’s comments do highlight a problem with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: it’s time to rebrand. The Hall has been (rightly) inducting artists of all genres, not just rock, for decades now, and the name no longer reflects the makeup of the institution. Why not simply call it the “Music Hall of Fame,” so idiots like Nugent no longer have an excuse to whine about pop and rap innovators being included?

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