I dunno...what do you do if you have to give a dinner party every year, but you don't really want anyone on the available guest list to come to your house? I suppose there's always booking a back room at the Olive Garden and feigning an early-exit headache, but that's not my point here. Once again, it's the annual Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame nominees time. Once again, the list of potential inductees reminds me that when you have to force-feed the concept of artistic worthiness, you dilute your idea into a watery, overpriced drink that gives your guests a headache while making everyone feel vaguely ripped off.

(RNR HOF image)

No, this is not the worst list I've seen over the years, and there's a couple of very deserving acts there. But overall this sure is not the A-list, and it bugs me to have friggin' ego-bloated screech monkey AXL ROSE possibly standing next to inductees like Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, and John Lennon. Give me a damn BREAK. Bleah. So, here's how I break this down, after a few days to think about it...

Open The Door 'n Let 'Em Innnnnn: Beastie Boys and WAR. Unquestionably innovative, creative, and able to sustain high-quality musical product through the years. There is a joyfulness and energy to both bands that carry the spirit of rock n' roll so well.

Oh Well, OK: The late Laura Nyro probably should have been in awhile ago on songwriting skills, The Small Faces/Faces for some underappreciated Mod-ness and training ground for some Big Boys of Rock, and Donovan for putting a Scottish brogue on Bob Dylan and then pop-tripping out. Groovy.

Wait, Just A Minute Mr. Postman: The Cure, Erik B. and Rakim, Heart, Rufus with Chaka Khan, and The Spinners. All of them arguably quite influential and reasonably unique. My heart isn't in it to quite bump them up to "Oh Well, OK" yet. Ya know?

Under Pressure: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Freddie King, Red Hot Chili Peppers all have something in common -- none of them shine particularly well at what they do. These are craftspeople. Flea's a good player, though.

NoNo NoNo No No NoNoNoNo, No No NO NO, No No NO NO, No NoNo NoNoNoNO: Guns 'n Roses and Donna Summer?? Let these folks in, and you have to let in Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, Winger, Loverboy, and The Captain and Tennille. Stop the Madness.

Parties should be special, sparking, memorable things, a celebration of the best we are and the best we have, not networking or industry payback slogs/defaults that will just end up as a miserably awkward onstage jam, and/or some jerk breaking your toilet and spilling wine on your carpet.

That's what I think.