I’ll Judge This Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Lame

Yeah, everyone likes The Beatles. Everyone likes Led Zeppelin. But my obsession is much more serious than that. When I was little, and my friends were watching Disney Channel, I’d be flipping to VH1 — ogling “Pop Up Video” and learning about drug over-doses on “Behind the Music.”So, obviously, I was pretty excited to hear the announcement of the latest nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this week.

Like the years before it, this year’s crop includes an odd assortment of radio staples and more obscure pioneers: Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Cure, Heart, Eric B. and Rakim, the Small Faces/Faces, Donna Summer, Rufus with Chaka Khan, War, Laura Nyro, Donovan, Freddy King and, finally, the Spinners. Here’s my personal take on which five artists deserve to actually be inducted on April 14, 2012.

Beastie Boys: This one’s a no-brainer. The Beasties have been a major force in hip hop since their 1986 debut Licensed To Ill — the first rap album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. And, unlike most of the other nominees, they are still going strong. Last spring’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is, thus far, one of my favorite releases of the year — an album chock-full of freewheeling rhymes just as goofy and ambitious as the ones the Beasties spit when they were young.

The Cure: They’ve inspired some very unfortunate goth fashion, but the Cure’s contribution to pop music is indelible. From upbeat romps like “Close To Me” to rom-com mainstays like “Friday I’m In Love” to moody landmark albums like Pornography and Disintegration — which ultimately inspired countless shoegazers (for better or for worse) — the immor-tally morose rockers have never wavered.

Guns N’ Roses: I actually really despise Guns N’ Roses — their brand of slimy cock rock has always rubbed me the wrong way and Axel Rose is the biggest douchebag in rock music — but the influence of their 1987 instant-classic Appetite For Destruction can’t be denied. In a decade that had mainstream rock ‘n’ roll mostly defined by embarrassing glam metal and Bret Michaels’ hair, GnR look like goddamn saviors.

The Small Faces/Faces: It’s peculiar that these two very different bands are lumped together; Though members of the mod-pop outfit The Small Faces would eventually join Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood and rename themselves Faces, the two bands sound noth-ing alike. Either way, The Small Faces’ Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and Faces’ wild rock ‘n’ roll legacy (immortalized in the image of a boozed-out Stewart), make the set perfect for the Hall of Fame.

Donna Summer: Yes, this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes, Donna Summer is disco. Yes, disco and rock are immortal enemies. But, let’s be real, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is really just the Pop Music Hall of Fame, and Donna Summer easily defined an entire generation of dance music. She deserves recognition for that, whether her genre is dead or not.