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Mike Polk Jr. has some thoughts on keeping the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland

Don't let the debate over this year's nominees make us forget that the induction ceremonies deserve to be held in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2022 nominees last week, and as usual, there's something for all of our dads to be mad about!

The slate represents a wide cross-section of different genres, styles, and time periods. We've got a little bit of country, a decent dose of hip hop, a dash of new wave, some soft pop for the moms, and the traditional "formative-heavy-metal-band-that-should-have-gotten-in 20 years" ago representation.

ROCK HALL FAN BALLOT: How you can vote for this year's inductees

But I'm not in the mood to argue today about WHO deserves to be inducted into the Rock Hall this year; I'm more concerned about WHERE they will be inducted.

Now of course, if you had no familiarity with the history of the Hall, you would probably say to yourself, "Well they'll obviously have the ceremony in Cleveland, right?" You'd think so, wouldn't you, what with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame being here and all. But, sadly, that is not the case.

Since the Hall's inception, the ceremony has been rotating locations between New York, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. The majority of the events are held in NYC, which, if you're keeping track, is not where the Rock Hall is.

However, in 2016, the Hall announced that Cleveland would start alternating with New York to host the induction every other year beginning in 2018, removing LA from the equation. That would have been great, but the Rock Hall has since backed off that promise, and it sure as heck looks like the ceremony is headed back to Los Angeles this year.

That stinks for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the financial impact of not hosting more frequently. When the induction ceremony was held here in 2018, it raked in roughly 35 million dollars for the Northeast Ohio area, and that ain't bad.

But my primary gripe about this is based more on principle. It's about the lack of respect that this shows to the city that calls the Rock Hall home, and of course, this is nothing new to our town.

There are still people who feel as though the Rock Hall shouldn't really be here. They don’t think we deserve it. It was an epic struggle to get the Hall built here, and it took a lot of concessions at the start, including the pretty humiliating allowance that induction ceremony would not be at the actual Rock Hall consistently.

Most of the people making these decisions aren't from here, and neither are the artists who are being inducted. They didn’t want to be forced to hold their star-studded, red carpet events in our rusty little shanty town unless they all felt like throwing us a bone and slumming it every once in a while. 

Honestly, that agreement made sense when the Hall was founded. We were a long shot to score the honor and we had to make some compromises.

But that was a long time ago, and since then Cleveland has proven itself to be a more-than-capable steward of this temple to rock history and perfectly worthy of putting on a hell of a party when given the opportunity.

At this point, the Rock Hall induction ceremony should be held here, in Cleveland, every single year. It's really just that simple: This is where the Hall is, so this is where the ceremonies should be.

What if next year the NFL decided to hold the Hall Of Fame Game in Chicago, rather than Canton? How do you think that would go over around here?

What if they decided to hold the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony somewhere else this year because they decided that Cooperstown just doesn't have enough of a night life and dance club scene to entice the big names into showing up? 

Maybe Cleveland should declare that next year we want to host The Met Gala here in our town. What's that New York? You say that doesn't make any sense because that museum is in your city? I couldn't agree more.

Bottom line, it's time for Cleveland to show some self respect and insist on the induction ceremony being held here every year, including this one, so that I can watch Rage Against The Machine hypocritically get inducted into the Rock Hall by "The Machine." And look out, Cleveland, because if my boy Lionel Richie gets the nod and gets inducted here, you know how long we're gonna be partying: "All Night Long."

   

 

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