Race for Rock Hall Fan Vote Heats Up in Early Poll Results
The fan vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn't enough to ensure an act's induction all by itself, but it's arguably the one that means the most to the majority of potential honorees — and the early voting results for this year's class indicate an impressive groundswell of fan support for a number of artists on the ballot.
First among them by a comfortable margin are the members of Bon Jovi, who've accrued more than 163,500 votes as of this writing. Repeat nominees returning to the ballot after a six-year absence, the group is one among a relatively small minority that has released a new album recently — and they're also the act that'll be the focus of this year's reunion chatter, with former guitarist Richie Sambora pegged for a temporary return to the lineup if they make it in.
"Sure. Of course, why not?" Sambora responded when asked by Billboard whether he'd play with his ex-bandmates at the ceremony. "There’s not a lot of malice there, you know. I mean, there’s just — it was just time for me to leave at that point. So yeah, of course."
Looking up at Bon Jovi from second place are the Moody Blues, who've finally landed on the ballot after more than 25 years of eligibility. The Hall's apparent unwillingness to consider the Moodies has prompted years of fan outcry, but even if they haven't gone to the polls in the greatest numbers — the band has racked up a little less than 119,500 votes as of this writing — the band members insist they aren't worrying about the results.
"I never worked for any accolades at all. I just wanted to make my music and the other things that have come along the way have just been tremendous, and this is something else that has come along the way," bassist John Lodge told writer Gary Graff. "People say, 'Did you ever dream about these things?' and the answer is no, I never did. I didn't know what dream I was trying to chase. I wasn't trying to chase any dreams. All I wanted to do is play my bass and sing my songs. That has led me everywhere in my life."
Rounding out the top three are Dire Straits, who dissolved after 1991's On Every Street LP — and have remained one of the few major rock acts to stay broken up for the long term. The prospect of seeing the group perform again for the first time in roughly a quarter of a century would be tantalizing for fans, to say the least; unfortunately, they've been outnumbered so far, with a little more than 110,200 votes so far.
The good news for all of this year's Rock Hall hopefuls is that the vote has just begun — the polls will remain open through Dec. 5, and fans are encouraged to cast their ballots for their top five choices once per day.
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