The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has stepped firmly into the post-Beatles era -- and the Class of '92, to be inducted next January, has the potential to be both glamorous and controversial.
Under the Hall's 25-year rule, artists who recorded in 1966 or earlier are eligible this year, so first-time nominees include David Bowie and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Eric Clapton is nominated twice: with Cream and with the Yardbirds, who have been on the ballot before.
With the number of "pioneer" era nominees declining, the ballot still reflects the Hall's tendency to reward critical rather than popular acclaim.
Thus Buffalo Springfield and the Velvet Underground have been nominated in their first year of eligibility. Though both had only modest success, the bands are considered highly influential and several members later also became famous.
On the other hand, the equally famous Mothers of Invention were not nominated. Nor were the Grateful Dead. Nor were the Monkees, Jefferson Airplane, the Young Rascals or the Doors.
The complete nominee list:
Bobby "Blue" Bland
Booker T and the MG's (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Al Jackson, Lewis Steinberg)
Buffalo Springfield (Steven Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Martin)
Cream (Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker)
Jimi Hendrix Experience (Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding)
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (Lymon, Jimmy Merchant, Sherman Garnes, Herman Santiago, Joe Negroni)
Sam and Dave
Velvet Underground (Lou Reed, John Cale, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Nico)
Yardbirds (Clapton, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page).
Five to seven inductees will be selected from this list, by a voting panel that includes several hundred writers, artists and industry people. Inductees will be announced in October.
By that time, the Hall also hopes to be further along the path to an actual building in Cleveland. Funding and site problems have delayed construction for several years, but officials there hope to have a firm groundbreaking date soon.
The Hall had its first induction dinner in 1986, and the first inductees were undisputed pioneers -- Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly -- followed by '60s stars like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
Not surprisingly, however, the Hall has also taken fire for some selections or, more often, non-selections.
It has been accused, for instance, of slighting women artists, since its first 50 inductees included only two solo women -- LaVern Baker and Aretha Franklin -- plus the Supremes. Among the missing: Ruth Brown and the Shirelles. Vocal groups, like the Teenagers, Moonglows and Flamingos, have also felt ignored.