This should make for an eclectic jam session: Mainstream rockers U2 and the Pretenders, ’70s soul sensations The O’Jays (”Love Train”), ’60s soul balladeer Percy Sledge (”When a Man Loves a Woman”), and blues guitarist Buddy Guy. They’re the class of 2005 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which means they’ll perform together at the induction dinner on March 14, an event that will likely be taped to air on VH1.
To be eligible, artists must have released their first record 25 years ago. U2 and the Pretenders made it in their first year of eligibility. More interesting may be the list of those who were nominated this year but didn’t make it, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Patti Smith, the Stooges, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (who would have been the first hip-hop act inducted into the Hall), and the Sex Pistols. Maybe the voters still haven’t forgiven Pistols frontman John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) for calling the Hall’s museum in Cleveland a place where ”old rockers go to die.”