May 13, 2024 - Music

MC5's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction will be bittersweet

MC5 perform on stage.

Kicking out the jams. Photo: Leni Sinclair/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is finally inducting influential rock band MC5 — only none of the members will be there to see it.

Driving the news: Drummer Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson, the last surviving member of the Detroit band, died last week.

The intrigue: MC5 is to be honored with the Musical Excellence Award at the induction ceremony on Oct. 19 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

How it works: To be eligible, an artist had to release their first official recording at least 25 years prior to induction.

  • MC5 has been eligible for induction since 1992 and was nominated five times, most recently in 2022.
  • The Musical Excellence Award is determined solely by the nominating committee. It has been used recently to induct artists like LL Cool J and Judas Priest, who were nominated multiple times.

Flashback: MC5 isn't the first act to have multiple nominations during their lifetime only to earn induction posthumously.

  • Artists including Donna Summer, Lou Reed, Frank Zappa and Del Shannon suffered the same fate.

What they're saying: "There are bands who you know are going to eventually be inducted because of their huge influence," Dee Snider, lead singer of 1980s heavy metal band Twisted Sister, wrote on social media.

  • "How about not waiting until the entire band is dead?"

The other side: The Rock Hall did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: 5 takeaways from the Rock Hall's class of 2024

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