Memories of Rock Hall Nominees 2023

Should be nominees-Iron Maiden fans (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

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Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


Your vote is requested. That is your vote for the 2023 nominees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a facility in Cleveland founded to honor legendary musicians and underscore significant movements in contemporary music. Each year they induct a new “class” and celebrate with a grand, big time presentation ceremony and concert.

Nominee Iron Maiden (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The Fan Vote is one way the HOF lets the audience in on it. There’s a special page where you can vote and be part of the selection process for this year’s inductees: https://vote.rockhall.com/en/.

Or maybe we should say “fan votes” since rock and rollers can select five nominees daily until April 28. The idea seems to be to get your favorites into the Top Five.

Nominee Sheryl Crow (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Here are the nominees for 2023:

  • Willie Nelson
  • Kate Bush
  • Missy Elliott
  • George Michael
  • Sheryl Crow
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joy Division/New Order
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Soundgarden
  • The Spinners
  • The White Stripes
  • Warren Zevon


Of the current nominees, I have a few stories — and it seems I saw a lot of them at Fiddler’s Green in the Denver area.

Nominee Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

I photographed A Tribe Called Quest at the 1994 Lollapalooza at Fiddler’s — fresh off the release of their ground-breaking album, “Midnight Marauders”. I saw Soundgarden at the 1992 Lollapalooza at Fiddler’s — playing behind a wire mesh fence — and photographed dynamic vocalist Chris Cornell with Audioslave there in 2003.

The list at Fiddler’s also includes The Spinners playing an oldies show. I also photographed Sheryl Crow, already a star, at Fiddler’s Green at a Lilith Fair event. But the first time I saw her there, she was a vocalist in Don Henley’s band.

Nominee Rage Against-the Machine (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Elsewhere: I did see Warren Zevon play once in Santa Barbara — and he had a hard time staying upright on his piano stool. I saw The White Stripes perform at the Fillmore in Denver, kicking up plenty of manic electricity for just two people. I didn’t get to see Joy Division, but I did see New Order headline at Red Rocks, their brittle, electronic sound blasting up the mountainside.

My encounter with Rage Against the Machine came at a political event in Denver opposite the Democratic National Convention in 2008. A reunited Rage blasted through their set, then joined anti-war protesters on a march downtown. That show was memorable not just for Rage but also for rousing speeches by radical figures like Jello Biafra and Ron Kovic.

Nominee A Tribe Called Quest (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

But back to Fiddler’s Green. I also photographed Iron Maiden there, and what most impressed me beyond Maiden’s roiling metal was the crowd. I’d seen fans whipped into a frenzy before, but Maiden’s fans may have been the loudest, proudest and most intense of them all.

I am leaving my favorite for last– that would be Willie Nelson. I’m not particularly a country music fan, but Nelson shows have been great. I saw him at the Greeley Stampede and Cheyenne Frontier Days, where I got to photograph him. But my favorite was an epic performance at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, playing a couple of hours straight, no breaks and nothing but classic band performances.

Nominee The White Stripes (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

My top five choices? Willie Nelson, Kate Bush (who I never saw perform, but wish I had), A Tribe Called Quest, Rage Against the Machine, and Iron Maiden (as much for their audience as the band).

But ask me again tomorrow — my votes may change.

Fan favorite Willie Nelson (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Tune in to “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.

Nominee Willie Nelson (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)


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