The 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is about four months away, but there’s already speculation two notable figures won’t be in attendance.
Future Rock Legends noted via their Twitter account that Todd Rundgren and Go-Go’s singer Belinda Carlisle appear to be skipping out on the ceremony after announcing tour dates that would be in direct conflict. For Rundgren, they note, “Todd Rundgren has announced a show in Cincinnati the night he is getting inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, effectively signaling he is opting out of the festivities in Cleveland on October 30th.”
Todd Rundgren has announced a show in Cincinnati the night he is getting inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, effectively signaling he is opting out of the festivities in Cleveland on October 30th. #RockHall2021 h/t @Xtitan92 https://t.co/Vf0TOxtnC5— Future Rock Legends (@futurerocklgnds) June 22, 2021
For Carlisle, Future Rock Legends said in two tweets, “In past years Belinda Carlisle had said she wouldn’t come to the ceremony if the Go-Go’s got inducted. Looks like she’s making good on that promise despite the rest of the band fully embracing the honor…Carlisle just announced her UK tour last month so this was not an accidental scheduling conflict. And the Go-Go’s (with Carlisle) just announced new tour dates for December today, so there doesn’t seem to be any issues with the band.”
Carlisle just announced her UK tour last month so this was not an accidental scheduling conflict. And the Go-Go’s (with Carlisle) just announced new tour dates for December today, so there doesn’t seem to be any issues with the band. https://t.co/YODcjRHKrq #RockHall2021— Future Rock Legends (@futurerocklgnds) June 22, 2021
Future Rock Legends would go on to add, “[Rock Hall Foundation Chair] John Sykes has been pretty clear he wants to include current artists in the Rock Hall induction ceremonies, so Todd Rundgren and Belinda Carlisle opting out provides them additional opportunities for those types of tribute performances.”
Of course, it should be noted that Rundgren and Carlisle opting out shouldn’t be a terrible surprise considering both have had less-than-stellar things to say about the Rock Hall in the past. Rundgren has taken issue with how the fan vote is utilized and with the induction of non-rock acts. He told Billboard of this year’s nominees, “I’m a big Dionne Warwick fan, but name me one Dionne Warwick rock n’ roll song. While I’m aware of Fela Kuti, I can’t name a single musician who’s ever cited him as a principal influence. Year by year it makes even less sense, so why would I be more excited about it or suddenly change my mind? Why don’t they just start inducting blues guys? Why do they have to go to Dionne Warwick or Mary J. Blige?”
As for Carlisle, she said in a July 2020 interview with Yahoo! Music that if The Go-Go’s got into the Rock Hall, “I don’t think I would show up now. I don’t go in for the corporate thing. I think it’s too little, too late, actually. I do think it’s personal. I know for a fact that there are quite a few people that don’t like us on the panel, whatever they are. That’s fine. You can’t deny what we’ve done. I’m not saying that in an arrogant way. I’m just stating facts.”
As previously reported, the Rock Hall is planning on an in-person induction ceremony with fans taking place on Saturday, October 30 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in Cleveland. Tickets are expected to go on sale in July. The 2021 Induction Ceremony will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max at a later date.