What Makes a Rocker Hall-of-Fame Worthy? In a special broadcast from Cleveland, guests, including Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith, discuss what qualifies one performer as a Hall of Famer, and excludes another.
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What Makes a Rocker Hall-of-Fame Worthy?

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What Makes a Rocker Hall-of-Fame Worthy?

What Makes a Rocker Hall-of-Fame Worthy?

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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, broadcasting today from the studios of member station WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, which is of course home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Earlier this week, a new class of rockers was inducted in a ceremony in New York; the band R.E.M., a no-brainer to many fans, and some more controversial acts as well - Van Halen, a commercial success but never the critics' favorite; the great '60s girl group The Ronettes, who some dismiss as mere puppets of super producer Phil Spector; punk rocker Patti Smith, immensely influential but some argue she did not sell a billion records; and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, which is rap music, protesters say, not rock and roll. All of which raises questions about definitions. What is Rock and roll? What qualifies one performer as a hall of famer and excludes another? And is all of this just nitpicking?

Later in the program, Murray Horwitz joins us to discuss the greatest rock and roll movies. If you have a nominee for best rock and roll movie of all time, send it to us by e-mail with a brief explanation. The address is talk@npr.org.

But first, will the real rock and roll please stand up? What is rock and roll? What is it not? Our number as always: 800-989-8255, 800-989-TALK. E-mail us: npr.org/blogofthenation. Can't imagine any arguments over this point.

Our first guest is one of this year's honorees and helped shape the punk rock genre with albums like her 1975 debut "Horses" and her 1978 hit "Because the Night."

(Soundbite of song, "Because the Night")

Ms. PATTI SMITH (Musician): (Singing) Because the night belongs to lovers. Because the night belongs to lust. Because the night belongs to lovers. Because the night belongs to...

CONAN: First of all, congratulations, Patti Smith, and nice to have you today on TALK OF THE NATION.

Ms. SMITH: Thank you, thank you. I'm happy to be here.

CONAN: I know that this induction meant something important to you.

Ms. SMITH: Well, it's - you know, I have - well, I was very proud. I'm proud to be thought of or have some recognition along side of all of the people that I admire and been inspired by, people like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones and Bo Diddley. But it also gave me an opportunity to thank so many of the people that helped me and I felt somewhat represent more of the outsider. And I think that it's obvious I haven't sold a lot of records and -but I think that perhaps it was the Hall of Fame's method of showing that they're interested in people that have perhaps positive influence on rock and roll as well as commercial success.

CONAN: Mm-hmm, yeah, there's always been a tension between commercial success and artistry and which is more important. But as you look at it, you know, it shouldn't be easy to get into the Hall of Fame, should it?

Ms. SMITH: Well, I think that it's an honor, you know, and I think that one has to work hard to earn it, but one should have to work hard to receive any honor. And I've been a fan of rock and roll all of my life. I'm a little older than rock and roll, so I've seen the whole - the history of rock and roll evolve, and I've devoted myself to it as a fan and to it as a worker, so I guess I've put in a lot of hours.

CONAN: I suspect - I know you did. Are these arguments over definitions, does that mean anything to you?

Ms. SMITH: No, I think that - I mean rock and roll is our cultural voice. It's evolved, you know, in these - in the last half century. It was always a revolutionary cultural voice, whether it was about the beat or the energy or the political content, merging poetry with rock and roll, you know, as a place to exercise spiritual ideas. I mean it's given us a voice for the things that we care about, the things we want to know, for political unity as well as just having fun. And I think, you know, like any revolutionary art form, you don't want boundaries, you don't want labels. So I think that, you know, all of these concerns are, you know, peripheral.

CONAN: Craig Marks joins us now. He's an editor for Blender magazine. He was at this year's induction ceremony in New York. He also is with us from our bureau in New York, and it's nice to have you on the program as well.

Mr. CRAIG MARKS (Editor, Blender Magazine): Thanks for having me.

CONAN: And I know you also have a very inclusive definition of what rock and roll ought to be.

Mr. MARKS: Well, I think at this point, you know, pretty much everybody does. You know, rock and roll, you know, is said to have come from country and western music and from rhythm and blues music and sort of fused that together with some of the strains of pop music that existed in the '20s and '30s and '40s. And as Patti said - and, you know, obviously, Patti's right - the - some of the most important parts of rock and roll are a little indefinable. But you could say they're - it's about - always been about the beat and about rhythm, and it's also been about youth and about self-expression, obviously. And so for some who may argue that, for example, hip-hop is not rock and roll, you know, I think as an editor of a magazine and as a journalist I've always used rock and roll to include rock music, which is separate from rock and roll, and hip-hop music and R-and-B and pop music, and so I'm not sure these definitions really have much, you know, controversy, really, amongst the musicians and the writers at least.

Ms. SMITH: That's a good point. Musicians don't...

CONAN: Go ahead, Patti.

Ms. SMITH: No, I just think that, you know, rock and roll to me is almost like a canopy. It's like our great canopy and we share all of our different ideas. I mean I remember the one time I met Jimi Hendrix, right before he died. I was quite young, and he was telling me that what he wanted more than anything else was to merge musicians from every genre, from all over the world, and to sit with them in a field somewhere and play for months, until they created a universal language. For Jimi Hendrix that was the goal of rock and roll, for it to become a universal language.

CONAN: Let's see if we get some listeners in on the conversation, and we'll begin with Gary. Gary's with us from Mason City in Iowa. Gary, you need to turn your radio down.

Gary, turn your radio down. Last time, Gary, are you there, and turn your radio down. I guess Gary's too busy listening to the radio, so we'll have to move along to another caller. Let's see if we can go to Walt. Walt's with us from Princeton in New Jersey.

WALT (Caller): Hey, how's it going?

CONAN: Oh, pretty well. Glad to hear from you.

WALT: My thing is not what the definition of rock and roll is. What qualifies for somebody to be in a Hall of Fame? I think - what I don't like about the Hall of Fame, the older the group, the lower the standard. For example, I don't think just because Little Richard has three hits he should be in the Hall of Fame. And I don't know anybody I ever met that said Little Richard or, for example, Elton John has ever influenced them. If you have no hits and nobody's really influenced - you haven't influenced anybody, I don't think you should be in there. If it was baseball, that would be like a 100-hitter getting in.

CONAN: Craig Marks?

Mr. MARKS: Well, I'm pretty sure Little Richard's pretty influential. You know, and also it's...

WALT: I never met one musician out of hundreds that ever said it. Now...

Mr. MARKS: Well...

Ms. SMITH: Well, I've said it many times.

Mr. MARKS: Also in musical - you know, in the '50s, before rock and roll became an album-based form it was a singles-base form. And so someone like Little Richard maybe didn't put out classic albums the way that the Beatles or Patti or Nirvana did, but he certainly released, you know, almost a legendary string of unimpeachably exciting, you know, influential, brilliant singles.

So, you know - but one of the great things - one of the good things about the Hall of Fame, besides honoring people like Patti and giving people their due, is that it's fun to argue about. You know, that's what people like to - people like to argue about music the way they like to argue about baseball and other subjects. And so it's - you know, if you think that Little Richard or Elton John or Van Halen don't belong, well, that's part of why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exists, to provoke these controversies and get you talking about music that you may not have thought about for a little while.

CONAN: Hmm, thanks, Walt. And here's an e-mail, and Craig, I guess this goes to you. Please, James writes us, James asks, please inquire about who decides who gets on the ballot and how that's determined. What are the qualifications? Why some and not others? And could you be as precise as possible about the process - front to back? And I guess the only qualification that I'm aware of is your first recording had to have been release 25 years earlier.

Mr. MARKS: That's right. You know, I'm not privy to all the workings of it, but as far - and Patti may know - but as far as I know, I think there are 32 people on the nomination committee. And I'm pretty sure that mix is primarily people who are affiliated with the music industry, sort of long-time figures in the industry. Rolling Stone magazine has a lot to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One of its co-founders is Jann Wenner. And so there's a lot of Rolling Stone writers and editors who are on the panel. There's music journalists on the panel. There's a few musicians, but I'm pretty sure not very many. How it gets - and then they nominate somewhere around, I think, you know, 11 to 12 maybe artists who are eligible and who make a certain criteria, reach a certain criterion. And then after that, it's whittled down to a minimum of five, and some years more than five, who are those - who are eventually inducted into the class of 2007 or whichever year it is.

CONAN: We made a comparison, Patti Smith, earlier to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and some baseball players say the writers who elect the members of Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown - the writers drive them crazy because they make some very strange choices. I wonder from your point view has the committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made some strange choices in your view?

Ms. SMITH: Well, I pretty much stay out of that. You know, I have my own personal hall of fame. For myself - I've been nominated eight times - and I've questioned myself and my motivations and whether I was worthy or did enough important work. And now that I've been given this honor, I just felt that for the kind of artist that I represent, hopefully I've done a good job. And as far as other people, that's up to them.

You know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'm proud to be in it, I'm proud to be part of rock and roll history, but it's really - it's really about the work and about the people on the streets. It's our voice. It's just - the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is - it's a touchstone. It's a place where you can gather some history, and as I thought Craig said it very well, argue. It promotes dialogue, provokes dialogue. And I met a person on the street who was upset that I got in instead of Rush...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. SMITH: ...and I thought - I said, God bless you, you know. Stand up for the person you believe in.

CONAN: We're talking with Patti Smith and Crag Marks about rock and roll, and we're talking your calls. What is real rock? What isn't? 800-989-8255. I'm Neal Conan. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Cleveland, Ohio, broadcasting today from the studios of member station WCPN.

After the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, earlier this week -we're just a couple of miles from the museum - talking about controversies over some of this year's class. Is rap artist Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five really rock and roll? What qualifies and what doesn't, and does it really matter? Give us a call: 800-989-8255, 800-989-TALK. E-mail us: talk@npr.org. You can also check out our blog: npr.org/blogofthenation.

Our guests are Patti Smith, a freshly inducted new member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her latest album is titled "Twelve." Also with us, Craig Marks. He's editor at Blender magazine, and let's see if we can get another caller on the line. And this is Laura, Laura with us from Des Moines, Iowa.

LAURA (Caller): Oh, hi, Neal. How are you doing today?

CONAN: Very well, thank you.

LAURA: Great. Well, I wanted to say congratulations, Patti.

Ms. SMITH: Oh, thank you very much.

LAURA: Yeah, I really - I was born in 1970, and I don't care what they say, I think that it's probably about time for you to be inducted - so I was really happy to hear about that.

Ms. SMITH: Thank you.

LAURA: I did want to say something about, oh, some people who complain about Grandmaster Flash not being legitimately inducted into the Hall of Fame, and that's just bull, because he and his band were so influential. Blondie, for instance, in New York at that time. So I guess I kind of think that you don't necessarily have to be rock and roll, but if you influence it or if you have that sort of energy, you can be inducted into it.

CONAN: And Craig Marks, you pointed out that if rap groups are not going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they're going to start running out of people to induct after a little while.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. MARKS: Not even after a little while, I'd say. I'd say pretty quickly. You know, there's little argument that the last 20 years of music has - you know, hip-hop's been the most exciting thing about it, both critically and commercially. And so, you know, there's so many great hip-hop artists that will one day be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whether they, you know, care about it or not.

CONAN: Hmm. Thanks very much for the call, Laura.

LAURA: Thank you.

CONAN: And let's see if we can go now to Alex. Alex is with us from San Francisco.

ALEX (Caller): Hey, how's it going, guys?

CONAN: Good.

ALEX: Great, great show. Congratulations, Patti Smith. I just wanted to say that as a musician and a guy that's been touring in little small bands for a lot of years, like what - the achievement of you being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says that for kids that just are looking for that one record in the used record bin, that don't really care about, you know, where it goes, are just having a good time and playing music, it's - you know, it bridges that thing between that kid and like the guys that are making a lot of money playing music. (unintelligible)...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. SMITH: Thanks a lot. Thank you.

ALEX: ...another side of it. But just a real quick and then I'll get off the air. I wanted to repeat something that I heard somewhere, that - and it might have been Moby who said this, for which I'm not a really big fan - but he said that Public Enemy is black punk rock. And I thought about that for a minute, and I thought about what makes music challenging and interesting. And if you're, you know, if you have to take away that element because it doesn't have, you know, a certain amount of instruments and, you know, a certain beat structure or a certain tempo - then I think that's taking all of the soul out of rock and roll. I mean it's, you know, it's essentially a stolen music. So to not honor the things that inspire and originate what we would now consider on the radio as rock and roll is a big shame. So I'm glad that's in, and thanks a lot. Bye.

CONAN: Thanks very much. And I guess he's following up on your point, Craig, that rock and roll did not freeze at some point in 1977.

Mr. MARKS: Well, not only that, but I was just thinking, actually - you know, one of the reasons maybe why Patti's inclusion is somewhat controversial is that, you know, when Patti first started, those were - that was about when rock and roll started to splinter off into subcultures. It - you know, from 19 -from Elvis' time until punk rock's time, you know, rock and roll was sort of this great monolith, and it had different parts to it, but it was still -everyone liked everyone in rock and roll kind of. It was all sort of free flowing.

And then, you know, it got so big that it was inevitable that it started to splinter off, and so punk rock became sort of its most rebellious subculture that ever splintered off of rock and roll. And then hip-hop later became another example of that. And at that point, not everybody liked all the different kinds of rock and roll. You know, and punk rock was in some ways, not just, but a reaction to some of the rock and roll that preceded it that it found bloated and distasteful and too commercial and things like that.

So I think what you'll start to see now, as groups begin to get nominated, is that there will never be the same kind of consensus that there - or rarely will there will be the kind of consensus that there was when, you know, when Little Richard got in or when Elvis Presley got in or when Jimi Hendrix got in. Those - that audience doesn't exist anymore, the one audience - the same way that in television not everyone watches the major networks anymore. Cable came along, and everybody has their own stations and shows that broadcast almost directly to them.

CONAN: Hmm, by the way, our producer here in Cleveland, Susan Lund(ph), who came out with us from Washington, was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night and saw one of Patti Smith's former band mates, Ivan Kral, visiting there. And he saw a certain Atlanta Braves jacket in your display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and said, hey, wait a minute. That's my jacket. So it was Patti who took it.

Ms. SMITH: No, that jacket was donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a member of the Talking Heads.

CONAN: Aha, so he's incorrect about that.

Ms. SMITH: Yes...

CONAN: All right, we stand corrected.

Ms. SMITH: ...and I have donated other jackets, and that's - I did wear that. It was a - it was Ivan's. I wore it a few times, but somehow I believe he gave it to one of the members of the Talking Heads, who donated it, and so in any event.

CONAN: Have you - will you be coming out to Cleveland to see your display?

Ms. SMITH: Yes, yes.


Ms. SMITH: I will come when I'm - I have to tour Europe, and when I come back, I'll of course visit. I'll be proud to see it.

CONAN: Let's bring another voice into the conversation. Warren Zanes is a public programming producer and education advisor for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a museum here in Cleveland, a former rock and roller himself, now turned academic. Warren Zanes also with us from our bureau in New York. Nice to have you on the program today.

Mr. WARREN ZANES (Public Programming Producer and Education Advisor, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum): Thank you for having me.

CONAN: And you probably know more about the qualifications for induction or a nomination than any of our guests. Did we get it right earlier?

Mr. ZANES: Yeah, it sounded pretty accurate to me. I'm not on the nominating committee myself. I think the one piece that was missing in the process is that once a ballot is formed, it then goes out to a voting group. And that voting group is over a thousand people strong and includes every artist who's been inducted.

CONAN: So if you're elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Patti Smith will get a vote next year, in other words.

Mr. ZANES: If you're on the ballot, she's going to vote for you or not.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Well, let me ask if the Del Fuegos are going to be up for nomination any time soon. Of course that was the band you were in.

Mr. ZANES: History is a cruel master...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ZANES: ...and not all bands are remembered equally. So I think there's a very, very slim chance, but that doesn't diminish my interest in the organization.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: As a performer, as an academic yourself, and I know you've written a book about Dusty Springfield's great album "Dusty in Memphis." I think it's coming out soon?

Mr. ZANES: It's already out.

CONAN: It's already out. I apologize for that, but a terrific record. Are these definitions important? Are these qualifications important, other than as a source of argument and, you know, again, stimulation for everybody?

Mr. ZANES: Well, let me begin by saying that I'm in agreement with what I've heard in this room thus far about the definition. I think the moment that we start to define rock and roll by a particular set of musical attributes, we're going down the wrong road. You know, my understanding of it is that at its heart is hybridity. Just like Elvis, you know, bringing R&B and blues traditions together with Anglo traditions, the life of rock and roll is dependent on bringing something from the outside in. And Patti talked about, you know, the outsider aspect of it.

I think if you look at the histories of most of the inductees, they started somewhere off in the margins, and their thing ultimately impacted on the mainstream. And the growth and the sustenance of rock and roll, that's how it keeps moving forward, is something from the margins comes in and changes everything.

CONAN: Yet there are also groups that are concocted, and you think of, well, The Archies, notoriously, but more popular, The Monkees. Should they be considered as well?

Mr. ZANES: Well, I think they should be considered, because I think they did affect some changes. Will they be considered? I'm guessing that they probably won't be, but, you know, that's of course not my decision. I think the important thing, and speaking from the museum perspective, the important thing that the museum is doing is that we are - we're creating a place where we can insure that the next generation can see rock and roll's radical possibilities.

Now for me as a teacher, I want the next generation of musicians to know what it can do, that the music can come from the middle of nowhere and explode things in the mainstream, and that story hasn't - that's not closed. That happens again and again. And I think that's what the Hall of Fame is about, is looking at those moments and the people who affected those changes.

And I'll give you a parallel example. When I teach art history, I'm teaching the history side of it. I'm not teaching figure study or something. So my students get the practical somewhere else.

And then I take them to a museum and I show them what happened in Dada, and I show them Hannah Hoch's photomontages. And then when they go back to the studio, they're trying something radical.

But they have to know the history of the radical possibilities. That's what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is all about. We've got to be there to ensure that the story gets told.

CONAN: Let's get another caller on the line. This is Joe, and Joe's with us from Portland, Oregon.

JOE (Caller): Hi, Neal. Hi, Patti. I like what you guys do.

CONAN: Hi. Thanks.

Ms. SMITH: Hi. Thank you. Oh.

CONAN: Yeah, both of us.

JOE: I'm sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Put myself in a category with Patti Smith. I'll live with that. Go ahead, Joe. I'm sorry.

JOE: Oh, I just think, you know, rock and roll, you know, it should also be scary, too, and fun. And like the one guy said earlier about Public Enemy, it's the same thing. Public Enemy really angered a lot of people, but that's the thrill of it. And also, you know, it should be wacky and fun, too, and have names like prunes in it - elevators. You know, stuff like that.

And, yeah. It's just - I celebrate my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame every Friday, Saturday night when I bring a six pack home and just probably anger my neighbors playing loud garage rock. But it's all interpretation. And it's all a form of the blues.

CONAN: Well, Joe, thanks very much. And turn it up to 11. OK?

(Soundbite of laughter)

JOE: Thank you.

CONAN: Thanks. Patti Smith, there's an element of danger. Certainly, rock and roll started that way.

Ms. SMITH: Well, I think that it's in the energy. That's what was great - you know, someone was mentioning Little Richard. You can't imagine what it was like to hear the voice of Little Richard and James Brown and Bo Diddley when I was a child. It was - their energy was an intensity that mainstream had not heard.

And I think that going along whether - I remember when the Rolling Stones first were - was on the "The Ed Sullivan Show." My father got extremely upset. They seemed almost to frighten him, and it was the first time I looked at my father with - you know, as if he didn't know everything, because to me, they were the future. They were us.

And I think it's a positive danger, because it's not - you know, our machine gun is the electric guitar, you know. Our weapons are Marshall amps. You know, we - it's almost a humanistic danger. It's danger with a voice. It's danger with a sense of mission, with sexual tension, with poetry.

So I think that, you know, for me the - if we keep the dangerous element within the work and not within the lifestyle, but within the work itself, we can all be magnified by the work and experience some of that thrill, some of that edge.

CONAN: We're talking with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith, with Craig Marks, who's editor for Blender magazine and Warren Zanes, education advisor for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum here in Cleveland, Ohio.

You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

And let's get another caller in. Jordon with us. Jordon calling from Bend, Oregon.

JORDON (Caller): Yes.

CONAN: Hey, Jordon.

JORDON: How are you doing today?

CONAN: Very well. Thanks.

JORDON: Well, first off, I just wanted to say what Patti just said was absolutely beautiful. That was a perfect description. And what I'd also like to add is that I think a crucial element of this discussion is missing, and that's the fact that rock and roll is a culture.

And it's, I think - well, like we've talked about is the evolution of the actual style of music is changed, but the culture has always stayed the same. It's a style of dress. It's a political view. It's a religious view. It's a societal conglomeration. It's so much more than music.

And I think that's what the Hall of Fame at many times is representing. It's not how many albums they've sold or, quote, unquote, "how talented" the band is, but how much of an effect did this person or group have on the other musicians in the world? And how did they fuel the culture of rock and roll? And I think that's a pretty important part of this. And...

CONAN: Yeah. Craig Marks, we're often reminded that hip-hop is more than a style of music but a culture, too. Do you agree? Well, I guess, Little Richard ought to be in just on the basis of the pompadour and the jackets. But, yeah. Go ahead.

Mr. MARKS: Well, sure, as far as hip-hop goes, yeah. I mean, obviously, it's a multibillion dollar industry that has - you know, and African-American culture has always been America's, you know, leading export, certainly, you know, when it comes to popular culture. It is our popular culture in so many respects. And so hip-hop is that now.

And as far as, you know, just to get back to Little Richard and Patti, too. I think the other thing that rock and roll does is it allows - especially young people - to express themselves and to change identities as they see fit, you know. You start up as a suburban kid and you become this, you know, poetic, romantic punk-rock hero. You know, you can lose yourself and switch your identities as you see fit. And that's one of the beautiful things about it.

CONAN: Thanks very much for the call, Jordan.

JORDAN: Thank you.

CONAN: Here's an e-mail we got from Rob in Montrose, Colorado.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a big tent insofar as accommodating those on its fringe. For example, Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass, was certainly not a rocker, but Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, other pioneers of rock grew up listening to his music and it influenced theirs. Ironically, the popularity of rock in the 50s and early 60s almost starved Monroe and his music out of existence.

I think, Craig Marks, you've also pointed out that Miles Davis - you don't necessarily think of him as a rocker, but he's a member, too.

Mr. MARKS: Sure. I mean, Warren might be able to answer this better. One weird thing about the Hall of Fame is that while there are some jazz musicians in there and R&B and blues musicians, it seems like country music is something whose figures may not enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at some point. You know, I think of like a George Jones or something, or a Merle Haggard...

CONAN: Mm-hmm.

Mr. MARKS: ...who have all the, you know, the cultural trappings of rock stars, certainly, and whose music has been beloved by rockers, and yet - maybe it's because they have their own hall of fame or maybe it's because there's always been a real - since the '50s and '60s, country music has been much divided from rock and roll music than traditionally rhythm and blues music has been. So I wonder how that's going to play out for the Hall.

CONAN: Have to wait and see. I'm afraid we're up against our time post, and I need to thank our guests: Patti Smith, who joined us from our bureau in New York.

Ms. SMITH: Thank you.

CONAN: Again, congratulations on induction. Her new record is called "Twelve." Warren Zanes, public programming producer, education advisor to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. And Craig Marks, editor for Blender magazine - all of them with us from our bureau in New York.

When we come back from a short break, we're going to be talking about the greatest rock and roll movies of all time. Send us your nominees: talk@npr.org.

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