Q Music News

Q Music News

Q Music News

Donald Fagen: The Steely Dan vocalist dropped out of Berklee in 1968 but went back, Jack, and collected an honorary doctorate in 2001.

Not all Hall of Fames are created equal. For whatever reason, I fight against getting triggered when the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame announces their nominees… every time.  Since Pat Benatar got in, I’ve been a little more relaxed about it, but still, so many bands have been overlooked for years.  Is the Jann Wenner effect to blame? Only time will tell.  The bottom line: this isn’t a story about what Rock Hall is doing wrong.  This is about what the Songwriters Hall of Fame is doing right. Songwriters Hall of Fame nominees 2024 have been announced and I feel fine.

How Does The Process Work?

To be eligible for the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, 20 years need to pass from the time of the artist’s initial contribution (song). They also need to have a “notable song catalog.”  The Songwriters Hall of Fame has a category for performing and non-performing songwriters (my list is focused on the rock performer side). They also have a bunch of specialty awards.  Eligible voting members have until December 27 to get their votes in for three nominees in each of the two categories.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969. Since then, less than 500 people have been inducted.  The air around this hall seems to be far different than some others.  Remember when Steve Miller went OFF at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony?  According to The New York Times, Steve said of the experience, “They need to respect the artists they say they’re honoring, which they don’t.”

Steve Miller was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2022. CBS News reported Steve Miller  as saying, “It’s overwhelming because … all of these guys are just off the charts.”  There’s a BIG difference in Steve’s words describing the two experiences.

I could discuss this all day, so without further adieu…

8 Rock Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees 2024


  • Bryan Adams

    “Everything I do… I do it for you.” Bryan wrote that song in under an hour. Bryan Adams has a way with words and a way of charming his fanbase for decades with his songs. With four number-one hits and 11 top-10 hits, he definitely has a more than “notable” catalog.

  • George Clinton

    George Clinton admitted he was, “Blind as a bat and out of my head” when he wrote “Atomic Dog.” The founder of Parliament-Funkadelic, Clinton’s style and songwriting has been a big influence on everyone from Talking Heads to The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • Debbie Harry, Chris Stein & Clem Burke - Blondie

    Did you know that the song considered to be the first rap song played on MTV was actually “Rapture” by Blondie? It was also the first song to go to number one that incorporated rap. “Rapture” was one of four number-one hits for Blondie.  “Call Me” was Blondie’s biggest hit. It was written by Debbie Harry and composed by Gorgio Moroder for the movie American Gigolo. Moroder asked Stevie Nicks to sing the song but she was prevented by her contracts, per  Faroutmagazine.co.

  • Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills & Michael Stipe - R.E.M.

    R.E.M has had four top-ten hits, but we know many more songs than that. R.E.M.’s impact transcends their success on the pop charts. It’s hard to believe that “It’s The End of The World as We Know It” peaked at #69. As a kid in the ’80s, it felt like MTV played it every four hours for several months.

  • Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons & Michael McDonald - Doobie Brothers

    I find it interesting that The Doobie Brothers have had two number-one hits and one was sung by Tom Johnston and one by Michael McDonald. “Blackwater” and “What a Fool Believes” are The Doobie Brothers’ highest charting songs, but their catalog is massive and they have so many jams.

  • Randy Bachman & Burton Cummings

    I am a big fan of the original Guess Who. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman are beyond-talented songwriters. Some of my favorite songs come from the best storytellers of rock who tell stories from their own lives. Randy Bachman wrote “These Eyes” while waiting for his date (she became his wife). “No Sugar Tonight” came from watching a woman on the street in Berkley, California rip her biker boyfriend a new one yelling, “No sugar tonight!” as she drove off in her car.


  • Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson - Heart

    Heart is an amazing band. If you read Kicking and Dreaming by Ann and Nancy Wilson, I promise you, your jaw will hit the floor more than once.  To me, Heart has had two lives: Heart of the ’70s and Heart of the ’80s. Two very different sounds and bands with the common thread of the Wilson sisters.  ’80s Heart had both of their number-one hits, “Alone” and “These Dreams.”  Both are great songs, but my personal favorites are the more raw-sounding ’70s Heart songs like “Baracuda,” “Even It Up,” “Crazy On You,” and “Straight On.” Ann and Nancy defied the odds with their talent, grit, and ability to paint a picture with their lyrics and music.


  • Donald Fagen & Walter Becker - Steely Dan

    Steely Dan is effortlessly cool… at least from the listener’s perspective. Fagan and Becker’s songs set a mood and told stories. As I mentioned earlier with The Guess Who, the ability to tell a story, many times pulled from their own life experiences, makes the best songs, in my opinion. Steely Dan was the master of mood and story.  I’m the most happy for this nomination (post-humous for Walter Becker). Side note: Donald Fagan recently had some health issues that forced Steely Dan to cancel a chunk of shows opening for The Eagles, but according to Steely Dan‘s website, they will be on tour with The Eagles in January of 2024.

  • What About The Rest of the Nominees?

    My list focused on rock-oriented performers/songwriters… the performers I was most excited to see nominated. I mean this as no slight to any other nominees.  You can check out the full list of the Song Writers Hall of Fame nominees for 2024 here:

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