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plaque discussion thread

If you haven’t read the HOA results thread, you might want to do that first to see who won the 1960 election.

Here are my thoughts about the plaques, and I’m sorry that I’m putting up such huge, wordy posts today (there’s one more to come after this, but this is the last one I’m typing):


As suggested by Moonbeam, you’re eligible to write a plaque for an artist only if you voted for them. Normally, plaques will be awarded to whoever wants to claim them, although there may be an occasional special dispensation awarded (right now, Stephan is the only person with such a dispensation, which he can use any time he likes).

From the time a plaque is first claimed, anyone who wants to challenge that claim has 48 hours to do it; at the end of 48 hours, the plaque goes to whichever claimant had that artist higher on their ballot in the most recent election (unless that person bows out in favor of someone else). In case of a tie, I’ll adjudicate. If that becomes necessary, I will do my best to spread the wealth around; sooner or later, everybody who wants to write plaques will…and you can only write one plaque per election.

(Needless to say, if you’re not comfortable writing a plaque, that’s fine. This is a labor of love, not a school assignment.)

If you want to write a plaque but there’s more than one artist you wouldn’t mind writing, you’re encouraged to give me your first and second choices (and third and fourth, if applicable). That way, if someone else gets your first choice, you’ve got a backup, potentially.

Once we’ve definitely confirmed who’s writing the plaque, that person goes off and writes it (see below).

If nobody claims a plaque within two weeks, I’ll ask for volunteers (at this point, you CAN take another plaque, even if you’re already doing one from the same election). If another week goes by and we still have an orphaned artist, I’ll write the plaque myself.

(You see why the HOA is consuming my free time?)

(I’m joking, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to.)

Abusive behavior towards other posters will not be tolerated. This is one reason I’m setting myself up as adjudicator—if anyone gets annoyed, I’d prefer that you be annoyed with me. (I can take it.)


We should probably set a maximum plaque size...500 words? 1000 words?

Rather than provide detailed guidelines about what a plaque should look like, I’ll refer you to the online plaques at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; click on any artist you’re interested in. This should give you a general idea of what should be on a plaque (although we don’t need to include the timelines they put at the end of each plaque, unless y’all really want to).

You folks are plenty smart enough to figure out how to write in what is, essentially, a journalistic style. Try to avoid value judgment—just the facts, ma’am—and if you can, get the sweeping generalizations out of the way quickly and focus on the details of the artist’s accomplishments (sorry for the lesson; I used to be an English teacher).

Actually, given what I’ve seen from the posters on this forum, I’m sure we can create plaques that are much better than the R&R Hall’s…some of which are…not good.


Plaques should be emailed to me directly at mwschleuse@gmail.com. I’ll post them in a dedicated thread.

I’m not going to set deadlines—we’re all friends here, and there’s no urgency about this—but if I haven’t received a plaque after a month has gone by, I may gently remind the person who’s writing it.


Looking down the road a bit, Moonbeam suggested we make some provision for updating plaques in the future. For example, taking our current inductees, Elvis and Chuck still have more acclaimed music in their future (the book is closed on Hank and Buddy). Here’s what I propose: rather than updating plaques multiple times, let’s wait until they release the last song or album which counts towards their AM ranking.

For instance, Elvis’ plaque can be updated after 1969, when the last album (From Elvis in Memphis) and the last song (“Suspicious Minds” which count toward his AM ranking are released (he had more records to come in the next few years, but they don’t make his top six).

I’ll keep track of when artists’ plaques are eligible for updates, and I’ll make those announcements in this thread. And updates are not mandatory. If nobody feels the need to make sure Chuck Berry gets noted for his ’64 album St. Louis to Liverpool when he becomes eligible for an update in 1965, that’s OK by me.


OK, I really, really need to shut up now. Starting now, I will accept claims for plaques for:

Elvis Presley
Hank Williams
Chuck Berry
Buddy Holly
Sam Phillips

And, if you have any questions about / suggestions for improving / objections to the format I’ve described here, please please please let me know.

Re: plaque discussion thread

I'm a known Hank supporter, but I really can't see myself writing a whole plaque. It pains me to try to describe music in words, or to explain why somebody is important. I say: "Just listen to the records."

So if anybody wants to step up and claim Hank, don't let me stop you.

Re: plaque discussion thread

Hey, schleuse, great start for that (wonderful) game... Hope that more and more people join us when we are getting to more recent years.
Some suggestions for the plaques:
a) First of all, the format of the online Hall of Fame is not bad but we can improve it a lot. The Spanish magazine Rockdelux publish every month a “Revision”, a two pages article about an artist or band. I’m saying this because the format of the article is always the same no matter if the artist released 50 albums or an EP and no matter the writer assigned. As a (significant) sample the RDL revisions of the last 6 months included some mythical names with short but influential discographies (Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine), some 80s bands that deserve critical vindication (Yazoo, Talk Talk) and some obscurities from the 60s (The Sonics, The Silver Apples). The format always includes:
- Title (name of the band and some headline)
- Band members, instruments, date and place of formation of the band (or place and birth date if it’s a solo artist).
- A photograph.
- Biography (the main body of the article, but usually no more than 200 or 300 words).
- Three best albums (not ranked and with a brief review no longer than 50 words or so and the cover art).
- The best song (lately, during the first years they put a ranked Top 10 songs).
- The name of the best web page about the band.
- Influences and followers (they sadly removed this section years ago but it was very interesting).
- “House of quotes”, some quotes from the artist from different interviews. Note: in Spanish “Casa de citas” has a double meaning, it is a polite way of saying whorehouse.
- Timeline (added recently).
So... the last two points are not necessary (I mean, we are not journalists and this kind of information could be difficult to find) but it would be nice to include a photograph and a Top 3 albums and Top 10 (or Top 5) songs. And the influences and followers would be nice too. Anyway whatever the format we choose, I think we should stick to a common format.
Secondly, my (personal) opinion is that the plaque should cover the complete biography of the artist regardless of the year of induction. I mean, if I write the plaque for Neil Young in 1975 I’m sure that the continuous updates would bother me for sure: “Hey, Honorio, I’m schleuse. You know, it’s 1979 and Young released “Rust Never Sleeps” Won’t you update the plaque?”, “Knock, knock, Honorio, we’re in 1990. What about “Ragged Glory” now?”, “Honorio, come on, it’s 1994. Are you sleeping with angels or what?”. I mean, if any artist can be eligible again, the plaque should include the whole career of the artist/band. But it’s only my opinion.
Thirdly, you said previously that you would like to post it as a wiki. Agree 100%.
And lastly, I suppose that we are not allowed to book plaques in advance. I’ve got one for Neil Young already written in Spanish and I only would need to translate it. I won’t book it if I’m not allowed but I will be quick when the time comes.

Re: plaque discussion thread

I amazed about the creativity in this thread! I hope no one minds if I create links to these plaques from the main AM site. In fact, if this turns out really well, wouldn't this be material good enough for a book? Sounds like a bestseller to me!

Re: plaque discussion thread

Honorio, thanks for your post--a lot of good ideas there. And Henrik, I hadn't really been thinking of main page links, let alone a book deal, but that's very flattering--to all of us on the forum.

Now all we need are some plaques...

The plaque project seems to have stalled a bit, so I'm moving this thread back up top and linking to it on the 1961 results post to see if there are any more nibbles. Feel free to post ideas which emend or throw out anything I suggested in my original post!

Some thoughts:

1. As I said above, I don't want plaques to feel like they're assignments for work (or, worse, school). There's no real urgency about getting them done, and I could see us agreeing to just get to them when the mood strikes somebody with the desire and the available time.

2. However, with 5 new inductees every 2 weeks, we're going to get a big backlog pretty fast, and I want to be able to post SOMETHING, even if it's just a links thread (to allmusic, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc.). This might be a skeleton of a plaque room which we can expand over time. (Maybe one thread per inductee, with a "main" thread linking to all of them?)

So let's see if we can brainstorm a procedure over the 1962 voting cycle (which starts today). I'd like to be able to start posting at least preliminary plaques for the Class of 1960 in two weeks...


Re: plaque discussion thread

I like the idea of having the plaque be in the form of a thread for each inducted artist. Then we could add whatever positive comments we want without having a big work assignment. It would be less organized but more organic.

Re: plaque discussion thread

I like the idea of a thread for each inducted artist too (with a linking thread).

I think the "journalistic style", while easy for some, might be a bit of a turn-off to others. Makes it sound like we're chiseling stone tablets here, and we're not.

And I might be alone here, but I sort of enjoy the sweeping generalizations that are made here from time to time. Now, obviously, those sorts of statements would need to be backed up (and hopefully are made conservatively), but without a bit of that personal touch, we might as well be linking to robotically-written sites like Wikipedia. These plaques should be formal, yes, but with a light dusting of fun too.