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Petty, Ramones Are Hall of Fame Noms

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame releases 2002 nominees

September 18, 2001 12:00 AM ET

The first glimmers of punk and New Wave have a chance to make their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2002 class. The ballot of sixteen candidates has been released from which next year's class will be chosen; a group that includes punk pillars the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, as well as iconic Seventies New York scenesters the Talking Heads and Patti Smith.

This year's first-time nominees also include Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jackson Browne, Isaac Hayes, Gram Parsons, pop singer Gene Pitney, R&B ensembles the Dells, the Chantels and the "5" Royales, along with returning nominees Lynyrd Skynyrd and Brenda Lee (who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame).

Parsons' nomination comes twenty-eight years after his solo debut, G.P.. Parsons had previously recorded with the Byrds, who were inducted in 1991. For Hayes, the nomination arrives after the inductions of Sam and Dave and Otis Redding; Hayes penned several hit songs for the former and played behind the latter during his days at Stax Records in Memphis.

Hard rock is also repped by returning nominees AC/DC and Black Sabbath, despite pleas by Ozzy Osbourne that the latter be removed from the ballot. "Believe me, I don't give a f--- if I get in or not, however it'd be nice for my kids," Osbourne told Rolling Stone last year.

Rock Hall inductees are chosen by a nominating committee of 1,000 rock & roll experts and historians. Usually five to seven inductees are chosen from the ballot, no fewer than twenty-five years after that act's debut recording was released. The inductees are culled from the group with the most votes, usually those garnering more than fifty-percent of the vote. Non-performer, sidemen and early influence inductees are selected by a separate committee.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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