Billy Corgan suggested renaming the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to better represent its diverse inductees during a new appearance on the Reinvented With Jen Eckhart podcast while talking about The Smashing Pumpkins joining Green Day’s tour.
Corgan touched upon the essence of rock ‘n’ roll and its expansive spirit, saying:
“A general criticism is, ‘Why have a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame if the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t only relegated to rock n’ roll?’ Personally, I think Willie Nelson belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Because there’s no real clear definition, it’s confusing to people. Why don’t you just call it the Music Hall of Fame? I quantify rock n’ roll as more of a spirit thing…”
He further explained why the name ‘Music Hall of Fame’ is a more fitting title to represent the institution’s broad scope:
“I think it’s hard for people to understand the definitive qualities, especially when you start putting in pop artists who are strictly pop artists. Now if the argument is that, over time, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has morphed into an institutional culture which is more the ‘Music Hall of Fame,’ then I think that would be easier for people to understand.”
Having reached their 25th anniversary as a band in 2015, Smashing Pumpkins are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame. Corgan reflected on his band’s significant impact and longevity in the music industry in a 2016 chat with Rolling Stone, stating:
“I get asked about that a lot. If it’s a meritocracy, I think my band belongs in there because we were one of the prime bands of our era and we continue to be a top band. Next year will be, technically, our 30th year. So the fact that I’ve been in this band, you know, essentially 25 of the last 30 years, I think that says something.”
Corgan’s views are similar to those of other music industry professionals like Slash from Guns N’ Roses, who talked about a discussion with Keith Richards where they wondered why hip-hop artists were being inducted into the Rock Hall, showing a broader industry concern about its genre diversity.