Originally Posted by vaticanplum
I believe that one of the reasons Patti Smith made it in is because of her power as a live performer. She is said to be one of the greatest performers rock has ever known. This is even outside of her influence on the NY punk scene in the 70s, which was enormous, and the quality of her songs is good (she's quite original, especially lyrically of course). But she was apparently head and shoulders above most other musicians as a performer.
People are voted into the Hall for varied reasons. That's one reason I kind of like it. Most awards bug me because people are all competing for the same thing (baseball and Oscars are both based on "performance", for example), and yet there's no set criteria: it's still an award of opinion. For the Hall of Fame, at least they're blatant about it being opinion. You can get voted in for any number of things as long as they had an effect on music in some way.
Yeah, I saw her up at the Agora in Cleveland circa 1978(?) back in my clubbing days. She was good with lots of energy with a passionate following. I thought she was cool in those punk times, hairy armpits, skanky hair and clothes and all. I saw a *lot* of good shows around then and while hers was good, there were a ton of great shows I saw around then and I certainly wouldn't say it stood out as best of all time (which is a whole different topic). It's like the Grateful Dead for me, I just never understood what the big deal was. It's all subjective and JMHO.
I did like Gilda Radner's version of Patti on SNL.