Berkeley punk trio Green Day, Velvet Underground co-founder and rock pioneer Lou Reed and singer-songwriter Bill Withers have been announced as the leading inductees for next year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The 2015 class also welcomes “I Love Rock and Roll” hit-makers Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, blues rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his backing band Double Trouble and harmonica player and blues singer Paul Butterfield.
Green Day enters the institution in the band’s first year of eligibility. They can arguably be credited for reviving mainstream punk rock interest with fellow California bands Rancid (also from the East Bay) and SoCal groups Bad Religion and the Offspring.
Lou Reed passed away last October at the age of 71 after suffering from health problems, He underwent a liver transplant in May 2013 after cancelling five West Coast performances, including Coachella and a show at the Warfield. Reed was previously inducted in 1996 as a member of the Velvet Underground, however next year he will be honored posthumously for his solo work.
Soul and R&B musician Bill Withers wrote timeless classic songs such as “Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just The Two of Us.”
Beyond the inductees, ex-Beatle Ringo Starr will be honored with the Award For Musical Excellence. In 1988, Starr was originally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of The Beatles, while his three band-mates have each been enshrined as solo artists. 50s R&B group the “5” Royales will also receive the Early Influence Award.
Noteworthy omissions from the list of nominated include N.W.A, Nine Inch Nails, Sting and The Smiths.
The 30th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place April 18, 2015 at Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Hall.