I'll start with the good. I like how the Beastie Boys (right), Tom Waits and Dr. John made the cut. The Beasties were nominated previously, and the Los Angeles Times calls them "this year's purest representatives of the 1980s college-rock crowd.
And that in with fellow noms LL Cool J and Bon Jovi, and you get what the Los Angeles Times calls "a quintessential 21st-century wedding reception mix." Not sure if that's good or bad or somewhere in between.
Tom Waits stands out as one of the most deserving of the bunch (along with fellow singer-songwriter types Nyro and Donovan). And New Orleans god Dr. John would do an interesting duet with Waits if both are inducted.
I'd also love to see a duet from two of the other nominees — Alice Cooper (left) and the J. Geils Band. On a related note: the J. Geils Band? Really?
Three of the lesser-known nominees are girl-group chanteuse Darlene Love; Chuck Willis, "a blues-rock dandy known for crossing over from R7B to pop," according to the LAT. And "soul shouter" Joe Tex.
Lastly, on the subject of Neil Diamond, I'm not afraid to love the guy — which has subjected me to much teasing in the newsroom ... and everywhere else. But Diamond rocks like no other — seriously.
I would go to induction ceremony just to see Diamond perform. With LL Cool J.
Photo credits: Diamond; Cooper (AFP/Getty); Beastie Boys (The Baltimore Sun)