Despite Winning Fan Vote, Saratoga Favorite Dave Matthews Band Snubbed By Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

This year's list of inductees includes an array of SPAC favorites, though, including the Doobie Brothers, the late Whitney Houston and Nine Inch Nails.

Dave Matthews and his expressive guitar face at SPAC. (Francesco D'Amico)

The ants came marching in droves—and the Hall just stamped them all out. Despite garnering more than 1 million votes in the 2020 Rock and Rock Hall of Fame fan vote, perennial Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) favorite and jam band powerhouse, the Dave Matthews Band, didn’t receive this year’s call to the Hall.

Almost immediately, fans of the band took to Twitter to tweet their dismay—although there was a sizable group that felt their snub was justified. The other major snub, at least as far as social media was concerned, was ’70s/’80s rocker Pat Benatar, who’s played SPAC three times since 1981.

Even though Dave and company (and Benatar) didn’t make this year’s cut, a number of other notable names that have appeared at SPAC throughout the years did. These include the late Whitney Houston, who played the arts center a number of times, even supporting a No.1 record one of the nights she was there; the Doobie Brothers, who rocked SPAC just last summer in support of now-fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Santana; the Nine Inch Nails, who first appeared at SPAC on the 1991 Lollapalooza tour as relative unknowns, only to headline the venue later in their career; and electronic rockers Depeche Mode, who appeared at the venue a single time in 1990.

The list of inductees was rounded out by ’70s glam rockers T. Rex and hip-hop heavyweight the Notorious B.I.G. (which we were all listening to, nonstop, at Saratoga Springs High School, circa 1998—and who daily makes the playlists at my Troy gym, anatomie).

This year’s recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award include Jon Landau, one-time Rolling Stone journalist and longtime Bruce Springsteen manager; and entertainment executive Irving Azoff, who made last year’s Billboard Power 100.

The 35th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will this year take place on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, OH. For the first time ever, the event will be broadcast live on HBO at 8pm ET.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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