ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME VOTERS SNUB HEAVY METAL, AGAIN
Ethan Sacks of the New York Daily News reports:
Heavy metal fans are left banging their heads … against the wall.
On Tuesday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unveiled its 2015 class of inductees, and once again iconic hard rock and metal bands like Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were strummed off the list.
What really gets Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian’s goatee is the long-running omission of Deep Purple, a band the Queens-born rocker feels should get the same respect as Led Zeppelin.
“Just based on the intro riff to Smoke on the Water which came out in 1972, it’s safe to say that almost every guitar player in a band that did make the Hall of Fame, picked up a guitar because of that riff and learned how to play off that riff,” says the Queens-born rocker.
“That song alone should gets Deep Purple into the Hall of Fame. Just Ritchie Blackmore’s riff alone. That intro defines rock n’ roll.”
Ian wishes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame operated more like Cooperstown. “When you talk about sports, you look at the stats, it’s all math,” says Ian. “Babe Ruth hit x average and x home runs and so he gets in. Numbers don’t lie. When it comes to music it comes strickly down to taste.”
In the case of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, relatively small selection committee comes up with a pool of nominees that are voted on by a group of more than 600 artists and music professionals. On average a group of five to seven acts make the final cut each year.
And judging by the results, not many of those 600-plus voters own a Metallica T-shirt.
“Iron Maiden goes to anywhere in the world and they play in front of 50,000 people by themselves and you telling me they don’t f— belong in there?,” Exodus lead singer Steve “Zetro” Souza complained to the Daily News.
“In our type of music, we don’t expect kudos,” added the thrash rocker, whose band’s latest album, Blood In, Blood Out, reached the Billboard’s Top 40 charts. “But it’s hard not to be disappointed by the voting.”
Radio host Eddie Trunk says he’s given up on any semblance of respect for the uneven way the Hall has honored certain bands and ignored others with longer track records of success.
“How can you have a Hall of Fame where it takes Kiss, Rush and Alice Cooper twenty years to get in,” he says, “but Green Day and Guns N’ Roses go in on first ballot and Deep Purple doesn’t get in.”
Last year, he attended the induction ceremony in Brooklyn as a guest of original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley and had an epiphany: he’s not going to pull his hair out any more over the continuing snubs.
This is a symptom of the disrespect across the board toward hard rock and heavy metal,” says Trunk. “The Grammys haven’t gotten any better since they gave Jethro Tull a Grammy instead of Metallica (for the first ever Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance trophy in 1989).”
Exhibit A of that lack of respect: late, great Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman was a glaring omission from this year’s In Memoriam segment at the Grammy Awards.
While touring with Exodus in Cleveland last year, Souza got to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for himself for the first time. And his reviews are mixed.
“There was a Bruno Mars suit there, but he didn’t put in the time,” says Souza. “There’s a Katy Perry dress there, but she hasn’t put in the time.”
Still, it heartened him somewhat to see some of metal acts like Black Sabbath and Metallica have their own displays. It’s a start. But call him when Maiden and Priest, Saxon and Scorpions make the cut. He’s not expecting any love for his own band, which has been the soundtrack for moshpits since the mid-80s.
“For those of us who have been doing this for thirty years, we don’t care about or expect anything from the establishment,” Souza says.
I visited in 2003. Really, it was a cool place if you just looked at it as a museum and didn’t pay much mind to the “hall of fame” aspect. Rush was not inducted (nor had been nominated) at that time, but they had some of Neil Peart’s drums and one or two of Alex Lifeson’s guitars. I don’t recall what else from the hard rock/metal side of things might have been there at the time. My point is that even if an artist isn’t inducted, they still might be represented somewhere in the building as part of the museum. It doesn’t make up for some of the glaring omissions from the hall of fame inductees, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s not worth a visit if you’re in the area. My wish for the coolest RRHOF museum display that will never happen? A full sized replica of Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” tour stage with all the “walking Eddie’s” from over the years on it, and every hour the giant mummy over the drum kit shoots pyro out of its eyes.
Congratulations to Joan Jett and SRV, well deserved. But WTF?! Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Yes, The Cars, Pat Benatar, Cheap Trick (I could list even more artists, Sammy Hagar for instance) not inducted?! These artists have the necessary requirements – longevity, sales, awards, and all have influenced rock music (and still do). What else does the RRHOF need?
Brains, and a clue, that’s what the R&RHOF needs!
Stevie Ray is WAY overdue. I also understand the issue of Deep Purple not getting a nod. I also agree with discussions on the merits of Cheap Trick, The Cars, Pat Benatar, etc. I also think there are two more poster children for rock critic “most-hated” groups that should be in there today–Grand Funk Railroad and Journey. Both are loved by fans, sold millions, and are loathed by the rock critic elites who obviously know more about what constitutes a quality rock band than the fans.
I think the RRHOF is shying a away from inducting bands that have had a dozen or so members like Deep Purple, Grand Funk, etc.. It is just becomes too controversial as to who would be inducted plus all the bad mouthing from fans, it is no win situation for them. Especially, as it was with Kiss when the band is still active. Just gets messy.
Priest undoubtedly deserves to be inducted, but what do you do with Dave Holland? Do they want to induct a child molester?
Just some thoughts, every band has baggage.