Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Addresses Iron Maiden Snub
I will never understand why people get so bent up about which bands are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and which aren’t. The organization is, it’s important to remember, a for-profit operation that was invented out of thin air by a group of people who themselves dubbed it “official.” These were ordinary people, mind you, with their own musical likes and dislikes, just like you and me, not divine gods with some set of absolute, set-in-stone criteria for admission. The same concept is at play when we publish our various Top 25 lists here on MetalSucks. While the Rock Hall is of course way more publicly visible than MS, the premise is the same: just some assholes with opinions making a list of their favorite musical acts! These lists, whether the Rock Hall or Top 25 Metal Albums of All Time, should be treated as what they are: opinions. Do you like Iron Maiden? Me too! They’re one of the best ever! Why would any “official” recognition of their accomplishments have any impact on that? Who the fuck cares what OTHER people think of Iron Maiden?
In any case, folks are quite bothered that Iron Maiden still weren’t admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, beat out by Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and Tina Turner for the 2021 slate of inductees despite being one of the top five fan vote-getters. Social media is ablaze with complaints, while the likes of Kiss’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley — who are in the Hall — are among the higher profile musicians to speak up about it.
Now Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris has spoken up about the Iron Maiden issue specifically after addressing it in a more general fashion last week. Speaking to Long Island radio station WBAB, Harris said:
“There’s no doubt that they are an impactful, influential band, and that’s why they were nominated this year, along with 15 other artists and acts, and when the votes came in, these six were the leaders. So we’re not questioning, are they an important band, are they impactful and influential.
“Of those that have been nominated throughout history, over 80 percent of them have been eventually inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. So everybody has their favorites; everybody has different artists that impacted them or impacted other artists. So, if you look at this list, you can make that case for all of these folks, just like people make that case for Iron Maiden.”
The emphasis added is mine to underscore the point I made in this article’s intro: everyone who votes is just some asshole with their own musical taste, just like you and me. No one is special; these people just decided they’d be the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and made it happen for themselves. Inevitably that means some fan-favorites will be left out. Once again… who cares?
Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has previously said he wouldn’t let the Hall of Fame induct the band even if they wanted to:
“I’m really happy we’re not there and I wound never want to be there. If we’re ever inducted I will refuse – they won’t bloody be having my corpse in there.
“Rock & roll music does not belong in a mausoleum in Cleveland. It’s a living, breathing thing, and if you put it in a museum, then it’s dead. It’s worse than horrible, it’s vulgar.”
That defiant attitude could change, of course — Nine Inch Nails notoriously embraced induction last year after previously questioning the Rock Hall’s legitimacy — but how badass would it be if Maiden were finally invited in after all this hubbub, then turned it down? Friggin’ legendary and so, so metal.