Twisted Sister Guitarist Says the Rock Hall Doesn’t Respect Metal: “There’s Zero Understanding of What the Genre Is About”
Opinions on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are relatively split among artists that could be eligible for induction, with some calling it an honor and others decrying its very existence. In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French discussed Twisted Sister‘s induction to the Metal Hall of Fame and his thoughts on the Rock Hall itself.
French is really grateful for Twisted Sister to be acknowledged at all and is excited that they were inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame:
“It’s always wonderful to get that sort of recognition. We’d already gotten that sort of recognition on Long Island as they featured us in the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. We were huge on the local bar scene, and I’m sure we affected thousands of kids’ lives during that time. All that is great, and it’s always an hour to be honored. I’m proud of it, and glad heavy metal is getting its due, too.”
French was then asked about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, specifically if he thinks that the organization is finally giving metal artists their dues. According to him? Not really.
“History is gonna tell that story. I certainly can’t tell it. It’s always been derided. As you know, the critics have never really warmed up to it. Even back in the days of Led Zeppelin, those guys couldn’t get the respect they deserved. In the early days, I remember seeing Led Zeppelin headline the Fillmore East, and believe it or not, the Woody Herman Orchestra was the special guest that night. Think about that for a second. Why do you have a jazz orchestra as a special guest? Well, the review in the New York Times ripped the whole thing and focused on that instead of Zeppelin.
“So, there’s always been a lack of respect. I think the problem with critics and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is that they refuse to acknowledge that heavy metal probably was what kept the live music industry going in the ’80s. It never gets its due. Just look how long they made KISS wait. There’s zero understanding of what the genre is about. How do you not acknowledge a band that made such an impact as KISS? It’s silly, it’s stupid, and it’s ignorant.”
On the flip side, Tom Morello is really excited about the Hall of Fame.