Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris has addressed the wave of criticism toward the institution over the fact that IRON MAIDEN was snubbed for the 2021 Induction ceremony.
Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Currently, heavy bands such as IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution.
When asked if he believes IRON MAIDEN is worthy of being inducted into the Rock Hall, Harris told radio station WBAB (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “There’s no doubt that [IRON MAIDEN] 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 [FOO FIGHTERS, Jay-Z, Tina Turner, THE GO-GO’S, Carole King and Todd Rundgren] 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,” he continued. “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.”
Asked how he would respond to people who say that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should be called the Music Hall Of Fame, Harris said: “I think to get to the core of it, people like the stuff that’s closest to them, and I think they need to expand their thinking of rock and roll. It’s a big tent. Rock and roll was never just four skinny guys with long hair and guitars; it’s always been diverse… We take that interpretation that these are all variants of rock and roll. And I think, underneath it, it frequently gets to the hip-hop question because some people are not fans. Well, the fact of the matter is that ship has sailed. We’ve inducted quite a few artists in that canon. It’s a big tent and everybody fits under it. It’s an attitude, it’s a spirit, and that’s rock and roll.”
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other “criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock ‘n’ roll,”.
Just to put it into perspective so it all makes perfect sense, IRON MAIDEN have been eligible for induction into the Rock Hall for about 15 years. The band have released 16 full-length studio albums, and have sold over 100 million copies, yet still have to be inducted into the Rock Hall.