Rock Hall President Comments on Iron Maiden + Judas Priest Not Being Inducted
The lack of metal bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been a talking point for years, and it's all the more noticeable the last two years as two of the genre's most iconic and influential acts — Iron Maiden and Judas Priest — have been nominated but ultimately not inducted. Addressing that very topic, Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris shared his thoughts on the Rock Hall's lack of metal in a chat with Audacy host Ryan Castle (seen below).
Earlier in the chat, Harris noted that the Rock Hall voting body is made up of "over 1,000 artists, historians, members of the music industry and fans via a fan vote." Like Judas Priest in both of their years on the ballot, Iron Maiden was included on the fan-voted ballot but was not named for induction when all the votes were tallied.
When questioned about the Maiden omission this year, Harris stated, “It’s an interesting one, because we do [celebrate metal]. We celebrate all forms of rock 'n' roll. They were nominated; we nominated Maiden, Judas Priest have been nominated, we put Def Leppard in."
He continued, "Those that are nominated, over 80 percent of them eventually do get inducted. So it’s really a question of, let’s keep nominating them, let’s get ‘em on the ballot, and let’s get it out to the voting body. This ballot had 16 artists on it. They just can’t all go in.”
The Rock Hall's first induction class was 1986. In order to be considered, an artist must be 25 years removed from their first album. Keep in mind that most of the initial classes focused on the early pioneers of the rock 'n' roll era before eventually catching up to more modern artists. Plus, metal is a newer genre in the overall history of rock 'n' roll.
The Who were inducted in 1990, The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1992, Cream in 1993 and Led Zeppelin in 1995 — all acts that paved the way for heavier music — but it wasn't until Black Sabbath's induction in 2006 that a true metal artist was included in the Rock Hall.
In the years since, Metallica joined in 2009 and metal adjacent acts Van Halen (2007), Alice Cooper (2011), Guns N' Roses (2012), KISS (2014), Deep Purple (2016), Bon Jovi (2018) and Def Leppard (2019) have all heard their name called, showing that there is a trend toward inducting some heavier music. But there's an argument to be made that the Rock Hall has just two metal acts in Black Sabbath and Metallica.
While Maiden did not make the cut in voting this year, metal will be represented as Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads will be saluted at this year's Rock Hall induction with one of the Awards for Musical Excellence.
Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, The Go-Go's, Carole King and Jay-Z will make up the Rock Hall's induction class, with the aforementioned Rhoads joining LL Cool J and Billy Preston as Musical Excellence honorees. Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron and Charley Patton have been tapped for Early Influence Award honors and Clarence Avant is receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Oct. 30, with a special to follow on HBO and HBO Max at a later date.