After being ignored for nearly two decades, classic rock icons Rush and Deep Purple are among the nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a diverse list that also includes hip-hop greats, Public Enemy and NWA.
According to Classic Rock, Hall of Fame chief exec Joel Peresman was quick to justify the inclusion of non-rock and roll artists. “The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people,” he said. “But as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music.”
This was the first year both N.W.A and Public Enemy have been eligible for induction considering artists must wait until 25 years after their debut album to be considered for selection, that time has now passed since they changed the face of popular culture in the 1980s.
The full list also includes German electronic innovators Kraftwerk, legendary singer-songwriter Randy Newman and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and more.
In another sign of change, the fans will now have a say too, with their votes tallied alongside artists, music historians and industry professionals. However, weight of opinion still rests with the ‘experts’ with the top five chosen by the public making up only one of more than 600 overall votes.
Canadian prog-rockers Rush, known for hits such as “Tom Sawyer” and “Spirit of The Radio”, were thankful for the kudos.
“We are honoured to be among the nominees for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” they said in a statement. “We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated fans to whom this nomination is so very important.”
The band have clearly had a change of heart since 2010, when drummer Neil Peart said he had no interest in the award.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” he said at the time. “I’ve got the respect and success we’ve had and the opportunity to do exactly what we wanted for 35 years. Do we need them to make us feel better? No – not at all.”
Meanwhile, Deep Purple, despite being responsible for arguably the most famous riff of all time, “Smoke On The Water”, have been eligible for induction for two decades but had been snubbed by the Hall of Fame, until now.
Former Deep Purple member Glenn Hughes recently said: “We know the people in charge and we know how they think. It’s become like a joke in a way. Gene Simmons will talk to me about it, and go on a rant and all, and he is exactly right. But I’m not gonna hold my breath. Deep Purple, Kiss, Yes, and especially Rush should obviously all be in.”
Despite being ignored by the Hall of Fame for so long, the British rock band are much loved by their fellow musical peers, several of which joined forces for an all-star tribute to the band’s 40th Anniversary of landmark album, Machine Head in a tribute compilation; featuring the likes of Metallica, Flaming Lips and Iron Maiden.
Billy Corgan is also well-known fan, during a rant earlier this year when he said he’ll “piss on fuckin’ Radiohead;” the domed Smashing Pumpkin bitterly criticised “this value system that says [Radiohead guitarist] Jonny Greenwood is more valuable than [Deep Purple’s] Ritchie Blackmore. Not in the world I grew up in, buddy.”
Assuming Deep Purple are officially inducted, there will no doubt be a tribute to the recently fallen founder and keyboardist Jon Lord, who passed away in July at the age of 71 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Rock And Roll class of 2013 will be announced on April 18, 2013 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Public voting for the inductions have opened here, and voting is open until December 3.
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2013 nominees:
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
the Paul Butterfield Blues Band
the Marvelettes and the Meters