JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill says that it "feels good" to finally be getting inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
PRIEST will receive the Musical Excellence Award at the fall 2022 event, which will honor Eminem, Dolly Parton, DURAN DURAN, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, EURYTHMICS and Carly Simon in the Performers category.
In a new interview with Metal Hammer magazine, Hill stated about the nod: "Ha, took them a while, didn't it? It does feel good being recognized by your peers though. We're honored to be part of it all, especially as there's only a few heavy metal bands in there currently. Hopefully this opens the gates for bands like IRON MAIDEN or DEF LEPPARD, bands who really should be in there already. [Editor's note: DEF LEPPARD was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2019.] But the most important accolade any band can get is a gold or platinum album — that's when you know you're getting things right and doing good by the fans."
The award for Musical Excellence — which was originally titled the "Sidemen" category when it debuted — is given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.
Back in 2010, when the Sidemen category was renamed the award for Musical Excellence, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation president Joel Peresman told The Plain Dealer the category "gives us flexibility to dive into some things and recognize some people who might not ordinarily get recognized."
JUDAS PRIEST is the second band to receive the award for Musical Excellence; the E STREET BAND was the first. Last year, late OZZY OSBOURNE and QUIET RIOT guitarist Randy Rhoads was one of the recipients of the Musical Excellence Award.
The induction ceremony will be held on November 5, 2022 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will air at a later date on HBO and stream on HBO Max. There will also be a radio simulcast on SiriusXM's Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Radio channel 310.
According to the Hall Of Fame, the JUDAS PRIEST members that will get inducted include current members Hill, Rob Halford (vocals),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums),along with former members K.K. Downing (guitar),Les Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.
Regarding how much discussion there has been about who exactly in PRIEST is being inducted, Hill told Metal Hammer: "The rule, as I understand it, is whoever has been with the band for 20 years. Richie [Faulkner, guitar] is sadly not being inducted, but really deserves to be, as he's been the driving force in the band for nearly 12 years now. Dave Holland [drummer 1979-1989] was in the band for a long time and obviously Ken [K.K. Downing] will be there. Les Binks was with us all those years, as was Scott, so he'll be part of the induction too."
Asked if he has spoken directly to Downing since the Rock Hall announcement, Hill said: "He's spoken to management and said he will definitely be there. It should be good."
JUDAS PRIEST was previously on the ballot for Rock Hall induction in 2020, but failed to receive enough votes to make that year's class.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was also on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility.
The Rock Hall didn't induct BLACK SABBATH until 2006, and METALLICA followed three years later.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
Downing left PRIEST in 2011 amid claims of band conflict, shoddy management and declining quality of performance.
In 2019, Downing said that he reached out to JUDAS PRIEST about taking part in the band's 50th-anniversary tour but that their response was that they were not interested in including him in the celebrations.
In 2018, Downing revealed that he sent two resignation letters to his bandmates when he decided to quit JUDAS PRIEST. The first was described as "a graceful exit note, implying a smooth retirement from music," while the second was "angrier, laying out all of his frustrations with specific parties."
Downing later said that he believed the second letter was "a key reason" he wasn't invited to rejoin PRIEST after Tipton's decision to retire from touring.