JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner has praised Dolly Parton for taking herself out of the running for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's 2022 class of inductees.
On Monday (March 14),the 76-year-old country music legend asked the Hall to withdraw her name from the 2022 ballot, saying "I don't feel that I have earned the right. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out."
Parton was one of 17 artists nominated for the Rock Hall class of 2022, along with JUDAS PRIEST, Eminem, Lionel Richie, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and Beck, among others.
Ballots are cast by an international voting body of more than 1,000 artists — including previous inductees — historians, music industry members and critics. Factors considered by voters consider include "an artist's musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique," according to a statement issued by the Hall.
Faulkner, who joined PRIEST in 2011 and would not be inducted into the Rock Hall along with the other members of the current lineup, was asked about Parton's decision to bow out of the highly esteemed honor in a new interview with "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think it was a classy move, really. I think she recognizes her brand, and it didn't necessarily fit into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. And I think it raises questions to what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's brand is as well.
"To call it the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and not have bands like JUDAS PRIEST in it from day one, I think, is a weird thing," Richie continued. "I've said this before. It's shocking, really. I don't know how you can call it the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame without having bands like that in it as default; they sort of spawned the genre. But, you know, I'm not eligible, so I can sort of say what I want about it I just think bands like that — [IRON] MAIDEN, PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD — there's a few bands that are not in, and a few artists that are, maybe it shouldn't be called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I don't know.
"I've said this before, but I think the greatest accolade any band can have… You've toured the world for 50 years, you've put out music for 50 years, you've got a loyal fanbase for 50 years," Faulkner added. "No one's more grateful that these guys in this band, and I know that. They're still putting out music, they're still making music, they're still touring the world. And I'm repeating myself here, and I apologize, but I think that's more of an accolade than a trophy on a shelf; I really do. I think that's worth much more than getting in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. That's just my opinion. And I know the [rest of the] band don't share that opinion; that's just my opinion. It's a loyal fanbase for 50 years. What more can you ask for?"
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to have been released in 1996 or earlier.
Inductees will be announced in May. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2022 induction ceremony will take place this fall. The date, venue, and on-sale information will be announced later.
According to the Hall Of Fame, the JUDAS PRIEST members that would get inducted would include current members Rob Halford (vocals),Ian Hill (bass),Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums),along with former members K.K. Downing (guitar),Les Binks (drums) and late drummer Dave Holland.
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.
Back in October 2020, Halford said that the heavy metal genre "hasn't been respected enough" by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Asked in an interview with Word In Your Ear if he was "bothered" by the fact that PRIEST hasn't been inducted into the Rock Hall yet, Halford said: "Well, let's put it this way. You have all of these institutions here in America — you've got the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for music; you've got the Basketball Hall Of Fame; you've got the Baseball Hall Of Fame; Football — you've got all of these places where, I think essentially, it's just a really nice, cool recognition of what you've done, the work that you've done and the things that you've achieved, the place that you've been put at, and so on and so forth.
"So, am I bothered if we ever get in? Not really. But I think we do deserve to be in there. Because I look at the list of people that are in there, and I feel that we have a place. And it would not only be for JUDAS PRIEST — it would be for British music, particularly British heavy metal music, and that's a beautiful achievement. [BLACK] SABBATH are in there, which is great. But I've always said that as far as what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame represents, the genre of heavy metal music hasn't really been looked after enough and respected enough.
"So, I'd like to feel that eventually we will get in."
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 PRIEST, 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.
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," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
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.