JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford spoke to Metal Hammer magazine about the fact that IRON MAIDEN is among the nominees for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's Class Of 2023. He said: "IRON MAIDEN's nomination is absolutely overdue. I vote for them every day; you can do it by phone and it's dead easy. It takes you to the list of nominees, then you pick the bands you are voting for — and I pick MAIDEN every single day."
IRON MAIDEN is currently trailing Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, SOUNDGARDEN and Warren Zevon in the fan vote for this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction class.
More than 1.6 million votes have already been cast since voting began. Now through April 28, fans can vote every day through the Hall Of Fame's web site. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the other ballots to select the 2023 inductees.
According to Rolling Stone, the top vote-getters will be announced in May and inducted in the fall.
Halford, who was inducted into the Rock Hall last year, along with other current and former members of PRIEST, told Metal Hammer: "When you're actually in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, you're given a vote as a band and MAIDEN will get PRIEST's vote without a doubt. That's just what we do for each other. We've had very similar journeys in both bands, so let's make it happen for MAIDEN. It'd be brilliant — BLACK SABBATH, PRIEST and MAIDEN. What more could a metal maniac ask for?”
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to have been released in 1998 or earlier. Eight of the nominees (Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, JOY DIVISION/NEW ORDER, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Willie Nelson, THE WHITE STRIPES and Warren Zevon) are on the ballot for the first time.
This is the fifth nomination for RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, the fourth for Kate Bush and THE SPINNERS, and the second for IRON MAIDEN and A TRIBE CALLED QUEST.
The 2023 class will be chosen by a group of over 1,000 artists, historians, and members of the music industry the Rock Hall has selected as voters.
Less than four years ago, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris said that he didn't care that his band had yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame despite the fact that it had been eligible since 2004.
"I don't mind that we're not in things like that," he told Rolling Stone in an interview. "I don't think about things like that. It's very nice if people give you awards or accolades, but we didn't get into the business for that sort of thing. I'm certainly not going to lose sleep if we don't get any sort of award, not just that one, any award. I don't think we deserve to have this or that necessarily. With what we do, whatever comes of it is great. Whatever doesn't come of it is great, too."
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 groups like MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that band's first year of eligibility.
MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson made headlines in 2018 when he referred to the Rock Hall as "an utter and complete load of bollocks" during a spoken-word gig in Australia, insisting that the Cleveland-based institution is "run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn't know rock and roll if it hit them in the face."
Bruce later told The Jerusalem Post that he was "so annoyed with that coverage because they took my statement out of context to make it seem like I was upset that we weren't in the Hall Of Fame.
"I'm really happy we're not there and I would never want to be there," he continued. "If we're ever inducted, I will refuse — they won't bloody be having my corpse in there.
"Rock and roll music does not belong in a mausoleum in Cleveland," Bruce added. "It's a living, breathing thing, and if you put it in a museum, then it's dead. It's worse than horrible, it's vulgar."
Harris previously told "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" that he wasn't concerned about whether IRON MAIDEN would eventually be inducted into the Rock Hall. "I don't really think about it, to be honest. I think awards are things that are nice to have when you get them, but it's not something you're really striving for — it's not what it's about it," he said. "It's never been about that. It's aways been about just trying to make good music and go out and play good live shows, and that's it, really. Hopefully people will appreciate it. It's probably nice when people give you awards — don't get me wrong; I think it's great — but it's not something that you would lose sleep over if you didn't get any.
"It's the way that I am," Harris added. "I don't know. Maybe the rest of the guys [in the band] might think differently to me, but that's the way I think. It's not that I don't care about [awards]. It's just… And it's not that they're not meaningful when you do get 'em — it's nice. But I certainly don't worry about it or anything like that. I think other people are the ones that make a bigger deal out of it than us, about whether we got one or not."
Having been eligible for induction for nearly two decades, IRON MAIDEN is one of the biggest bands on the planet. Since the release of their self-titled debut album, the British heavy metal legends have released a further 16 full-length studio records, and sold over 100 million copies.
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.