Ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he never got a call from his former bandmates about them finally getting inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 after being discovered when the band's drummer was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover band BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Rob Halford, who has since rejoined the band.
Owens recorded two studio albums with JUDAS PRIEST — 1997's "Jugulator" and 2001's "Demolition" — before Halford's return to the group.
PRIEST will receive the Musical Excellence Award at the fall 2022 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame event, which will honor Eminem, Dolly Parton, DURAN DURAN, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, EURYTHMICS and Carly Simon in the Performers category.
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 Halford, 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.
Owens discussed his exclusion from PRIEST's Hall Of Fame induction in a new interview as part of Rolling Stone 's "King For A Day" series. He said: "It's a shame that [the Hall Of Fame] can't bring in members that were in the band almost 10 years and had a Grammy nomination, two studio records, two live records, a DVD. It's a shame that they can't do it. What gets me more than anything is that I haven't even gotten a call from JUDAS PRIEST on it. I did get a call that an Australian agent was using the name 'Metal Gods' [for my upcoming tour with ex-AC/DC and DIO drummer Simon Wright]. [They told me,] 'We'll let it slip this time, but in the future you can't let them use it.'
"That's your phone call? How about the guys in the band getting into the Hall Of Fame that deserve it?" Owens continued. "There's never been a call saying, 'You were a big part of this. Here's the reasons you're not being inducted, but you were a big part of us and you're a big part of the family.' There wasn't even a phone call. Not getting in, whatever.
"Here's how I look at it: I'm in the Hall Of Fame. I was in the band for almost 10 years. When someone says that JUDAS PRIEST is in the Hall Of Fame, I sang for JUDAS PRIEST, so I'm basically in the Hall Of Fame.
"It just would have been nice to get an e-mail or a call," Owens added. "The only e-mails I ever get are threats. It's a shame because we're friends. It's a shame that's all management is worried about, instead of, 'We should probably send a letter to Tim or a bottle of champagne to thank him for his years in the band.'"
Tim reiterated that it wasn't his idea to use the name "Metal Gods" for his upcoming Australian tour with Wright.
"This show was called 'Metal Gods' since it was me and Simon Wright," he said. "We're doing 10 DIO songs and 10 JUDAS PRIEST songs. I didn't have anything to do with the name, but the agent/promoter called it 'Metal Gods' because he looked at both of them as metal gods. It wasn't a JUDAS PRIEST tribute show. And so my attorney said, 'They need to deal with this agent. I don't know how much they want to deal with suing someone in Australia. I don't even know if the trademark is protected in Australia.' They told me I could use it this time. I was like, 'Why are you threatening me? I didn't have anything to do with this.' But so be it. They're more willing to threaten me than thank me.
"I'm getting ready to go to Latin America now. I have like 15 shows in 17 days. Every time I see a flyer for a show in Colombia or somewhere and I see a JUDAS PRIEST logo or an old photo, I'm thinking, 'Oh shit.'
"They know how to get ahold of me to tell me not to do stuff. That being said, I'm not talking bad about anyone in the band. This is what happens. I can't help that. But the time in JUDAS PRIEST was fantastic. They treated me so 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.