The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been inducting performers and non-performers to its hallowed halls since 1986. A few weeks ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted KISS, Nirvana, The E Street Band, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Brian Epstein, Cat Stevens and Andrew Loog Oldham. It took years for great bands like Rush and KISS to get inducted. There are many deserving performers and non-performers who have yet to be added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame roll call.
The criteria for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is as follows [from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website]:
To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.
We shall consider factors such as 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, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.
When I think of rock and roll music, I think of rock and heavy metal, including punk rock, the alternative rock that flooded the radio airwaves of the 1990s and even some pop music. I don’t automatically think of R & B and straight up blues when I think rock and roll, but I do understand and acknowledge their influence and contributions to modern rock music. But since it’s call the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and not the Music Hall of Fame, I present some rock and roll/heavy metal performers and non-performers who are long overdue a place it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I hope one or more of these performers and non-performers on my list are nominated and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
[A performer’s first album must have been released in 1990 to be eligible for nomination for induction in 2015.]
Many artists become eligible for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 for the first time. Of those performers, Green Day and Nine Inch Nails are said to have the best chance of getting inducted in their first year of eligibility. I also think Alice in Chains are also worthy of induction in its first year of eligibility (see below).
Without further ado, I present some long standing rock and heavy metal bands and artists that I feel have been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for far too long (except for Alice in Chains).
Formed in 1968, Deep Purple has had various lineups throughout its history. The most famous lineup consisted of Richie Blackmore (guitar), Ian Gillan (vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums). Their first album, Shades of Deep Purple was released in July 1968, though it was the album Machine Head, that became the band’s most famous album with songs “Highway Star,” “Space Truckin'” and its most famous song “Smoke on the Water.” Other notable songs from the Deep Purple catalog are “Lazy,” “Lady Double Dealer,” “The Gypsy,” “Soldier of Fortune,” “Black Knight,” “Fireball,” “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Woman from Tokyo,” “Knockin’ at Your Back Door” and “Perfect Strangers.”
Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Deep Purple were one of the hardest working bands around. Having been in existence less than 4 years, by 1973, Deep Purple had recorded and released 6 albums and embarked on 7 tours.
Deep Purple are cited as one of the pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The group have influenced a number of rock and metal bands including Metallica, Queen, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Alice in Chains, Bon Jovi, Europe, Rush, Motorhead, and many New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Def Leppard. Iron Maiden’s bassist and primary songwriter, Steve Harris, states the band’s “heaviness” was inspired by “Black Sabbath and Deep Purple with a bit of Zeppelin thrown in.”
Deep Purple have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (2012 and 2013), but not inducted. It seems ludicrous to leave Deep Purple out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, when bands they influenced, Metallica, Queen, Van Halen and Rush (finally), were inducted.
Perhaps not as strong a candidate as some of the others on this list because he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Black Sabbath in 2006, Ozzy deserves consideration for induction as a solo artist based on his longevity as well as his contributions to rock and heavy metal as a solo artist. He continually discovers new guitar talent, having “discovered” Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde and Gus G., his latest find.
Including his work with Black Sabbath, his total album sales are in excess of 100 million records. As a solo artist, he’s released 11 studio albums, the first 7 of which were awarded multi-platinum status (1 million units sold). He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded a Grammy in 1994 for the Best Metal Performance for “I Don’t Want to Change the World.” He was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist as well as with Black Sabbath.
Dick Dale is known as the King of the Surf Guitar. He pioneered the surf music style, drawing on Eastern musical scales and experimenting with reverberation. The breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique as well as his showmanship with the guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal. Dick Dale influenced several guitarists, such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. He pushed the limits of electric guitar amplification, helping to develop new equipment capable of producing distorted, thick, clearly defined toned at previously undreamed of volumes. He was instrumental in developing the first 100-watt amplifier with Fender.
His most famous song “Misirlou” is heavily sampled in the Black Eyed Peas song “Pump It” and is featured in Guitar Hero II as well as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. His song “Let’s Go Trippin'” is widely regarded as the first surf rock song.
He was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum (Nashville, TN) in 2009 and the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, CA in 2011.
If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know that Iron Maiden are my favorite rock/heavy metal band. So I’m a bit biased with this selection to my list. But, besides my slight bias, this selection isn’t without merit. Iron Maiden were formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter, Steve Harris. The band have released 37 albums, including 15 studio albums, 11 live albums and 7 compilation albums. Numerous tribute albums, albums with Iron Maiden songs performed by other bands, have been released and countless bands have covered Iron Maiden songs on their own albums, including Dream Theater.
Never receiving much television and radio support, Iron Maiden, nevertheless, have become one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time. The band have sold more than 85 million records worldwide and played more than 2000 live shows. Among the band’s awards:
- 2011 – Grammy for Best Metal Performance – “El Dorado”
- 2005 – Inducted to Hollywood’s RockWalk of Fame
- 2005 – Kerrang! Hall of Fame
- 2006 – Classic Rock’s Album of the Year – A Matter of Life and Death
- 2009 – Classic Rock’s Band of the Year
- 2009: SWSX Film Festival: 24 Beats Per Second- Iron Maiden: Flight 666
Iron Maiden are raked #24 in VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock,” #4 in MTV’s “Top 10 Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All Time” and #3 in VH1 Classic’s “Top 20 Metal Bands.”
Iron Maiden have influenced numerous rock and heavy metal artists.
According to Guitar World Iron Maiden’s sound “influenced generations of newer metal acts, from legends like Metallica to current stars like Avenged Sevenfold,”with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich commenting that he has “always had an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them.” Kerry King of Slayer has stated that “they meant so much to me in their early days” and Scott Ian of Anthrax says that “they had a major impact on my life.”
M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold states that Iron Maiden “are by far the best live band in the world and their music is timeless,” while Trivium singer Matt Heafy comments that “without Iron Maiden, Trivium surely wouldn’t exist.” Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor says that “Steve Harris does more with four fingers than I’ve ever seen anybody do. And Bruce Dickinson? Dude! To me, he was the quintessential old-school heavy metal singer. He could hit notes that were just sick, and he was a great showman. Everything made me a fan. And there wasn’t a dude that I hung out with that wasn’t trying to draw Eddie on their schoolbooks,” while their music also helped Jesper Strömblad of In Flames to pioneer the melodic death metal genre, stating that he had wanted to combine death metal with Iron Maiden’s melodic guitar sounds.
Several of the band’s songs are featured in popular video games, including Carmaggedon 2, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Madden NFL 10, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Rocksmith. Its music has also appeared in films, such as Phenomena (Creepers in the U.S.) and Murder by Numbers, and mentioned prominently in several songs by other artists, such as Weezer’s “Heart Songs” and Blues Traveler’s “Psycho Joe.”
Founded in 1981 by guitarist Kerry King and drummer Dave Lombardo, Slayer started out by playing cover versions of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs at clubs and parties in Southern California. The band’s first recording was “Aggressive Perfector” on the Metal Massacre III compilation album for Metal Blade Records. Slayer’s first album, Show No Mercy, was released in December 1983 on Metal Blade Records.
Slayer is considered one of the “Big Four” thrash metal acts, along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer were awarded a Grammy in 2007 for Best Metal Performance for “Eyes of the Insane” and in 2009 for Best Metal Performance for “Final Six.” In 2006, the band was inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame.
Without Slayer, the Thrash Metal genre would likely have taken a different course of history and the Black Metal and Death Metal genres might never have been born. Groups who cite Slayer among their major influences are Gojia, Pantera, Machine Head, Mayhem, System of a Down, Lamb of God, Lacuna Coil and Behemoth. Andreas Kisser, guitarist for Sepultera, once stated “without Slayer, Sepultera would never be possible.” Weezer mentions them in their song, “Heart Songs,” along with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Some Slayer songs are also featured in the Guitar Hero video game franchise.
I’ve written about Joe Satriani before in my Screaming Rock and Roll Guitars article. He’s been nominated for 15 Grammys but never won, which is the second most nominations for any artist not to have won.
He’s taught some of the greatest modern guitarists, including Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett (Metallica). He founded the G3 Tour, which is a concert tour featuring Joe with two other guitarists. Some of the guitarist whom have shared the stage with Joe are Steve Vai, Erick Johnson, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Solo, Kansas, Deep Purple), Steve Lukather (Toto), Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions, Electric Sun, Solo), Michael Schenker (UFO, Scorpions, McCauley Schenker Band), and many others.
Satriani released his debut album, Not of This Earth,” in 1986 and has released 14 solo albums to date. He’s also a member of the super group, Chickenfoot, along with Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Solo, Van Halen), Michael Anthony (Van Halen) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). Chickenfoot has released two albums to date. Satriani is credited on Alice Cooper’s 1991 album, Hey Stoopid, Spinal Tap’s 1992 album, Break Like the Wind and Blue Öyster Cult’s 1988 album Imaginos. He also had a short stint with Deep Purple in 2006.
He composed much of the soundtrack for the video game NASCAR 06: Total Team Control and contributed to Sega Rally Championship. His song, “Crowd Chant,” was featured in NHL 2K10 and Madden NFL 11.
Satriani has also starred in feature films, including Moneyball (as himself playing the “Star Spangled Banner”) and Christopher Guest’s film For Your Consideration.
Putting his gun-toting politics aside, “Nuge” was a rock radio staple in the late 1970s with hits such as “Stranglehold,” “Cat Scratch Fever,”Free For All,” “Wango Tango” and “Just What the Doctor Ordered.” And he gave us the tongue in cheek rock and roll anthem, “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” In the 1980s, Nugent was part of the super group, Damn Yankees, that also included Tommy Shaw (guitar/vocals, formerly of Styx), Jack Blades (bass/vocals, formerly of Night Ranger) and Michael Cartellone (drums).
While Ted Nugent doesn’t have any high profile awards, accolades or Grammy nominations, his career started in 1958, releasing more than 34 albums and sold more than 30 million records. He’s mostly known as a solo act though he played with The Amboy Dukes (1965-1975) and the Damn Yankees (1982-1989). For most of his career he’s been a touring animal, playing his 6,000th concert on July 4, 2008.
He’s one of the few hard rock guitarists to play a hollow body guitar.
Despite his acerbic conservative politics, stances on gun rights and hunter’s rights (anti-animal rights) and outrageous and abrasive personality, there’s no denying Ted Nugent’s ability to play guitar, showmanship and contribution to rock and roll. He’ll probably never be inducted because of his politics and he is so controversial, but then again, he won’t give a shit either.
Judas Priest, believe it or not, were formed in 1969, but didn’t achieve worldwide popularity until 1980 when they released British Steel with its highly popular hit songs, “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.” The 1982 song, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” from the album, Screaming for Vengeance, was a also major U.S. radio hit. They played at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, PA on July 13, 1995 for Live Aid.
Judas Priest pioneered the twin lead guitar attack and is responsible for introducing the S&M leather and studs look into heavy metal. The band is widely recognized as one of the finest and most original heavy metal bands of all time. Countless artists list Judas Priest as a major influence. MTV ranked the band as the 2nd Greatest Metal Band of all time; only Black Sabbath is ranked ahead of it. “Their popularity and status as one of the exemplary and influential heavy metal bands has earned them the nickname ‘Metal Gods’ from their song of the same name.”
They received a Grammy in 2010 for Best Metal Performance and have songs featured in Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Rocksmith video games.
Judas Priest has released 16 studio albums to date, though it’s their album British Steel that gained them international fame and recognition and is generally considered one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time.
Rob Halford’s departure from the band in September 1991 led to the hiring of Tim “Ripper” Owens as the new lead singer for the band. Owens was the lead singer for British Steel, a Judas Priest tribute band. This was the inspiration behind the 2001 movie Rock Star, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Anniston.
Motörhead were formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known as Lemmy, which is his stage name. The band, along with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, is often considered as a precursor, or one of the earliest members of, the New Wave of British Metal. The New Wave of British Metal revitalized heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Motörhead are classified as heavy metal, but they also incorporated elements of punk rock into their music, which helped establish speed metal and thrash metal.
Motörhead have released 21 studio albums, 10 live albums, 12 greatest hits/compilation albums and 5 EPs. Several Motörhead songs have been included in the Rock Band and Guitar Hero video game franchises.
Bon Jovi is one of the world’s best selling bands of all time. Releasing 12 studio albums, 3 greatest hits/compilation albums and 2 live albums, Bon Jovi have sold more than 130 million records worldwide. They have also performed more than 2,700 concerts in more than 50 countries for more than 34 million people. Its first album, Bon Jovi, was released in 1982.
Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. John Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
Bon Jovi have won many awards (and many more awards nominations) throughout the band’s history, including
- 1988 – American Music Awards – Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group
- 2004 – American Music Awards – Award of Merit
- 2006 – CMT Music Awards – Collaborative Video of the Year for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland)
- 2008 – CMT Music Awards – Collaborative Video of the Year for “Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore” with LeAnn Rimes
- 2007 – Grammy Award – Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland)
- 1995 – World Music Awards – Best Selling Rock Artist/Group
- 2005 – World Music Awards – Diamond Award (given to recording artists who have sold more than 100 million albums throughout their career)
Dream Theater were formed in 1985 by John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass) and Mike Portnoy (drums) while they were students at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. Its first album When Dream and Day Unite was released in 1989. The band’s second album Images and Words is its best selling album.
Dream Theater are well known for being one of the originators of of the progressive metal genre. Its album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was voted as the #1 progressive album of all time, beating out 2112 by Rush and Closer to the Edge by Yes. Dream Theater have released 12 studio albums. 5 of its albums (including live albums) are RIAA certified gold and one is certified platinum in Japan.
The band received a Grammy nomination in 2012 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for “On the Backs of Angels” from its A Dramatic Turn of Events album and again in 2014 for “The Enemy Inside” from the album Dream Theater.
Many bands and musicians cite Dream Theater as an influence, including Opeth, Stone Sour, Slipknot, and Trivium.
Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains has probably the weakest resume of any performer on my list of 2015 nominees, mainly because the band has released only 5 studio albums in its history, which dates back to 1987. Despite its limited discography, which also includes 2 live albums, 4 greatest hits/compilations and two DVDs, Alice in Chains have managed to rack up a fairly impressive number of accolades.
Alice in Chains are one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s and part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. They sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, more than 14 million in the U.S. alone. Their album Dirt was critically acclaimed and has been certified quadruple platinum. Alice in Chains scored two #1 Billboard 200 releases, 14 top 10 songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and 8 Grammy nominations.
Steve Huey of Allmusic said the album Facelift was “one of the most important records in establishing an audience for grunge and alternative rock among hard rock and heavy metal listeners.”
Alice in Chains contributed two songs to the Last Action Hero soundtrack and one song to the Clerks soundtrack.
Alice in Chains have had a large impact on many bands, including Godsmack, Staind, Three Days Grace, Creed, Nickelback, Taproot, Puddle of Mud, Avenged Sevenfold, Cold, Incubus, Mudvayne, 10 Years, Breaking Benjamin, Tantric and many others. Modern heavy metal bands have also been influenced by Alice in Chains: Opeth, Dream Theater, Pantera, Damageplan, In Flames and others.
Pantera are mostly known for its heavy groove metal sound, but that sound didn’t take shape until 1989, a full 8 years after the band was founded as a glam metal band. Gradually, the band’s sound grew heavier from 1981 through 1989. As Pantera was looking to move away from the glam metal sound, Phil Anselmo joined the band in 1987 as lead vocalist and the band shed its glam metal image. It’s groove metal sound came together on its Cowboys from Hell release in 1990. Though Cowboys from Hell was not the band’s first album release (it released 4 albums between 1981-1988), Pantera’s early albums are not listed in the discography on its website and are difficult to find. For all intents and purposes, Cowboys from Hell can be considered the band’s first album release, as it’s where Pantera debuted its self-proclaimed power groove sound (a combination of thrash metal and groove metal) and rise to rock stardom.
Pantera were disbanded in 2003 by Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell Abbot due to communication problems and a belief that Phil Anselmo would not rejoin the band.
The band is widely recognized as originating the power groove or groove metal sound, as well as heavily influencing the development of nu metal, metalcore and other heavy metal sub-genres. They are also recognized and one of the pioneers in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Many bands, including Korn, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall and Hatebreed, were influenced by Dimebag Darrell’s guitar style.
Pantera released 5 studio albums that featured its famous groove metal sound, along with 4 glam rock/post-glam albums. Despite a limited library of studio albums, Pantera’s influence was far and wide.
Pantera garnered 4 Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance, but never won. Cowboys from Hell, Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven are all certified platinum albums. Far Beyond Driven debuted at #1 in the U.S. and Australia and Reinventing the Steel debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200.
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Although his career was tragically cut short, he is widely considered as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music. That he’s not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a complete mystery. He revived blues rock in the 1980s and his influence is still felt long after his death.
Stevie Ray Vaughn won numerous awards during his short career and after his death in 1990.
- 1983 – Guitar Player’s Readers Poll – Best New Talent and Best Electric Blues Guitar Player
- 1984 – Blues Foundation Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year
- 1987 – Performance Magazine Rhythm and Blues Act of the Year
- Six time Grammy Winner
- Ten time Austin Music Award Winner
- 2000 – Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame
- 2014 – Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame
- 2003 – Rolling Stone’s 7th Greatest Guitarist of all time
- Guitar World Magazine’s 8th Greatest Guitarist
Among those who were influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughn are John Mayer and Kenny Wayne Sheppard.
Also Deserving Consideration
Here is a short list of some other performers I feel deserve to be in the discussion for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
- Blue Öyster Cult
- The Runaways
- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
- Lita Ford
- Jethro Tull
- Ronnie James Dio
- Steve Vai
- Ywngie Malmsteen
- Spinal Tap (yes, they are a “fake” band, but the movie This is Spinal Tap is legendary and a classic, and their amplifiers that go to 11 inspired Marshall Amplification to build amplifiers that go to 20.)
Non-Performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement)
If Leo Fender and Les Paul, two of four forefathers of rock music equipment, are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then it’s a disservice that the other two are not members.
Jim Marshall (Marshall Amplification)
Since 1960, Jim Marshall owned a music store in west London. His store sold primarily drums, branching out to guitars later. Many of his regular guitar playing customers had a need for a particular kind of amplifier. Pete Townsend was specifically looking for something bigger and louder. As a result, Jim Marshall started producing prototype amplifiers. Soon after, he founded Marshall Amplification and rock and roll music was forever changed. Countless guitarists, including Jimi Hendriz, Pete Townsend and Jimmy Page, have used Marshall amps ever since. Marshall amplifiers are a staple of rock and heavy metal music.
Seth Lover is most famous for inventing the humbucking pickup, most often used in electric guitars. Before this invention, single coil pickups, which were the only type available, caused a hum that could be heard through the guitar’s amplifier. Lover discovered that two coils could be wired together, out of phase and with reversed magnetic polarities, to eliminate the hum before it reach the amplifier.
Seth Lover also designed the famous Flying V guitar shape.
There’s no doubt that I missed several, if not more, deserving performers and non-performers. So, add your favorite(s) to the list in a comment below and tell me why you think they deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or let me know if you think my list is way off base!
- Deep Purple – Wikipedia
- Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- Iron Maiden – Wikipedia
- Ozzy Osbourne – Wikipedia
- Dick Dale – Wikipedia
- Slayer – Wikipedia
- Joe Satriani – Wikipedia
- Ted Nugent – Wikipedia
- Judas Priest – Wikipedia
- Dream Theater – Wikipedia
- Alice in Chains – Wikipedia
- Pantera – Wikipedia
- Jim Marshall – Wikipedia
- Seth Lover – Wikipedia
- Stevie Ray Vaughn – Wikipedia