Gene Simmons has never been one to keep his opinions to himself. As a life-long metal fan, I’m pretty familiar with Gene’s attitude and opinions. Honestly, I hardly agree with the guy. However, when he’s right, he’s right. When he unleashed a couple of tweets aimed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s current class of inductees, I had to give The Demon his due. He hit the nail on the head.
Late last night, Gene Simmons sent out a couple of back-to-back tweets voicing his displeasure at bands who were snubbed this year. First, he tweeted about the legendary British metal band, Iron Maiden.
Not long after that, Gene Simmons addressed the fact that Rage Against the Machine was also snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Gene Simmons Isn’t Wrong
Gene Simmons isn’t wrong by any stretch of the imagination, no matter how much it pains me to say that. This is especially true when you compare that list with some of the acts that made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
First, let’s look at the rules for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A band or artist becomes eligible for nomination twenty-five years after their first album or single. Once nominated, the act is placed on a ballot. Then, those ballots are sent out to the Rock Hall’s international voting body. This year’s voters consisted of over 1,200 people including historians, members of the music industry, and living inductees according to Blabbermouth
Epic Snubs by Rock Hall
Now, let’s look at the acts that made the cut this year. The inductees include Foo Fighters, The Go-Gos, Carole King, Tod Rundgren, Tina Turner, and Jay-Z. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is also honoring LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads with the Musical Excellence Award. Clarence Avant will take home the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Finally, Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron, and Charley Patton are being honored with the Early Influence Award.
Both Jay-Z and LL Cool J have long and legendary hip hop careers. But, two hip hop artists being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ahead of bands like Rage Against the Machine, Iron Maiden, or even the glam rock act New York Dolls is utterly insane. There are snubs and then there’s this.
Gene Simmons is correct in saying that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubbed some great acts.
Rage Against the Machine have more than earned their place in the Hall of Fame. Their socially conscious lyrics paired with killer musicianship were the soundtrack for a generation. On top of that, they’ve sold millions of records and influenced countless artists and fans.
Gene Simmons’ first tweet holds more truth, though. If any band on Earth deserves a place in the Hall of Fame it’s Iron Maiden. They released their debut record in 1980. Since then, they have collected a stack of gold and platinum albums. They were pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The NWOBHM ushered in a new age of music and influenced nearly every heavy metal act to form over the past forty years. Iron Maiden should have been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decades ago.