If there’s one thing that happens every year that enrages metal fans, it’s when awards shows happen. The list of Grammy nominees snubbed could fill a book, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has shown themselves to have a very narrow definition of “rock,” or perhaps a far too wide one. However, they’ll usually give lip service to a metal band or two when they announce the nominees, and every now and then a band like KISS or Rush squeaks in. This morning the nominees for the class of 2017 were announced, and for the first time ever, Judas Priest are among the acts nominated. The list of bands not in that should be are enough to fill a shirt, which Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament did while playing last year’s ceremony.
The full list of nominees this year includes: Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, the Cars, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, MC5, the Meters, the Moody Blues, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Link Wray and the Zombies.
It being that a band has to have released their first recording 25 years ago, a handful of 1992 bands have also been announced, most prominently, Rage Against the Machine and Radiohead. If you’re under the age of 30 or so, this might seem hard to imagine, but when Rage Against the Machine’s debut album came out, it was dangerous. By the time their most recent album, 2000’s Renegades, was released, they’d run out of gas, and while 3/4ths of the have soldiered on in Audioslave and Prophets of Rage, it’s just not the same without Zack de la Rocha. It would be hard to imagine him wanting to rejoin the band to play what’s essentially a corporate event commemorating that they’re part of the establishment should they make it in. In fact, bassist Tim Commerford spoke to Rolling Stone in 2015 about it:
“I think it’s pretty obvious. I think there’s somebody who’s going to show up and somebody who’s not going to show up and maybe somebody who’s going to show up with an enema filled with food coloring and shit all over the red carpet.”
Judas Priest, on the other hand, belong in the Hall, even though it’s hard to imagine them making it in on their first nomination. The lineup that the Hall of Fame announced includes the classic era core of Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill and drummers Scott Travis, Les Binks and Dave Holland. The band thanked the Hall in a statement:
“Thank you Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this epic nomination to Judas Priest! We have lived breathed blood sweat and teared our way through four decades making the metal we love so to be recognized this way is sensational!”
As far as other acts, Kate Bush, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe join Priest as first-time nominees. This is the second time Bon Jovi and Depeche Mode have been nominated.
The bands that make it in this year will be nominated and inducted on April 14th.