The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame righted a lot of past wrongs yesterday by finally inducting Tina Turner and Carole King separate from their former partners, and bringing in LL Cool J, Kraftwerk, and Todd Rundgren years after they should have, considering those artists’ vast accomplishments. “I never put my ego in it,” LL Cool J told Rolling Stone. “What’s meant for you will come to you. So I’m good.”
People not feeling so good about this year’s class are fans of heavy metal. Randy Rhoads was given the Musical Excellence Award, but that will do little to appease the hardcores considering that Iron Maiden was once again passed over. They’ve been eligible since 2005, but this was their first nomination. They join Judas Priest and Motörhead as giants of metal who appeared on the ballot and were snubbed. Meanwhile, Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth, Rainbow, Scorpions, Anthrax, Mötley Crüe, and Ozzy Osbourne solo have yet to see their names on a single ballot.
And while Iron Maiden fans may be enraged by the situation, members of the band say they do not care. “I actually think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an utter and complete load of bollocks, to be honest with you,” frontman Bruce Dickinson said in 2018. “It’s run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn’t know rock & roll if it hit them in the face. They need to stop taking Prozac and start drinking fucking beer.”
What’s certainly true is that many Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters are unaware of Iron Maiden’s significant impact on the music world. They may not have had many radio hits, but albums like The Number of the Beast and Somewhere in Time are some of the best metal albums ever recorded. They have a rabid fan base to this day and they sell out wherever they tour. Of all metal acts touring today, only Metallica draws more fans.
Check out this video of them playing “Fear of the Dark” at a 2008 show in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s an amazing moment from their tour documentary Flight 666 that shows off the incredible atmosphere at a typical Maiden gig. The film should be required viewing for every Hall of Fame voter. And even if Bruce Dickinson doesn’t care about the Hall, and the band might not even show up if they’re inducted one day, they still deserve to get in. Let’s hope 2022 is their moment.