Even Hall of Fame boss can’t get favourites inducted
New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame boss Greg Harris admits that even some of his own favourite acts haven’t been inducted.
The new chief exec, who takes over from Terry Stewart in January, will oversee the first ceremony at which a public vote – won by Rush – will be taken into account.
But he’s not planning any major changes to the decision-making process – and he insists there are good reasons why some big bands haven’t made the grade, no matter how much they’re loved.
The 2013 list includes Deep Purple, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Procol Harum, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Albert King, Kraftwerk, Randy Newman, Donna Summer, Public Enemy, NWA, Chic, the Marvelettes and the Meters, alongside Canadian giants Rush.
But stand-out acts who meet the basic requirement of having released their first album 25 years ago, yet still haven’t made it into the Hall of Fame, include Kiss, Yes, Judas Priest, Jethro Tull, Scorpions, Supertramp and many others.
Harris tells the LA Times: “Everybody has certain artists in music that mean a lot to them at a certain time in their life.
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by its definition, it should be reserved for less than 1% of those that ever recorded. When you do that, some are going to be excluded – some are not going to make the list. I have my favourites that are not inducted, and some day I hope they are.
“Some artists have sold a lot of records, but they haven’t necessarily been impactful or influential. They haven’t been the pioneers. And to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you have to be influential and impactful on the art form.”
Harris’ former job was boss of the Baseball Hall of Fame, which he says was more straightforward. “It doesn’t matter how you won 300 games – if you win 300 games, you’re in,” he says. “When you’re into the world of art and aesthetics, people’s sense of that changes. You’re dealing with subjective decisions and subjective criteria. The exciting thing is that people talk about it and they care about it.
“When the results come in, whatever way it goes, there’s going to be a lot of passion. That’s fun, and that’s one of the great things about it.”