Rock Hall judges ‘know too much’
Fame at last: Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush
The former director of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame says the induction process he helped set up works well. And contrary to claims the judges don’t know what they’re talking about, he insists they actually “know too much.”
Terry Stewart bowed out of the Cleveland establishment in January after 14 years at the helm. Previously the head of Marvel Comics, he says the only thing bigger than his record collection is his graphic novel collection.
The Hall Of Fame will this year induct Rush, Heart and Albert King – but also Randy Newman, Public Enemy and Donna Summer, while big names including Deep Purple, Kiss and Iron Maiden remain on the sidelines.
Discussing the constant controversy over their decisions, Stewart tells AL.com: “I’ve taken a lot of crap about Rush and Kiss. I’ve gotten Kiss nominated but they’ve never gotten in.
“There are 40 of us that nominate, and almost a hundred that vote. Everybody has their own personal opinions. We’re in a period where so many of the great artists from the early years of rock’n'roll, all the slam-dunks, have been put in. I say anybody who’s worthy eventually gets in – so far I’ve been mostly proven true.”
And Stewart insists it’s not simply a question of popularity or commercial success. “It’s a methodical process,” he says. “It’s about impact, influence, innovation and excellence. We don’t allow people to talk about record sales.
“It’s done by a lot of people with an extraordinary amount of knowledge. In fact, I’ll say that all of us who nominate and vote know too much – we get wrapped up in our own shorts about who should be in and who shouldn’t be in.
“It makes it terribly exciting and interesting.”
New Rock Hall boss Greg Harris recently admitted that even some of his own favourite bands hadn’t made the cut, but said he wasn’t planning to make any changes to the induction process.