Rock Hall Boss Says Angry Fans ‘Need to Expand Their Thinking’
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s CEO suggested that fans who are angry about induction choices “need to expand their thinking” about what the genre really is.
Greg Harris was answering another round of queries about the class of 2021, which includes Jay-Z but not Iron Maiden. The metal legends were nominated for the first time this year even though they have been eligible for induction since 2005, but they failed to receive enough support from the 1,000 or so industry people who cast the votes.
“There's no doubt that they are an impactful, influential band, and that's why they were nominated this year, along with 15 other artists and acts,” Harris told WBAB in a recent interview. “And when the votes came in, these six were the leaders.”
He stated that the Rock Hall wasn’t questioning Maiden’s importance and repeated that more than 80 percent of artists nominated are eventually inducted at some point. “Everybody has their favorites," he noted. "Everybody has different artists that impacted them or impacted other artists. So, if you look at this list, you can make that case for all of these folks, just like people make that case for Iron Maiden.”
Harris was then asked how he felt about the suggestion that the Rock Hall should more properly be called the “Music Hall of Fame.” He replied: “I think to get to the core of it, people like the stuff that's closest to them, and I think they need to expand their thinking of rock ’n’ roll. It's a big tent. Rock ’n’ roll was never just four skinny guys with long hair and guitars. It's always been diverse. We take that interpretation that these are all variants of rock ’n’ roll.”
He added that "underneath it, it frequently gets to the hip-hop question because some people are not fans. Well, the fact of the matter is that ship has sailed. We've inducted quite a few artists in that canon. It's a big tent and everybody fits under it. It's an attitude, it's a spirit, and that's rock ’n’ roll."
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