The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was opened in 1983, and for 29 years Rush fans have been baffled by the Hall’s exclusion of the legendary Canadian rockers. This year, however, fans were able to vote for up to 5 performers to be inducted, and Rush, who received the most fan votes, has been chosen for induction at the April 18, 2013 ceremony.
As a huge Rush fan I am obviously ecstatic that the band has finally gotten this recognition, but this event has really made me angry at the Hall of Fame. Why did it take this long for Rush to get in? Did the Hall really not understand that Rush would get voted in the first year they opened it to the public? And, most importantly, why was Deep Purple excluded when they garnered the second most fan votes?
The reason is that the Hall of Fame members are biased against progressive and hard rock groups, and refuse to give them the credit they deserve. There is no other explanation for why groups like King Crimson, Yes and Jethro Tull are missing from the Hall. And now they have sealed their own fate by opening voting up to fans. It’s still going to be hard, as evidenced by Deep Purple this year, but progressive and hard rock bands will not be able to be ignored every year because if they snub the performer that got the most votes from fans then it will be obvious that the fan vote has no legitimacy. This is going to open the door, like it has this year for Rush, for groups that are adored by the public, but criminally ignored, to finally get the recognition of the Hall of Fame.
The main issue here is simple: If we know the Hall of Fame members are biased then why should we even care about it? Rush doesn’t care. If there’s one thing that the band hasn’t done in their 44 year career it’s care what the mainstream thinks. In a story from the Calgary Herald, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson stated just how little the induction means to them. “It doesn’t change anybody’s life at the end of the day. Are we going to become more popular? Are we going to sell more records? Are more people going to come to the shows? I don’t know. We’re quite happy where we are and with what we’ve accomplished.”
I think it might come down to a need to prove that we’re not crazy. If I know this band is amazing, why can’t they realize it? This recognition may mean nothing, but I still think my favorite band deserves it!
In conclusion, this news is a well deserved little addition to Rush’s resume; nothing more, nothing less. It’s great that they were finally recognized, but it really doesn’t mean that much. What should really be appreciated is the band’s great history of recording and performing and their ability to keep going over such a long career. With that in mind, here’s a video of a classic Rush track. Enjoy.