Canadian rock legends RUSH were announced as one of next year's inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on Tuesday, along with PUBLIC ENEMY, HEART, Randy Newman, Donna Summer and Albert King. Summer, who passed away this May, and King, who died in 1992, will earn the honor posthumously. Lou Adler and Quincy Jones will both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.
"It's a terrific honor and we'll show up smiling," RUSH's singer and bassist, Geddy Lee, tells RollingStone.com. "It made my mom happy, so that's worth it." Lee is especially happy for RUSH's army of hardcore fans. "It was a cause they championed," he says. "I'm very relieved for them and we share this honor with them, for sure."
RUSH has been eligible for the honor since 1999, 25 years after the release of the band's self-titled debut album.
"I never really cared if it happened or not, to be honest with you," RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson told the Canadian Press. "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.
"So we continue to do the kind of work we want to do and we will continue regardless of our induction or not," he added. "I think at the end of the day, really, what this is about is making our fans feel like their support has been worthy."
"If there's one band in the history of rock music that's deserved the acknowledgment of getting into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it's RUSH," said Sam Dunn, co-director of the 2010 Grammy-nominated documentary "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage". "Here's a band that has been making creative and unique music for over 40 years now, has a massive fanbase around the world ... (and) they continue to be one of the best live bands on the planet.
"I think there's a bunch of good reasons why they deserve this achievement."
"The progressive movement is not something the founders of the Hall Of Fame are too keen on," Lifeson told the Canadian Press. "But it seems to be changing. If you look at this year's nominees, it's really quite an eclectic group.... I kind of like the idea that it is becoming broader and more areas of popular music are being included. And so therefore at some point in the near future, progressive music will start being included."
According to Lifeson, the Rock Hall induction would pale in comparison to the band's having received one of the prestigious Governor General's Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in March, the highest honor bestowed on artists by the Canadian government.
"The acknowledgement we got from the Canadian government, and by extension Canadians, is very dear to us," Lifeson said. "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is more a popularity contest."
The April 18, 2013 event is set for Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, marking the first time the ceremony will be held in the city since 1993. HBO will tape the show for broadcast at a later date.