RUSH and DEEP PURPLE are among 15 finalists for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's Class Of 2013.
For the first time, the public gets to vote alongside the artists, historians and music industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body. From now until December 5, fans can vote on RollingStone.com for the nominees they'd like to see inducted. The top five acts will comprise a "fan's ballot" that will count as one of the more than 600 ballots that determine the Class Of 2013. The results will be announced in mid-December.
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.
"The definition of 'rock and roll' means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music," stated Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation. "This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is 'rock and roll.'"
In an official statement, RUSH said: "We are honored to be among the nominees for this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated fans to whom this nomination is so very important."
Artists are considered for inclusion in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.
Nominees for the 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:
* ALBERT KING
* DEEP PURPLE
* DONNA SUMMER
* JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
* THE MARVELETTES
* THE METERS
* PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
* PROCOL HARUM
* PUBLIC ENEMY
* RANDY NEWMAN
Important note: Only five of the artists will make the final cut and be inducted into the Hall.
In a June 2012 interview with RollingStone.com, RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson was asked how he felt about having yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. "Honestly, we really, really don't care about it," he replied. "It's someone's thing, and they can do whatever they want with it. They can have whomever they like. It's their thing." He added, "It's a little bit different here in Canada. We've received awards that mean an awful lot more to us than being in the Hall Of Fame. We got the Governor General's Performing Arts Award a couple weeks ago. That's really the highest accolade you can get in this country for the performing arts, and it's recognized nationally, and I felt so proud as a Canadian to be in this esteemed group of artists that have been there for the last 20 years."
When asked if he and his bandmates would show up at the ceremony if they were eventually chosen to be inducted into the Rock Hall, Lifeson said, "I think we'd consider it at the time and just see where we're at. I mean, you don't want to be rude, and we're Canadians, and we find it very difficult to be rude as much as we'd really like to. [laughs] So we'd probably have to look at that one, if it ever came. I know there must be pressure from their end. We keep going on and getting more popular…"
He continued, "Look, there are a lot of other bands that should be in there before we should be in there... If the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame doesn't want us in there, that's fine. I don't care. It really, really doesn't matter at the end of the day. It's probably better left the way it is. There's more controversy for them and for us."
Speaking to VintageRock.com, DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan recently stated about the possibility of one day being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, "You've got to take this with great respect. We don't have anything like that where we come from, over in Europe or anywhere else. It's an American thing. It's so completely different. In America, you're great and really do support and show appreciation for your artists, musicians, film stars, whatever it may be. And you give them visible signs in accolades and all that sort of thing. And you cheer and…you're very supportive. It's the completely opposite in the U.K. They want to kill you. [laughs] The moment you get up to any form of success, they just want to wipe you out and deride you. It's part of the culture. At the same time, we've just focused on the music."
He added, "I honestly can't tell you whether or not we should be there or not. It could be because of the fragmented nature of the band that they wouldn't know how to deal with it.
"To us, with the greatest respect, it doesn't mean a lot although it's rather like an award in the U.K., if I were to get one. I probably wouldn't accept it. But then again, after a week of thinking about it, I would accept it because it would be on behalf on the family and friends and everyone who supports the band and who's looked after us after all these years. It's kind of a recognition of everyone. But whether we deserve it, I don't know. I always get embarrassed talking about this stuff."
Former PURPLE member Glenn Hughes recently said of the Hall Of Fame: "We know the people in charge and we know how they think. It's become like a joke in a way. Gene Simmons [KISS] will talk to me about it, and go on a rant and all, and he is exactly right. But I'm not gonna hold my breath. DEEP PURPLE, KISS, YES and especially RUSH should obviously all be in."