Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens has slammed the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame after the band's latest snub.
The British heavy metal legends were on the ballot for Rock Hall induction this year, but failed to receive enough votes to make the class of 2020.
Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was previously on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list.
Current members Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis would have been inducted along with K.K. Downing, Les Binks and late drummer Dave Holland.
Speaking to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, Owens stated about PRIEST's absence from the Rock Hall: "Here's the one thing about JUDAS PRIEST. Somebody said one time, 'Well, they're trying to look for bands and musicians that are influential.' Well, how can you be any more influential to music than JUDAS PRIEST? Dual guitars. Pretty much coined the phrase 'heavy metal.' The leather and studs and what they wore… It is horrible JUDAS PRIEST isn't in and gets snubbed again, but, on the other hand, I won't be going in with JUDAS PRIEST either, so it looks like I was kind of snubbed as well. I [was] in the band about 10 years, and I won't be going in."
Asked if he would still go to the Rock Hall ceremony if PRIEST was being inducted, Owens said: "Listen, I'm still friends with everybody. I would certainly hope I would be invited to go if they went into the Hall Of Fame. I can't imagine they wouldn't, but some of the decision making that happens wouldn't shock me. Obviously, they've kind of erased my history anyways. It doesn't change what I think. I'm totally friends with them. Amazing people, all of them — Rob included. It's kind of like my college — JUDAS PRIEST was. But I would think I would be invited. I mean, it's shocking that you can be [in a band] about 10 years and two studio records, up to that point, and not go."
Owens also made negative comments about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducting rap and pop artists, saying that hip-hop acts do not belong in the institution.
"The problem is it should not be called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame then, because they're not putting rock and roll artists in; they're putting musicians in," Tim said. "And some of them, in my opinion, aren't even really musicians. Just because you can rhyme a couple of words and mumble through something doesn't make you a musician.
"It does open the gates up for JUDAS PRIEST making the Rap Hall Of Fame," Owens joked. "So that's probably a good thing nowadays. And I'm actually hoping I can get into the Football Hall Of Fame — the NFL Football Hall Of Fame — which I don't play and never really have, but I do watch it, so I should probably be able to get in. That's kind of how they look at it.
"It's just named the wrong thing, isn't it?" Tim added. "That's the only thing. They should just change the name to the Music Hall Of Fame. … Rock and roll is a branding of rock and roll. Obviously, some country artists can go in, because they have some [rock] influences. Johnny Cash, I can see going in there, because old Johnny Cash was rockabilly, and he had some of that influence. And nowadays country will definitely get in, because they're more rock and roll than country."
Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility.
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.