10 Most Snubbed Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Artists From Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame :

Ten Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artists That Meet Every Single Qualification For The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Yet Still Shamefully Are Not Inducted. 

Tomorrow nominees will be announced for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. As many fans know, both Hard Rock, and especially Heavy Metal artists have been criminally, and pathetically overlooked. That shouldn’t be surprising since many in the nominating committee know nothing, or aren’t even fans of these genres of music. The past few years some changes have been made by getting rid of some of some of the voters who were no longer relevant, because they only were experts on music of the 1950s,1960s, 1970s, (they still need to get rid of a few more) and brought in some new blood. That being said, even though there have been obvious positive changes in a new direction, and some glaring wrongs made right, there’s still a ton of work to do to give Hard Rock/Heavy Metal a fair shake. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think we will see signs of that this year. With the grunge , Rap/Hip-Hop, Alternative, and other 1990s artists now becoming eligible the Hall will focus on these artists first before righting the wrongs of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. For instance this year bands like Soundgarden (especially after Chris Cornell’s suicide), Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, even Garth Brooks, and Dr. Dre, all have a realistic shot at being nominated this year. The HOF won’t induct more than five or six artists per year. And while many hard Rock/Heavy Metal fans would be happy to see Soundgarden, and especially Alice In Chains get in, it will still leave a sour taste that other artists, and bands who have been eligible, and deserving for years will still be overlooked, and ignored. 

Artists become eligible for induction into the Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. One blunder that was made in the original formation of the HOF were some of the rules as to who could be inducted. For instance, someone like the iconic Randy Rhoads could not be inducted, or eligible, because he played for Ozzy Osbourne as a solo artist, and none of the musicians that played with a solo artist qualify. So the only way that Randy could be inducted is if the committee gave him a “sideman” award. Eventually that ridiculous rule has to be fixed. 

There are many Hard Rock/Heavy Metal artists that you could arguably say deserve to be in the HOF, but the ten artists I will list below have no excuse not to be in. Even if you’re not a fan of their work, and that’s one problem with many of the voters in the HOF, they vote as fans, and will overlook artists that deserve to be in, while they vote only for the artists they like. That was one of the problems that happened with bands like Black Sabbath, Rush, and KISS, who had to wait years after first being eligible because voters purposely tried to keep them out since they weren’t fans of their music. Eddie Trunk is a perfect example in that he knows quite a bit about Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, but it’s shocking how little he knows about other genres of music. These voters need to do a better job of educating themselves about different genres of music. These ten artists qualify, and even their biggest haters couldn’t justifiably come up with a reason why they shouldn’t be in other than their own bias.

*One band that many people will wonder why is not in my top ten is Megadeth. And let me explain why. Do they deserve to be in the HOF ? Yes, absolutely. But they will have a very difficult time getting in, and it’s Dave Mustaine’s fault. Since he’s had so many different members in the band, if they are ever considered for a nomination there will be endless debate as to which members should be inducted. To me it’s simple. It should be the original band, along with Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza. Case closed ! But it won’t be that simple, especially for voters who know nothing about the band. Also Dave Mustaine wasn’t inducted with Metallica, because he didn’t perform on any Metallica record. Writing songs doesn’t quality you. Had he just recorded one song on “Kill Em’ All” he would’ve been inducted too. It does seem like an injustice that Robert Trujillo was inducted with Metallica, yet Dave Mustaine wasn’t. Just another example of changes that still need to be made with the rules.* 

10.Motley Crue ( Eligible Since 2006)  

A few years ago I would’ve picked Def Leppard before Motley Crue, but in 2017 the Crue has had a resurgence in both popularity, but also critical respect. Quiet Riot May have beat them to success from the Sunset Strip, but Motley Crue would become the more iconic band. No band defined the whole “sex, drugs, and Rock And Roll” scene like they did. After releasing their first two monumental albums they did lose their way a bit, becoming more interested in the celebrity part than the music, but they would earn their respect back. The smartest thing they did was decide to retire, and not constantly keep touring like Def Leppard did. All that’s gonna do is make their legacy grow. Even the 1994 album with John Corabi (who would not get inducted with the original four) that flopped at the time has now been reassessed, and considered an overlooked gem. Of all the bands from the “Glam Metal” Sunset Strip era the Crue not only has the best shot to get in the HOF, but the most deserving too. 

9.Ozzy Osbourne : (Eligible Since 2005)

Even though his wife Sharon is a detestable, morally bankrupt person, and even though he is already in the HOF with Black Sabbath, Ozzy has done more than enough to inducted as a solo artist. From the first two classic albums with Randy Rhoads, to being able to remain relevant, by being a masterful judge of talent that he’s had in his backing band, he’s become a true musical icon. He will eventually get in, and join a select class of artists like Paul McCartney, and Eric Clapton, both inducted as solo artists, and in a band. 

8.Dio : (Eligible Since 2008)     

The late, great Ronnie James Dio has already been screwed over once by the HOF. He should’ve been inducted with Black Sabbath, but got shafted, which makes no sense since replacement singers like Brian Johnson of AC/DC, and even David Coverdale Of Deep Purple are in. Since Dio was presented as a band the original lineup with Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, and Vinnie Appice would be inducted with him. So the way the rules are set up now Vivian Campbell could be in the HOF before Randy Rhoads. That being said, this is all about Ronnie, who had the HOF given him a fair shot he could be (along with Eric Clapton) the second “Three Time Inductee” with Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio. Yet he’s still not in at all ! Unbelievable! 

7.Slayer : (Eligible Since 2008)

Along with Metallica, Slayer is the most important Thrash/Metal Band Of early 1980s. Metallica is in the HOF, but Slayer is not only because they didn’t have the commercial success Metallica did, but still just as influential. The original band made classic record, after classic record. Unfortunately, original guitar player Jeff Hanneman is no longer with us, and Dave Lombardo has been out of the band for years now. Hopefully Kerry King won’t continue to hurt their legacy, or Tom Araya will decide to call it quits. Even with Kerry making a fool of himself, Slayer’s legacy is strong enough to survive his moronic behavior. 

6.Motörhead : (Eligible Since 2004) 

Simply stated, the only reason Motörhead isn’t in the HOF is because of ignorance from the voters. They know nothing about the classic records of the early 1980s, and many don’t even know they were a trio. Most average music fans identify only Lemmy Kilmister with the name. The truth though was the original Trio with “Fast” Eddie Clarke, and the late great drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor ended up creating a body of musical work that to this day remains fresh and relevant. It’s ironic how Lemmy especially never wanted to be identified with the “Metal” genre by saying Motörhead was a Rock And Roll trio, but the music they made definitely helped define what Thrash/Metal would become. 

5.Thin Lizzy : (Eligible Since 1996) 

Probably the greatest band to never have huge success in America, but were massive everywhere else. That doesn’t matter though, because every kid in America that did buy a Thin Lizzy record would form a Hard Rock or Metal band. Frontman/Bass Player Phil Lynott, still to this day doesn’t get the respect he deserves decades after his death. If you need to see proof of their influence on the Metal genre there’s a video around of Cliff Burton’s father showing fans Cliff’s albums growing up. Over half of them were Thin Lizzy Records. That along with pioneering the “twin guitar” assault that would be later used by Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden is another example. This band is much more than just “The Boys Are Back In Town.” 

4.Pantera : (Eligible Since 2008) 

Of all of the grunge bands that will get recognition by the HOF the next few years, don’t be surprised if the hall tries to overlook Pantera. Not only is Pantera just as worthy, if not more than some of those Grunge bands, they also should be a shoe in alone just for the Metal Revolution they led in the 1990s. The difference between average, or good bands is they folllow. A great band takes the bull by the horns and takes the lead. Credit to Phil Anselmo, Darrell/Vinnie Paul Abbot, and Rex Brown for shedding their glam look of the 1980s, having the guts to replace original Frontman Terry Glaze, for deciding that they needed to lead a new Metal movement, and becoming the most relevant Metal band of the 1990s. What they were able to pull off cannot be overstated. 

3.Scorpions : (Eligible Since 1997) 

When the German Band Scorpions formed in 1966 not one member knew the English language. Yet, it was the universal love for Rock And Roll music that had them pursue becoming a group. Since releasing their debut album in 1972 they slowly began to conquer the musical world. Having three legendary guitar players through their history, they’ve been able to remain relevant in pretty much every changing music scene. Even when Singer Klaus Meine was told I’m the early 1980s that he would never be able to sing again after causing major damage with his voice, he got a major surgery, and came back stronger than ever. Today the Scorpions are known all over the world. They can play anywhere in the world. How is there an legitimate excuse as to why this band is not in the HOF ? They’ve accomplished more than over half the artists and bands already in. 

2.Iron Maiden : (Eligible Since 2005) 

Do I even need to waste time making a case for why Maiden should be in the Hall Of Fame ? Just put them in already !!! This is the perfect example of the ignorance of the voters. 

1.Judas Priest : (Eligible Since 1999) 

With the exception of Black Sabbath, no other band has done more for Heavy Metal music than Judas Priest. Coming from the same streets as Sabbath, they brought the second guitar, more power, and most importantly the speed to music that it had never had before. If you read the history of the Priest you’ll understand how mind blowing they were at the time, because no one knew what to make of them, or how to explain their sound. Some tried to pass them off as acid rock. Some tried to pass them off as Punk. Little did anyone know that they were inventing a whole new genre of music as they went along. Just listening now to their records in the 1970s are the sonic proof of how ahead of their time they were. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has a lot to fix when it comes to Heavy Metal music. The very first thing they need to do before anything else is induct Judas Priest. It’s absolutely criminal that this iconic, groundbreaking, and now legendary band has been so disrespected by their institution. 

There’s the list of 10. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say at least one or two of these bands mentioned will finally be nominated. Can you believe that none of these bands have not only ever been inducted, by not even nominated ? That’s absolutely mind blowing. It’s still gonna be a long shot if any have a chance to be inducted this year. It’s truly time for the HOF to fix this train wreck. 

Jesse Vejar

Jesse Vejar

Executive Editor - From Tucson, Arizona. Electrical Engineer/Music Historian. Lover of all genres of music. Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers. Fav Metal Bands, Priest, Maiden.
Jesse Vejar