Rush is in, Deep Purple’s out: the Rock Hall’s worth is still in doubt



By Steve Newton

If you’re a Rush freak who’s been holding a grudge against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not inducting your heroes, you’ve probably already heard that the Cleveland-based institution broke down yesterday and finally—after 14 years of eligibility—let the Canuck prog-rock legends in.

Good for it.

Too bad the modicum of credibility the Hall wangled with that shockingly overdue move was tossed right into the crapper when it snubbed equally deserving nominee Deep Purple and instead gave the green light to… wait for it… Randy Fucking Newman! Yeah, that’s right. The brainiacs at the socalled “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame took the guy best known for the novelty hit “Short People” over the band that put “Highway Star”, “Space Truckin'”, “Lazy” and “Smoke On the Water” on one disc!

It’s a bloody outrage is what it is.

And not just because Machine Head is just as good—if not better—than any Rush album ever made (including 2112). In its various forms the band has released a huge whack of killer tunes on other ace albums like FireballWho Do We Think We AreBurn, and Stormbringer. Deep Purple’s influence on today’s bands and music fans is massive. I just don’t get why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to snub hugely popular bands that are obviously more rock and roll than, say, Donna Summer.

And neither does Rush guitarist Alex LIfeson.

“Maybe it should be the Music Hall of Fame and not so much the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he told the Associated Press yesterday. “…it’s so sad the whole progressive movement, bands like Yes and King Crimson, are not included in this. And I hope one day that they are because they deserve to be in there way before we do.

“They were huge influences on us,” added Lifeson, “and so many other bands that have done fantastic work over the years. I know Deep Purple were up for this as well. It’s a little unfortunate that they didn’t make it in because they were extremely influential. I hope there comes a time when these other artists and bands are included because they were equally as influential as any of the ones that are being inducted today.”

If Purple had been inducted yesterday it would have been extra sweet considering the passing of original keyboardist Jon Lord last July.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and hope that one day the joint’s board of directors clues in to what the term “rock and roll” actually means. That’s when they’ll realize that any Hall of Fame worth recognizing would have to include Blue Oyster Cult, Dick Dale, Dire Straits, Free, Gary Moore, Humble Pie, Iron Maiden, J. Geils Band, Jethro Tull, Johnny Winter, Link Wray, Motorhead, Mott the Hoople, the New York DollsPeter Green, Rick Derringer, Robin Trower, Ronnie MontroseRory Gallagher, Ten Years After, T. Rex, Thin LizzyUFO, Warren Zevon, Wishbone Ash, and Yes.

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