Iron Maiden Passed Over for Rock&Roll Hall of Fame

Arie Likhtman

On October 30th, 2021, the eyes of all music fans will turn to one of the most coveted ceremonies in the music world: the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame induction. This year’s class of inductees features some true legends, including Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, Todd Rundgren, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, and Clarence Avant.


But this story isn’t about the star-studded class of honorees. It’s about the rejected, the downtrodden and the legendary bands that were left out of this year’s induction ceremony. Specifically, 2021’s merry band of outcasts includes some of the greatest punk and metal bands of all time, most notably Iron Maiden and Rage Against the Machine.



The reason behind this exclusion? A simple lack of votes. While this may seem like democracy at work, these votes are quite deceiving. Similar to the Academy Awards, the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame Inductees are voted on not by the fans, but by artists, historians, and members of the music industry. The fans’ ballot, which is decided by a vote on, only counts as one vote. This poses the question: is that really democracy?



In a WBAB radio interview, Hall of Fame president Greg Harris stated that:


“There’s no doubt that [Maiden] are an impactful, influential band, and that’s why they were nominated this year, along with 15 other artists and acts… So we’re not questioning, ‘Are they an important band, are they impactful and influential?’”

Harris continued:


“Everybody has their favorites, everybody has different artists that impacted them or impacted other artists,” he said. “So, if you look at this list, you can make that case for all of these folks, just like people make that case for Iron Maiden.”

These statements seem out of place when juxtaposed with Harris’s recent claims to expand the definition of Rock&Roll to include all genres, including directly asserting that: “It’s a big tent. Rock’n’roll was never just four skinny guys with long hair and guitars. It’s always been diverse.” 

While Maiden themselves have been quiet about the incident, many other rock legends have not been afraid to make their voices heard. Most notably Kiss’s Gene Simmons tweeted that the exclusion was “disgusting”


Along with Simmons, Paul Stanley tweeted his outrage.

Whatever genre you love, whatever artists you listen to, anyone can appreciate the value of honoring the greatest bands of all time. Both Iron Maiden and Rage Against the Machine are massively influential groups who sell millions of albums and defined genres. Both groups also had ripple effects outside of music, influencing politics and pop culture in ways never seen before. If you didn’t know that, I urge you to seek out their music, because it’s more than music, it’s history.

As for the Hall of Fame? Many solutions have been proposed, from simple ones such as changing the voting system to give more power to the fans, to more radical ones like renaming the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to the Music Hall of Fame. If you support these ideas or have your own, call or email the Hall of Fame and Greg Harris, and make your voice heard, just as so many artists have been doing for years.