And Finally Artist News Awards

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider calls Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame “arrogant” and “elitist”

By | Published on Tuesday 23 February 2021

Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has accused the US Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame of being “elitist” for not inducting more metal bands, while also calling on fans to vote for Iron Maiden to be inducted into said Hall this year. Iron Maiden being one of two metal bands nominated for admission this time round. Assuming you class Rage Against The Machine as metal. Which, I don’t know, maybe you don’t.

Anyway, Snider opened the latest edition of his House Of Hair newsletter by calling on readers to vote for Iron Maiden on the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame website. The public vote doesn’t actually decide who is inducted, but does count towards the final decision and currently Iron Maiden are at number four out of sixteen nominees in terms of that public voting.

However, one issue is that Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson has said several times in the past that he has no interest in having his band exhibited in the museum behind the awards ceremony. “Rock n roll music does not belong in a mausoleum in Cleveland”, he told the Jerusalem Post in 2018. “It’s a living, breathing thing, and if you put it in a museum, then it’s dead. It’s worse than horrible, it’s vulgar”.

Snider’s newsletter does note this, but also includes a comment from the band’s former guitarist Dennis Stratton, who is quite keen to be recognised. “I’m hoping that the fans don’t take a lot of notice of Bruce’s comments”, he says. “I want Maiden to get what they deserve”.

As a social media discussion then proceeded about whether or not it was right to vote for a band against their will – assuming, that is, that Dickinson remains against being admitted to the Hall Of Fame, despite the nomination – one fan asked why anyone would refuse the honour.

“The RnR Hall committee members are arrogant elitist assholes who look down on metal and other bands that sell millions because we’re not their definition of cool”, responded Snider. “The fan vote is their ‘throwing a bone’ to the peasants. I want to say FU, but I [also] want them to have to deal with us!”

That’s not the reason Dickinson gave for refusing to be inducted, of course. But it is Snider’s view on why there aren’t more metal acts in the Hall. There are metal bands in there – Black Sabbath, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails – as well as others on the heavier side of rock. But there is certainly an argument to be made that the genre is underrepresented, particularly on the more extreme end.

Another Twitter user countered that the Hall simply “cater[s] to the masses”, which Snider refuted, saying: “If they were catering to the masses they would have the biggest selling bands. Corporate rock bands that sell tens of millions are ignored because they aren’t ‘cool'”.

I think the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame would probably argue that it mainly inducts acts who are influential, rather than commercially successful. Or cool. But whatever its actual criteria, I think at this stage what we really need is a good old conspiracy theory. So, here you go: Who gets in is decided by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner alone, and he hates metal.

“[Wenner] has been the puppet master since day one”, wrote Snider when one fan put forward this theory. “If it ain’t in Rolling Stone it is hard pressed to get into the Hall Of Fame!”

Snider has been interviewed by Rolling Stone a number of times, of course, so I’m not sure that conspiracy theory entirely stacks up. That said, there is probably a reasonable case for saying metal is often not properly represented in the history of rock music. Although, at that same time, I think Bruce Dickinson’s right to say that putting metal – or any rock music – in a museum is a bit weird.

This year’s nominees for induction to the Hall Of Fame, by the way, are Dionne Warwick, Foo Fighters, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Iron Maiden, Mary J Blige, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Tina Turner, Jay-Z, Rage Against The Machine, Devo, Fela Kuti, The New York Dolls, Kate Bush and LL Cool J. You can vote (for Iron Maiden, or whoever) here.