Why Def Leppard's Rock Hall nomination has taken far too long

Def Leppard
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced the nominees for the Class Of 2019.

It’s the usual mixture of artists from across the musical spectrum – we don’t agree with some of the names included, but then we never do – but one name stands out from the crowd this time around: Sheffield's Def Leppard, with the late, great Steve Clark and original guitarist Pete Willis listed. Well done, Hall Of Famers, wherever you may be. 

But what on earth took you this long? They’ve been eligible since 2005!

It’s about time Joe Elliott & Co. were given proper recognition for their years of hard graft. In fact, we're well past that point. Wars have been fought and won and fought again since they've been eligible. 

Not only have Leppard shifted millions upon millions of albums since they formed in the late 70s, they've entertained hundreds and thousands of fans across the globe, and were a key part of the NWOBHM, transforming the musical landscape and continuing to inspire artists to this very day. 

Unimaginable commercial success? Check. Influence on a generation of musicians? Check? Huge fanbase? Check. Check. Check. And they've done it all despite going through enough trauma to finish most bands.

It’s baffling why it’s taken this long.

Last year, we all got a bit excited when Judas Priest were nominated. Of course, they didn’t get in, despite being one of the biggest names in the business and a band set to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2019. That’s 50 years, folks. Five decades of melting faces and thrilling crowds. Or is that not enough for the Rock Hall voters? It would appear not. 

And don’t get us started on why bands including Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Motorhead, Jethro Tull and others aren’t already resident in the Hall Of Fame. 

Hell, even The MC5 aren't in, and they're the very embodiment of those important words in the Hall's name: Rock. And. Roll. Look it up in the dictionary. You'll find a picture of Wayne Kramer with his middle finger extended towards the camera. 

Many artists say they simply don’t care whether they get the nod, that it’s not important – but the fans care. We might pretend not to, but we care.

When our favourite artists – the ones we really care about and love, the ones whose t-shirts we proudly wear, the ones we travel hundreds of miles to see live – get mentioned, we want to see their achievements celebrated in the full glare of the world’s media. We feel part of something special. There’s a connection.

Remember the outpouring of joy from the army of raucous Rush fans when Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were finally inducted in 2013? That's what we're talking about. Sheer, unadulterated delight.

Yeah, some bands have waited longer than Def Leppard to get even a whiff of recognition from the Rock Hall, but here’s a band that should have been in years ago. 

Let’s all keep ‘em crossed for Sheffield’s finest come December. 

Classic Rock

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