The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame has always had something of a cagey relationship with heavy metal. Of its 365 inductees to date, only Black Sabbath, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and, most recently, Judas Priest firmly fitting under the metal bracket.
But when Priest slipped in with a Musical Excellence award in 2022, some hope was offered that more metal bands might get their dues. Speaking to Hammer in May that year, ex-guitarist KK Downing expressed that, "hopefully this opens the gates for bands like Iron Maiden; bands who really should be in there already."
Those wishes appear to have been granted, as the 2023 nomination includes Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden and long-awaited heavy metal heroes Iron Maiden.
Now Judas Priest's own Metal God Rob Halford has offered his own endorsement for Maiden's bid to enter the Hall Of Fame.
“Iron Maiden’s nomination is absolutely overdue," he tells Hammer. "I vote for them every day; you can do it by phone and it’s dead easy. It takes you to the list of nominees, then you pick the bands you are voting for – and I pick Maiden every single day."
Last year, as part of their induction, Priest played live at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame with former Preist members KK Downing and Les Binks.
Halford also gave Hammer a peek behind the curtain on what it actually means for bands like Priest to get inducted, and how they will help steer the nominees going forward.
"When you’re actually in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame you’re given a vote as a band and Maiden will get Priest’s vote without a doubt," he says. "That’s just what we do for each other – we’ve had very similar journeys in both bands, so let’s make it happen for Maiden. It’d be brilliant – Black Sabbath, Priest and Maiden , what more could a metal maniac ask for?”
Last year, Maiden failed to make the list of inductees, losing out to Tina Turner, Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, The Go-Gos, Carole King and Todd Rundgren. The decision caused some outcry amongst fans and fellow musicians alike, with KISS bassist Gene Simmons describing their exclusion as "disgusting".
Hall Of Fame president Greg Harris defending the decision by admitting there was "no doubt they are an influential band,” and that "over 80 percent" of nominees are ultimately inducted.
Iron Maiden are currently in the top 5 of the fan vote, holding a narrow lead over country legend Willie Nelson with over 135,000 votes. Of the 14 nominees, the top 5 selected by fans will then be tallied alongside other ballots to choose the 2023 inductees.
To cast your vote, visit the official Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Website (opens in new tab)