The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a touchy subject. On one hand, it's an important milestone that acknowledges musicians for their work. On the other hand, there seems to be no rhyme or reason behind who gets nominated each year, and without fail, there's always acrimony about who makes it in.
All this considered, the Metal God himself Rob Halford, has mixed feelings about the induction of Judas Priest, who will receive the Musical Excellence Award this year as opposed to the standard Performers Award, like Priest peers Black Sabbath were honored with. Though he does still think it's overall a good thing for metal.
Halford told the Arizona Republic, "Some days, I go, 'No, it doesn't matter. We're in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Be grateful. Shut the hell up.' And then there are other days where I'm like, 'God damn, why did they give us the Musical Excellence Award?' Because it sounds very, you know, grandiose. 'The Musical Excellence Award, reserved for blah, blah, blah.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, but I want to be with that bunch of musicians over there that have got the performance or whatever it is that they've got.'"
Halford continued, wondering "Why haven't they given us the same title as all of our friends? Black Sabbath, for example. There's a different tag, isn't there? I was pissed. I was a bit pissed. At the end of the day, does it matter? I know it's silly, but it's just frustrating. And on the other side, it's like, 'Great. Everybody else got that and we got shafted with this.' [Laughs] Judas Priest are still the Rodney Dangerfield of heavy metal. They can't get no respect."
"I don't know why they gave us the Musical Excellence Award. I have no clue. I just felt a little bit like, 'Well, Sabbath got this. So why can't we have that?' Not that I'm jealous of Sabbath. I'm just talking about this tag that they give it. Why do they put these tags on the damn thing? Why don't they go, 'Welcome. You're in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame' and leave it at that?"
Well, probably because that would be too easy, and as we know, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame never does anything easy. This year's induction ceremony is scheduled for November 5 in Los Angeles, and will be available to stream on HBO Max soon after. The Rock Hall classifies the Award For Musical Excellence as one given to "artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music." The award has previously been given to LL Cool J, Nile Rodgers, Ringo Starr, and Billy Preston.