It seems there’s always a beef when it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Ratt‘s Stephen Pearcy is the latest to be critical of the organization’s induction record.
Recent years have seen much discussion about the lack of heavy metal representation in the Rock Hall, and this past year also saw arguments made over the organization’s record on inducting women into the Rock Hall. But Pearcy has a different segment of the population he feels is being slighted – ’80s rock bands.
Speaking with Detroit’s Meltdown on WRIF (as heard below), the rocker went off when the topic of the Rock Hall came up. “It’s all politics, man. And that’s the worst thing about the Hall of Fame. It’s, like, sorry, Dave Grohl, but how many times can Dave be the ambassador or awarded.”
Pearcy then served up his push, explaining, “They don’t give a shit about us, the ’80s groups, at all. The Hollywood scene, they don’t give a shit. You’re not going to see Motley [Crue] up there anytime soon, or Ratt. We were lucky enough to see Van Halen get it. Scorpions, are they in? Priest, that was a milestone, having Judas Priest in it. They had to break, they didn’t have a choice.”
He then complained, “It’s like you’ve given everybody else this award. And even guys in the band. It’s like The Police have one, and Sting has one [individually]. It’s like break it down. The group or the guy? Does he need two of ’em? At least Black Sabbath is in there.”
That said, Pearcy still feels that bands from his era will eventually have their day. “Inevitably, they have to throw us a bone. Our genre of music in the ’80s made billions of dollars for the music industry,” he countered. “And what do we get for it? ‘Oh, it ain’t cool.’ ‘You’re not cheesy enough or cheeky enough,’ or whatever the fuck. It’s, like, fuck you. I have awards in my office that mean more to me than having a Grammy or something, because it’s from the hardcore fans, it’s from the heart. It’s not political … ‘Hey, fill out this ballot and we’ll change it on the day,’ kind of like the presidency.”
READ MORE: Fans React to 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Class
What Is the Rock Hall’s Record on ’80s Rock Bands?
Let’s narrow this down to assume that Pearcy’s biggest gripe concerns the lack of ’80s hard rock and metal acts in the Rock Hall. So who is in at this point?
Of the bands that enjoyed the bulk of their success in the ’80s, Prince was the first to go in in 2004, the same year that ZZ Top who caught a second wind in the ’80s also went in. 2005 saw the arrivals of The Pretenders and U2. 2007 has Van Halen and R.E.M., and 2008 gave us John Mellencamp. Then Metallica became one of the rare metal inductees in 2009.
Things got a little better over the next decade, with Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys being inducted in 2012, Heart and Rush going in in 2013, Peter Gabriel and KISS arriving in 2014, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble getting inducted in 2015, Cheap Trick being added in 2016, Journey and Yes going in in 2017, Bon Jovi, The Cars and Dire Straits joining the Rock Hall in 2018 and Def Leppard, The Cure and Stevie Nicks earning 2019 induction.
As for the current decade, you can make way for Nine Inch Nails (2020), Randy Rhoads (2021), Judas Priest (2022) and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (2022).
So yes, there’s still a lot left on the board where the ’80s are concerned, but there are also still bands from preceding eras that are just now getting their name called. Given that the Rock Hall started in 1986 and the Rock and Roll era began in the mid-’50s, there’s still a lot of catch up to be done on some well deserving artists. But, as you can see, there’s been a pickup in adding ’80s acts over the last decade. So stay tuned to see who exactly does get in from the era. And as for who’s deserving, check out our gallery below.