Rush: 'Hall Of Fame Is A Popularity Contest'

Guitarist Alex Lifeson is pleased for fans who feel their nomination for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is important, but cares little for being inducted when it's just "a popularity contest."

Ultimate Guitar

Rush have finally commented on their long-awaited Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nomination, calling it "a popularity contest".

Bands are eligible for the hall 25 years after their first album release, which means they missed out on a nomination every year since 1998.

"I'm really happy for the Rush fans who feel that it is really important, and I hope we're inducted for their sake", guitarist Alex Lifeson told "Personally it never really mattered to me, but at the same time it's nice to be nominated."

In June, before their nomination, Lifeson had said he didn't care if hall of fame wanted them in there or not, and added that the band were more honored to receive the Governor General's Performing Arts Award. "That's really the highest accolade you can get in this country for the performing arts", he said at the time, "and I felt so proud as a Canadian to be in this esteemed group of artists that have been there for the last 20 years."

Other acts nominated for the 2013 Hall Of Fame include Deep Purple, Kraftwerk and Public Enemy. Founding Deep Purple guitarist Richie Blackmore recently said he would never appear at the ceremony, and is more concerned about paying his bills.

Is the Hall Of Fame just a popularity contest? Does it carry any real prestige? Let us know what you think in the comments.

68 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rush just does everything right.
    they seem to be a very humble's nice to see that for a change
    Almost as humble as Liam Gallagher
    Um, what?! Rush is one of the few groups who just stfu and play music. What are you talking about?
    Clearly you are not familiar with jokes...
    Sarcasm needs some sort of denotation, context, or needs to be so outlandish that taking it 'straight' is impossible. Just so you know why people might get pissy when comparing Liam to Rush.
    You just have to be smart enough to realize that it's a troll comment. Don't vote it down, though. Trolls feed on that.
    Well done Alex. There's something to be said for telling someone "go to hell" in such a way they end up enjoying the trip.
    "Is the Hall Of Fame just a popularity contest?" And the award for most rhetorical question of the year goes to...
    Its time to nominate Motley Crue. I mean really, 80 million records sold, 30 years of sold out concerts. WTF is a Kraftwerk, anyways?
    I don't understand the down votes, of course Motley Crue should be nominated. They're a good part of rock n roll history and were pretty much the only 80s "glam metal" band that actually lived the "Sex, Drugs and RNR" lifestyle.
    "Personally it never really mattered to me" He's the second musician to say that about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after Ritchie Blackmore. Both of them were/are part of bands that are constantly causing shitstorms because they never were inducted. I mean, they arguably deserve it, but I never seen the point of going mental about it. It just adds nothing to their real and big music legacy. We don't need the RnRHoF to prove that they're big bands.
    I think that the artists here have a very valid point, but to me it comes off too whiny, like what they're really saying is "They won't let us in, therefore it's all bullshit."
    it is a self-proclaimed institution, and they really have no clue what the hell are they doing. it's not even a popularity contest, it is a list of bands that certain people like and consider rock music
    I'm surprised Deep Purple hadn't been nominated either. They certainly deserve induction. Public Enemy deserve it too; they might not be rock, but if the Hall of Fame is going to induct pop/hip-hop artists anyway then it's hard to make a case against them. Kraftwerk probably deserve it too, based on that logic. Now, when do Iron Maiden get nominated?
    out of all of those, i think maiden is the only one who deserves it.
    You don't think Deep Purple deserve it? You could make the case for Public Enemy and Kraftwerk if you think the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame should stick to only rock music, but why shouldn't Deep Purple be in there?
    The intro riff to 'Smoke on the Water' is reason for induction alone. EVERYBODY that's played rock guitar has played that riff at some point.
    I hope i don't come off as too overly biased here but let's face it, they only had about 3 great hits. Smoke on the Water, Woman from Tokyo, and Highway Star...
    And Black Night. And Space Truckin'. And Child in Time. And Hush.
    In your opinion. Im not a Deep Purple fan, so most of those songs iv barely even heard of or liked tbh. They remind me a lot like Boston, who has 4 great hits, and ZZ Top as well. But thats just me.
    Black Sabbath are in, and the only "great hits" they had were War Pigs, Paranoid, and Iron Man*. The reason they're in (and the reason Deep Purple are in) is because they are/were wildly influential. *Yes, Black Sabbath has tons of other popular songs (Children of the Grave, NIB, Sweet Leaf, Snowblind, Into the Void, Supernaut etc.), but how frequently do you hear those on the radio compared to the above three?
    @vppark2: You do realize that DP is one of the most influential bands of the '70s, right? Now shut it. Blackmore is also one of the best guitarists of that era. @Beergarette: Don't forget "Demon's Eye" and "Stormbringer" and "Fireball"!
    you sir obviously dont listen to enough deep purple if you think they only have about 3 great hits....everything else you day should be ignored by everybody
    To be honest, they really only have 1 great HIT. Plenty of good songs, but only one was really a hit.
    whatever bash me all you want just because i dont agree on a certain band thats so called "classic". sure, but i think there was a lot better bands in that era
    Do you need 30 great hits to qualify? What if you have one big hit off a very solid album (think Metallica's ...And Justice For All)? I question your criteria on what makes a band worthy of a nomination.
    what a great guys..... seems like theres no place for bands who put music before media
    Captain obvious. Any music award show is a popularity contest, because music is subjective.
    You know, I hate this little club that the Rock Hall has to choose the inductees, but I don't hate the idea of the Rock Hall. I go at least once a year because they do a great job showcasing the history of rock n' roll. I think that this "club" just doesn't embody what the museum actually stands for; which is to appreciate the artists who have truly popularized and revolutionized rock 'n roll.
    Carl Hungus
    The problem is that RnR Hall of Fame is struggling to remain relevant in an era where rock music is passe. Hip Hop, RnB and assorted cross over dance music has taken over and therefore we get artists that have never picked up a guitar or even had a guitar in their live performances being inducted. It would actually be nice for someone from the non rock community to call this out but I won't hold my breath. Besides RnR Hall of Fame will be fully irrelevant in the next 10 years.
    Thumbs up to real rockers starting to step up and call out the bullshit that is the RNRHOF.
    Thank you captian oblivious
    You're making a lot of stupid comments today. Aren't cha? -_-
    and you follow him to comment on his posts, youre more of a loser than he is
    whoa whoa whoa hating r we? nice im glad youre checking up on old news from last week just to call me a "loser".
    These are the guys that have eschewed amplifiers onstage for rotisserie machines, along with washers and dryers sometimes made to look like time machines. I'm pretty sure that Alex has kept his tongue firmly within reach of his cheek here.
    Rush has maintained since they were snubbed in the late 90's that the R'n R HOF wasn't that big of deal to them. Every comment has been that they'd be happy to be inducted because it's important to their fans. It's always been the fans complaining and never any members of Rush. Now they are inducted, again, they are happy for their fans.
    I like that Alex doesn't even care about it, he just likes that the fans like it. What a cool guy. All class.
    It's also nice that even Procol Harum have been considered too. A Salty Dog is definitely one of my favourite songs of all time!!
    Its actually a great honor for rock artists atleast . cuz they are the reason rock & roll is alive
    I'm sorry but holy shit, "Hall of FAME, is a popularity contest." It's the hall of FAME, ie the hall of Popularity.
    RUSH can do no wrong. The Unholy Triumvirate will continue regardless of awards received.
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn't even strictly rock and roll anymore... Not that that's anything new, but a band as spectacular as Rush doesn't need the hall of fame to prove their accomplishments.
    Metal Head420
    Even If it really is a popularity contest I figure rush would still get an award. Their fan base is ****ing huge!!! lol If you know someone who hasn't heard of their songs yet, then show them 2112, and the fanbase will grow!! x) !,,!
    You know what else is a popularity contest? Life. That's the real lesson here folks. Even if you only do whatever you do for the sake of the art, it only gets noticed if people like you. And that's the fact of the day.