The votes are in for the 34th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with next year’s class inducting Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, the Zombies, Janet Jackson, the Cure, Radiohead, and Roxy Music. To be eligible for this year’s ballot, each nominee’s first single or album had to have been released in 1993 or earlier.
For the seventh consecutive year, the public had the opportunity to vote alongside the more than 800 artists, historians and music industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body — with Def Leppard snagging the coveted “fan vote.” The 2019 class will be inducted on March 29th at a ceremony at Brooklyn New York’s Barclays Center. HBO will broadcast a truncated version of the ceremony later in the year.
Several of the 2019 inductees offered up statements upon hearing the news:
Stevie Nicks: “I have a lot to say about this but I will save those words for later. For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It’s a glorious feeling.”
Janet Jackson: “Thank you Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am truly honored and I am happy to be in there with my brothers.”
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott: “Now we can stop holding our breath. How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen. . . It’s a nice badge of honor.”
Zombies lead singer Colin Blunstone: “You do start to doubt that it could happen. I’ve tried to be fairly philosophical about it and tell myself that if we don’t get inducted, it’s just a bit of fun. Don’t take it too seriously. But of course when you’re actually inducted, everything changes. You think, ‘This is a career-defining life-defining moment.””
Zombies keyboardist and songwriter Rod Argent: “I know it’s fashionable in some circles to say, ‘I don’t mind whether I get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or not.’ But that is not how I’ve ever felt. When we were first nominated, that felt like a huge honor in its own right. And this time to turn the corner and get inducted, feels fantastic. . . I’m just so delighted.”
The Cure’s former drummer/keyboardist Lol Tolhurst told Rolling Stone: “I always hear from people how much the Cure touched their lives. Obviously it’s nice for people to say that something you’ve done has meant something to them, but on a personal level it’s humbling if you take it in the right way because otherwise you can let your ego go completely ridiculous. That’s not really what I want to experience.”
Def Leppard, who became eligible for induction into the Rock Hall in 2004 and have long maintained that if induction were to elude them — they wouldn’t be losing any sleep over it. We caught up with frontman Joe Elliott — who along with Leppard is winding down a European trek with Cheap Trick. He told us he credits the band’s legion of fans for the honor: [“We are — and always have been, the odd one out, if you like, because the kind of band we’ve been portrayed as for the last however many decades, has always been one that’s like, ‘Yeah, they sell a lot of records, but they’re not cool.’ But it looks like a different dynamic the way the band’s been reassessed recently. And the important thing is, this is really been swung by our fans, more than anybody else. It’s not some committee of people we don’t know deciding whether we’re valid, or not. The fans pretty much told them that we are.”] SOUNDCUE (:29 OC: . . . that we are)
The Zombies’ Colin Bluntsone told us that he feels great pride that the group has finally been recognized by the Hall: [“It’s always difficult when you’re trying to think about your own band and yourself. I’ve been thrilled that we’ve been nominated. It’s just extra special that we’ve been inducted; and there are so many great bands out there, to try and think of yourself as better than any of them is a little strange, I think, really. I’m just incredibly grateful that we’ve had this huge honor.”] SOUNDCUE (:21 OC: . . . this huge honor)
Stevie Nicks told us that launching a solo career in 1981 had everything to do with songwriting — and nothing to do with the pursuit of individual super-stardom. She explained that her solo career simply provided relief from the backlog of songs he’d been stockpiling for years: [“When you’re in a band with three writers, you only get one-third of the writer thing — and that’s the whole reason that I did a solo career. And that’s. . . Y’know, when I told Fleetwood Mac that I was gonna do that, they were of course terrified that I would do that record and then I would quit. And I said to them, ‘I just need a vehicle. I have trunks of songs from 1973 that are never going to be heard. The only reason I’m doing this solo thing is so I can throw a few more songs out. I’ll make a record, I’ll put it out, I’ll do a month of shows, and I’ll be done, and I’ll come back. It’s never going to be. . . It’s never going to be Fleetwood Mac.'”] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . be Fleetwood Mac)
A while back, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway and bassist Colin Greenwood told us that award shows and accepting grandiose public accolades aren’t really the band’s cup of tea: [“(Phil Selway): “It’s amazing the music industry and the film industry are the only areas that have to actually congratulate themselves in public, which. . . it’s a spectacle. . .” (Colin Greenwood): “You’re right. It should be done in private, like masturbation, really, shouldn’t it? It really shouldn’t be done in public. They’re the only two industries that jerk off in public, y’know?”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . . public you know)
Over four decades after forming, Robert Smith — the Cure’s driving force — is quite comfortable with his and the band’s legacy: [“There’s not very much that I would go back and change. I don’t feel that I’ve compromised my original intentions with the band at all. And the fact that we’ve had success along the way has been really fantastic for me. And it’s allowed me to, y’know, I’ve got my freedom out of it.”] SOUNDCUE (:14 OC: . . . out of it)
Janet Jackson has been recording and performing for most of her life and told us she hasn’t stopped to think about age or slowing down, and remains grateful to still be able to do what she loves: [“I love music and always saw myself as doing music, and it’s been good to me and people have always been interested in what I had to give. And I’m very fortunate that there’s and interest that still stands after all these years. I really enjoy what I do and I think you have to have done do it as long as I have. And I’m very thankful that I’ve had a such a long career, and not just a long career but a very successful career.”] SOUNDCUE (:21 OC: … very successful career)
- The other artists shortlisted for induction that didn’t make the final cut this year are: Devo, Rage Against The Machine, John Prine, LL Cool J, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Kraftwerk, and MC5.