By Matthew Smith
Iconic Canadian rock band Rush is currently in first place in the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan induction ballot.
Formed in 1968, this is the first time the band has been in the running for the honour, despite becoming eligible in 1998. Others on the ballot include N.W.A. and Public Enemy – both of which have just clicked into the 25-year eligibility zone.
James Keast, editor-in-chief of Exclaim!, a Canadian music magazine, said it is a shock that Rush isn’t already in the Hall of Fame.
“For instrumental prowess, for dedication to their craft, for a uniqueness of vision, for longevity, and for building one of the biggest and most loyal fan bases in the history of music, Rush stands alone,” said Keast. “They are icons not just for Canadian rock, and not just for their particular vision, but for musical ambition and innovation. They have produced a remarkable body of work that deserves to be acknowledged for its place in rock history.”
This is the first year that the Cleveland Oh.-based Hall of Fame will allow the public to vote. From Oct. 4 until Dec. 5, fans will have the opportunity to choose the top five inductees at rollingstone.com.
“The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music,” Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told Rolling Stone magazine. “This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is ‘rock and roll.”
Other Hall of Fame candidates for 2012 include the late Albert King, Chic, Deep Purple, the late Donna Summer, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, the Marvelettes, the Meters, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Procol Harum and Randy Newman.
A group of music historians, 600 artists, members of the music industry and now public voters are responsible for choosing 2013’s inductees.
Keast said Rush should be a shoe-in since they have such a huge fan following.
“Rush has become one of the biggest selling acts in history on the back of hard touring and a seriously dedicated fan base,” said Keast. “I can’t imagine that they won’t be hoisted into the hall on the strength of the global community of Rush fanatics.”
The 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on April 18, 2013.
The results will be announced in mid-December.