Headbangers Brawl: Who should be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame first – Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Motörhead?

Posted by on April 8, 2016

HOF Maiden Priest MotorheadWhatever your opinions are about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, there’s one thing we can all agree on: it’s ridiculous that it’s taken so long for Deep Purple to get inducted. Well tonight, that error is corrected as the legendary band (whichever lineup shows up, that is) finally gets inducted during tonight’s ceremony in Brooklyn.

Now that Deep Purple has finally gotten into the exclusive club, there’s three big names in metal that come to mind who still haven’t made it in: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motörhead. All three rightfully deserve to be inducted, yet have continued to be excluded despite being eligible [note: artists are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their debut effort…but you already knew that, right?]. Sadly, if Deep Purple are any indicator, it’ll likely still be awhile till any of them end up in the Hall Of Fame, if at all.

However, between Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motörhead, which iconic band should inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame first? Check out the Metal Insider staff’s picks below.

Zach: As tough as it is to pick amongst these three bands, I’ll have to go with Motörhead. There’s no denying the influence of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. However, as proven by the outpour of memorials for Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead’s influence spanned well beyond metal and hard rock (arguably more so than the other two bands). Hell, Lemmy had always insisted that Motörhead was a rock and roll band, and not metal. They may not have had as many hits as Maiden or Priest, or necessarily been able to sell out arenas like those two, but I’d argue that Motörhead’s music has reached a broader, more diverse audience over time, especially now following Lemmy’s death.

Bram: Motörhead is the choice that makes the most sense. As meaningless as they ultimately are, awards and award shows are sentimental. And with even the Grammys giving Lemmy his due following his death, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Motörhead getting nominated, if for no other reason that Dave Grohl would stop whatever he was doing to induct them. But who’s more deserving? Given that they don’t have any mainstream rock hits, Iron Maiden should probably be ruled out, but they’re who I’d like to see inducted above the others. They’re more relevant now than ever, they’re one of the biggest global bands touring right now, and they’ve got a catalog of songs that just about any fan of heavy music should be familiar with. I think that’s a pipe dream, though. Think about it – it took years of Deep Purple, Rush and KISS being nominated for them to win. None of the three bands mentioned have even been nominated, so it’s going to be years before we see any of these happening, in my opinion.

Chris: Coming from a traditional perspective about what a Hall of Fame induction normally means, the only choice here is Motörhead. In every other field that utilizes a Hall of Fame, induction to said Hall of Fame means that the person/group being inducted is no longer partaking of the activity that they used to do, and they are being recognized for their contributions to a field from which they have since retired. Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are still highly active in the metal realm, producing new music and touring when they are able. Meanwhile, Lemmy’s tragic passing has dictated that Motörhead will not create music under that moniker ever again. Therefore, it is only right and worthwhile to recognize one of the most iconic figures that has ever stood atop the pantheon of metal gods. Give Motörhead their place in the Hall of Fame, and give it to them now.

Alix: I have to say Motörhead as well, because they were there before heavy music had even a discernible meaning and, unlike Judas Priest and Iron Maiden which require fans to actually look for heavy metal to be aware of their musical history, Motörhead is one of those that go beyond that, as Zach said. If you happen to wear a Maiden or Priest shirt out in the street, you’re going to get a head nod or the horns from a fan of rock because they know what it is; If you wear a Motörhead shirt, anyone, no matter age or background, will immediately know you are a metalhead, even when Motörhead isn’t precisely metal.

That alone should be enough to be considered iconic in the music industry and the rock and roll scene which that’s what the RRHF should be (ignoring the fact that Michael Jackson and Madonna are there). There is no denial that when it comes to anything related to rock and roll, Lemmy himself was the pure personification of it and maybe now, with the immense hole left in the industry after his passing and the love shown by an absurdly large array of artists everywhere, they will take more notice of its influence.

They’re probably gonna induct Justin Bieber first though.

Matt: Like Bram said, the relevance of such awards and ceremonies was long ago discarded by rock/metal fans. Every year the Grammys and Hall of Fame ceremonies take place, and every year nominees are bungled or a noteworthy artists is passed over. It’s become something to celebrate at this point. But enough on that. I’m a huge Maiden fanboy and Priest were most influential in shaping metal as we know it, but I also have to say Motörhead is most deserving of being inducted. Lemmy lived and breathed rock and roll until the day he died and there’s no questioning that without Motörhead, there’s much and more that would be missing from rock/metal. Plus, the guy started off every show with “We are Motörhead and we play rock and roll!” What more reason do you need?

Andrew: Right…Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motörhead should be inducted into the Rock N’ Roll HOF.  Was there a question here?

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