Hard rock fans may have cause to rejoice within a few weeks: after being ignored for years, Rush and Deep Purple are on this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot, as is Heart and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. One question that has yet to be answered is, if inducted, which members of these groups will be included?
With Rush, it’s pretty cut and dried: founding members Geddy Lee (bass/vocals/keyboards) and Alex Lifeson (guitars) along with longtime drummer Neil Peart (who joined for their second album, 1975′s Fly By Night) are sure to be included. The late John Rutsey, their only former member, played on their 1974 self-titled debut.
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Heart’s focal point has always been sisters Ann (vocals) and Nancy (guitars) Wilson, and it’s a given that they will be inducted if the band is voted in. But a myriad of lesser-known guitarists, bassists, keyboardists and drummers have passed through the group over the decades. The Hall of Fame may stick with earlier members, such as guitarist Roger Fischer, guitarist/keyboardist Howard Leese, and bassist Steve Fossen.
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Deep Purple’s history is a bit more turbulent: their “classic” lineup is generally considered to be their second one, also known as “Mk. II” featuring founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice along with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. But the original lineup, featuring singer Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper, scored the band’s first hits with “Hush” and “Kentucky Woman.” And the third lineup, with future Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes, created the heavy metal classics “Burn” and “Stormbringer.” It’s unlikely, though, that current members Steve Morse (guitar) and Don Airey (keyboards) would be included.
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As for Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, that band has sported a number of different members over the years as well.
As always, several genres are represented on the ballot, including disco (Chic, Donna Summer), hip-hop (Public Enemy, N.W.A.), the British Invasion (Procol Harum), blues (The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Albert King), pop (The Marvelettes, Randy Newman), funk (The Meters) and electronic music (Kraftwerk).
The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held April 18, 2013 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles (the first time it’s being held in L.A. since 1993), and it will air at a later date on HBO.
The Hall of Fame is touting the fact that for the first time, fans will have a say in who gets inducted… albeit a very small say. The entire fan vote will count as less than 1/600 of the voting body. From now until December 5, fans can vote at the Hall Of Fame’s website for the nominees they’d like to see inducted. The top five acts will comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will count as one of the more than 600 ballots that determine the Class of 2013. The results will be announced in mid-December.
– Brian Ives, CBS Local