Canadian rock band Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (L), drummer Neil Peart and singer/bassist Geddy Lee perform during a sold-out show
Credits: REUTERS/PAOLO WHITAKER
After years of being shut out, the beloved Canadian power trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart finally made the cut when nominees for the Hall's class of 2013 were revealed Thursday morning.
"We are honoured to be among the nominees for this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," the band said in a statement. "We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated Rush fans to whom this nomination is so very important."
Rush - who formed in Toronto in 1968, released their first album in 1974 and were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 - are not the only band with a Can-Con connection. This year's nominee list also includes Seattle arena-rockers Heart, led by Ann and Nancy Wilson, who got their start as a bar band in Vancouver in the '70s; and Procol Harum, the British symphonic rockers whose biggest LP was a live album recorded with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1971.
They are joined by a dozen other artists, including several whose induction has long been seen as overdue. The rest of the nominees are:
• The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, an influential '60s Chicago outfit led by the late singer and harmonica player;
• Chic, a pre-eminent disco and funk band of the '70s founded by Nile Rogers and Bermard Edwards;
• Deep Purple, the English blues-rockers behind Smoke on the Water (and whose drummer Ian Paice told me earlier this year the accolade is so long overdue he would prefer to decline);
• Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, a chart-topping outfit led by the former Runaways guitarist;
• Albert King, the late blues guitarist whose piercing sound influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan; • Kraftwerk, the pioneering German synth-rockers behind Autobahn;
• The Marvelettes, who gave Motown one of its first hits with Please Mr. Postman; • The Meters, a funky New Orleans crew featuring two of the famed Neville brothers;
• Randy Newman, the award-winning singer-songwriter whose catalog includes everything from Short People to You've Got a Friend in Me;
• N.W.A, the pioneering and provocative West Coast gangster-rap crew that included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the last Eazy-E;
• Public Enemy, the political New York rap outfit led by Chuck D and Flavor Flav;
• Donna Summer, the disco queen who passed away earlier this year.
While this is Rush's first nomination, that's no guarantee of victory. Chic has been up for the honour seven times, while this is Summer's fifth time at bat. Heart, Joan Jett, Kraftwerk, The Meters, Paul Butterfield and Newman have all been nominated once before.
To be eligible, an artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years ago. Ballots will be sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry, with final nominees announced in several weeks.
The 28th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre on April 18. The show will be broadcast on HBO at a later date.