Rush documentary director on their latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub: 'It's unfortunate'

rushImage Credit: Andrew MacNaughtanRush was conspicuously absent from the list of 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees released this morning. For fans of the Canadian prog-rockers, it’s deja vu all over again. While Rush has been eligible for the Hall since way back in 1999, somehow they’ve never made the cut.

“It’s unfortunate,” says Scot McFadyen, who co-directed the recent film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. “We were hoping a lot more people in the [nominating] room had seen our documentary, and maybe that would have given them a different perspective on the band. But there are just some people that are holding out.”

As disappointing as Rush’s latest snub was, McFadyen wasn’t necessarily surprised. “They’ve never been a critics’ band. The industry people that are involved with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rush has never been cool enough for them.”

Even so, McFadyen says he’s spoken with some Hall insiders who support inducting Rush. “The same people that got Genesis in last year were pitching for Rush this year,” he says. In fact, he predicts Rush could be nominated as soon as next year. “Rush doesn’t need it, you know. But I think it would be nice.”

How do you feel about Rush’s continued exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Could 2012 be their year at last? Express your outrage in the comments, preferably to the tune of “Tom Sawyer” (after the jump).

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (360 total) Add your comment
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  • gsbarr

    It would be great to see them nominated, but as Mr. McFadyen says they don’t need it. Thye have their fans and other musicians who know the true score. All ales is just noise

    • Ian

      They’ll get in along with most other overlooked acts. The fact that the hall HAS to induct 5 acts every year means everyone who deserves it will eventually get in. I think they’ll try to limit it to 1 or 2 marquee acts every year. If they didn’t, you’d eventually have some years where the whole list of 5 inductees would be borderline at best.

    • Ken

      Rush will get in…in 2112. I love these guys, but the Hall voters are music snobs.

    • thorswitch

      The guys from the band have said a few times that they’re not really all that concerned about being inducted for themselves, their only disappointment comes from knowing how much their fans want it for them.

    • Mike

      It’s a non-issue. Why should Rush and their fans be concerned that the band isn’t considered worthy to go to Cleveland to play a private function for the lawyers and accountants who’ve ruined the recording industry?

      • Peter

        Well said!

  • RyanK

    Each year, Rush’s continued absence makes the Hall of Fame look more and more like a total joke.

    • LOL

      ^^ Amen, brother!

    • Kiki

      Anyone who doesn’t vote for them is a mean, mean guy.

    • RK

      These guys are too ugly to be in the Hall of anything.

      • morna

        seriously?! Its not about what they look like! Its about the music

      • Heidi

        sorry gotta say this…screw you RK…since when has looks determined what is good musically?

      • hrs1415

        are you F@#%@^in crazy? You should not comment about something you do not know RK!!!!!

      • Anita Azzarello

        UGLY????–have you seen the Beastie Boys, or LLCOOL J–I would take the talent in one of the guys’s in Rush LITTLE FINGER over any other nominee’s full repertoire of music.

      • Adam

        you’re an idiot

      • Steve Roe

        They Play There Instruments better than any Band Alive Today, That’s all that Matters!

      • t gaffney

        They look better than your mother….

      • Helen

        Ugly enough for female fans to drool, even when they are 60?, Your jealous and boring

      • dave mcnamara

        your an idiot

    • harry

      Too True!!!

    • clintonfitch3

      100% agree!!!

    • Voodoo7

      I couldn’t have said it better. The HoF is a joke. Neil Diamond? Really? Pathetic!

      • Keo

        Neil had written tons of songs. He deserves to be there. Seriously RUSH and KISS too. But Neil is deserving. Even Elvis sung his stuff!

      • WVBen

        Neil Diamond more than Rush?! No!

    • GlockNSoul

      It does cheapen the Hall tremendously. No idea why they don’t get the respect from the Hall. Very few better live bands; they’re progressive (which the Hall usually likes), and have a ton of great songs – not exactly one-hit wonders here.

      • Doug S

        No, from what I see, they DON’T like Prog Rock, I mean Genesis JUST got in. Yes, Elp, Jethro Tull….where are they?? the HOF is a Joke….Madonna and Run DMC are in but not any of the others I mentioned, is disgusting. They clearly have a problem with Prog rock.

      • billybladez66

        its the fact that the HOF cant wrap itself around the fact that a band they personally dislike is the 3rd all time gold record selling unit. Those staggering figures and the influence on music in general is too much for the pinheads at the HOF.

    • Dan Rushing

      A Bad Joke at that! Chic… Donna Summers… No Thank you! Rush is better off not being in the company of that mess.

    • VtBandit

      Not saying that the other bands don’t deserve their spot, but to overlook a band that has been pumping out albums for around 40 years. 20 of those years anyone who listened to rock was anxiously waiting for their next album. It just goes to show you that there is no level playing field. The people making the choices are not looking at the big picture. They only see what keeps them in the “in crowd”. Rush rocks! They are of retirement age, and in a live show they absolutely smoke any one else. I Pity the band that would follow them on stage.

      • JOHN


    • Koffhaus

      AMEN, again, Brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sterling Boyd

      Couldn’t have put it better

    • NH

      i concur. every year they get snubbed, the hall of fame looses more credibility. How can a band with the musical and lyrical that they have not get nominated! Greatest drummer ever!!!

  • Chris

    If you’re going to induct Bon Jovi, which I’m convinced is a marketing move, you have to induct Rush.

    • Stormy

      Rush = around 40 million albums sold
      Bon jovi = 300 million albums sold
      Do the math.

      • LOL

        By this logic, McDonald’s should be in the Burger Hall of Fame.

      • TraceyM

        Those numbers mean nothing. Being ‘commercial’ doesn’t equate to the level of musicianship that Rush have. They are snubbed becuz of people like Jann Wenner that sit in the nomination booth and abhor Rush…

      • Mick

        Album sales = $$. If that is the criteria for induction – then Rock and Roll doesn’t stand for what I once thought it did. Also, if this is the criteria, then most of the musicians inducted based on their influence and indelible mark on history would not have been inducted, as so many of those artists sold so little.

      • richardfoc

        As I’m sure any true fan of rock and roll can tell you album sales DO NOT equal quality. The Ramones are in the Hall. The Stooges are in the Hall. The Sex Pistols are in the Hall. While none of those bands burned up the charts they more than deserve to in the Hall and so does Rush.

      • EvilMissQueenB

        “Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multi-platinum),[94] placing them within the top 3 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.”

        Can Bon Jovi say the same? Somehow I doubt it.

        It isn’t about selling a bazillion records to a bunch of bubble headed teeny-boppers. It’s about a band’s lasting contribution to the music industry. There are few bands in the world today who have spanned decades worth of change and growth and progression and still can produce great music.

        I also don’t recall anyone every saying “the reason I got in to drumming was because that guy in Bon Jovi, man..what a master!” Ask many of the current rockers today who has had a major influence on them and see how many say Richie Sambora.

      • Daniel

        Bon Jovi: catchy formulaic music designed to lure people by it’s sexy swagger. Rush: complex symphonic-style rock that tends to break the stale formula and showcases actual knowledge of music not just from a pop perspective, but in its totality.

        Rush wins.

      • Mike E

        So by your logic popularity equals quality?

      • Dale

        Your math stinks.Bon Jovi sold about a 100 million records,not 300 million..But a 100 million is pretty impressive.Deep Purple was more influentual,& better musicians..Jovi was Pop Candy.Kiss belongs there before them.

      • Kevin

        it’s not about the math, some acts in there had only one or two hits but were an important part of rock history.

      • Karl

        Using that logic, Britney Spears would be inducted in 2023 or so…

      • Jean Genie

        So units moved = talent & success? How shallow. That’s not why U2 or Madonna – to name two acts – are in the RHOF.

      • Bob

        Rush = talented
        Bon jovi = hair n make up.

      • Universal*Drummer

        RUSH = Songwriting and lyrics too intellectual for most to understand.
        Bon Jovi = Cotton candy covered with Cheez Whiz.
        Yes, you’re right. The Hall of Fame is all about albums sold, and that’s why it SUCKS!

      • @Dale

        Go to, 300 million and counting.

      • gramparsons

        You left out somethings here..
        Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[94] placing them within the top 3 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band. If you have to bring in Desmond Child to co-write your “hits” you should be on tour opening for ABBA.
        On a steel horse I ride, indeed

      • gramparsons

        I’ll be there for you
        These five words I swear to you
        When you breathe I want to be the air for you
        I’ll be there for you
        I’d live and I’d die for you
        Steal the sun from the sky for you
        Words can’t say what a love can do
        I’ll be there for you

        just puked a bit in my mouth

        thank Christ the word Orange wasnt in there

      • llisa

        Don’t make stuff up now… True BJ sold more but the # is 120 Mil not 300 and keep in mind, a big part of Rush’s albums were sold when the format was LPs at the local record store, they had little commercial radio support and no internet to generate sales/buzz AND no downloads. Plus RUSH has YEARS more touring than BJ.
        No offense to BJ but RESPECT is due, they blazed the trail for bands like BJ to become a success.

      • Brian

        I like Bon Jovi……………I don’t remember Rush and Bon Jovi being such big rivals. They are both good.

      • billybladez66

        rush is the 3rd all time gold record selling band in history…you do the math!

  • Bob Martin

    Either change the name of the institution to the “Popular Music / Top 40 Hall of Fame” and continue to install the likes of Madonna and ABBA – and Donna Summer, OR, finally honor this most infuential ROCK AND ROLL BAND. What truw rock band not yet in the Hall of Fame has had more influence over professional rock drummers, bassists, guitarists, lyricists today..?! It’s been an embarrassment for some time now, but as additional disco acts from the ’70s are installed, it’s becoming a permanent joke.

  • Winona

    Perhaps the Hall is waiting for 2112 to nominate them…

    • Rider


  • BunE

    Along with RUSH, Cheap Trick should also be in the Hall. But I agree with above poster, rename it or reflect it, it’s your choice HOF People

  • Leithen

    Okay, the J. Geils Band is nominated, but not Rush?

    Chic is nominated, but not Rush?


    I hope the induction ceremony is full of people pointing out how sad a state of affairs this is.

    • richardfoc

      Actually The J. Geils Band and Chic are both important and influential acts…as is Rush. The only nominee I would take off this year’s list is Donovan who I’ve always thought was rather lightweight. All the others certainly deserve to at least be nominated.

    • Karl

      Doubtful… the HoF ceremony is usually filled with people who were happy to be included in Jan Wenner’s exclusionary clique.

  • wizard62

    Completely agree with the above. Rush doesn’t need the RRHF, they need Rush. The “Hall Insiders” look like fools and sell-outs at this point. There are so many worthy bands that continually get snubbed year after year while other “lesser” bands get inducted that the whole Hall at this point has become a joke. Why does there even need to be a voting committee? Seems to me that any band who’s had enough success to keep them around over 25 years deserves to be automatically included. Who’s to judge if a particular band has had cultural significance or not. Music is subjective. The Hall, just by omitting or preventing certain bands to get in, has become exactly the opposite of what music stands for in the first place. Don’t be fooled folks…induction into this popularity contest has no more to do with good music than any other awards show has to do with deserving status. These people are just a group of industry snobs who think their opinions matter over anyone else’s. It’s the only way they have to make themselves seem more important than they really are, and everybody knows it.

  • orville

    I’ve never been a huge Rush fan, but I have to admit that at this point their exclusion seems almost personal. Did one of them insult the grandmother of someone on the board or something?

    • By-Tor

      Jann Wenner has a personal grudge against Rush. Check out Rolling Stone’s habitual mockery of Rush and Rush fans during his reign and it’s painfully obvious. To be honest, I’m shocked Genesis made it based on the RNRHoF Insiders general hatred of prog rock … perhaps they weren’t aware of the Gabriel years?

      • EvilMissQueenB

        It’s clearly personal. One has to wonder why two groups like Rush and Kiss have been blatantly left off when so many lesser and easily forgettable bands are ushered in.

      • Barry

        He also dislikes The Moody Blues so that’s why that band is never nominated.

      • Kevin

        Jann seems to have final veto power. If he don’t like ya, you aren’t getting in.

      • Rob

        Rolling Stone? Who reads Rolling Stone anymore? Oh, wait, I guess its the same people who need to be told what is cool and what to listen to.

      • A.Gramsci

        Note that Yes has also not been inducted – which I feel is even more evidence of the anti-prog-rock bias.

  • John Brown

    Wow, Chic? J. Geils Band? Really?

    • tom

      Who’s chic????? Really..

    • Steven Rose

      The J Geils Band was a heavy blues rock band in the early 1970’s. But it was their pop crap that made Wenner like them.

  • Chris G

    And what about Journey? They were never a critical favorite either, but they have definitely left their mark on the music scene. Don’t Stop Believin’ was, and continues to be an anthem for those who want to feel free and unrestricted; plus the song just rocks.

  • Dustin


  • ks

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- FAIL

    • Mike

      Epic fail!

    • CareBear

      RRHofF needs to “Take off the great white North… it’s a beauty way to go!” They obviously suck. Rush is the best band ever and needs to be recognized. Come on! Jeez.

  • JRWolfe

    Agree that it would be great to see Rush get in,but should the Moody Blues go in before them ?

  • Nita

    It’s such BS. I don’t get it!! Totally wrong. They should be in there, absolutely.

    • Tex

      I will boycott the museum until they get in. Rush is going to get a little smile from Cleveland when they record a live show there this month!

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