By Michael Hamad
2:59 PM EST, December 11, 2012
Hell froze over. Rush is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It took the Rock Hall opening up the nomination process to the fans, who voted overwhelmingly for the Canadian trio. It's a convenient compromise: the Rock Hall now gets to correct the most egregious example of bias and myopia in the organization's history, while reserving the right to say to their ultra-hip, prog-hating backers, "Hey, we didn't do it, it wasn't us. It was the FANS."
Prog is finally creeping in. (Last year, Genesis was inducted.) When I spoke to Yes singer Jon Anderson back in March, he said this: “It’s very simple...They don’t feel like Yes is important. Maybe in a few years time... For me, I’ve never really invested too much into it. When it happens, it will happen... The people in charge didn’t like progressive music, and they’ve stuck to their guns.”
Greg Lake, of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, told me something similar in April:
"I am surprised, because the word 'museum' surprises me. To be a museum, you have to be factually accurate. To leave out progressive music is at least an oversight, at worst a selective process. My guess is that it’s because it’s not of an American heritage, or did not appear to be of American heritage. But had it not been for the great people of America, prog rock would not have existed. I mean, Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic Records, Broadway, New York... If not for the U.S. nurturing that form of music... It’s very silly to deny something they’ve had a hand in creating. So maybe it’s not from the Mississippi Delta. So fucking grow up. It came from somewhere. It was embraced by the people of America. It has influenced bands ever since. In truth, you know, if you really think about it, Sgt. Pepper was progressive. It was not blues-influenced. It broke boundaries. 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' these were really out there songs. I mean, Electric Ladyland, this was not normal. They were not your normal pop songs. They were starting to probe and penetrate the exterior, and it opened a crack and bands like King Crimson burst through it. We came though with new music but we were unheard of. The Beatles were at the end of their run. It looks like we invented [progressive rock] but we didn’t. We were part of a run."
Congratulations to Rush for getting in. And here's hoping Yes, ELP, King Crimson and all the other seminal prog bands get the nod next year.
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