Gene Simmons Rips “Disgusting” Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Not Inducting Iron Maiden and Rage Against the Machine

The KISS legend calls the Rock Hall a "sham" and says the committee "should be ashamed of themselves"

Gene Simmons slams Rock Hall
Iron Maiden (photo by Kevin RC Wilson), KISS (photo by Autumn Andel), RATM (photo by Amy Harris)

    On Wednesday, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2021, including Foo Fighters, Tina Turner, JAY-Z, Todd Rundgren, The Go-Go’s, and Carole King. Among the finalists who didn’t make the cut were Iron Maiden and Rage Against the Machine, leading Gene Simmons to call the institution “disgusting.”

    Back in 2018, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson declared he and the band would refuse induction, saying the Rock Hall is “run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn’t know rock ‘n’ roll if it hit them in the face.” RATM, meanwhile, are likely more focused on current political events than any musical honors.

    That didn’t stop Simmons from tearing into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame via a couple of sharp-tongued tweets. The rock veteran, who was inducted into the Rock Hall with his band KISS in 2014, first expressed his disappointment over Maiden’s snub, tweeting, “RR Hall of Fame is a sham not to include Maiden. Disgusting!” A little later, he tweeted, “Sadly, Rage Against the Machine shut out of RR Hall of Fame. The Hall should be ashamed of themselves.”

    Simmons championing Iron Maiden is unsurprising, but his support of RATM somewhat contradicts the explanation he gave Heavy Consequence as to why he keeps saying “rock is dead.” The KISS singer-bassist told us, “The point is, yeah, rock is dead because if we play the game from 1958 until 1988, which is 30 years, you had Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Pink Floyd, and on and on and on. And you can go to the heavy part of it, which is Metallica, Maiden, if you want to put KISS in there, that’s fine. AC/DC, on and on and on. … And then from 1988 until today, who’s the new Beatles?” Rage formed in 1991 and released their first album in 1992.

    Likely agreeing with Simmons on the Maiden and RATM snubs is Dee Snider, who in February lamented the lack of hard rock and metal artists in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In fact, the Twister Sister singer called the voting committee a bunch of “arrogant elitist assholes.”

    That topic came up yesterday with RRHoF president and CEO Greg Harris, who was asked about Snider’s comments in a radio interview shortly after the inductees were revealed. “We’ve nominated Maiden; Judas Priest have been nominated; we put Def Leppard in,” responded Harris. “Those that are nominated, over 80 percent of them eventually do get inducted. So it’s really a question of, let’s keep nominating them, let’s get ’em on the ballot, and let’s get it out to the voting body.”

    Meanwhile, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet celebrated the fact that late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads will receive the Musical Excellence Award at this year’s Rock Hall ceremony, but questioned how Foo Fighters got in before a number of other heavy rock and metal acts. “Thank God Randy Rhoads is finally being inducted but you’re telling me that Foo Fighters deserve to be inducted before: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Bad Company, Blue Öyster Cult, Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night. It’s a matter of respect.”

    See Simmons’ tweets, Sweet’s tweet, and the aforementioned interview with RRHoF president and CEO Greg Harris below.