Ian Anderson Doesn’t Think Jethro Tull Belongs In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Progressive rock and roll legend Ian Anderson, founding member of JETHRO TULL, was asked in a new interview with Jeff Gaudiosia from MisplacedStraws.com on his band’s place in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. He replied, “Well, so far it’s a sense of relief that I haven’t had the embarrassing prospect of being invited into the Hall of Fame, to be included in the Hall of Fame, because I have long held the view that the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame is an American institution about American-inspired music. It doesn’t necessarily exclude musicians of other nationalities, but I think it essentially should be – it’s about American music. Not exactly rock and roll – we’re not talking about it Chuck Berry or Little Richard or Elvis Presley or whatever, but we’re talking broadly about pop and rock music. There is a certain kind of American styling, and for sure THE ROLLING STONES, for example, would be a perfect fit because they owe everything to American music, while, I think, JETHRO TULL, apart from the first album, I would say [there’s] not much Americana in the styles of music I work with. So I don’t think we’re suitable as inductees in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.”

He continued: “But the other side of the coin is when the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame opened its doors, it did with a few JETHRO TULL exhibits, which I delivered to them, and they were in Cleveland when the place was shiny and new, and I went to take a look. It’s not like we’re completely separated from that whole thing, but I think there’s a slight difference when it comes to being initiated into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. And luckily I don’t have to be ashamed to say that I washed my hair that night and that I can’t go where they do things like that.”

Ian added: “Historically, Jan Wenner [co-founder and publisher of the popular culture magazine Rolling Stone], who, as far as I know, is still one of the kingpins who sits on that board and decides who gets in through the great portals, he has always had a huge aversion to JETHRO TULL, by rolling stone days later. So we’re definitely not on his favorites list, and that’s fine; I think that’s fine. But really, I respect the attitude of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame huge, but I don’t think we really belong there. I can think of a few artists who probably do, who aren’t a part of that. They owe so much to American music, and American music also owes them something because they’ve kept that flame of musical Americana alive all over the world, even if they’re not US citizens.”

Although artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands such as IRON VIRGIN and JUDAS PRIEST have yet to be recognized by the institution, which has inaugurated GUNS N’ ROSES in that group’s first year of eligibility.

The Rock Hall not initiated BLACK SABBATH until 2006, and METALLIC followed three years later.

Rock Hall rules state that artists are eligible a quarter of a century after their first records are released, but the Hall also claims that other “criteria include the influence and importance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll”, which is of course open to interpretation.

Eligible for introduction since 1999, KISS received its first nomination only in 2009 and was finally inducted in 2014.

DARK PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but was inaugurated only five years ago.

PRIEST was on the ballot for Rock Hall induction two years ago, but didn’t get enough votes to make it to the class of 2020.

Having been eligible for introduction since 1999, PRIEST was previously on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the list of candidates.

IRON VIRGIN was on the ballot for Rock Hall initiating last year, but failed to make it to the class of 2021.

IRON VIRGIN was on the ballot for Rock Hall initiating last year, but failed to make it to the class of 2021.

JETHRO TULL famously won the “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance” Grammy Award about METALLIC in 1989, which is still considered one of the most controversial moments in rock and metal history.

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