The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced the nominees for 2023 Induction — with the list including Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Rage Against The Machine, Warren Zevon, Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Joy Division/New Order, the Spinners, A Tribe Called Quest, the White Stripes.
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Eight out of 14 of the nominees are on the ballot for the first time.
Inductees will be announced in May with the Rock Hall induction ceremony taking place this fall with date, venue, and on-sale information to be announced.
Billy Joel spoke to The Los Angeles Times and urged voters to induct his friend, the late-Warren Zevon. The “Piano Man” said in part, “I just wanted to put in my two cents of supporting Warren Zevon to be included. If anyone deserved to be, he did. He was a real original, and I don’t know if that’s appreciated enough. The first minute I saw him, I was knocked out. He was like the crazy brother I never had. He was fearless, and it stuck with me. I never thought he got the attention he deserved.”
Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil told us that the Rock Hall nod has helped him see the band in respect to rock’s entire cultural experience: “Well, I’ve only been aware of this for a few hours. I think it’s just a re-acknowledgement of realizing that, y’know, Soundgarden’s a part of a world that involves, uh, mosh pits, it involves sock hops, (laughs) it involves doing the twist, it involves hip hop. It’s, sort of, a reminder that beyond our work and our, our peer group that being recognized and being part of the greater community both currently and throughout time — and that’s kinda cool.”
Sheryl Crow told us that across her career, each and every album can be considered a series of new diary entries: “I’m a singer/songwriter and I approach songwriting from the standpoint of, y’know, craftsmanship to a certain extent. And also lyrically I think every album I’ve made has reflected who I am while making the record. And each song, y’know, is kind of a glimpse into an event or experience. Y’know, each album just kind of reflects kind of a period of life.”
When last caught up with Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, we suggested that most people have a misconception of him as just a crazy heavy metal singer, to which he replied: “Oh, I hope so. If that’s a misconception that’ll do. (Laughs) That’s a good start, y’know?. Uh, I don’t know. It doesn’t really concern me what misconceptions they have about me. Just that they understand the kind of music that I make, that it rocks. If they buy a record with my name on it, it should rock.”
Cyndi Lauper explained to us that she’s tried to make her music as inclusive as possible throughout her career: “Y’know, I was in Blue Angel, but by the time I could come out as Cyndi Lauper, I decided, if I was gonna bust my ass to climb on the top of the mountain, I was gonna make it worthwhile for everybody. So, that’s why in the (‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’) video I had all the nationalities, as many races of girls, so that every little girl could see themselves and know that they, too, were entitled to a joyful experience.”
Not long before his 2003 death, Warren Zevon revealed he loved to read Norman Mailer, John Updike, and John Cheever while he was younger, which might have inadvertently led to his penchant for writing songs with violent imagery: “I found myself — I don’t know if I chose to, but I found myself writing songs about violent subjects more than romantic subjects. I mean now and then, I like to think I have some good-hearted (laughs) romantic impulses, and express ’em in songs, but for the most part, I write a different kinda song than that.”