The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prides itself in recognizing " the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame."
And yet critics have noted that many of the most important bands in rock and roll have been ignored by the Hall of Fame. Most notably, Led Zeppelin, who pioneered hard rock and metal and sold hundreds of millions of albums.
Vocalist Robert Plant admits his disappointment at being ignored so long by the Hall of Fame. "Sure, it's a bit of a surprise we haven't been inducted yet. It's a bit of a shame. But we're proud of our music, and our record speaks for itself. And we're not alone in being ignored for so long--Rush and Heart were only just inducted last year, and Deep Purple, among other great bands, hasn't been inducted yet either."
Rush drummer Neil Peart, at last year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, stated that he was "deeply influenced by Led Zeppelin's music. They really deserve to be here with us." In 2009 Metallica band members expressed similar feelings towards Rush. Perhaps in another three years Led Zeppelin will finally be recognized by the Hall.
The list of bands not yet inducted is surprising. Besides Led Zeppelin and the highly influential Deep Purple, bands like Kiss, Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, King Crimson (the pioneers of progressive rock), Yes, Boston, Styx, Foreigner, The Moody Blues, Bon Jovi, Peter Gabriel, and ELP are not a part of the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, plenty of inducted artists aren't even close to rock. Many pop artists, blues artists, R&B artists, etc. are somehow part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The list includes all sorts of non-rock names no one's ever heard of, along with bigger non-rock names like Madonna and Aretha Franklin. Names that have nothing to do with rock and roll.
So why has a band like Led Zeppelin been shunned for so long? Perhaps the executives who run the Hall don't like the music. Perhaps they don't like Jimmy Page or Robert Plant. Perhaps they don't like the nonconformist sound. Perhaps they don't believe the band fits their image of an MTV world. Perhaps they want the Hall of Fame to have a more American and less British flavor. Who knows. The business executives in charge of the induction process aren't telling. In any case, the failure of the Hall of Fame to induct Led Zeppelin, as well as pioneering bands like Deep Purple and King Crimson, leave many people believing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke.
And as long as bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple aren't a part of the Hall of Fame, rock fans will continue to mock it.