This year’s ceremony already hit headlines when Dolly Parton publicly announced that she did not wanted to be inducted. However, the organisers have gone ahead and included the country music icon anyway. Now, British New Romantic superstars Duran Duran have also had their say about the most prestigious award in the music industry. Taylor’s official statement says: “It’s quite an honour for Duran Duran to be elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and not one we ever expected. We have never thought of ourselves as a Rock n’ Roll band, more of an ‘ongoing Art Project’, however, I feel a profound sense of gratitude for the acknowledgement this award represents.” His rather playful comments in another recent interview also hit headlines.
Musicians must wait 25 years from their first recording before they become eligible for the honour. A committee then draws up a shortlist each year of up to 16 potential nominees, who are voted upon by one thousand music “experts.” A fan ballot also selects the top five from the eligible acts, and these votes are counted alongside the official jury votes.
Naturally, some inclusions and exclusions continue to be controversial every year. This year, the final seven inductees are Dolly Parton, Eminem and Duran Duran (all in their first year), as well as Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon. The likes of Kate Bush and Judas Priest did not make it this time.
Taylor clarified his comments by explaining that, as the times have changed, so have the institution’s goals and remit.
He said: “Almost everything up until the era that we came along, you could call it rock and roll, because it was free-standing, swing oriented. If you listen to almost anything that was played on guitar and drums in the ’70s, you can hear rock and roll.
“But after electronics started coming in, and we’re building on these very square bases of electronic pulses, then that’s where people went, ‘That’s not rock and roll.’ [Laughs.] And of course, disco, which was big for us, but—[affects gruff voice] ‘That’s not rock and roll!'”
Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon was simply thrilled and overwhelmed in a chat with Rolling Stone when their induction was confirmed: “I was in shock and disbelief.
“I mean, we’re Duran Duran. We’re always the bridesmaid, never the bride. And we looked over the list of names and thought we didn’t really have a hope in hell.
“We were up against incredible names, people I have incredible respect for. Kate Bush is an absolute deity in my mind… It’s incredible! We are over the moon about it.”