The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum building, designed by architect by I. M. Pei, is seen in this 2009 Cleveland, Ohio, early morning city landscape photo. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Vinny Appice, legendary Black Sabbath and Dio drummer, has said in a recent interview with The Rock Experience With Mike Brunn that he might agree with fans that he was snubbed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sabbath, along with members Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and Bill Ward, was inducted in 2016, 35 years after their first album. However, the induction did not included some of the bands prominent lineup changes which is a source of contention for Appice who played with the band from 1980-1982, 1991–1992, 1998 (touring) and 2006–2010.
“How many bands have changed over the years? And some of [the changes were] important,” Appice argued. “Ronnie [James Dio] took Sabbath to a new level. At that point, they needed it. And we were both in the band, so they should do an extended band thing up to a certain point, I guess.”
While original drummer Bill Ward got the nod from the Hall, Appice contended that him and Dio both were significant contributing members to the bands legacy.
“As far as I’m concerned, it was the original Sabbath and the Dio[-fronted version of] Sabbath together — with Bill [Ward] and with me. He played on ‘Heaven And Hell’, and I played on ‘Mob Rules’ and the rest of ’em — the most important [albums],” Appice continued. “There was a lot of versions of Sabbath after that that were a little different.”
Appice even felt that the 2006 nomination was insulting, saying that the 11 year wait for even the original members was “the most stupidest thing in the world.”
In 2014, Joel Peresman the president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of FameFoundation, defended the selection process after 2014 inductees KISS refused to perform at the ceremony in protest. The group was upset that requests to include subsequent members of the band was denied as “a nonstarter.”
“This isn’t chemistry or physics; it’s not an exact science,” Peresman told Billboard in 2014. “Sometimes there’s an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it’s a specific period of time that established the band as who they are.”
Peresman went on to say that subsequent members of KISS were simply falling into the on-stage characters created by the original lineup. KISS’ co-frontman Paul Stanley took this argument personally and defended the right to recognition for his other bandmates.
“The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we’re being treated unfairly, I have issues with that.” Stanley told Billboard.
However, Peresman’s argument holds even less water when not considering such personas as in Appice and Dio’s situation. While Vinny Appice might be able to take some solace in his induction to the Hall of Heavy Metal History in 2017, it’s still not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Artists are eligible 25 years after the release of their first first album or single and though last year introduced some much deserving acts like The Doobie Brothers and Nine Inch Nails, many other artists had been “snubbed” over the years.
KISS was originally eligible in 1999 and inducted 7 years later, Sabbath in 1995 and inducted 11 years later, and Deep Purple was eligible in 1993 and was inducted 13 years later in 2016.
Many other prominent rockers have also been nominated but fell short including: Judas Priest (nominated 2018, 2020), Motörhead (2020), and Jane’s Addiction (2017).
This year’s nominations remedy some outstanding complaints by including: Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, and Rage Against the Machine. However, the arguments over who belongs in the pantheon of rock will continue.
And though Peresman’s argument that the process is an imperfect science is agreeable the current stance that past, or non-original members have no place along their bandmates certainly is not.