The Toronto band had long been overlooked as the Hall of Fame announced its inductees, but it has made the final cut for 2013, it was announced Tuesday.
Canadian-American rock outfit Heart also earned a nomination, along with:
- Record producer and Roxy Theatre owner Lou Adler.
- Producer and composer Quincy Jones.
- Rap group Public Enemy.
- Bluesman Albert King.
- Pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman.
- Disco queen Donna Summer.
The induction will take place April 18, 2013, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the first time since 1993 that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on the West Coast.
Long wait for Rush fans
It’s been a long haul for Rush fans, who have waited since 1998 for the rockers to even be considered for the Hall of Fame. Musical acts must have a 25-year track record to qualify.
A staple of classic rock radio and an enormously influential band, Rush was never among those put forward in a long list created annually by a group of musical experts, headed by Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner.
But this year, fans were allowed to have a say in the voting process and that may have figured in Rush’s inclusion.
The band released a statement Tuesday saying they are “honoured to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
“The three of us are especially appreciative of our loyal fans whose support and dedication has gone a long way to making this possible. P.S. And special thanks to our moms for voting 6,000 times!” said the statement signed by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart.
Lifeson, 59, the guitarist for Rush, was willing to overlook the long wait.
"First of all, it's all water under the bridge and it was a very tiny bridge," he said in a phone interview from his home in Toronto. "I think our fans are more upset than we were because they feel a real bond to this band and it's been an important part of their lives in some form, and to be snubbed was snubbing them at the same time."
“Perhaps there were times when I thought if this ever happens I'm not going to bother going, or who cares or whatever, but at the end of the day positive karma is an important thing and this is an important thing to a lot of our fans and people we know."
But Lifeson lamented that progressive rock groups such as Yes and King Crimson had never made it into the Hall of Fame.
Heart was Vancouver-based in '70s
Heart, rockers known for hits such as Barracuda, Dreamboat Annie and Magic Man, was based in Vancouver in the 1970s as the band’s male members Mike and Roger Fisher evaded the draft.
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, the lead vocalists, hail from Seattle and still sing together, touring Canada last year.
Summer, known for hits such as Love To Love You Baby and Hot Stuff, died at age 63 in May. She had been nominated six times before.
King, a legendary blues guitarist who had a deep influence on Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, is also a posthumous entry.
Newman, who had pop hits with Sail Away and the satirical Short People, is also a film composer for Ragtime, Awakenings, Meet the Parents and Toy Story.
"I'm very happy," the 69-year-old Newman said from his home in Los Angeles. "I thought I'd have to die first, but I'm glad I'm around to see it."
Quincy Jones wonders why he waited so long
But Jones wonders why he didn't get recognition sooner after producing artists such as Michael Jackson and Ray Charles and striking a high profile in American entertainment.
The 79-year-old said he never expected to wait so long for his own entry.
"I was pissed off about it at first, because I saw how it was going down and who was going in and who wasn't," Jones said.
"But I'm used to it, man. I've been around a long time, and I know how it works, you know. It's still an honour, man."Suggest a correction