Kiss’ Gene Simmons Slammed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Snubbing These Bands

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most controversial institutions in all of music. It’s received plenty of pushback for excluding certain artists. For example, Kiss’ Gene Simmons called out the Hall of Fame for excluding two popular rock bands. The president and CEO of the Hall of Fame responded to criticism for excluding one of the bands.

Kiss' Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley
Kiss | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kiss’ Gene Simmons said the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ‘should be ashamed of themselves’

The Hall of Fame has certain rules. For example, a band or artist cannot enter the Hall of Fame until their debut album is 25 years old. Some bands don’t make it into the Hall of Fame until many years after their debut album’s 25th anniversary.

In 2021, Simmons tweeted his anger that two bands were left out of the Hall of Fame. “RR Hall of Fame is a sham not to include Maiden,” he opined. “Disgusting!” In addition, he became upset Rage Against the Machine hasn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame. “Sadly, Rage Against The Machine shut out of RR Hall of Fame,” Simmons tweeted. “The Hall should be ashamed of themselves….”

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Are the bands Kiss’ Gene Simmons mentioned eligible for induction?

For context, Rage Against the Machine released its self-titled debut album in 1992. Iron Maiden released its self-titled debut album in 1980. This means both bands can be included in the Hall of Fame.

Notably, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello went on The Howard Stern Show and said he’s on a committee that names potential inductees for the Hall of Fame. He worked hard to get Kiss inducted. Billboard reports he ultimately inducted the band into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

RELATED: Kiss’ Gene Simmons Thinks These Artists Don’t Belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame president and CEO responds to criticism

According to Blabbermouth, Hall of Fame president and CEO Greg Harris discussed the exclusion of Iron Maiden. He said Iron Maiden was nominated for induction even though it hadn’t entered the Hall of Fame. “Of those that have been nominated throughout history, over 80% of them have been eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“So everybody has their favorites; everybody has different artists that impacted them or impacted other artists,” Harris said. “So, if you look at this list, you can make that case for all of these folks, just like people make that case for Iron Maiden.”

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Harris discussed why Iron Maiden was nominated but not inducted. “There’s no doubt that [Iron Maiden] are an impactful, influential band, and that’s why they were nominated this year, along with 15 other artists and acts, and when the votes came in, these six [Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, and Todd Rundgren] were the leaders. So we’re not questioning ‘Are they an important band; are they impactful and influential?'” Harris acknowledged Iron Maiden’s impact but not in the way Simmons wanted.