Dolly Parton’s attempt to drop out of the balloting for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has earned a big thank-you from Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner. He’s not exactly a disinterested party: Priest is on the ballot, too, competing with Parton.
“I think she recognizes her brand, and it didn’t necessarily fit into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And I think it raises questions to what the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s brand is, as well,” said Faulkner on the podcast “Rock of Nations With Dave Kinchen,” as reported by Consequence Heavy.
“To call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and not have bands like Judas Priest in it from day one, I think, is a weird thing,” said Faulkner, who further praised Parton’s request to be recused as “a classy move.” “I don’t know how you can call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without having bands like that in it as default; they sort of spawned the genre.”
As of this writing, Priest and Parton are still officially competing for the honor of who’ll represent the P’s in the induction ceremony this fall. Despite Parton publicly asking to be removed from contention, with voting already underway, so far the Hall hasn’t made any public move to disqualify her, and her disinclination to receive the award doesn’t automatically take her out of the running. (See Variety‘s story: “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Dolly Parton Pickle: Should She Be Inducted Anyway, Even If She Doesn’t Want It?”)
In the public fan vote — which counts only a minuscule amount in the ultimate tallying — Parton’s name is still indeed listed, and she is ahead of Judas Priest. As of Wednesday afternoon, Parton was in fourth place, behind Duran Duran, Eminem and Pat Benatar, but still a big fan favorite, ahead of the remaining 13 nominees, including sixth-place Priest. (Rounding out the list of contenders Parton is ahead of: Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Kate Bush, Devo, Rage Against the Machine, Dionne Warwick, A Tribe Called Quest, the New York Dolls, Beck, MC5 and, bringing up the rear, Fela Kuti.)
Faulkner shouldn’t count on getting in if his group does; the Rock Hall usually favors “classic lineups,” and he didn’t join Judas Priest till the relatively late date of 2011.
The Hall of Fame has not had any comment to date on Parton’s declaration that she doesn’t want the award — which she hedged to say that she would consider at a later date, after she releases a rock-themed album she’s planning.