Classic Rock

Rik Emmett Believes “Prejudice” Is The Reason Triumph Will Never Be At Rock Hall of Fame

todayMarch 27, 2024 1

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Rik Emmett, the guitarist and vocalist for Canadian rock royalty Triumph, is firing shots at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In a recent interview, Emmett unleashed his frustration, expressing a strong belief that Triumph has been unjustly denied their rightful place among rock legends.

Emmett goes beyond simple disappointment, suggesting a more sinister reason behind their exclusion: prejudice. He implies a deep-rooted bias within the Hall of Fame that overlooks certain bands. This alleged prejudice, he suggests, is a significant barrier preventing Triumph from even being considered for induction.

To add weight to his claim, Emmett delves into the world of record labels. He reveals that Triumph wasn’t backed by a major industry powerhouse, putting them at a significant disadvantage. This lack of a powerful label, he argues, may have stifled their ability to achieve the level of recognition typically associated with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.

“We were never that big. We didn’t sell enough records to have a massive impact…”

Emmett went deeper into his theory about Triumph’s exclusion from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He concedes that the band’s commercial performance might be a hurdle. “Voting-wise,” he explains, “we were never that big. We didn’t sell enough records to have a massive impact that would make people say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember them going quadruple platinum!’”

Emmett acknowledges the stark difference between Triumph and some of their peers. “We never reached those heights,” he continues. “We fought hard to achieve gold or platinum certifications on some albums, but it wasn’t consistent. Meanwhile, bands like Journey were selling millions of records, going platinum multiple times over. Even Foreigner, there’s talk about them getting inducted this year, and their albums likely haven’t dipped below five or six times platinum.”

Despite the clear sales advantage of these bands, Emmett concludes with a touch of respect: “They deserve to be in there; they really do.”

Blaming the gatekeeper

Despite Triumph’s impressive sales figures, exceeding 15 million albums sold, Emmett remains unconvinced about their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame prospects. He argues that sales alone aren’t the deciding factor, and points to several Hall of Famers with lower career numbers.

Instead, Emmett pins the blame on a powerful figure: Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine and a key player in the Hall of Fame selection process.

Emmett alleges a deep-seated bias against certain bands, including Triumph and Foreigner, on Wenner’s part. He suggests Wenner held these bands in contempt, dismissing them as “crap” and influencing Rolling Stone’s editorial direction to reflect that view.

According to Emmett, this alleged prejudice translated into a roadblock for these bands’ Hall of Fame aspirations. Wenner’s supposed negativity,  Emmett implies, created a narrative that ultimately shut them out of the prestigious institution.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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