Artists who have rejected Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


From Paul McCartney to Sex Pistols: The artists who have rejected Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Artists only become eligible for induction 25 years after releasing their debut record. (Faroutmagazine)

For many artists getting inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is the very pinnacle of their illustrious career. It is recognition of a career at the top, and the exclusivity of the club makes it the place that most musicians would love to be, however, here we’re taking a look at figures in music who couldn’t care less about awards or accolades and turned the opportunity of a lifetime down.


Paul McCartney
When The Beatles were inducted into the inaugural Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, not all the surviving members of the iconic band would attend the event. George Harrison and Ringo Starr would arrive at the show without Paul McCartney.

The singer boycotted the event as the result of ongoing business disputes. “After 20 years, the Beatles still have some business differences, which I had hoped would have been settled by now,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they haven’t been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion.”

Macca would later have a change of heart when he attended the ceremony for his solo work in 1999, inducted John Lennon into the Rock Hall in 1994 and then Ringo Starr in 2015.

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The Sex Pistols refused their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the most public and abrupt manners back in 2006.


On a note on the band’s website, they stated: “Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table, or $15000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organisation selling us a load of old famous. Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL.”

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Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters
When Pink Floyd were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, it arrived at a time when Roger Waters couldn’t stand being in the same room as David Gilmour. When Waters initially withdrew from the group, he immediately locked horns with Gilmour in a bitter legal battle which would last years. To announce his departure, Waters issued a statement to EMI and CBS invoking the ‘Leaving Member’ clause in his contract, and as the main creative force in the band, he didn’t believe Pink Floyd could continue in his absence. Therefore in October 1986, Waters started High Court proceedings to formally dissolve Pink Floyd, labelling the group a “spent force creatively”.


David Gilmour and Nick Mason opposed this, stating that Pink Floyd was going nowhere and that Waters couldn’t declare it was dead while the group were still trying to make music. Waters eventually agreed, which saw him resign after careful legal considerations in 1987. However, he did note: “If I hadn’t, the financial repercussions would have wiped me out completely.” Ten years on from that lacklustre apology, he still wanted nothing to do with his former bandmates.

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