“I don’t know who the nominators are, and frankly don’t care, but the person who put Bad Brains name in the hat is either visionary, or they’re savvy and trying to bring some legitimacy to their brand,” MacKaye said in an interview with D.C. radio station WTOP. “The Bad Brains obviously connected with a lot of people in the 1980s. Maybe some of those kids swam upstream to where they now want to bring Bad Brains along.”
A D.C. native, MacKaye cited Bad Brains as a direct influence on his early bands, Teen Idles and Minor Threat. The musician recalled the joy of getting to see not just a great local band, but “the greatest band in the world playing in Washington.”
In previous years, punk acts and fans have criticized the Rock Hall spectacle. MacKaye — a longtime proponent of the do-it-yourself ethos – said he would not be phased if Bad Brains were inducted. “If the members of the Bad Brains, if this is something they want, I’m happy for them,” MacKaye said. “I know the impact they had on my life, and that of other people … If they’re actually selected, it would be pretty startling.”
Bad Brains are among 19 acts nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, Jane’s Addiction, Janet Jackson, Journey, the Cars, the Zombies, Yes, Chaka Khan, Chic, J. Geils Band, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Kraftwerk, MC5 and Steppenwolf. The top vote-getters will be announced in December and inducted next April at a ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. HBO will broadcast the ceremony later in the year.