Most rockers would be honored to be nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Ozzy Osbourne isn't most rockers. He has attempted to take Black Sabbath's name off the Hall of Fame's 1999 nomination list, deeming the institution's nod "meaningless."
On Oct. 4, the singer fired off a letter to the Hall of Fame, saying: "Just take our name off the list. Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because it's not voted on by the fans. It's voted on by the supposed elite for the industry and the Media, who've never bought an album or concert ticket in their lives, so their vote is irrelevant to me." He says, "Let's face it, Black Sabbath has never been media darlings. We're a people's band and that suits us just fine."
But according to a source at the Hall of Fame Foundation, Oz can't be taken off the nomination list. The best the old bat-biter can do is to refuse the nomination if Black Sabbath are voted into the Hall of Fame this year. "He can pull a George C. Scott, if he wants to [referring to the 1970 incident when Scott refused the best actor award for his performance in Patton], but he can't take his name off the list."
Suzan Evans, spokesperson for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had no comment, but explained that they hadn't even issued a list of nominees, or a press release. "This stuff gets out because it's the writers that vote, and they publish the names." Black Sabbath are on a list with fifteen other stars including Eric Clapton, Lovin' Spoonful, Richie Valens and Queen. The inductees will be announced in November and ushered into the Hall of Fame in January.
Black Sabbath have been eligible for induction for the past three years. But the band has yet to receive enough votes to be inducted into the Hall, despite the fact that their catalog still sells very well and that they were able to generate renewed interest last year when they mounted the first Ozzfest reunion tour. This year's Ozzfest, meanwhile, has included more than sixty shows, and will wrap up with two shows in their hometown of Birmingham, England, on Dec. 21 and 22.