One of the greatest yearly travesties for metalheads is the Grammy ‘In Memoriam’ reel. Every year, fans of loud, furious music watch as those we lost throughout any given year are left out while some roots producer gets a solid ten seconds of airtime, with Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul, and Power Trip’s Riley Gale among those who’ve been forgotten in previous years. Now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has put the Grammys to shame by featuring a solid number of heavy music’s lost heroes in their 2021 ‘In Memoriam’ reel.
The Hall of Fame isn’t exactly known for their love of metal, with this year’s induction line-up including the heinous snub of Iron Maiden. That said, the organization did a stand-up job of filling their ‘In Memoriam’ reel with those we lost in 2021. The biggest names were Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar, ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, John Lawton and Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep, Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman, and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.
But the inclusion that might have touched us the most was that of Marsha Zazula, cofounder of Megaforce Records and one of the people who made Metallica who they are. Marsha isn’t some glamorous rock legend — no coke binge stories, no big awards show performances, just a hard-working woman who made metal happen so that we could love it — so featuring her on this list shows that the people behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s reel actually knew a thing or two about metal.
You can check out the reel below. Though taped on October 30th, the ceremony only became available on HBO Max this Sunday, November 21st.
And for the record, Recording Academy: this is how it’s done.
Words by Chris Krovatin