Friday night: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show at Madison Square Garden ended at 11:30 p.m., two hours earlier than it did the previous night. Mick Jagger substituted for Eric Clapton’s missing star power. Annie Lennox and Lenny Kravitz joined Aretha Franklin onstage. Other acts included U2 and Metallica, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and Ray Davies of the Kinks. Bruce Springsteen showed up again to play with Ozzy Osbourne.

Mick sang with Bono. Tom Hanks made a speech. David Geffenwho’s getting inducted into the Rock Hall next spring whether people like it or not because Jann Wenner says so — made an appearance. Wenner’s making everyone sign some kind of commemorative book. “It’s very important to him,” says a source. Whatever. Celebs: Harvey Weinstein, Lorraine Bracco, Robbie Robertson, Michael J. Fox again, Vivi Nevo, Jimmy Buffett’s wife, Daniel Craig, who came over after “A Steady Rain” finished. Most of the celebs were packed into Jann Wenner’s private box, along with his wife, Jane Wenner, and his lover, Matt Nye…It’s a modern world: Wenner has three kids with each of them…(Now that’s a reality series!)…

On Thursday night, Blondie played a set in Brooklyn for the rock photo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Hey — isn’t this what the Rock Hall is supposed to be about?…

…Earlier on Thursday at the Directors Guild Theatre, the real folks in rock came out to say goodbye to the beloved record producer Jerry Wexler. Produced by Wexler’s grown kids Lisa and Paul, musical direction by Jon Tiven, with shattering performances by Vaneese Thomas, William Bell and Bettye Lavette, among others. Bernard Purdie, the famed Atlantic drummer, was part of the band, along with Spooner Oldham on piano. Bonnie Raitt – the soul of the commercial music world — sang backup! Peter Wolf applauded. May Pang was among the guests. Joyce Moore gave a beautiful speech about Jerry working with Sam & Dave. Clive Davis was in the front row, Seymour Stein in the second, Paul Shaffer in the third. This was so much classier and heartfelt than the behemoth going on down on Seventh Avenue.

Wexler, for the record, coined the term “Rhythm and Blues.” He was the music man in businessman Ahmet Ertegun’s Atlantic Records structure. But Ahmet, married to elegant Mica (who was there), straddled Society, so he got the ink. Wexler, Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin made the records. Here’s the short version: Having corralled Aretha and Wilson Pickett and Sam (Moore) & Dave, Wexler went down to Stax Records in Memphis. He made a bunch of records there with his Atlantic artists, worked on the Stax stuff, too, (Rufus and Carla Thomas, William Bell, etc.) but then Stax felt he was carpetbagging and kicked him out. So he moved south to Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama, and had even more hits. Now all of it is part of the canon of rock history…

Anyway, Aretha was a no-show and missed, but Ronee Blakely and Lenny Kaye carried off a dazzling duet on Dusty Springfield’s “I Can’t Make It Alone,” written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin from the quintessential Wexler-Dowd-Mardin Atlantic masterpiece “Dusty in Memphis.” While these guys all worked with Aretha on her many classics, somehow “Dusty in Memphis” remains their legacy.

As usual: Kudos to Springsteen and Raitt. This comes from the great rock cynic (me): They are just great. They are grateful, respectful, well-mannered, incredibly talented, incredibly pleasant. Bruce actually called Sam Moore yesterday and thanked him for their set on Thursday night. This is above and beyond. As for Bonnie, she pitches in, shows up, she’s the real thing. I will never forget being backstage at Radio City Music Hall on the night Martin Scorsese shot his huge blues concert. B.B. King summoned Bonnie over to where he was sitting, then said to her: “You’re the best slide guitarist I’ve ever seen.” Everyone started crying. Anyway, let’s not ever forget to praise the reallygood guys…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WYcAwjLiE8

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