When the taping of last month’s annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert is shown tonight on HBO, the Hall will make yet another grievous error. If we’re lucky we’ll see two seconds of Peter Asher’s seven minute speech inducting the original managers of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones– the late Brian Epstein and the very much alive Andrew Loog Oldham.
It only took 29 years to get acknowledgments for these two seminal rock and roll figures at the Hall of Shame. Oldham was so horrified by the whole event that he didn’t even bother attending. Epstein’s family was given short shrift. Oldham said in an interview: “I think those people basically hijacked the name ‘rock ‘n’ roll, I won’t be there. It’s now just a television show. ”
Asher, who at least knew Epstein and is friends with Oldham, was chosen to induct the pair. In the past, such inductees would have separate speeches and a lot of fanfare. But Hall poobah Jann Wenner found this all so uninteresting that he and Rock Hall prez Joel Peresman ($400K a year salary) simply combined the two inductions into one quickly forgotten moment. Asher was hurried off the stage of the Barclays Center. Watch tonight and see if you can find him.
Of course, this is in contrast to, say, Wenner’s own induction a few years ago. That consisted of at least 10 minutes of toasts, followed by Wenner’s 12 minute speech. The legendary rock bands that he created and managed? Uh, hmmm. None.
Of the nearly five hour show at the Barclays, just under 7 minutes was devoted to the Epstein-Oldham induction. Here’s the audio of Peter Asher:
And here’s a new written tribute to Brian Epstein by producer/humorist/Beatles scholar Martin Lewis – who instigated and ran the 15-year campaign to get Epstein honored by the Hall of Fame: