I told readers of my old column back in March that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was planning its 25th anniversary for the fall of 2009 at Madison Square Garden.
Now I can tell you that the Rock Hall folks, not exactly my favorite for various reasons, have booked Oct. 29 and 30 for a two-day extravaganza at the Garden.
Tentatively scheduled for the Thursday show are Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon as a solo act, Stevie Wonder, and the whole posse that includes Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young and friends.
Then on Friday: Aretha Franklin headlines, with U2, Metallica, and Eric Clapton. Those are the names I’ve heard so far, but we won’t be surprised if Paul McCartney, Sting, the Rolling Stones and a few other big names like Bob Dylan. I’d like to see some more black acts– like Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Green, Sam Moore, Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson, and Mavis Staples.
Of course, there are all the great acts who have never been inducted into the Hall of Fame, almost too many to name including Hall’ & Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Chicago, Moody Blues, Carly Simon, Todd Rundgren, etc.
As I wrote last spring, Jann Wenner let this past year’s induction ceremony take place in Cleveland at the Rock Hall Museum because he knew he had this event coming up, Very clever, no? The question is, will the proceeds from these shows go to the Cleveland museum or into the Hall of Fame’s $14 million war chest for distribution by Wenner at his will. Maybe ticket buyers should specify that their donations — you know the ticket prices will be very high — go to the Museum itself.
Still unknown: whether the shows will be broadcast on Fuse TV, which has a three year contract with the Rock Hall. Fuse TV and the Garden are each owned by Cablevision.