Those very high priced Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows on Oct. 29 and 30 are quietly adding some unannounced special guests to the already published roster.
I’m told that Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson, James Taylor, Sting, Jeff Beck, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are among those who will pop during the two nights.
They will join Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, U2, Metallica and Aretha Franklin.
But some artists have already made it clear they will not be there: Paul McCartney will be in England, according to sources. And Bob Dylan has shows in Chicago on both nights, so that rules him out, too. I’m also told that at this point, none of the Rolling Stones are set for the shows. Billy Joel is also not making an appearance.
The two blowout shows at Madison Square Garden are an incredibly expensive tribute to something — not sure exactly what. The money derived from them goes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which will then mete out any proceeds to the Cleveland museum at their discretion. Tickets range up to the thousands of dollars, with $100,000 VIP packages entitling the lucky fan to dinner with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and some of the stars.
No word yet on whether any of the members of the Who, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or even Sir Elton John or any other classic R&B or country artists will attend.
But some of the artists attending the shows may be interested in this: A memorial tribute to legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler will take place at noon on Oct. 30 at the DGA Theater on West 57th Street. Jerry’s kids, Lisa and Paul, are putting it together, and the memorial should feature speeches and music. Wexler produced hundreds of hits, and was the man responsible for coining the term “rhythm and blues.”