Home Celebrity Laura Nyro’s Son Not Invited to Rock Hall Induction

Exclusive: Laura Nyro was one of our great singer songwriters–a legend. “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Eli’s Coming,” and “And When I Die” were just three of her many hits. She’s finally been voted into the Rock and Roll Fame. But the foundation, which operates in New York, has refused to invite her only son (actually, only child)  period to the Cleveland induction ceremony. Gil Bianchini lives in New York, and is a singer-rapper-musician. He is Nyro’s sole heir. But Nyro’s estate fell into the hands of a non relative,a woman named Patti DiLauria, years ago. Even though DiLauria had a tenuous connection to Nyro, she is the executor. So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is flying her out and putting her up. She will receive Nyro’s award. Bianchini, after many protests from his lawyers, was allowed this morning to purchase two tickets for $100 apiece to the Cleveland ceremony. They’re in the nosebleed section, with the public, far from the other stars and inductees.

“They’re not even on the floor,” Bianchini tells me. He has no idea how he’ll get to Cleveland yet or where he’ll stay, Or how he’ll be treated. He says he hasn’t seen DiLauria for years.

According to his lawyers and to Bianchini, DiLauria refuses to turn over Nyro’s personal effects to him. Instead, she’s offered to donate some of them to the Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland. Nyro died in 1997 at age 49, leaving a then teenage Gil in the care of her lover, Maria Desiderio. But Desiderio died the next year, also of cancer, and left the estate in control of her friend, Patti DiLauria. DiLauria, according to Gil and his lawyers, has mostly ignored his existence. “She’s tried to disinherit me,” Gil says. He’d like to get back some of his mother’s notebooks and other personal things to give to his children. He has three– a little boy, and newish twin daughters, one of whom he named Laura.

The RRHOF has an uncanny ability to do the wrong whenever possible.
Laura Nyro, c. 1968

Laura Nyro, c. 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past, they’ve charged inductees for tickets to their ceremonies. They’ve rarely honored the wishes of family members. Joel Peresman, who runs the foundation and earns almost a half million dollars a year, told me it was “a complicated” situation with Laura Nyro and that he’d discuss it with his committee.

DiLauria tells me that it wasn’t up to her to invite Bianchini, and that the estate has been closed for some time. She said: “I didn’t know he [Gil] wanted his mother’s possessions.” She told she’s been considering giving the stuff to the RRHOF. Is the foundation flying her out and buying her tickets? “They’re a gift from a friend,” is all she would say.

The RRHOF is mostly run by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who staffs the nominating committee with friends and former employees. Last year he tried to change the eligibility period from 25 to 20 years to speed up the induction of more c0ntemporary groups. A few years ago he tossed out a ballot on which the Dave Clark Five had been voted in by the membership, replacing them with Grandmaster Flash. I wrote about it, and subsequently the DF5 was inducted the next year. But by then the group’s leader, Mike Smith, was dead.

At the Cleveland ceremony, Bette Midler will perform a medley of Nyro’s songs that could also include “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoney End,” “Sweet Blindness,” “Blowin’ Away,” and “Up on the Roof.” The latter song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, but it was Nyro’s biggest hit and possibly the all time best version of it.


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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
8 replies to this post
  1. Laura Nyro gave the most sensitive performance of many wonderful artists at the Newport Jazz festival in RI in about 1990. Afterwards, she was walking unnoticed towards the gate as I was coming back in with my Airedale terrier who was a sweet boy himself. It was a glorious, sun-studded day there by the oceanfront. She floated straight towards us with the biggest smile. We spoke briefly about the dog whom she adored and her spirit felt so uplifted, so free. She loved my dog and with no fear, he loved her back. I can still see her as she sidled off, smiling back at us so natural, so easy. It didn’t even occur to me that she was such an famous artist until after she was gone. She was such a sweet, easy, genuine woman. If her son reads this, know she has the power to always be with you. Thanks, Laura.

  2. i sent off an email to rrhof. after reading how they’ve treated other family members i’m not holding out hope for gil, but am hoping bette midler knows what’s going on and will ask gil to the stage. so sad dilauria has laura’s legacy in her hands.

  3. If the estate has been closed for a long time and especially since DiLauria wasn’t initially named as executor by Laura Nyro, she should be at the ceremony. Sounds like a lot of politic’s going on at the Rock Hall and to eliminate family members stinks to high heaven. What’s wrong with the RRHOF?

  4. Laura Nyro was, in her quiet way (she did not say a word to the audience in her concerts, at least the ones I attended — I mean not a single word), one of the greatest singer songwriters of her generation. She did not get in my opinion the prominent place in the spotlight that she deserved. What a shame that in death she still is not accorded through her son that respect because of the selfish behavior of others. Glad Roger that you have shone the spotlight with your story — maybe the cockroaches who have taken over her life so unfairly will now scatter.

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