The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame annual induction show used to be a big deal. Remember the Waldorf Hotel big jam sessions with names like Springsteen, McCartney, Jagger, Richards, etc? Am I showing my age? Yes. because that’s when it was a Hall of Fame. Now reduced to rubble, the Hall of Fame show–held in Cleveland this year–was a shadow of its former self. No-shows due to illness were Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Rod Stewart of the Faces/Small Faces, although Rod’s already in as a solo act. Axl Rose protested the event, so Guns n Roses played without him.
Bette Midler, who last year inducted Darlene Love, this year inducted Laura Nyro. This is awfully nice of Bette since the RRHOF will never induct her. (She should talk to Peter Wolf of J Geils, who used to hang around and do Jann Wenner favors thinking he was going to get in.) Thanks to this column, Nyro’s son was allowed to accept her award, so that’s a plus. Smokey Robinson, whom I love, came to get the award for the Miracles, even though it was for the other singers, not him. He was inducted solo in 1988, even though all his biggest hits were with the Miracles. Steve van Zandt, of the E Street Band, also not inducted even though Bruce Springsteen has been in for eons, should take note of all that.
Carole King was scheduled to induct music publishing great Donnie Kirshner two years after his death and 25 years after he was eligible. Basically, the Cleveland fans got a Red Hot Chili Peppers show with a couple of songs by Donovan, who was also made to wait 25 years. John Mellencamp brought girlfriend Meg Ryan. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Slash gave the press the finger when asked to take questions about Axl Rose. Sounds like a fun night in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jann Wenner must be looking around, thinking, What happened to all the cool people? Now that he’s skipped over or snubbed more than two dozen actual stars for induction he can look forward in 2013 to newly eligible acts like Debbie Gibson, George Michael, Jane’s Addiction, Sinead O’Connor, Milli Vanilli, and the Pixies.
Still not in: Bon Jovi, Sting, Chicago, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Carly Simon, Billy Preston, Chubby Checker, Carole King (as a solo artist–but she’s really volunteering a lot, like Bette–read Peter Wolf note), Peter Wolf with or without J Geils, The Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Nile Rodgers and Chic, producers like Phil Ramone, Richard Perry, and Richard Gottehrer, Ringo Starr (the only Beatle not in solo), Three Dog Night or the Fifth Dimension or Blood Sweat and Tears, Joe Tex, Mary Wells, Cyndi Lauper, and so on.