- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Diamond, Cooper among rock hall inductees
The rock hall’s latest class brought together Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and Leon Russell, and after all the speeches were done, the musicians kept playing until the wee hours.
Mr. Springsteen brought his guitar to back Miss Love, who created a modern-day “Wall of Sound” and dueted with Bette Midler on “He’s a Rebel” after her induction Monday night. Guitarist John Mayer supported Mr. Russell in his ballad “A Song for You.” Mr. Diamond had the crowd in the glittery ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel dancing to the 1960s era “Cherry Cherry.”
Mr. Diamond seemed a bit loopy in his acceptance speech, after traveling 25 hours from Australia for the ceremony and looking ahead to another trip Down Under to resume a concert tour. He criticized Paul Simon, who inducted him, for giving Mr. Simon’s upcoming album a difficult-to-remember title (“So Beautiful or So What”), then tried to recover by saying, “I dare anybody in this room to make a better album.”
Mr. Diamond got a cheer from the New York crowd for recognizing his city roots while performing “I Am I Said.”
Alice Cooper is the stage name for singer Vincent Furnier and his band, known for 1970s-era hard-rock songs “Eighteen,” ”No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “School’s Out.” Their concerts were steeped in horror-movie theatrics, and Mr. Cooper wrapped a snake around his neck during his speech accepting induction. He performed a trio of the band’s hits in a shirt spattered with fake blood.
“We’ve always been a hard-rock band,” Mr. Cooper said. “We just wanted to decorate it a little differently.”
Mr. Cooper said he’d like to promise the rock hall that his band wouldn’t embarrass it.
“But I can’t make that promise,” he said. “After all, we are Alice Cooper.”
He was inducted by singer Rob Zombie, who recalled how he painted a portrait of Mr. Cooper dripping in blood when he was in fourth grade and was asked to make a picture of someone he admired — drawing attention from school authorities.
Mr. Waits is a well-versed songwriter in blues, poetry and ballads, with songs rough and romantic. Several of his Hall of Fame predecessors have recorded his work, including Mr. Springsteen (“Jersey Girl”), the Ramones (“I Don’t Want to Grow Up”), Rod Stewart (“Downtown Train”) and Johnny Cash (“Down There by the Train”). Neil Young said Mr. Waits is indescribable, and “I’m here to describe him.” The two later performed together.
Mr. Waits noted that his rock hall trophy was heavy and wondered if he could have a keychain version “that I can keep with me in case I hear somebody say: ‘Pete, take the cuffs off him. He’s a Hall of Famer.’”
“They say that I have no hits and that I’m difficult to work with,” he said, “and they say that like it’s a bad thing.”
Mr. Russell composed “A Song for You” and “Delta Lady,” but he said he was in “a ditch beside the highway of life” when Elton John called a year ago and suggested they record an album together. The result was nominated for a Grammy.
Miss Love, whose voice cut through Phil Spector’s heavy production, called her induction into the hall her best 70th birthday present. She praised Spector’s work but also tweaked him: “Phil Spector said God made two musical geniuses: Beethoven and Phil Spector,” she recalled.
Miss Love lent her powerful voice to several of Spector’s hits, in acts such as the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Her “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is a holiday standard: She sang on U2’s cover and performs it every December on David Letterman’s show.
“Listening to her songs, you had to dance, you had to move, you had to keep looking for that rebel boy,” Miss Midler said. “Suddenly nobody wanted the buttoned-down guy who was a good provider.”
New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John, born Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack Jr., was inducted by singer John Legend, who recalled meeting him at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. Mr. Legend said the new Hall of Fame member has been a leading global ambassador for New Orleans and its special musical gumbo.
“He has never stopped flying the flag of funk,” Mr. Legend said. “Tonight, he is definitely in the right place at the right time.”
That was a reference to one of Dr. John’s best-known songs, “Right Place, Wrong Time,” with Allen Toussaint and the Meters, which he performed as the ceremony slipped past midnight.
Dr. John wore a bright purple suit for his big night and was asked backstage where he had bought his shoes.
“The pimp store,” he replied.
Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman and Specialty Records founder Art Rupe also were inducted, in the non-performer category.
The inductees’ work will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
Taped highlights of the rock hall ceremony will be shown on Fuse on March 20.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!