The Stooges, Genesis, ABBA, the Hollies and Jimmy Cliff will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the shrine’s 25th annual ceremony on March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. They’ll be joined by David Geffen and a cadre of songwriters — Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell — who will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on Fuse TV.
Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks tells Billboard.com that the induction is “nice to happen” and that it’s an honor to be the second British progressive rock band, after Pink Floyd, to join the Hall. “I suppose it being American-based and all that it just concentrates slightly more on that type of music,” he says. Which members of Genesis might perform at the ceremony is somewhat up in the air due to Phil Collins’ recent surgery to repair dislocated vertebrae. “Phil’s got a few physical problems at the moment which means I don’t think he’d be able to play, so…I don’t really know what that means,” Banks says. “We’ll face that particular hurdle when we get to it.”
Hollies veteran Graham Nash calls the group’s induction “well-deserved,” noting that “they were a very large part of the British Invasion. They were a very large part of early, you know, English rock. They had a couple of dozen Top 10 hits (in the U.K.), and hits over here (in the U.S.), and why not?” His longtime colleague Stephen Stills was “so happy” for Nash and cracked that “now he can quit feeling inferior” because Stills and David Crosby have each been inducted into the Hall more than once. But, Stills adds, “I thought (the Hollies) was a great band, and we all wanted to sing like that. The fact I ended up with one of their singers is one of the luckiest things in my life.”
ABBA is unlikely to regroup for a performance at the March ceremony, but the Stooges, in the wake of founding guitarist Ron Asheton’s death in early January, have already been planning a 2010 tour with “Raw Power” era guitarist James Williamson. The group has been nominated for the Hall seven previous times.
by Michaelangelo Matos June 1, 2009
The shuffler: David Johansen, the New York rock legend who formed the New York Dolls in the early ’70s and paved the loud, unkempt, pop-savvy road that would eventually lead to punk. He’s released many solo albums, worked with groups such as the Harry Smiths (traditional Americana), and performed as the infamous tropical novelty act Buster Poindexter. Johansen talked to The A.V. Club from Los Angeles as the Dolls, reunited since 2005, revved up their new tour.
The Larks, “My Reverie”
David Johansen: It’s from Debussy, Claude Debussy. [Johansen’s partner Mara interjects.] No—Mara’s saying it’s “Deb-you-see.” I just say “Deh-bussy.”
The A.V. Club: Are you a Debussy fan as well?
DJ: I like the Larks and I like Deb-you-say. And here they are together.
AVC: Do you remember when you first heard it?
DJ: I have an older brother, and when I was a kid, he had a lot of doo-wop records; I imagine that’s when I heard it. He used to get a lot of records, and I used to covet them when I was 4 years old or whatever. I would play these records on a Victrola, endlessly. I used to sing along to these songs when I was a little kid. The Platters, you know; the ones with really good singers. The Diablos was another biggie.
AVC: When did you start buying your own records?
DJ: When I was 12 or something. There was a rock ’n’ roll record store not far from my house. It was called Du-Dels. I think the first single I bought was “Tail Dragger” by Howlin’ Wolf, and I think the first LP I bought was Lightnin’ Hopkins; I don’t remember what it was called.
AVC: You were a blues fan when you were 12?
DJ: Yeah. When I was 12, I don’t know if I knew it was blues or not, but I liked it. When I was a kid, they had this Hootenanny era. There was a radio station in New York—I can’t remember what it was called—but every night from 9 to 10, there was a pretty hip cat who would play folk music and blues, and the blues kind of got my ear.
AVC: A lot of songs on the new Dolls album have a pretty bluesy feel. Is that deliberate?
DJ: I think we as a band, as individuals, understand that all popular music stems from blues and jazz and even pop, but rock ’n’ roll especially comes from blues. What we’re trying to do is play rock ’n’ roll, but other people call it different things.
Charles Lloyd, “Beyond Darkness”
DJ: He’s a very hip cat. He made a double record a couple years ago called Lift Every Voice. It’s so great; I can’t recommend it enough.
AVC: How did you encounter it?
DJ: When I was a kid, I had some Charles Lloyd records. In the ’60s, when I was in high school, he was hip and happening—I wouldn’t say to the general public in my school, but maybe 10 of us considered ourselves connoisseurs. A lot of people in that group had Charles Lloyd records; that’s how I got onto it. I must have read about this particular record. I think music writers, most of them, aren’t very good, but sometimes someone is eloquent enough to put you onto something. I read about music—not just anything, but if I saw something about Charles Lloyd, I would read that. And if it was done well, I would finish reading it, instead of taking the newspaper and going “ACK!”