The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is fast approaching and you can bet that Cleveland Ohio and HBO are going to be rocking it! The actual ceremony, where presenters welcome to the stage the incoming inductees to the Hall, will be held on Saturday, April 14 at the Cleveland Public Hall. HBO will air an edited version of the induction & concerts premiering May 5.
What follows is a list of the 2012 Inductees and their presenters.
Guns N’ Roses – presented by Green Day; Red Hot Chili Peppers – presented by Chris Rock; Donovan – presented by John Mellencamp; Laura Nyro – presented by Bette Midler; The Small Faces/Faces – presented by Stephen Van Zandt; Beastie Boys – presented by Chuck D; The Crickets – presented by Smokey Robinson; The Famous Flames – presented by Smokey Robinson; The Midnighters – presented by Smokey Robinson; The Comets – presented by Smokey Robinson; The Blue Caps – presented by Smokey Robinson; The Miracles – presented by Smokey Robinson; Freddie King – presented by Billy Gibbons & Dusty Hill (of ZZ Top); Don Kirshner – presented by Carole King; Cosimo Matassa – presented by Robbie Robertson; Tom Dowd presented by Robbie Robertson; Glyn Johns – presented by Robbie Robertson.
Now I realize not everyone knows all of these people about to be acknowledged by the Hall of Fame but each one has left their influence on the raucous sound we call rock and roll. The more recent performers, of course, are the most recognizable. They are also the most questionable of the honorees by some. Are Axel Rose, Flea and Adam Yauch and their bandmates worthy of the honor? That question is raised about someone every year. But I say, hey, you know their music, right?
The least known are the people behind the scenes, which in this list is Kirshner, who created and promoted such groups as The Monkees; Matassa, master recording technician during the birth of the music genre; Dowd, a recording artist for many a band and Johns, producer and engineer of many groups a part of the British Invasion. Then, there are the classic groups performers from the early years; Note that Smokey Robinson introduces six such acts to the Hall including the group he was front-man for, the Miracles. Donovan, Nyro and King and the Small Faces also made their musical marks as well adding their flavorings of folk, blues and jazz to the driving beat.
Now even if just a few of their songs get played at the HBO covered concert it will prove to be quite a jam. Exactly which moments get to air is unclear as Cleveland has a number of concerts appearing a throughout the week leading to the ceremony. One concert that sounds cool to me is the Appetite for Induction Concert. Just what might we hear? Let’s see, how about “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Under The Bridge,” “Hurdy-Gurdy Man” and “Sabotage ” for starters staged along side the classic sounds of Buddy Holly’s The Crickets and Bill Hailey’s The Comets…oh yeah…and the scorching hot guitar of Slash!
I, for one, am going to be front row with the volume up when HBO airs all the highlights on May 5th. Who knows, if they do “November Rain” I might even break out a lighter.
Those about to rock-n-roll, we salute you!