THE 2014 ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME Concert Review

RandRInducteesAlbums_2014The 29th annual induction ceremony took place 04.10 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, marking the first time the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been held in Brooklyn. The HBO special features some of the biggest names in music in celebratory reunions, rousing tributes and heartfelt speeches from both presenters and inductees and HBOWatch watched the “edited” event. (All bios come from the Hall of Fame website.)   We start with a reminder of the Inductees: In the Performer Category we start with Peter Gabriel who was inducted by Chris Martin of the group Coldplay.

 Bio: Peter Gabriel’s influence is so widespread we may take it for granted. When the rest of rock was siRandR_PeterGabrielmplifying in the new wave days, the former Genesis frontman blended synthesizers and a signature gated drum sound with an emotional honesty learned from soul music to create a sensibility that would influence many an artist.


Performance:  Peter Gabriel and Chris Martin perform “Washing of the Water.” Youssou N’Dour joins Gabriel for a performance of “In Your Eyes.”

This last song is this writer’s favorite Gabriel song.

Linda Ronstadt was inducted by Glen Frey of The Eagles who was a member of her backup band for a time. It was announced publicly in August 2013 that Linda had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in December 2012, which left her unable to sing thus leading to her retirement at 66.

People_LindaRonstadt Bio: Linda Ronstadt dominated popular music in the 1970s with a voice of tremendous range and power. She was one of the most important voices in the creation of country rock, in part because she understood how to sing traditional country songs. She regularly crossed over to the country charts in the 70s, a rarity for rock singers. She crafted a repertoire of songs that roamed throughout rock history.


 Performance: Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks presented a song medley comprised of five Ronstadt hits.Carrie Underwood begins with Ronstadt’s “Different Drum.” Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris join her for a sultry “Blue Bayou,” adding Sheryl Crow for “You’re No Good” and Stevie Nicks for “It’s So Easy.” The ladies close with a rousing “When Will I Be Loved?”

It was a moving tribute to the honoree. Since the one-time songbird was not able to be present here is a video clip of her performing “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

Nirvana, the grunge band comprised of David Grohl, Krist Novolselic and the late Kurt Cobain was inducted by Michael Stipe, known as the lead vocalist of alternative band R. E. M.


 Bio: It only takes one song to start a rock revolution. That trigger, in late 1991, was “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” an exhilarating blast of punk-rock confrontation by Nirvana, a scruffy trio from Seattle. This turned singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain into the voice and conscience of an alternative-rock nation. The sound packed with Cobain’s corrosive riffs, emotionally acute writing and twin passions for the Beatles and post-punk bands confirmed the proof that the right band with the right noise can change the world.


Performance: Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic pay a special tribute to Kurt Cobain by performing with four top female artists. Joan Jett leads the band on the iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Kim Gordon lends her vocals to “Aneurysm.” St. Vincent jams on “Lithium.” Lorde closes the set with her own spin on “All Apologies.”

There was a bit of unease onstage and in the crowd at Courtney Love’s presence at the ceremony. She is the widow of Cobain who, if you remember, took his own life at the height of his career and while married to Love.
Cat Stevens, known today as Yusuf Islam after he converted to Islam in 1977, was inducted by fellow folk artist Art Garfunkel. RandR_CatStevens

Bio: That journey of Cat Stevens is well documented, from teenage London art school songsmith (“The First Cut Is The Deepest”) to introspective cornerstone of the 1970s singer-songwriter movement. Who can measure the courage it took him in the late ’70s, after seven years of multi-platinum success in the U.S. (and over a decade in the UK) to convert to Islam. “When I accepted Islam,” he told Rolling Stone, “a lot of people couldn’t understand. To my fans it seemed that my entering Islam was the direct cause of me leaving the music business, so many people were upset. However, I had found the spiritual home I’d been seeking for most of my life. And if you listen to my music and lyrics, it clearly shows my yearning for direction and the spiritual path I was travelling.” The musical gifts that he has shared with the world are an important chapter in rock history – a beacon of hope that will never be extinguished.


  Performance: Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) performs his hits “Father and Son,” “Wild World” and the anthem “Peace Train.”


I remember singing along to those tunes plus “Cats In The Cradle” and Morning Has Broken” as well. Yes, I’m that old.
RandR_KISSKISS, for those who don’t realize it changed players over the years, but the original band was Paul Stanley (the “Starchild’ with the star over his right eye), Gene Simmons (the “Demon” with the high brows and wagging tongue), Ace Frehley (the “Spaceman” with the emblazoned mask) and Peter Criss (the “Catman” sporting whiskers.) They were inducted by Tom Morello, who was influenced by KISS & has played for such bands as Rage Against The Machine and currently with The E Street Band.

 Bio: Few bands short of the Beatles inspired more kids to play the guitar and drums than KISS. With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like “Rock And Roll All Nite” they are the very personification of rock stars. It showed by scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie. The players have changed over the years, but it doesn’t matter because KISS has made its lasting mark on rock and roll history in their early days and still tops popular charts today.


 Performance: There was no performance by KISS or a tribute by others.

Besides Ronstadt’s absence the biggest controversy of the night was the absence of KISS’s performance. There wasn’t one because these egotistical pussys were to immature to put differences aside and clashed with the wishes of the Hallof Fame. The original 1972 – 1982 band, mentioned above, was the one inducted not the band that exists today, which is Simmons, Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. SImmions and Stanley did not want to perform with Frehley and Criss and the Hall of Fame would not let the current band perform, so there was no performance. So I guess we will have to insert a video here to remember the original KISS by. Here is “Rock and Roll All Nite”  

Daryl Hall & John Oates, simply known as Hall & Oates, are the most successful duo in pop music history and were inducted by Questlove from The Roots who digs these inductees.RandR_HallOates

Bio: As songwriters, singers and producers, Hall & Oates embraced the pop mainstream, bringing passion and creativity back to the 3-minute single. Over the course of their career, they have recorded six Number One hits and put 34 songs in the Billboard Top 100. Deeply rooted in lush Philly soul, Hall and Oates mixed smooth vocal harmonies and the romantic vulnerability of soul with edgy hard rock and new wave riffs to create some of the finest pop music of the 1980s. They continue to record and attract new young audiences.


Performance: Hall & Oates performs a soulful “She’s Gone” and the buoyant “You Make My Dreams.”

Those two numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. HBO could have staged a whole concert including “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “Private Eyes,” “Kiss On My List,” “Rich Girl,” and more. I wonder how they narrowed down their playlist to the two they did get to perform?

The E Street Band was another band that had many members throughout the years. Collectively the talents are honored and inducted by the Boss they backed Bruce Springsteen.

RanandR_EStreet Bio:  Bruce Springsteen formed the E Street Band in 1973, after he landed a recording contract with Columbia Records. The first lineup of the band – Garry Tallent on bass, Danny Federici on organ, David Sancious on piano, Vini Lopez on drums and Clarence “Big Man” Clemons on saxophone – logged many miles on the road, helping to establish Springsteen’s legendary reputation as one of the greatest performers in the history of rock and roll. In 1974, drummer Max Weinberg and pianist Roy Bittan replaced Lopez and Sancious, and in 1975, during the recording of Springsteen’s breakout album Born to Run, Steve Van Zandt, joined the fold on guitar. That lineup of the band backed Springsteen on three of his most critically acclaimed and beloved albums. Singer Patti Scialfa and Nils Lofgren also joined the band on vocals and guitar respectively. Through various incarnations the E Street Band have provided a unique and powerful sonic sound and have become showmen of the first order complete with unrivaled stamina on the stage.


 Performance: Bruce Springsteen joins The E Street Band for their classics “E Street Shuffle” and “Kitty’s Back.”

They are still not quite the same without the “Big Man” on sax.

Two non-performers were also inducted. They may not have taken the stage but as the managers of two of the biggest sounds to ever cut a song they were vital in the history of rock and roll. They are Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham who were inducted by Peter Asher, a long-time music producer in his own right.

Brian Epstein honored as the early manager of The Beatles.People_BrianEpstein

Bio: Brian Epstein served as the Beatles manager from January 1962 until his death in 1967, and helped shape a vision for a modern rock and roll band. Epstein immediately recognized the Beatles’ potential as performers and recording artists. He signed them to a management contract in early 1962, and was the driving force behind getting the band a recording contract. He went on to sign a large stable of Liverpool artists in the wake of the Beatles success, including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black, and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, but his first priority was always the Beatles. Paul McCartney stated that “If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian. People talked about George Martin as being the fifth Beatle because of his musical involvement but, particularly in the early days, Brian was very much part of the group.”

Andrew Loog Oldham honored as the early manager of The Rolling Stones.

People_AndewOldhamBio: Andrew Loog Oldham is best known as the manager who helped propel the Rolling Stones to worldwide stardom and crafted their bad boy image so well it became both their brand and burden. As the Rolling Stones producer of record and the man who pushed Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to create original material, he helped shepherd a run of landmark recordings that continues to bear influence a half-century later. Oldham’s U.K.–based record label, Immediate Records, was one of the coolest of the ‘60s, and released recordings by Small Faces, Rod Stewart, John Mayall, the Nice and the McCoys, among others. Oldham continued to produce records throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.

Those are two great additions to the Hall reaffirming that musical influence does not just come from high-profile performers.

This post has proved to be as lengthy as the HBO concert. So, we leave you with show times and a performance clip from the actual concert. Dates are 06.04 at 9:00pm; 06.07 at 4:45pm; 06.10 at 2:30pm & 4:15am; 0616 at 5:15pm & 2:00am, 06.22 at 8:45am; 06.27 at 1:45pm and 06.30 at 8:15am. It can also be found on HBO2 and HBOGo


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