What was your first reaction to the news that the Hollies will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010?
My absolute first reaction was that I was so pleased for my friend Allan Clarke. He’s my oldest friend. We met when we were five years, I’ve known him for 62 years. I’m already in the Hall of Fame with Crosby, Still and Nash, of course, of which I’m grateful, but this is really an honor for my first band. When we started in late ’62 or something, we never knew we’d be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was something that was completely out of our sphere. I always thought they deserved it. They were very influential band. The Hollies were a great live band and obviously had a long string of hits. So I think they deserved to be in there, but my first initial reactions was for my friend Allan.
There’s a sense that the Hollies have yet to be fully appreciated.
I agree. And I think it was because they didn’t really come to America a lot. Had they kept a steady American profile, I think it would’ve been a different scene.
Are you going to perform at the induction ceremomy with them?
I certainly hope so. I’ve been in contact with Bobby [Elliott] and Tony [Hicks] and Allan, and we are trying to work it out right now.
When was the last time you sang with them?
We did some shows in 1983. A bit after that we sang with Buddy Holly on “Peggy Sue Got Married.” We found a tape of him that he did on his acoustic guitar in his apartment in New York just before he died, and we took that tape and put it to Pro Tools and added a band and added the Hollies’ vocals and the Hollies actually got to sing with Buddy Holly.
What does the rest of the band think about the induction?
They are very pleased. They are very honored. They don’t quite know what it is, because they are so European. But I think they understand the importance, not only because of their legacy of a band, but also record sales and future shows to be a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m not sure it has sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will… I’ll be there with bells on.