The votes are in and next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will include Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, the Small Faces/Faces, Donovan and Laura Nyro. Freddie King will enter the Hall of Fame as an Early Influence, while the late producer and TV host Don Kirshner will receive the Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award and producers Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns will receive the Award for Musical Excellence. The ceremony will be held April 14th at Cleveland’s Public Hall. It will be broadcast on HBO in early May.
Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis got the news while his band was touring Europe.”I called my dad and he cried,” he tells Rolling Stone. “The most emotional part for me was thinking about [late Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist] Hillel Slovak . . . It’s really kind of his induction that I’m the most excited about. He’s a beautiful person that picked up a guitar in the 1970s and didn’t make it out of the 1980s, and he is getting honored for his beauty . . . It really fills my heart with the reality of how much we love doing what we do, and how much Flea and I love each other. We have stuck together through thick and thin and we want to keep on trucking and continuing to do what it is we do.”
Guns N’ Roses are the only group to be inducted on their first year of eligibility. The original line-up hasn’t performed together since drummer Steven Adler left the band in 1990. During an interview last month with VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, Axl Rose didn’t completely rule out a reunion. “I don’t know what it means in terms of me with the old band and the old lineup,” he said. “If we were to be invited, I don’t know what they would ask of me. It’s up in the air.”
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Adler remains skeptical that Axl will be willing to perform with the original lineup. “You figure that time heals all wounds,” he tells Rolling Stone. “But some people just REALLY hold a crazy grudge. I just had lunch with Slash two days ago. He loves Axl. He holds no grudges towards him. Twenty years of great music wasn’t created because of some stupid grudge . . . Can’t we just be fucking people who played music and accomplished a huge goal in their life and just play a couple songs? It’s only rock & roll, my god! It’s not rocket science.”
For Faces/Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, the news was somewhat bittersweet. “I was not happy that the Small Faces and the Faces were lumped together,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I’ve given it a lot of thought and I figure, well . . . I’ll take it.” The Faces have been touring with former Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall, but original singer Rod Stewart recently said that he’d like to reunite with the group at the ceremony. “I’ll be happy if he does that,” says McLagan. “It certainly would be wonderful.”
Rod Stewart tells Rolling Stone that he has every intention of performing with the Faces at the event. “I’d love it,” he says. “If they’re all available, I’ll definitely make myself available . . . I’m absolutely over the moon about this.” He’s none too pleased that McLagan has voiced his unhappiness that the two bands are getting inducted together. “I think that was a little out of order,” he says. “I think Mac should think himself lucky that he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ll knock him into shape when I see him, McLagan.”
Scottish folk icon Donovan was overjoyed when he learned of his induction. “I’m pleased as punch,” he tells Rolling Stone. “Honors and awards are very interesting, and I truly accept them. I have very high regard for what they mean. What they mean is that they’re pointing to the work. For me, the work was always to show others, to lead others, to experiment, to break all the rules. I’ve had lots of recognition . . . but this one is singular.”
The Beastie Boys are only the third hip-hop act to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five got inducted in 2007. Two years later, Run-D.M.C. got the nod as well. The Beastie Boys released their eighth studio LP Hot Sauce Committee Part Two this past April, but have been lying low while Adam Yauch receives treatment for cancer.
“We’re in the rock and roll hall of fame?” the Beasties said in a written statement. “That’s f—-n’ crazy and awesome! While we are very proud of the music we make, we have to acknowledge the inspiration from our families, friends and musicians like The Slits, Bad Brains, X-Ray Spex, The Treacherous Three and too many others to possibly name. And most of all, we give thanks to New York City and the world of musical influence it provided for us.”
Laura Nyro was an incredibly gifted and under-appreciated songwriter whose work has been covered by everyone from Peter, Paul and Mary and Three Dog Night to the Fifth Dimension. Her late-1960s LPs Eli and the Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry weren’t huge sellers, but were tremendously acclaimed and they inspired an entire generation of songwriters. “I idolized her,” Elton John said in 2008. “The soul, the passion, just the out and out audacity of the way her rhythmic and medley changes came was like nothing I’ve heard before.” Nyro died from ovarian cancer in 1997.
This is the third time that the ceremony will be held in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. As in 2009, the ceremony will be open to the public.
• Steven Adler on a Guns N’ Roses Hall of Fame Reunion: ‘My Toes Are Crossed!’
• Anthony Kiedis on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction: ‘My Dad Cried When I Told Him’
• Faces and Small Faces Keyboardist Ian McLagan Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Greatest Moments