The 25th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions take place Monday night and, as usual, the event is at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria.
It’s unlikely that this particular class — in which non-performing inductees outnumber a rather lusterless class of performers (ABBA? The Hollies? The only thing missing is yet another obscure ’50s vocal group) — is going to make a lot of people wish it had been in Cleveland instead.
Music industry biggie David Geffen is likely to follow the pattern of induction speeches by industry insiders in telling anecdotes about every sales and promo rep he’s met since his days in the mailroom.
At least it will be interesting to see what the long-overdue-for-induction Stooges say and/or do. Other performer-inductees are Genesis and Jimmy Cliff.
Other than Geffen, the non-performing inductees are all influential songwriters. They include Otis Blackwell, who wrote early Presley hits like “All Shook Up” and “Blue Suede Shoes” and Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire”; ’50s R&B songwriter Jesse Stone, who penned ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll”; and Mort Shulman who, with partner Doc Pomus (inducted in 1992), wrote hits of the post-Presley/pre-Beatles period, including “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “A Teenager in Love” and most of Fabian’s hits. All three have died.
Also being inducted are two seminal songwriting teams of the early-mid ’60s Brill Building era, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry (“Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “River Deep, Mountain High”) and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (“Kicks,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”). All except Greenwich, who died last summer, are still around to accept their honor.
If you’re interested in seeing the event as it happens, the Rock Hall is hosting its annual watch party starting at 7 p.m. Monday.
The ceremony will be broadcast on a 12-foot screen on the museum’s main stage and on other screens throughout the building.
The best part is that all the exhibits are open during the event, and admission is only $5 — quite a break from the usual admission price.
DJ Packy Malley will be spinning from 7-9 p.m., and refreshments will be available for sale.
If you’re too lazy to get down to the rock Hall, you can watch the whole thing live on FuseTV starting at 8:30 p.m. —Anastasia Pantsios