Fellow greats welcome Rock Hall's new class
The 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held Monday night (3/14) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, switched it up a bit this year. Rather than mix musical performances in with the induction ceremony, the awards were presented first followed by a concert featuring honorees, presenters and others.
Inductees Alice Cooper and Darlene Love made the big splashes during the acceptance speeches, according to published reports. Cooper accepted his award in full regalia complete with blood, make-up and a boa constrictor. Love, a girl-group star of the 1960s, mentioned controversial record producer Phil Spector in her acceptance speech. Love, who has repeatedly sued Spector for royalties, thanked him for "his recognition of my talent to be the main voice of his Wall of Sound."
Leon Russell's induction by Elton John also was a highlight. Russell, who recorded an album with John last year, thanked his collaborator, saying John "found me in a ditch at the side of a highway of life and took me up to the high stages with big audiences, and treated me like a king."
Tom Waits, inducted by Neil Young, also had an interesting commentary on his career. "They say that I have no hits and that I'm difficult to work with," Waits said, according to published reports. "And they say that like it's a bad thing."
Paul Shaffer, bandleader and master of ceremonies, welcomed honorees and special guest performers to the stage following the inductions.
Musical highlights included Young joining Waits and his band for "Get Behind the Mule," and Alice Cooper, joined by a group of children from the Ronald McDonald house of New York, performing hits including "School's Out."
John Legend joined inductee Dr. John to perform "Such a Night" and John Mayer joined Russell on "Delta Lady" and "A Song For You."
Bruce Springsteen also was among the special musical guests, providing guitar for Love's set.
Springsteen, Love, Bette Midler, Elton John, Alice Cooper, inductee Neil Diamond and Leon Russell were among the performers during the evening's final jam session, "Stagger Lee" followed by the 1963 hit "Da Doo Ron Ron."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert will air on Fuse television on Sunday (3/20).