Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Bon Jovi, The Cars, Moody Blues, Dire Straits, others inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Bon Jovi reunited with former members onstage Saturday night to celebrate their admission into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, as the late icon Nina Simone and other nominees made up this year’s induction class. Bon Jovi was the first band to take the stage in Cleveland’s Public Auditorium, USA Today reported. Band members Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan and Tico Torres reunited with former bandmates Richie Sambora and Alec John. Jon Bon Jovi gave a 20-minute-long speech onstage, which he said he had been writing for years. “I’ve been writing this speech since I first strummed a broom and sang at the top of the stairs of my childhood home,” he said, according to the paper. “I’ve actually written it many ways, many times. Some days I write a thank you speech and other days, I write a (expletive)-you speech.” Sambora, who left the New Jersey band in 2013, and Alec John Such, who left in 1994, embraced their former bandmates with a hug after each one spoke onstage to accept the honor. They performed together, singing crowd favorites like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” ”You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life.” Sambora thanked his fans and bandmates, the paper reported. “Songs are very profound in a way, because you’re connecting with humanity,” he said. “Everybody’s more alike than they are (different), and especially now in today’s world, that’s really important.” Simone, who died in 2003, was welcomed into the Rock Hall in a groundbreaking way from performers who she has deeply inspired, from Lauryn Hill and Andra Day to Mary J. Blige. Hill stretched her voice and sang in French, in honor of Simone’s music, which earned her a standing ovation from the crowd. Day, a Grammy-nominated R&B singer, hit high notes that also earned her applause. Both women exceptionally displayed their powerhouse voices. Blige inducted Simone, calling the singer “bold, strong, feisty and fearless.” “Her voice was so distinctive and powerful and I never heard anything like it,” the R&B superstar said. Simone was a leader in pushing for civil rights and influenced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys. Her brother, Sam Waymon, accepted the honor on his sister’s behalf. The 33rd annual Rock Hall ceremony kicked off with a tribute to Tom Petty, who died in October at age 66. The Killers earned a loud applause from the audience when they started performing “American Girl,” then transitioned to “Free Fallin’.” The Cars and four first-time nominees, including Simone, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, make up the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class. The ceremony didn’t end this year with the group jam session of the induction class that has become Rock Hall tradition, USA Today reported. Instead, inductees the Moody Blues ended the night as the last act. Rock Hall voters have recently opened their hearts to progressive rockers, which benefited the “Nights in White Satin” singers. Howard Stern inducted this year’s class, telling jokes along the way, including one about Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner, questioning why he was qualified to vote on who enters the hall. Stern said the Rolling Stone magazine founder doesn’t play any instruments “but he did start a great magazine … and now it’s the size of a pamphlet.”

Special congrats to the Moody Blues!  Their induction was WAY overdue.  Everyone else on stage was in diapers (or hadn’t even been born) when they were making their first hits.  Also glad to see Dire Straits got recognized, even though the Kopfler brothers were no-shows.

Fleetwood Mac replacing Lindsey Buckingham before upcoming tour

Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham reportedly has left the group just before it embarks on a massive tour this summer. However, the famed guitarist will be replaced and the shows will go on. According to TMZ, the group revealed that the longtime guitarist will not be performing with the band on tour, but that the other members wish him luck in future endeavors. Fortunately, the loss is being made up by way of Mike Campbell, longtime lead guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, as well as Crowded House frontman Neil Finn when the tour kicks off. “We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group said in a statement to Variety. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.” “Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” Mick Fleetwood told the outlet. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.” Buckingham joined the group as a lead guitarist in 1974 and stayed on until 1987. He took a break from the band for 10 years before returning in 1997. He and the rest of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year later. The band is currently expected to hit the road in June with later tour dates still to come.

NO!!!!!!!  Well, guess I’ll scratch that tour off my list for this summer.   Glad I was able to see the famous “Dance” tour back in ’97.  That chemistry between Stevie and Lindsey cannot be replicated, and Lindsey has a signature guitar sound/style.  What a bummer!  Boo!!

Moody Blues rocker Ray Thomas dies before Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Ray Thomas, a founding member of British rock group The Moody Blues, has died at 76, months before the band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His music label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records, said Thomas died suddenly Thursday at his home in Surrey, south of London. “We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness,” the label said Sunday. “It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.” No cause of death was given, but Thomas disclosed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Born in 1941, Thomas performed in rock and blues bands in the English Midlands city of Birmingham before founding The Moody Blues in 1964 with fellow musicians including Mike Pinder and Denny Laine. The band’s roots lay in blues and R&B, but its 1964 hit “Go Now” was a foretaste of the lush, orchestral sound that came to be called progressive rock. The Moody Blues’ 1967 album “Days of Future Passed” is a prog-rock landmark, and Thomas’s flute solo on the single “Nights in White Satin” one of its defining moments. Thomas wrote several songs for the band, including the trippy “Legend of a Mind” and “Veteran Cosmic Rocker.” Thomas released two solo albums after the band broke up in 1974. The Moody Blues later reformed, and Thomas remained a member before leaving around the turn of the millennium due to poor health. The band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in April.

An honor WAY overdue…  We are very sorry to hear of Ray’s passing.  Thanks for the tunes, Ray.  R.I.P.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitar player and founding member of heavy metal legends AC/DC, has died, the group announced Saturday. He was 64. Known for the powerhouse riffs and rhythm guitar that propelled the group from Sydney, Australia, to superstardom, Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, the Australian Associated Press reported. He died peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside, the news agency reported. Young started the band with his brother Angus Young in 1973. “As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man,” Angus Young said on the AC/DC website. “He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed. “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.” Other musicians have taken to social media to honor the rock star’s legacy. Ozzy Osbourne wrote on Twitter, “So sad to learn of the passing of yet another friend, Malcolm Young. He will be sadly missed. God Bless.” “A very sad loss for rock,” Nikki Sixx wrote. “Rest in Peace Malcolm Young and Thank You.” Eddie Van Halen said it was “a sad day in rock and roll.” “Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC,” he said on Twitter. “He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.” Joe Elliot of Def Leppard said on band’s Twitter page, “I’m sad to hear of the passing of Malcolm Young.” “He was an incrdible guitar player & the glue for that band onstage & off,” he wrote. The Young brothers lost their older brother George Young, the Easybeats guitarist and AC/DC’s longtime producer, in October at the age of 70, Rolling Stone reported. Malcolm was replaced by nephew Stevie for the band’s last tour promoting the 2014 album Rock Or Bust. “Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” AC/DC said in a statement. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.” He is survived by his wife O’Linda and two children.

We are saddened to report the passing of Malcolm.  My first rock concert was AC/DC…back in 1981 for the “For Those About to Rock” tour…and have seen them many many times over the years.  The most recent being in 2009; probably the last tour with that classic 1980 “Back in Black” lineup with the Young, Young, Johnson, Rudd, and Williams.  Lot’s of great memories..and great shows.  Thanks for the tunes, Malcolm.  R.I.P.

KISS pauses Louisiana concert to lead crowd in Pledge of Allegiance

KISS band members got patriotic during Saturday night’s concert in Louisiana, temporarily pausing the classic rock show to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. After finishing up their signature song, “(I Wanna) Rock and Roll All Nite” at the Gretna Heritage Festival, guitarist Paul Stanley thanked the U.S. military and gave a shout-out to Army Maj. Steve Roberts, who was in attendance, The Times-Picayune reported. “It’s always cool to love your country,” Mr. Stanley told the crowd. The concert in Gretna wrapped up the band’s KISSWORLD 2017 Tour in North America and Europe, and it wasn’t the first time the pledge was made part of the show. Last week, Mr. Stanley recited the pledge along with the audience in Sugar Land, Texas, ending it with: “God bless America! God bless our troops!” It comes amid a renewed debate in the country about paying respect to American symbols, as athletes continue to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice. Last year during their “Freedom to Rock” tour, KISS took a veiled shot at former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked the movement. “A lot of times the people that are born free think that freedom is free and it’s not. Freedom is only free because there are people willing to sacrifice to keep us free,” Mr. Stanley told the crowd at the time.

Agreed!  And well said, Paul.  Kudos to Gene and Paul for taking such a politically INcorrect stance during their shows!   Excellent!!   🙂

The Eagles Sue Mexican ‘Hotel California’ That Opened Decades Before Release of Famous Song

There’s not plenty of room at the Hotel California. But The Eagles sued the Mexican hotel, anyhow. The rock band filed suit in federal court against the 11-room hotel in Baja, Mexico, this week for using their most famous song’s title without their permission. The litigation faces one major hurdle: the real Hotel California opened more than a quarter century before the imaginary one immortalized in song. “Defendants lead U.S. consumers to believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in ‘Hotel California,’ which is false,” the lawsuit alleges. While one can argue that the hotel did not inspire the song, one cannot argue that the song inspired the hotel. Its founder broke ground on the project in 1947, the birth year of Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt, Joe Walsh, Bernie Leadon, and Don Felder. It opened three years later. While the property called itself Hotel California at its origin, as dated pictures attest, its founder, a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong, attempted to assimilate by changing his name to Don Antonio Tabasco, which did not fool the locals, who collectively changed his name to “El Chino”—the Chinese man. The hotel’s website further informs, contrary to the claims of the lawsuit, that though “the present owners of the hotel do not have any affiliation with the Eagles, nor do they promote any association, many visitors are mesmerized by the ‘coincidences’ between the lyrics of the hit song and the physicality of the hotel and its surroundings.” These coincidences include guests arriving by traveling a “desert highway,” hearing mission bells chime daily, and smelling “colitas” occasionally in the air. Alas, no mirrors adorn the ceilings and you can leave whenever you want. The Eagles famously provoked condemnation when they broke the $100 barrier for tickets at their reunion concerts in 1994. With the death of Glenn Frey earlier this year, the opportunities for massive moneymaking opportunities appear diminished. But litigation lottery generally pays well for the winners. File under: Bring your alibis.

We’re curious what former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder, who wrote the song in question, thinks of this lawsuit by his former bandmates.  Don was fired from the band in 2001.

Chuck Berry: Music legend given rock ‘n’ roll sendoff

Family, friends and fans paid their final respects to the rock `n’ roll legend Chuck Berry on Sunday, celebrating the life and career of a man who inspired countless guitarists and bands. The celebration began with a public viewing at The Pageant, a music club in Berry’s hometown of St. Louis where he often played. Hundreds of fans filed past Berry, whose beloved cherry-red Gibson guitar was bolted to the inside of his coffin’s lid. “I am here because Chuck Berry meant a lot to anybody who grew up on rock n’ roll,” said Wendy Mason, who drove in from Kansas City, Kan., for the visitation. “The music will live on forever.” Another fan, Nick Hair, brought his guitar with him from Nashville, Tenn., so he could play Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” while waiting in line outside. After the public viewing, family and friends packed the club for a private funeral service and celebration of Berry, who inspired generations of musicians, from humble garage bands up to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The service was expected to include live music, and the Rev. Alex I. Peterson told the gathering they would be celebrating Berry’s life in rock `n roll style. Former President Bill Clinton sent a letter that was read at the funeral by U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay because Berry played at both of Clinton’s presidential inaugurations. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Clinton called Berry “one of America’s greatest rock and roll pioneers.” “He captivated audiences around the world,” Bill Clinton wrote. “His music spoke to the hopes and dreams we all had in common. Me and Hillary grew up listening to him.” Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS wasn’t scheduled to speak but someone urged him to take the podium. Simmons said Berry had a tremendous influence on him as a musician, and he worked to break down racial barriers through his music. Paul McCartney and Little Richard both sent notes of condolences. At the end of the funeral, a brass band played “St. Louis Blues” while Berry’s casket was carried out. When Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards spoke about Berry at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 1986 induction ceremony — Berry was the first person inducted from that inaugural class — he said Berry was the one who started it all. That sentiment was echoed Sunday by David Letterman’s former band leader, Paul Shaffer, who spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outside the club. “Anyone who plays rock `n’ roll was inspired by him,” Shaffer said. Berry’s standard repertoire included about three-dozen songs, including “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” His songs have been covered by country, pop and rock artists such as AC/DC and Buck Owens, and his riffs live on in countless songs. The head of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Greg Harris, said “anybody who’s picked up a guitar has been influenced by him.” Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music. “He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the `50s when people were singing, “Oh, baby, I love you so,”‘ John Lennon once observed. “Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening,” Berry once said.

Sounds like Chuck had a great send off in St. Louis.  As many of you know, that’s where I’m originally from.  St. Louis has a rich music heritage and culture…and Chuck is part of that great music heritage in the Gateway city.  Thanks for the tunes, Chuck.  R.I.P.