For the first time in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the annual induction ceremony will take place in an arena this year, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 10th. In previous years, the ceremonies were held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, but this year will be the first time the event will be open to the public with about 10,000 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction tickets will be available.
There is perhaps no better band to Rock and Roll All Nite Long at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center than legendary arena rockers KISS, who will finally be inducted nearly 15 years after first becoming eligible. Joining KISS on the list of 2014 inductees are Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Andrew Loog Oldham, Brian Epstein, and The E Street Band. With a variety of different musical genres represented by this class, there is a little bit of something for everyone as far as the performances slated for the induction ceremony go.
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt who some may recognize as Silvio Dante from The Sopranos, recently poked fun at the fact that most folks just assumed that they were already in as a result of Bruce Springsteen’s induction back in 1999. Despite that Van Zandt performed with Springsteen during The Boss’ induction ceremony performance, it was indeed a solo induction that the rest of the band was not a part of. Sadly, E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away a few years back and will be honored posthumously at this year’s event. But Clemons’ nephew Jake has been filling the void left by the passing of his late uncle, and will be part of the band when Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band embark on their 2014 US tour beginning on April 8. Currently there are only 15 shows scheduled, but most are in secondary US cities, with major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago absent from the list. This has led to much speculation that The Boss and crew will announce more dates in the coming days and weeks, but they still have a long way to go to match their “Wrecking Ball World Tour” of 2012, which was the second highest grossing tour of the year and ninth highest grossing tour worldwide.
Peter Gabriel on the other hand is one member of this year’s class that is actually already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a result of his work with Genesis. When Genesis was inducted back in 2010, Gabriel was actually on tour in Europe and could not attend the ceremony. While Gabriel will once again be touring Europe this summer, beginning April 29 in Frankfurt, Germany and culminating on May 25 in Berlin, he will indeed be present this time around for his own solo induction. In Rolling Stone’s recent interview with Gabriel, he spoke about how years back at an MTV Video Music Awards show, he interacted with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Although Gabriel “expected to be dismissed as part of the old generation,” Cobain was incredibly respectful and shared his admiration of Gabriel’s wildly visionary and influential work. Of course, Cobain is yet another artist who will sadly be getting inducted posthumously as the frontman of grunge rock icons Nirvana. And although Linda Ronstadt is still with us, she is unfortunately battling Parkinson’s Disease, which has rendered her unable to sing and likely unable to attend the ceremony as well.
However, Hall and Oates, as well as Cat Stevens (now going by Yusaf Islam), were overjoyed to hear the news of their inductions. Daryl Hall has noted how the new generation of music buffs has taken more enthusiastically to the influence of Hall and Oates, and how they feel very surprised but gratified to finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hall’s wildly successful show Live From Daryl’s House with Daryl Hall, which features Hall jamming out with an incredibly wide variety of musicians inside his house, has undoubtedly raised some awareness with younger crowds regarding just how fantastic of a musician Hall is. Hall and Oates are currently on tour in the US, and will carry the tour overseas to Europe in July.
With all of these fabulous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers on tour, the current generation of music fan is really living in a golden age of rock and roll with many different artists from many different genres and eras still very active. In addition to all of this year’s inductees who are currently on tour, a host of previous inductees such as Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Sting, and The Eagles are also going on major tours this summer. Much like Peter Gabriel will be after this year, Paul McCartney and Paul Simon are actually double inductees, both as solo artists and for their work with The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel, respectively.
Although not technically part of The Beatles, band manager Brian Epstein will be inducted this year as a recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement. Joining him as a fellow recipient of this prestigious award, fittingly, is longtime Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. This sort of commercial recognition has been a long time coming for Epstein and Oldham, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame itself could not be possible without their contributions to the music industry. They are inarguably amongst the most influential rock and roll managers in history, and shaped the rock and roll image and how it is consumed. Paul McCartney was famously quoted as saying “If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.” It was under Epstein’s tutelage that Oldham developed a keen sense for the music industry and began managing the Rolling Stones. Now, Oldham is widely considered to have crafted the Stones’ bad boy rocker image, which has become the quintessential image of rock and roll. He worked with the band up until 1967, which coincidentally was the year that Epstein died of a drug overdose. In many ways, these two legends of the industry encapsulate all that it means to be rock and roll. To ever be rock and roll is always to be rock and roll. Rockers die young and rockers die old, but they rock until the day they die and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame helps preserve their legacies that last forever.
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