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Boston Globe : Springsteen, Joel, McCartney inducted into Rock Hall of Fame

mardi 16 mars 1999

Source : Boston Globe

From The Boston Globe :

Springsteen, Joel, McCartney inducted into Rock Hall of FameBy Steve Morse

As Bono of U2 said when inducting Bruce Springsteen into the Rock Hall ofFame yesterday : "It was good night Haight-Ashbury, hello Asbury Park." In alarger-than-life ceremony, Springsteen led the way this year in a bannerclass that included Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Curtis Mayfield, DelShannon, Dusty Springfield, Charles Brown, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys,the Staple Singers, and Beatles producer Sir George Martin.

But all eyes were on Springsteen, who last night at the Walforf-AstoriaBallroom was called the "Buddha of my youth" by Bono, who added : "He’s avery unusual rock star, isn’t he ? No drug busts, no blood changes inSwitzerland . . . no wearingdresses in his videos, no exhibition of his paintings, and no publicbrawlings."

"I recommend that everyone get an Irishman to do his induction,"Springsteen joked of Bono’s over-the-top words. But then, in a healinggesture, Springsteen brought out his E Street Band (who were not inductedbecause Bruce’s eligibility dated back to when he was a solo act) andSpringsteen showered each of them with praise - a positive morale-booster,since his E Street reunion tour starts this spring in Europe, followed bysummer shows, including one at the FleetCenter.

Springsteen, who in previous years had inducted Roy Orbison, CreedenceClearwater Revival, and Bob Dylan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alsopraised his family, especially his recently deceased father, with whom heoften quarreled. "If everything had gone great between us, it would havebeen a disaster for my music. Can you imagine me doing all happy songs ?"

Later, he and the E Street Band jammed deliriously on classics "PromisedLand," "Backstreets," and "Tenth Avenue Freezeout." They showed no rustfrom their decade apart. Wilson Pickett later joined them on stage.

In a memorable night that saw the biggest press corps in the event’shistory (250 media reps jammed into the press room) and a sold-out crowd of1,500 industry types paying from $1,500 to $2,500 per ticket, the othershow-stoppers were theinductions of Joel and McCartney.

Ray Charles did the honors for Joel, saying "I genuinely love and respectthis man." Joel talked about growing up on Long Island, where blacks werediscouraged from getting housing and "the only soul you could get was fromthe radio, listening to Ray Charles, Little Richard, Fats Domino, WilsonPickett, and Otis Redding."

"I’ve been called derivative," Joel added. "And I’m damned guilty. I’mderivative as hell. If derivative people were excluded from the Rock Hallof Fame, there wouldn’t be any white people here."

A similar defense of black artists was voiced by Bonnie Raitt when sheinducted West Coast R & B pianist Charles Brown. "Honor him by gettingpayback for some of the artists who put us in this room tonight," she said.

McCartney, who had previously been inducted as a member of the Beatles, wasinducted last night for his post-Beatles solo career. Neil Young gave theinduction speech, praising McCartney for being "simple and clear . . . andmaking no attempt to compete with what he had done before." McCartneydedicated his award to late wife Linda, who died last year of breastcancer. (The night’s dinner was also vegeterian in her honor.)

Elton John inducted ’60s singer Dusty Springfield, who died just 12 daysago of breast cancer. "I was so touched by her voice and I loved herbeehive hairdo, the pink top, and the purple skirt. It had no effect on mewhatsoever !" he said, tongue in cheek. Melissa Etheridge then belted outSpringfield’s 1968 hit, "Son-Of-A-Preacher Man."

Grammy star Lauryn Hill inducted the Staple Singers, praising theircombination of gospel and social-message songs. And rapper Puff Daddyinducted Curtis Mayfield, adding that he had sampled much of Mayfield’smusic for his own tunes. "He hada sense of the holy and the sting of the truth," he said. Eric Clapton andD’Angelo then combined to sing Mayfield’s "Keep on Trying."

Del Shannon was inducted by Art Alexakis lead singer of Everclear, and SirGeorge Martin by rock producer Jimmy Iovine. Highlights of the show will bebroadcast on VH1 tomorrow at 9 and 11:30 p.m.

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