Welcome to the Hall Of Fame

Dave Iannacone

This past weekend, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2012 were officially inducted. As per usual, this year’s event was not without its fair share of drama. The main performers inducted this year included the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Small Faces and The Faces, who where inducted together as one group. Despite the honor these acts were awarded, many of them brought the drama with them, if they even bothered to show. Granted, Laura Nyro, who passed away in 1997, has an excused absence. She was inducted by Bette Midler.

One notable non-attendee was longtime Chili Peppers guitarist, John Frusciante, who declined an invite to reunite with the group. This wasn’t all that surprising, though, considering he only let the band a few years ago. Comedian Chris Rock was given the honor of inducting the members. Then there’s Rod Stewart, who couldn’t attend for more disappointing reasons. He and the rest of The Faces were set to reunite for the fist time in years, but he fell ill just days before the ceremony and was stuck in Los Angeles. The Rod was also unable to attend in 1994, when he was inducted as a solo act, due to an Earthquake that also left him stranded in LA. The two groups, combined as one, were inducted by Stevie Van Zandt of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

However, the most talked about story is Guns ‘N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose. If there was one reunion that rock fans were crossing their fingers for, it was GNR, and despite not looking possible, it was shaping up that the original lineup would be appearing together to accept their induction. However, just days before the ceremony, Axl released a letter declining his induction, citing too much pressure, false rumors, and bad press. Known for his anger problems and dramatics, this doesn’t come as a surprise to Guns ‘N’ Roses fans. The group was inducted by Green Day. The drama-free Beastie Boys and Donovan were inducted by Chuck D and John Mellencamp, respectively.

In addition, several backing groups who were left out when their lead singers were induced years finally joined the Hall. These groups included the Crickets (Buddy Holly), the Famous Flames (James Brown), the Midnighters (Hank Ballard), the Comets (Bill Haley), the Blue Caps (Gene Vincent), and the Miracles (Smokey Robinson). The lead singers were not inducted again, as this is being viewed more as correcting a mistake than adding new groups entirely. In the early influence category, blues legend Freddie King was inducted by ZZ Top members Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. Receiving the award for Lifetime Achievement is legendary songwriter/producer/publisher/manger Don Kirshner, who will be inducted by Carole King, while legendary engineers Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, and Glyn Johns are being inducted with the Award for Musical Excellence by Robbie Robertson.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is one of the most prestigious events in music every year. Despite all of the usual rock and roll drama, congratulations to all of this year’s inductees.