Tag Archives: rock and roll hall of fame

Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, Yes to be inducted into Rock Hall

The late rapper Tupac Shakur and Seattle-based rockers Pearl Jam lead a class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees that also include folkie Joan Baez and 1970s favorites Journey, Yes and Electric Light Orchestra.

The rock hall also said it would give a special award to Nile Rodgers, whose disco-era band Chic failed again to make the cut after its 11th time nominated.

Baez will be inducted only months after her 1960s paramour, Bob Dylan, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The hall’s 32nd annual induction ceremony will take place on April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. HBO will show highlights later, with SiriusXM doing a radio broadcast.

Shakur was shot and killed after attending a boxing match in Las Vegas in 1996, a murder that has spawned conspiracy theories but remains unsolved. “Changes,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” and “Life Goes On” are among his best-known songs. Only 25 when he died, Shakur left behind a trove of music that was released posthumously.

Pearl Jam exploded in popularity from the start in the early 1990s behind songs like “Alive,” “Jeremy” and “Even Flow.” After Nirvana, it is the second band with roots in Seattle’s grunge rock scene to make the hall. Behind singer Eddie Vedder and other original members Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam remains active and is a popular live act.

Vedder is no newcomer to rock hall ceremonies, having given induction speeches for Neil Young and the Ramones.

Baez was a political activist and mainstay of the folk movement, performing at the first Newport Folk Festival at age 19 in 1959. She was known primarily as an interpreter of others’ songs, introducing Dylan to a wider audience at the beginning of his career. Their affair ended badly in 1965, for which Dylan later apologized.

Baez’s own “Diamonds and Rust” in 1975 was one of her biggest hits.

Journey’s 1981 song “Don’t Stop Believin”” was given new life by being featured in the closing scene of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and became a favorite of a new generation. Its 6.8 million iTunes sales makes it the most-bought song on that platform from the pre-digital era, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Former singer Steve Perry, estranged from the band for many years, offers some potential rock hall drama: will he show up for his induction? Founding member Neal Schon was quoted in Billboard recently saying that there are so many non-rock artists in the hall that “I don’t really care about being there.” He did allow that it would be nice for fans of the band, never a critical favorite.

Britain’s Yes, known for its complex compositions, was a leader of the 1970s progressive rock movement. Yes’ hits include “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” and its fans have waged a vociferous campaign to see them honored. Founding bass player Chris Squire, the one constant in many years of personnel changes, died in June 2015.

Electric Light Orchestra got its start melding classical influences to Beatles-influenced pop, and charted with “Evil Woman,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” The band essentially exists now in leader Jeff Lynne’s imagination and home studio and had a mildly successful comeback a year ago.

Chic, led by Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards, has become the rock hall’s version of Susan Lucci and her long quest to win a Daytime Emmy. While Shakur, Baez, Pearl Jam and ELO were elected this year in their first time on the ballot, Chic has endured years of disappointment.

The hall’s award for musical excellence to songwriter and guitarist Rodgers is no consolation prize. When disco cooled, Rodgers became one of the hottest producers in the business, behind the boards for some of the ‘80s most indelible albums: David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and the B-52’s “Cosmic Thing.”

Music mogul Clive Davis comes out as bisexual in autobiography

Music mogul Clive Davis, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has come out as bisexual in his autobiography “The Soundtrack of My Life.”

Simon & Schuster published the book on Feb. 19, calling it a star-studded autobiography with Davis sharing a “candid look into his remarkable life and the last 50 years of popular music as only a true insider can.”

Davis worked with Whitney Houston and Janis Joplin, as well as Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Dionne Warwick, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy and hosted the world’s highest profile parties.

In “The Soundtrack of My Life,” Davis tells of becoming an orphan in high school, of getting into college and law school on scholarships, of launching his own record company and of the evolution of pop and rock music.

The twice-divorced, 80-year-old record executive also comes out as bisexual in the book, according to Rolling Stone, which first reported the story on Feb. 18. Magazine writer Anthony DeCurtis shares writing credit for the book.

The magazine’s website says the coming out comes near the end of the book, when Davis writes about a sexual encounter with a man during the “Studio 54 era,” the divorce from his second wife in 1985 after much soul-searching and then relationships with both women and men.

To purchase the book from Amazon, click here.

Lady Gaga’s meat dress to be shown at National Museum

Lady Gaga’s famous meat dress has made its way to the U.S. capital, along with Loretta Lynn’s song about “The Pill” and other relics from music history.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is opening a national tour for an exhibit about pioneering women in rock ’n’ roll, tracing the evolution of women artists and their impact on music. It opened Friday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger told The Associated Press the exhibit, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” is inherently political, in part, as it highlights many “first ladies of rock” who have spoken loud and clear on women’s rights, gay rights and other issues through their music.

“This really is the center of our political life,” Rutledge-Borger said during the Washington opening. “Bringing this exhibit here kind of redefines what’s important in our history and political life … at a time when there’s talk of women being under attack in politics.”

More than 250 artifacts represent 70 women who were “engines of change and creativity,” she said, each helping to redefine who could make rock ’n’ roll. It features items from Cher, the B-52s, Donna Summer, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna’s provocative outfit from her “Blonde Ambition” tour. Other items date back to jazz singer Billie Holiday, first blues recording artists Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey and country music trailblazer Mother Maybelle Carter.

Lynn’s country song, “The Pill,” was considered so controversial in 1975 that her record label delayed its release for three years. Lynn later recounted that doctors told her the tune was pivotal in rural acceptance of birth control.

“We really wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a fashion show,” Rutledge-Borger said. “We wanted to showcase these artists as musicians.”

For the National Museum of Women in the Arts, it is the first exhibit to feature women performing artists, said chief curator Kathryn Wat.

Gaga’s dress from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards – now dried, preserved and painted to restore its original raw meat color – is being shown in its political context.

When Gaga wore the dress, she was accompanied by U.S. soldiers impacted by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to protest the ban on gays serving openly in the military. She explained that if people don’t stand up for their rights, “pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.”

Beyond the dress’ shock value, Gaga’s push for inclusion of gays or anyone else who is different helped cement her place as a pioneer, said Rutledge-Borger.

“If you dig a little deeper, there’s this important message of inclusion and family,” she said. “That to me is really why she’s so powerful.”

The museum also is featuring Gaga’s outfit from the 2010 Grammy Awards, where “Poker Face” won for best dance recording, and her childhood piano. She began taking lessons when she was 4.

“Women Who Rock” will remain on view in Washington through Jan. 6. Then it will travel to Omaha, Neb., Seattle and Phoenix.

National museum to show Lady Gaga’s meat dress

Lady Gaga’s famous meat dress has made its way to the U.S. capital, along with Loretta Lynn’s song about “The Pill” and other relics from music history.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is opening a national tour for an exhibit about pioneering women in rock ‘n’ roll, tracing the evolution of women artists and their impact on music. It opened Sept. 7 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger told The Associated Press the exhibit, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” is inherently political, in part, as it highlights many “first ladies of rock” who have spoken loud and clear on women’s rights, gay rights and other issues through their music.

“This really is the center of our political life,” Rutledge-Borger said during the Washington opening. “Bringing this exhibit here kind of redefines what’s important in our history and political life … at a time when there’s talk of women being under attack in politics.”

More than 250 artifacts represent 70 women who were “engines of change and creativity,” she said, each helping to redefine who could make rock ‘n’ roll. It features items from Cher, the B-52s, Donna Summer, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna’s provocative outfit from her “Blonde Ambition” tour. Other items date back to jazz singer Billie Holiday, first blues recording artists Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey and country music trailblazer Mother Maybelle Carter.

Lynn’s country song, “The Pill,” was considered so controversial in 1975 that her record label delayed its release for three years. Lynn later recounted that doctors told her the tune was pivotal in rural acceptance of birth control.

“We really wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a fashion show,” Rutledge-Borger said. “We wanted to showcase these artists as musicians.”

For the National Museum of Women in the Arts, it is the first exhibit to feature women performing artists, said chief curator Kathryn Wat.

Gaga’s dress from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards – now dried, preserved and painted to restore its original raw meat color – is being shown in its political context.

When Gaga wore the dress, she was accompanied by U.S. soldiers impacted by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to protest the ban on gays serving openly in the military. She explained that if people don’t stand up for their rights, “pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.”

Beyond the dress’s shock value, Gaga’s push for inclusion of gays or anyone else who is different helped cement her place as a pioneer, said Rutledge-Borger.

“If you dig a little deeper, there’s this important message of inclusion and family,” she said. “That to me is really why she’s so powerful.”

The museum also is featuring Gaga’s outfit from the 2010 Grammy Awards, where “Poker Face” won for best dance recording, and her childhood piano. She began taking lessons when she was 4.

“Women Who Rock” will remain on view in Washington through Jan. 6. Then it will travel to the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, the EMP Museum in Seattle and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

On the Web:

National Museum of Women in the Arts: http://www.nmwa.org/

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: http://rockhall.com/