Saturday, April 14, 2012


The big Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony is tonight.  Unless you happen to have a table-side seat, here's the latest on what you can expect to see once this airs on HBO beginning May 5th:

• The Beastie Boys will be inducted by Chuck D (LL Cool J to present)

• Donovan will be inducted by John Mellencamp, both of whom are scheduled to perform

• Small Faces / The Faces will be inducted by Stevie Van Zandt (The Small Faces / Faces will also perform during the induction ceremony)

• The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be inducted by Chris Rock, and they are also scheduled to perform.

• Laura Nyro will be inducted by Bette Midler  (See related article below, submitted by FH Reader Bob Merlis)

• Freddie King will be inducted by Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, who will also perform

• Don Kirshner will be inducted by Carole King  (Darlene Love will perform in conjunction with this induction)

• Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns will be inducted by Robbie Robertson

• The Blue Caps, the Comets, the Crickets, the Famous Flames, the Midnighters and the Miracles will be inducted by Smokey Robinson  

What you WON'T see ... although part of the Class of 2012 ... is Guns 'n' Roses being inducted.  Scheduled to be inducted by Green Day tonight, frontman Axl Rose has declined the "invitation" ... so The Rock Hall dropped them from the ceremony!  (They say that they'll still be inducted at some point during the weekend festivities ... but not as part of "The Main Event" ... The Rock Hall evidently doesn't want to draw any additional attention to this very public snub.)

Here is a copy of the statement released by Axl Rose earlier this week,  by way of an open letter to the L.A. Times:

To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N' Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern:

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N' Roses were to be inducted it'd be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.  

Since then we've listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N' Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists' comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.  

Under the circumstances I feel we've been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N' Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in "our" induction (that for the record are decisions I don't agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things... no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn't appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected. 

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine.

That said, I won't be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N' Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of "Guns N' Roses."

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp's perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I'm sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I'll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don't intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we've actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, "damned if I do, damned if I don't" scenario all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion lineups, I've publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing's changed.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of "for the fans" or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba.

Izzy came out with us a few times back in '06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in '06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in '11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that's enough.

There's a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn't room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Maybe if it were you it'd be different. Maybe you'd do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We're there for each other when the going get's rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense.

But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the "no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn't care about the fans" crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let's move on. No one's taking the ball and going home. Don't get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we've endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball's never been in our court.

In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I'd like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns' induction. More importantly I'd like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we've had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N' Roses music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!

Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III"

Ron Smith has posted a couple more "no shows" for tonight's induction ceremony on his website:
Rod Stewart announced on Friday (April 13) that he has strep throat and will miss Saturday's induction of his old group, Faces, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Faces will still perform, with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall singing, at the ceremonies. Rod was inducted as a solo artist in 1994.   
And the upcoming surgery of Crickets' bassist Joe B. Mauldin has the rest of the group cancelling their appearance for what is a long-overdue induction alongside Buddy Holly. Said Sonny Curtis, "He [Joe] is having surgery in a few days and cannot go to Cleveland. J.I. [Jerry Allison] and I decided that, if Joe B. can't go, we won't go.  On Saturday night, we are all going to gather at J.I.'s house, sip some champagne and celebrate being friends and rock 'n' roll buddies since the 1950s. We'll drink a toast to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have a good ol' time."
-- Ron Smith

It has been announced that Bette Midler will induct Laura Nyro into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at ceremonies set for Cleveland this Saturday night.  The honor extend to the legendary and hugely influential singer-writer whose songs have been recorded by a pantheon of rock, pop and soul performers including The Fifth Dimension, Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul & Mary, Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat & Tears and, literally, hundreds of others will be accepted by her son and only child Gil Bianchini.
Earlier this week, Bianchini, a Harlem-based hip-hop artist whose rap name is Gil-T, spoke to the Cleveland Plain Dealer noting, "I'm proud to do it," adding that he and his mother "were very close."  Bianchini was only 17 when his mother passed away so, as it happens,  the lyrics to "And When I Die," arguably, her best known song have proven to be prophetic:
"And when I die
And when I'm gone
There'll be one child born

And a world to carry on"

Bianchini first got word that Laura Nyro was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from a family member.  "I felt great, excited and happy for her."Gil-T uses samples from his mother's recordings in his own work, noting "she definitely influenced me as a person and musically, it's a spiritual connection."  He recalls, "I'd come out of my room and there she'd be, playing music, going over songs, writing and creating.  It made a big impression."  Of his own work, he comments, "I put her inside some of my songs and, you know, part of her is in me.  It's very personal but something I I wanted to do and to share."
-- Bob Merlis

Kent ...
I've got a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame question ...
Can anybody explain why ---------------- ??
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers get inducted at the same time.
Gladys Knight & Pips get inducted at the same time.
Bill Haley goes in solo, without the Comets.
Buddy Holly goes in solo, without the Crickets.
Frank B.
Clearly an oversight by The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ... and one they're attempting to rectify this evening by finally inducting the "back-up groups" The Comets, The Crickets, The Miracles (can you believe Smokey Robinson was inducted without them?!?!?), Gene Vincent's Blue Caps, The Famous Flames and The Midnighters.  (Hard to imagine that such a knowledgeable group of experts such as The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee ... SO knowledgeable, in fact, as to rule out ANY audience participation in the nominating and / or voting process ... could have made such a snub ... but they did.  At least they're making it right tonight.  (Now maybe they should take a good, long look at our list of Deserving And Denied Artists and induct some of them, too!!!)
Chicago ... The Guess Who ... The Moody Blues ... Hall and Oates ... Chubby Checker ... The Monkees ... Heart ... Electric Light Orchestra ... Linda Ronstadt ... Three Dog Night ... Genesis ... Yes ... Paul Revere and the Raiders ... The Zombies ... Pat Benatar ... The Doobie Brothers ... Tommy James and the Shondells ... The Turtles ... Jan and Dean ... Herman's Hermits ... Glen Campbell ... Todd Rundgren ... Johnny Rivers ...As big as each and every one of these artists were, NONE of them have ever been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  Maybe it's time to rectify THAT oversight, too ... with a mass-induction ceremony righting the wrong.  (In which case you can add Connie Francis, Pat Boone, Neil Sedaka and Paul Anka to this list, too!)

In all fairness, since our first big Rave-Out against The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame several years ago, many of the acts that originally made our Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied List HAVE, in fact, since been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  These include:

ABBA - The Dave Clark Five - Alice Cooper - Neil Diamond - 
The Hollies - The Ventures - John Cougar Mellencamp

So we DO feel a little better about that.  Wanna vote for YOUR favorites, denied induction by those knowledgeable powers that be deciding these things for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

We promised that after this year's induction ceremony, we'd build a NEW list of Top 40 Eligibles, Deserving and Denied by The Rock Hall.
Send us your nominations now ... and, in a future edition of Forgotten Hits, we'll compile a brand new list of The Top 40 Most Deserving And Denied Artists!

Be sure to tune in and listen to Dave The Rave's 
"RELICS AND RARITIES" Program tonight on Top Shelf Oldies ...    
Dave will be playing some of his favorite Garage Band selections ... and encourages Forgotten Hits Readers to call in with their requests, too:   
1 - 732 - 866 - 4475 .
The show kicks off at 10 PM Eastern Time / 9 PM Central and runs for five hours! And, time permitting, I may stop by the program for a little while this evening, too!