Those new inductees joined a class that also included Santana, Gene Vincent, pianist Jelly Roll Morton, R&B legend Lloyd Price, and producer Allen Toussaint, all of whom were inducted into the Hall during a ceremony at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Once again, music’s new guard turned out to pay tribute to this year’s pack of inductees as Tony Rich inducted Price into the Hall, Sheryl Crow welcomed Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain inducted the Mamas and the Papas, and, in one of the more memorable moments of the evening, Blues Traveler’s John Popper (dressed to the nines) said, “When we were young… we listened to Jimi Hendrix, and we listened to John Coltrane, we listened to P Funk, and then there was Carlos (Santana). You listen to ‘Oye Como Va’ and you see God.” [650k QuickTime]
Similarly, Sheryl Crow pulled out a cherished memory, this one from one of her early shows, when inducting Fleetwood Mac.
While some Rock and Roll Hall of Fame traditions remained this year, the ceremony’s annual jam session was conspicuously absent form this year’s festivities, with no explanation being offered by Hall officials. Instead, those gathered in the press room were left to wonder if Neil Young’s prediction about live television coverage changing the ceremony (i.e.: turning it into a “show” instead of an event to honor artists) had indeed come true.
Of course, the tumultuous nature of some of the bands inducted this year probably didn’t help either. Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and the Mama and the Papas all went through acrimonious splits, which provided many a punchline at Monday night’s ceremony.
After appearing onstage with his surviving
bandmates for the first time in 20 years for a rendition of “California Dreamin’,” Mamas and the Papas alum Denny Doherty quipped to the press, “Oh yeah, we hate each other’s guts.”
Reflecting on Fleetwood Mac’s turbulent career, which has taken a marked upswing in the last year, Mick Fleetwood told those gathered at the ceremony that he felt his band had carved out a career of “lunacy, heartache, happiness, unhappiness and, thank God, a sense of healing.”
Despite the lack of a communal jam among the new inductees, most new inductees came to play, taking the stage to churn out their classic before stepping to the podium to be inducted.
In addition to the Mamas and the Papas, the audience was also treated to a rare performance by all seven members of the Eagles (Don Henley, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder, Timothy B. Schmit, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner) who belted out “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California.”
Fleetwood Mac (“Landslide,” “Big Love,” and
“Say You Love Me”), Santana (“Black Magic Woman”), and John Fogerty (performing “Be-Bop-a-Lula” on behalf of the late Gene Vincent) also took the stage, however the most spirited performance of the evening may have come from 64-year-old inductee Lloyd Price who strutted around the stage while delivering the R&B nugget “Stagger Lee.”