NEW YORK, N.Y. -- It felt like California at New York's Waldorf-Astoria last night as the greats of "California" rock from the
1960s and 1970s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 13th annual induction ceremonies.
Groups that soaked up the L.A. sun while drinking, drugging and fighting their way into the history books had their night.
Members of the '70s supergroups Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, '60s folk-rockers the Mamas
and the Papas and Afro-Latin rock pioneers Santana were all on-hand to receive their trophies, along with
New Orleans music innovators Lloyd Price and Allen Toussaint (inducted by Robbie Robertson), the
late '50s rockabilly great Gene Vincent (inducted by John Fogerty) and "Early Influence" inductee jazzman
Jelly Roll Morton.
Santana kicked off the festivities, which began approximately an hour late at 8:50 p.m., playing their
best-known hit "Black Magic Woman" with its composer, Fleetwood Mac founder and original guitarist Peter
Green, on guitar. Green, who spent much of the '80s in a mental institution, struggled to keep up with
the blazing guitar of Carlos Santana, but it was nevertheless a memorable moment in the history of rock
as these two early guitar-giants came together to play Santana's signature song.
Carlos Santana, the group's leader, accepting the honor from Blues Traveler's John Popper, thanked his father
for "the gift of music and the joy of sharing" and told the press throng of about 300 that he felt like Jackie
Robinson in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He said he considered his music African, not strictly Latino.
Fleetwood Mac -- inducted as two incarnations of the ever-changing band, Peter Green's original blues-based
lineup and the Rumours superstars -- were represented by Green and by the Rumours lineup: drummer Mick Fleetwood, singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, keyboardist Christine McVie and bassist John McVie.
Nicks held Buckingham during an acoustic rendition of "Landslide" and they dueted on Buckingham's
"Big Love" before being joined by the others for a rollicking "Say You Love Me."
Sheryl Crow, who said Fleetwood Mac was "the reason I got into music" and that one of the biggest
compliments she ever received came from Mick Fleetwood when he said she reminded him of Stevie
Nicks, inducted the group with a long and respectful speech about their influence on her music. Fleetwood
accepted, saying "Lunacy, heartache, happiness, unhappiness and, thank God, a sense of healing has come
to all of us on this stage." A teary-eyed Nicks told the crowd that the induction was "an incredible
honor -- and we are very full." She said she wanted to be remembered as "a rock 'n' roll lady."
Michelle Phillips, folk-rock singer turned '80s soap-opera actress, was the clear crowd favorite from
the Mamas and the Papas as she and the other surviving members, Denny Doherty and John Phillips,
accepted their trophies with the late Mama Cass Elliot's daughter, Owen Elliot. Elliot acknowledged her mom as "one
of the first [rockers] to encourage young people to participate in the political process." She said her most
vivid memory of her mom was watching football together and that the zaftig Cass was probably "close by
watching in a size 6."
There were more Eagles present at the ceremony than on their "Hell Freezes Over" reunion tour, as early members Bernie
Leadon and Randy Meisner joined Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh (in a suit designed as layers of
bricks), Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit to accept the honor from Jimmy Buffet.
Henley thanked the group's longtime manager, Irving Azoff (currently president of Revolution Records), saying "he may be Satan, but he's our Satan."
Joe Walsh thanked his home state of Ohio and said "God bless the road crews."
Frey described the legendary
folk-rockers as "a laid-back band playing music in a high-stress situation." About rumored
strife in the band, he added that there has never been "one worthwhile relationship that has not had peaks and valleys."
Frey, the most loquacious of the evening's honorees, said rocker Bob Seger advised him early on that "if I
didn't write my own songs, I'd never get out of Detroit" and that rock/film impresario David Geffen
advised him to "get in a band and find a songwriting partner." Frey added that the evening
was "the fruits of me following David's advice."
Frey said the Eagles were "scared great when [we learned we] were gonna be managed by David Geffen, [since]
we'd be around Neil Young, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell. [We thought] we'd better write some good
songs or we're not gonna be around with these people."
Squelching reunion rumors, Frey later told the press corps that the individual members this year have "a lot
of work to do away from the Eagles."
The evening ended with the group performing their classics "Take It Easy" and "Hotel California" by
themselves, leaving many disappointed when they weren't joined for a "hall of fame jam" by other
A shortened version of the ceremonies will be broadcast on VHI on Monday, Jan. 19, at 9 p.m. [Tues., Jan. 13, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]