Tag Archives: Beastie Boys

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Beastie Boys Audiobook Is Out With A Stellar Guest List To Tell Their Story, Including Bette Midler

Beastie Boys Audiobook
The Beastie Boys

Mister D: For 15 years I managed record stores, and during that time the Beastie Boys were huge. I wasn’t very much into rap ever, but my employees were and one thing you could guarantee…on any given day The Beastie Boys and Bette Midler would be playing. They were a group that got better and better with each new album and making end of the year Best Music lists. Somehow, I can’t see many of you listening to their records nor Bette Midler telling their story, but you’re missing out. I was really ecstatic that Bette was participating in this. I need to contact some of my old employees. They’d get a kick out of this. Read More

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Beastie Boys Audio Book to Be Narrated by Bette Midler, Ben Stiller, Snoop Dogg, And Many More

Beastie Boys Audio Book to Be Narrated by Bette Midler, Ben Stiller, Snoop Dogg, And Many More
October 26, 2018

Beastie Boys Audio Book to Be Narrated by Bette Midler, Ben Stiller, Snoop Dogg, And Many More
The Beastie Boys 

Mister D: I was really surprised at how eclectic the star fans were with this group. I waited such a long time for something like this to happen The Beasties were great and I hope this is contnuous.

The “Beastie Boys Book,” a sprawling and detailed 600-page history of the group that comes out on Oct. 30, has an impressive and characteristically diverse roster of guest narrators for its audio edition: Snoop Dogg, Elvis Costello, Steve Buscemi, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Will Ferrell, Wanda Sykes, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Chloë Sevigny, Ben Stiller, Rev Run, New York 1 anchor Pat Kiernan, Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker, Kim Gordon, Spike Jonze, original Beasties drummer Kate Schellenbach and many more, including the group’s two surviving members, Mike Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. Cofounder Adam “MCA” Yauch died from cancer in 2012.

The pair will embark on an unusual book tour — with readings, Q&A sessions, an exhibit and a live score by Mix Master Mike — next week.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BetteBack December 13, 1973: Bette At The Palace

The Village Voice
December 13, 1973


IT IS NOT SO MUCH that Bette Midler‘s appearance at the Palace Theatre has made her a Broadway star as it is that she has brought stardom back to Broadway. Tacky she is, but tacky with a splendid sense of grandeur. Why, even her nervousness on Opening Night, manifested in a missed note or a wrong tempo, befit the occasion, for this was an audience, mostly invited, composed of the Beautiful and Famous from rock and theatre worlds alike. For them, she would have to be at her tackiest, even more so than in Portland or Passaic. Needless to say, she succeeded marvelously.

The show is beautifully constructed, with the production numbers properly produced, the gaudiness properly spoofed and exploited. Miss M’s second act entrance, following a three-song set by her pianist / musical director Barry Manilow, makes just her playing the Palace in a way that has eluded all of the pop stars who have tried it in recent seasons.

A magnificent pink, red, and blue skyline backdrop drapes the rear of the stage as she makes the entrance, descending from a huge, high-heeled silver lame shoe. Miss M herself wears a pink lame gown, an outfit which could only be topped by the sequined and feathered numbers of some of those who had come to hear her. The song she sings, appropriately enough, is “Lullaby of Broadway.” Climaxing the scene, her three-voice back-up group, the Harlettes, enter in 1940s maid uniforms to join her for “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” their costumes blossoming out into American flags. That, mind you, is but her entrance.

Throughout the evening her shticks, “dishes” as she calls them, once disjointed and rambling, are now built around her touring experiences and put downs shot at such popular personages as Dick Nixon, Dick Clark, and Linda Lovelace. The proper Broadway term for it, l believe, would be ribald. Miss M has her own terms: garbage, trash, sleaze. It works no matter what you call it.

The opening a week ago Tuesday was not Midler at her best, partly because as New Yorkers, we have seen the show develop through its more elementary stages. The things which once happened spontaneously are now formally incorporated into the show, though there is still plenty of room for improvisation. The portrayal of the Divine Miss M is more polished (refined it is not), with the result a program whose appeal will bring her to still newer and broader audiences.

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

(Playing an 80 year old in For The Boys frightened Bette): “I’d never done it like Dustin Hoffman did in ‘Little Big Man’ and Keir Dullea in ‘2001’ So I spent some days at an old-age home, but I found that the makeup was a tremendous help ”

(Playing an 80 year old in For The Boys frightened Bette): “I’d never done it like Dustin Hoffman did in ‘Little Big Man’ and Keir Dullea in ‘2001’ So I spent some days at an old-age home, but I found that the makeup was a tremendous help ” From the personal standpoint, she said, seeing herself wrinkled, puffy and liver-spotted, was “depressing ” (1991)

Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

BetteBack February 25, 1996: Women Make Strides At The Grammys

Chicago Sun-Times
February 25, 1996 | LLOYD SACHS

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Of all the award categories devised by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, none is a less reliable gauge of talent than the Grammy for best new artist. Faster than you can say “one-hit wonder,” a host of winners have become no-hit stumblers.
Are you out there, Bobbie Gentry, Men at Work, Debby Boone and Mark Cohn? (See Timeline on Page 3.)

But even if this year’s best new artist nominees enjoy only a brief stay in the commercial sun – which seems unlikely, particularly for rockers Alanis Morissette and Joan Osborne – the women who dominate the category still will have contributed to one of Grammy’s most compelling statements.

In an unprecedented development, the monster-selling Hootie & the Blowfish provide the only male competition for Morissette, Osborne, teenage R&B star Brandy and quadruple-platinum-selling country singer Shania Twain in the new artist category. And that’s hardly the only area in which women are roaring, as reflected in CBS’ all-female promos for its 8 p.m. Wednesday broadcast of the 38th annual Grammy Awards. Hosted in Los Angeles by Ellen DeGeneres, the show airs locally on WBBM-Channel 2.

In the past, the strides of women in popular music were variously charted by Aretha Franklin getting crowned queen of soul again, Bette Midler getting sentimental recognition for another comeback or Bonnie Raitt finally getting recognized, period.

This year, there were female advances across the board. A field-topping six nominations went to Morissette, she of the fiercely assertive relationship songs, and to perennially popular pop diva Mariah Carey. Osborne, whose rough-and-tumble reveries have been overshadowed by her “Yeah, yeah, God is great” hit, “One of Us,” garnered five nominations.

Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill,” Carey’s “Daydream” and Osborne’s “Relish” all are up for album of the year – each of them guaranteed to leave Michael Jackson’s dud “HIStory Past, Present and Future Book I” and Pearl Jam’s “Vitalogy” in the dust.

And in the record of the year competition, rapper Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” and soul singer Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” are dwarfed by Carey’s “One Sweet Day” (teaming her with Boyz II Men), “One of Us” and the R&B smash “Waterfalls” by poor little bankrupt female sensations TLC.

What makes the female presence so remarkable this year is not just the numbers. The lion’s share of energy and excitement comes from the women, while a feeling of “So what?” arises from the male nominees.

“Gangsta’s Paradise” is, for sure, a surefire work of art, and Seal remains one of soul music’s most alluring stars. You gotta love grizzled best rock album nominee Neil Young for still slashing and burning on “Mirror Ball.”

And Pearl Jam, his collaborators on the album, deserve recognition for their own strong effort, “Vitalogy,” nominated for best rock album as well as album of the year.

But Michael Jackson’s nomination has less to do with artistic excellence than the industry’s need to coddle one of its largest investments. A year past their Grammy eligiblity in all categories except best new artist, the workmanlike Hootie & the Blowfish already have faded in our rearview mirrors.

Over in the best pop album competition, the aging Eagles can be heard yelping over the beating they and their endlessly promoted comeback album, “Hell Freezes Over,” are taking from a quartet of women: Carey, Annie Lennox, Madonna and Joni Mitchell.

(Should Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” win for best rock album, she will have reversed those generic odds in outslugging Young, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Chris Isaak.)

And while Nirvana’s posthumous “Unplugged in New York” may win for best alternative performance, the real rooting interest here lies in a pair of bold, genuinely “alternative” visions by women: rawboned Brit PJ Harvey‘s tidal wave lament “To Bring You My Love” and avant-popster Bjork’s “Post.” In the best of worlds, Harvey and Bjork would be recognized for their brilliance with best album nominations. (Harvey also is up for best rock vocal by a female for “Down by the Water.”)

It will take more than the millennium to raise the Grammys to that level of responsiveness. But the voting process did have its consciousness raised by rules changes following last year’s outcry over high-profile nominations going to substandard efforts by Tony Bennett and the 3 Tenors.

Striving for greater relevance and respectability – and to keep miffed record companies in the fold – NARAS created a special 25-member screening board to choose five nominations from the top 20 vote-getters in each category. While there’s still no guarantee that artistic distinction won’t be defined by the likes of Frank Sinatra’s “Duets II,” hope springs when an organization as militantly self-defensive as NARAS changes its methods.

Higher artistic standards certainly are evident in the jazz nominations. Hell may have to freeze over before Grammy recognizes small labels – nearly all the nominations go to record companies with promotional clout. But the albums that are up for best jazz instrumental performance, individual or group, all are works of distinction (see accompanying list).

And when once-automatic nominees such as Mel Torme and Joe Williams fail to crack the best jazz vocal category, you know the choices are based less on popularity and sentimentality than merit. Here, too, women dominated four to one, with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln and Dianne Reeves surrounding male newcomer Kurt Elling.

Year of the woman? Barbra Streisand may have copped that catchphrase for the Oscars. But the term will never find a better fit than when “HERstory Part I” unfolds on Wednesday.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Trudie Styler To Direct Bette Midler, Others In LGBT Film ‘Freak Show’

Trudie Styler To Direct Bette Midler, Others In LGBT Film ‘Freak Show’
by Anita Busch
October 2, 2015 2:30pm


EXCLUSIVE: Trudie Styler will produce and direct the film adaptation of James St. James best-seller Freak Show which already has Bette Midler, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson and Lorraine Toussaint on board. The film is in pre-production and is expected to roll before the cameras at month’s end. The lead role has not yet been set … wish we were a fly on the wall for that casting session. Would be fun.

The book was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Debut Fiction. The Lambda’s recognize the best in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books.

Freak-ShowFreak Show tells the story of Billy Bloom, a funny, good-hearted, cross-dressing teen who becomes the new student at an ultra-conservative high school. Although accosted with Bible thumpers, the jocks, the bullies, Billy takes a stand. Determined to be who he is and not bow to peer pressure, he refuses to change his outlandish outfits or behavior. Instead, he decides to run for Homecoming Queen for outcasts and underdogs everywhere.



Midler is set to play Muv, Billy’s mother. As the Divine Miss M., Midler began her career singing in a bathhouse in the 1970s and gathered quite a following from the gay community before becoming a mega-star.

Robb and Nelson will play Billy’s friends ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and ‘Flip,’ while Toussaint portrays Billy’s nanny, Flossie.

Celine Rattray (The Kids Are Alright) and Charlotte Ubben are also producing with Styler through their Maven Pictures banner along with Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen’s Flower Films (Chris Miller, Ember Truesdell), Jeffrey Coulter, and Bryan Rabin. Adapting the book is Beth Rigazio and PJ Clifton.

Maven Pictures, which was co-founded by Rattray and Styler (Still Alice, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Moon), most recently produced five-time BIFA nominated film Filth, starring James McAvoy. It also executive produced Miss You Already.

Midler just wrapped a concert tour this summer. She is repped by CAA and Morra, Brezner, Steinberg, and Tenenbaum.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

63 Celebrities Recall Their First Concert Memories

63 Celebrities Recall Their First Concert Memories
September 21, 2015


Hopefully summer 2015 brought you endless musical joy in the form of new songs, surprise album releases, and — mainly because the weather’s nice — live shows. Do you remember the first concert you ever attended? For a while now, we at Vulture have been asking celebs to catalogue their earliest concert memories so we can vicariously relive the joys of a first live show during the grueling months of not-summer. Sad, but true. Mourn the end of summer by recalling your favorite concert memories, and then peruse those of more than five dozen celebs. Until next summer, enjoy!

Michael K. Williams
“My first concert was the Jackson 5. It was surreal. I had to be, like, 9, 10. It was at the Garden, and I remember they performed ‘Dancing Machine.’ They put these strobe lights on [Michael] and his brothers, and it looked like they were moving in slow motion. I’d never seen a strobe light before, and I was like, [wide-eyed, staring with an open mouth]. That blew my mind. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Like, He’s moving in slow motion! How is he doing this?!”

Neil Patrick Harris
“The first concert I ever saw was Billy Joel in Los Angeles. I was a big Billy Joel fan. I liked his unbridled passion. He didn’t have a guitar, but the way he would destroy a piano, it was he was like in a fight with the keys, and he was winning! It was amazing to witness that level of mastery. I was probably 13, 14, and I was with my parents.”

Lizzy Caplan
“It was Weezer — The Blue Album. I was 12 or 13, at the Palladium in L.A. I went with a girl and two boys; it was like a double date, and one of the boys’ mothers came with us. I didn’t kiss him because someone’s dad or mom was there watching us. I mean, we were 12. It was a little scary and exciting, but exhilarating.”

Adam Levine
“My dad took me to go see Warrant when I was 11 years old, at the Santa Monica Pacific Auditorium. It was awesome. I remember I sat on his shoulders and there were a bunch of crazy people. It was the ’80s and it was Warrant, so there was a lot of hairspray and boobs. I was 11 years old, I didn’t know what was going on, but my dad was there to protect me, so it was good.”

Nick Jonas
“It was Switchfoot at Irving Plaza, and I was like 10 or 11. My emotions were overwhelmed. I just wanted to get up and sing myself. Really inspiring. It helped me fall in love with music.”

Yoko Ono
“Do you mean when I was 2½ years old? The reason I say 2½ years old is that I remember it! We were in San Francisco, my mother and I were visiting my father, and there was a stage. Nobody was there. People were just having tea or something. And I just got on the stage and started to sing songs! I started to sing many, many songs, just sort of Japanese songs. And I came down, and there was this very kind lady, typical San Francisco upper-crust lady, and she said, ‘I want to show you how to do paper-folding. Origami.’ And while we were doing that, she said, ‘You were very good on the stage.’ ‘Oh, thank you!’ At the time, Golden Gate Bridge was not finished yet, and then when they finished it there was a big marching parade, and everybody was singing, ‘San Francisco, here I come …’ That was my first concert, and I was very impressed with that! You never heard that story before? You didn’t ask, that’s why!”

Alana: My first concert was pretty weird: I went to an Eagles concert. My parents drove us down to San Diego and we saw the Eagles play.
Danielle: Yeah, it was amazing.
Alana: Somehow my parents figured out, like, they had a friend that played backup keyboard for the Eagles, and he got us onstage for “Life’s Been Good.” Like, Joe Walsh is playing “Life’s Been Good.”
Este: Freaked out!
Alana: I think I was like 7 or 8.
Este: Freaking out!
Alana: And that was the first time where I was like, This is a job? People can do this as a job? You can play to people and they freak out as a job? And I was like, I need to do this. I was like, I want to do this for forever and ever and ever. So Joe Walsh is basically the reason why I want to play music.

50 Cent
“I think it was LL Cool J. I forgot how old I was. He came out of a radio, a big radio — the radio just opened up. That was the set. It was the coolest thing in the world at that point. I didn’t actually want to be an artist at that point. I still was just, from a fan perspective, just enjoying it.”

“It was at Fresh Fest: Run DMC, LL Cool J — way back, like ’87. I was really too young to be at that. I was 13. It made me become a rapper. I just saw LL. You know LL came out with this big-ass radio, and it the dopest thing I’d ever seen, and I wanted to do that. I haven’t done that yet.”

“I went to see Jimi Hendrix. I was 14. Well, I’d never seen a black man before, or ever seen anyone play a left-handed guitar before, and it completely blew my mind. It blew my worldview away. And it’s why I’m a musician. It was in my hometown in Newcastle, in the north of England, a little club called the Club of Gogo, tiny room. I was right next to the stage, completely in awe. He was like an alien from another planet. Maybe he was.”

“Madonna, ‘Like a Virgin.’ I was 10 years old, I was with my mom. She took me with my friend, my BFF at the time. I was in fourth grade, and I saw her [acting] sexual, in a lace dress on the floor, so I completely took inspiration from that. I will always rule the floor at every one of my concerts — all the time.”

Ziggy Marley
“[My first show was seeing] my father. It was excitement. Sheer excitement.”

The Beastie Boys‘ Mike D
“My first concert would be the Clash, at the Palladium on 14th Street. I was 12 or 13. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Well, they’re one of the best bands ever. I just wanted to see the music. I was only focused on the music. They were, at the time, as far as I was concerned, the best band in the world. So I was really happy to see them. I was a little kid, so I went with my older brothers.”

David Byrne
“It was — I’m dating myself — when my dad took me to see Ravi Shankar. This is, like, late-’60s, Baltimore. They played Symphony Hall in Baltimore, and I was 16. Obviously, I couldn’t go myself. It was another world, another musical world. And after then, I started to go to things myself. Yeah. Pretty cool for Dad, though.”

Boy George
“My first-ever concert was the most powerful one: It was Ziggy Stardust in 1973. I was 11 and 11 months — it was just before my 12th birthday. I don’t know how I managed to get a ticket for that gig, or how I persuaded my parents to let me go. It was quite a feat to get that to happen. It really changed my life. That concert was the beginning of everything for me, because it was the beginning of me saying, ‘I’m not the only weirdo on the planet. There are others. I want to be a musician. I want to be like my idol, David Bowie.’ That was the beginning for me. A big, big, big moment for me.”

Kylie Minogue
“Actually, it was Culture Club. Boy George. I think I was 14?”

Mary J. Blige
“Mine was New Edition and Al B. Sure! I went with one of my girlfriends, and it was crazy. That’s all I can say. I was probably 16 when I went to see them.”

Kacey Musgraves
“My first concert was LeAnn Rimes. My younger sister and I got tickets and we got to go. We were, like, freaking out, and it was when LeAnn first came onto the scene and she was massive. I was like, 10? My parents came — we didn’t steal the car or anything.”

Greta Gerwig
“It was Sugar Ray and 311. I heard kids at school talking about it, and I thought that going to a concert was a thing to do. So I had my mom drive me downtown and buy one ticket, and I went alone, and everyone who saw me there said, ‘Are you here alone?’ and I said, ‘Uh, no, I’m just here,’ but then I had a great time. I just loved Sugar Ray and 311. I was probably 13. I realized that I didn’t enjoy standing that much. I like dancing and I like walking and I like sitting, but standing is really hard. I was prematurely old, and I wanted a seat, but I was in the mosh-pit area. It was in the ’90s; there were lots of awkward white people dancing.”

John Cameron Mitchell
“It was America. I saw them in Manhattan, Kansas. I have a joke about the band in Hedwig. The next one I saw was Chicago, which was another band named after another place! I was probably 14. I didn’t really learn about more interesting, non-pop music until later. I was into Bob Fosse–type musicals, and Noel Coward, because I was a weirdo nerd, and then it was actually after coming out that I discovered punk rock, David Bowie, goth — all that was very freeing. The whole world was my oyster, and it was a little bit subversive. It was a dark time: AIDS had just hit when I came out, so it was life and death.”

James Marsden
“I can’t give this out, because it’s like a password question on my email account for if I ever lose my password. I can’t give it out. I could lie to you, I guess. I’ll tell you one of the first: Remember the ’80s rock band Warrant? ‘She’s my Cherry Pie.’ Oklahoma City. It was fun. I’ve never been that big of a concertgoer. It’s kind of like you put a CD on in your car and then you crawl into your trunk to listen to it.”

Janeane Garofalo
“It was at the Meadowlands, which was the Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey, and it’s now called some corporate name [Ed. note: MetLife Stadium]. It was Poco, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Heart on a triple bill. I was probably 13? Fourteen? I went with my brother and sister. I was not into Marshall Tucker Band as much. Poco, a bit more. Heart, definitely. It was just one of those things where my brother took my sister, and I had never been to a concert before. A lot of times, when people ask me that, they say that they’ve never heard of Poco and Marshall Tucker Band. If you heard some of their songs, you would know some of their main hits, because they’re still played on easy radio today. And Heart, you know. They’ve been around for a very long time. Unfortunately, as much as I love Heart and respect Poco and Marshall Tucker Band, it did not have an impact on me. Don’t tell them. Or if you do write it, say ‘no offense,’ if you would be so kind.”

Matthew Morrison
“My first concert experience was in high school. My high-school sweetheart dragged me to see Celine Dion in concert, and that turned out to be a pretty great night. She’s a pretty phenomenal performer with a powerful voice.”

Michael Shannon
“I saw Bob Dylan at the Kentucky State Fair. He was playing with G. E. Smith from the Saturday Night Live band. It was amazing. I was like 10 or 11. My mom and my siblings — we were at the fair, and we stuck around for the show. I wasn’t familiar with his music at the time, so I didn’t really know what I was listening to.”

Allison Wright
“It was Five Star. They were the British version of the Jacksons. I went with my poor older brother. He was like, Get me out of here! I lied to everyone at school the next day: I said that my program had been personally signed by the group. We were so young that my classmates were like, Oh, okay.”

Esperanza Spalding
“It would have been the Oregon Symphony, conducted by James DePreist. I don’t remember what they played; I was probably like 10 or something. It was probably like, I’m in this music program and the director worked really hard to get us some free tickets. ‘So you all better be grateful and show respect, and don’t make any damn noise, and enjoy it.’ Symphonic music in the headphones is one thing, but actually being there is very powerful. I also saw the Ray Brown Trio play when I was 16, and that really blew my mind. It was in Portland. I brought my classical-bass teacher to hear this jazz-bass player. And my classical-bass teacher used to always kind of dis on jazz musicians. He really dug it, and I felt so grateful to be present for that moment and to hear Ray Brown, because he passed away two weeks after that.”

Keira Knightley Read More

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Rock Show: Highlights Are Billy Joe Armstrong, Bette Midler and the Beastie Boys

New York Daily News
HBO’s Rock Hall of Fame induction wheels along despite the no-show by Axl Rose
Top performers include Billy Joe Armstrong, Bette Midler and the Beastie Boys
Friday, May 4, 2012, 8:00 AM

The annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies never have and probably never will lend themselves to being a perfect TV package.

That doesn’t mean the edited version airing Saturday on HBO doesn’t have its fun moments.

Those who equate rock ’n’ roll with shouting 12-letter words at the audience will be hooked from the beginning, when Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day starts the show by doing just that.

Those who like things a little more reflective will enjoy Bette Midler’s moving induction of Laura Nyro, savoring her impressive catalogue of pop songs.

The Beastie Boys, minus Adam Yauch for medical reasons, deliver a nice tribute, not just to their predecessors in rap music but to the city where they made their own.

“New York taught me everything,” says Ad-Rock, while Mike D is that rare inductee who remembers the importance of radio in popular music.

Mike D shouts out Mr. Magic and WBAU, the college station that was playing rap when the rest of radio would have read school lunch menus on the air before it would have spun Kurtis Blow.

Drama-wise, it’s a little tricky that the big advance story of the night was Axl Rose’s no-show. It turns out to be no-show, no problem, as plenty of loud music remains available, and Myles Kennedy sounds perfectly acceptable subbing for Axl on the Guns N’ Roses tunes.

It all sounds as good as rock ’n’ roll can sound on TV, which is never as good as it sounds live.

So the producers do what they can, which is show us the gathering of musicians who don’t usually gather.

For almost every music fan, it will have its moments.

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Reminder: Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Premieres On HBO Tonight (Friday)

New York Post
Greatest hits
Last Updated:11:03 PM, May 3, 2012

When music legends both young(ish) and very old gather together, you know you’ll be in for a good show.

HBO’s “2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” airing tomorrow night at 9, is a perfect example of that. Here are five of our favorite inductee tributes and performances from the show:

1.Beastie Boys medley, performed by Kid Rock, Travie McCoy, the Roots

Decked out in old-school, green Adidas track suits, Rock, McCoy and the Roots put on a rip-roaring, medley of the Beastie Boys’ most recognizable hits “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “So What’cha Want,” “Sabotage” and “The New Style.” Beastie collaborator Mix Master Mike represented the group onstage, too. (The Beasties themselves didn’t perform because Adam Yauch, who is battling cancer couldn’t make it to the ceremony.)

2. Freddie King’s “Going Down” performed by ZZ Top, Joe Bonamassa and Derek Trucks

The late blues great known as the “Texas Cannonball” got his due with this fabulous rendition of his hit, which had the guys taking turns singing and wailing on their guitars.

3. Red Hot Chili Peppers medley, performed by RHCP

The final inductees of the night wrapped up the festivities with their hits, “By the Way” and “Give It Away.” They brought the curtain down by inviting Green Day, Slash (inducted that night with Guns N’ Roses), Ronnie Wood (inducted with Small Faces/Faces) and George Clinton on stage for a high-octane jam of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.”

4. Donovan medley, performed by Donovan and John Mellencamp Read More

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Will The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ever Induct Bette Midler

Showbiz 411
Rock Hall Show a Bust As Group Recycles Itself
04/15/12 Roger Friedman


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame annual induction show used to be a big deal. Remember the Waldorf Hotel big jam sessions with names like Springsteen, McCartney, Jagger, Richards, etc? Am I showing my age? Yes. because that’s when it was a Hall of Fame. Now reduced to rubble, the Hall of Fame show–held in Cleveland this year–was a shadow of its former self. No-shows due to illness were Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Rod Stewart of the Faces/Small Faces, although Rod’s already in as a solo act. Axl Rose protested the event, so Guns n Roses played without him.

Bette Midler, who last year inducted Darlene Love, this year inducted Laura Nyro. This is awfully nice of Bette since the RRHOF will never induct her. (She should talk to Peter Wolf of J Geils, who used to hang around and do Jann Wenner favors thinking he was going to get in.) Thanks to this column, Nyro’s son was allowed to accept her award, so that’s a plus. Smokey Robinson, whom I love, came to get the award for the Miracles, even though it was for the other singers, not him. He was inducted solo in 1988, even though all his biggest hits were with the Miracles. Steve van Zandt, of the E Street Band, also not inducted even though Bruce Springsteen has been in for eons, should take note of all that.

Carole King was scheduled to induct music publishing great Donnie Kirshner two years after his death and 25 years after he was eligible. Basically, the Cleveland fans got a Red Hot Chili Peppers show with a couple of songs by Donovan, who was also made to wait 25 years. John Mellencamp brought girlfriend Meg Ryan. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Slash gave the press the finger when asked to take questions about Axl Rose. Sounds like a fun night in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jann Wenner must be looking around, thinking, What happened to all the cool people? Now that he’s skipped over or snubbed more than two dozen actual stars for induction he can look forward in 2013 to newly eligible acts like Debbie Gibson, George Michael, Jane’s Addiction, Sinead O’Connor, Milli Vanilli, and the Pixies.

Still not in: Bon Jovi, Sting, Chicago, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Carly Simon, Billy Preston, Chubby Checker, Carole King (as a solo artist–but she’s really volunteering a lot, like Bette–read Peter Wolf note), Peter Wolf with or without J Geils, The Moody Blues, Todd Rundgren, Nile Rodgers and Chic, producers like Phil Ramone, Richard Perry, and Richard Gottehrer, Ringo Starr (the only Beatle not in solo), Three Dog Night or the Fifth Dimension or Blood Sweat and Tears, Joe Tex, Mary Wells, Cyndi Lauper, and so on.

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