Monday, November 2, 2009


If, like me, you aren't a millionaire and weren't able to attend the two-night Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at Madison Square Garden last week and were really bummed about it, here's a small bit of consolation: HBO will be broadcasting highlights from the show on November 29 (and probably broadcasting repeats afterwards? I don't know, I don't have HBO). You can see the lineup at the right.

In 1995, I attended the "Concert For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" celebrating the opening of the actual museum (the Hall of Fame existed in the abstract for years before the building was finally built and opened to the public). The lineup featured Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (an especially big deal, as they hadn't performed together in a few years at that point), Al Green, The Allman Brothers Band, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, George Clinton & The P-Funk Allstars, John Fogerty (his first performance in a long time), Robbie Robertson (one of his only solo performances ever), John Mellencamp, The Kinks (I think it was their final public performance), Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Soul Asylum (who backed Lou Reed and then Iggy Pop). There were some cool combos: Bruce and The E Street Band backed Chuck and Jerry Lee (although I read that Bruce was unhappy with their performance), Bruce sang "Forever Young" with Dylan, Al and Aretha snag together, Sheryl sang with the Allmans, Larry Graham of The Family Stone performed with P-Funk, it was a pretty good time.

But last week's shows were even better. Rollling Stone wrote up both nights, which were filled with highlights. This time, Bruce & E Street (in top form as opposed to last time) backed up Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, John Fogerty and Darlene Love, plus they were joined by Tom Morello for "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" and The Clash's "London Calling." Wow. They also backed up Billy Joel on a few of his songs. Stevie Wonder collaborted with John Legend (who came to MSG straight from singing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium at The World Series!), B.B. King, Sting, Smokey Robinson and Jeff Beck. Paul Simon collaborated with Dion and Little Anthony & The Imperials, and did a Simon & Garfunkel set after his solo set. And Crosby Stills & Nash were joined by Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Jackson Browne. That was just night one!

On night two, Aretha Franklin was joined by Annie Lennox and Lenny Kravitz, and Jeff Beck (filling in for Eric Clapton) was joined by Sting, Buddy Guy and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Then stuff got really crazy as Metallica took the stage. Opening with "For Whom The Bell Tolls," "One" and Bob Seger's "Turn The Page," they were then joined by Lou Reed for versions of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" and "White Light/White Heat." Whoa. Then Ozzy Osbourne joined them for Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and "Paranoid." Finally, Ray Davies for The Kinks' "You Really Got Me." Then it was U2, who played their own songs, but also backed Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith for "Because The Night." The Black Eyed Peas also joined u2, as did Mick Jagger for "Gimme Shelter" and "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of." Wow, I can't wait to see this on TV, and hopefully they release an album of this. And hopefully it will be more affordable than the DVD box set of induction ceremony highlights. (Get it here).

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