The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony comes home April 4, bringing Run-D.M.C., Metallica and Jeff Beck to Public Hall. Here’s a guide to the ’09 performer honorees and how you can join the celebration in the week leading up to the big night. Edited by Jim Vickers
This year, $35 gets you in the room —that is, if you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony here since 1997.
It’s not exactly a shocker that balcony seats for the Public Hall ceremony went quickly. It’s the first time the public has been offered tickets to rock’s biggest night, and prices topped out at a fan-friendly $75. (The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s announcement that it would like to hold the inductions here once every three years probably didn’t hurt either.)
Don’t let the sell-out get you down. The induction will be broadcast live on the Fuse network, and the Rock Hall is hosting a simulcast party.
We’re here to help you prepare with our guide to the ’09 performer inductees. And even if you don’t have a ticket, you can still take part in the weeklong celebration that kicks off March 28.
No one has matched this heavy-metal band’s mix of thundering intensity and commercial success. Why you know them |The epic “One” landed the band a performance at the Grammy broadcast in 1989. That evening, Jethro Tull (yes, the rock band with a flute) inexplicably beat Metallica in the “best hard-rock/metal performance” category. Why your kids know them |Metallica’s song “Trapped Under Ice” is featured in Guitar Hero World Tour. Hammer of justice | In 2000, the band took on the Napster file-sharing service and illegal music downloading.
These hip-hop pioneers were the first rap act to have certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums. Why you know them |Run-D.M.C. burst into millions of American households in 1986 with its remake of “Walk This Way,” featuring Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. Why your kids know them | Run-D.M.C.’sJoseph “Rev Run” Simmons hit VH1 in 2005 with his reality show Run’s House. Tragic turn | Run-D.M.C.’s Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell was shot and killed at his Queens recording studio in 2002. The case remains unsolved.
A legend among guitar geeks, Beck has traversed rock, jazz and blues during his 40-year solo career. Why you know him | Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as a member of the ’60s rock group the Yardbirds. Why your kids know him | He performed with Kelly Clarkson on Idol Gives Back in 2007. In legendary company | Beck replaced Eric Clapton and performed with future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in the Yardbirds before nabbing a then-unknown Rod Stewart as vocalist for the Jeff Beck Group.
Little Anthony and the Imperials
This doo-wop group had a signature ballad of the ’50s and, even with a 17-year break, is still together. Why you know them | “Tears on My Pillow” was a top-five hit in 1958. Sha Na Na covered the song for the Grease movie soundtrack. What you may not know about them | The group reinvented itself as a soul act in the ’60s and recorded the hits “I’m on the Outside (Looking In)” and “Goin’ Out of My Head.” Cleveland connection | The vocal style of Cleveland singer Jimmy Scott influenced Jerome “Little Anthony” Gourdine’s signature high falsetto.
A former member of ’60s group the Valentinos, Womack’s solo career has spanned more than four decades. Why you know him | “Across 110th Street” was featured in the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown. Why your kids know him | Kelly Rowland covered Womack’s song “Daylight.” Hometown hero | The Rock Hall induction ceremony’s return to Cleveland is also a homecoming for Womack, who grew up here.
The April 4 induction ceremony is the culmination of a week’s worth of events (for the full schedule, visit rockhall.com). Here were a few that caught our attention.
Moondog Coronation Ball
Benefit featuring Little Richard, Three Dog Night, Peter Noone and more
Free Community Gospel Concert
Tribute to 11-time Grammy winner and gospel legend Pastor Shirley Caesar
From Asbury Park to the Promised Land Opening of the world’s first Bruce Springsteen exhibit
Free Community Concert Performances by past Rock Hall inductees (artist list to be announced)
Free admission to the Rock Hall Plus an induction simulcast (visit Web site for more information)