Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Beatles and "Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame"

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. A handful of artists are inducted into the Hall of Fame in an annual induction ceremony, historically held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The first group of inductees, inducted on January 23, 1986, included James Brown, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, The Beatles were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and it was Paul McCartney who suggested to George Harrison and Ringo Starr that they should all attend the ceremony. If it had happened, it would be the first televised public appearance by the three surviving members of the group together. However, business differences between McCartney and Harrison arose, and McCartney elected not to show up. However, Harrison's speech revealed they still had love for Paul, and the controversy was later forgotten about. Yoko Ono, as well as Sean and Julian Lennon were present to represent John Lennon.

To close the show, George and Ringo joined Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and, from The Supremes, Mary Wilson, among many others in an informal all-star jam session. Songs performed during this end of evening concert included "I Saw Her Standing There", "All Along The Watchtower", "Twist And Shout", "Stand By Me", "Stop In The Name Of Love", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "Hound Dog", "Honey Hush", "Barbara Ann", "Blue Bayou" and "Satisfaction".
Paul McCartney showed up to induct John Lennon as a solo artist into the Hall of Fame in 1994 in the presence of Yoko Ono, and gave an emotional and heartfelt speech.
In 1999, after the death of his wife Linda, Paul McCartney was inducted as a solo artist into the Hall of Fame. Accepting the award, following an induction speech by Neil Young, Paul remarked: "This is a brilliant night for me but it's sad too. I would have liked my baby to be with me. She wanted this." During his investiture, Paul was joined on stage by his daughter Stella. Paul also remarked: "By the way, while we're here, you've got me, you've got John in this, what about George and Ringo?"

Later, Paul took to the stage where, along with the evening's all-star line-up, he performed "Blue Suede Shoes", "What'd I Say" and, as the finale, "Let It Be". Paul had left the stage while Springsteen, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Mellissa Etheridge, Lauryn Hill and others performed Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready". He reappeared on stage when he heard the opening chords of "Let It Be", played by Billy Joel, and sang "Let It Be" standing at the microphone backed by a showcase of talent including Bono, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson and Joel on piano. (Paul did not bring a guitar with him and, apparently, a member of the Hall Of Fame staff admitted that they "could not find him one!") At the conclusion of "Let It Be", Paul shouted to the audience: "Thank you, it's time to go home. This is a great night, yeah?"

Also inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this evening was the Beatles' producer George Martin, who remarked: "I am very honoured to be placed in a galaxy alongside many of my own heroes."
George Harrison didn't survive to see his own induction, which he got in 2002, the year after he died. Ringo Starr has still not been inducted for his solo work. Beatles-related groups like The Traveling Wilburys or Wings have not been inducted.
Following each seremony is usually a jam session featuring all the attending superstars. Several DVD's have been released, containing inductions and musical performances, but the Beatles-related appearances are spread out over many releases.

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