On Monday AAdamsRib, Mike and myself had the privlege of spending the day covering the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
We had a wonderful day, one that I will always remember
We sat through the rehearsals during the afternoon and were treated to what amounted to a a once in a lifetime concert featuring the Moonglows, Earth Wind and Fire, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Diana Ross.
- Harvey Fuqua & the Moonglows
- John B. Sebastian
- Verdine White, Ralph Johnson and Philip Bailey of EWF
- Paul Shafer
- Jann Wenner
- Ray Charles
- Janet Jackson
- Diana Ross
- The President of VH-1
- The CEO of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
and many other folks...
All were quite impressed with Soul Patrol
CEO of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame - "I'm surprised to see an African American media outlet here covering this event.
CEO of Soul Patrol - "Since African Americans invented Rock n' Roll music, we thought it was appropriate for us to cover this event and give our readers the TRUTH about the contributions of the Moonglows, Earth, Wind and Fire and all the other African Americans who have been inducted before them, to the continuing legacy of Rock n' Roll music. We feel it's even more imperative that we do so, just as we conclude our celebration of Black History Month, and we plan on making our coverage of this event a yearly thing"
CEO of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame - "You are of course correct, please feel free to contact me personally if there is anything that the Hall of Fame can do to help you in your efforts"
Here is another....
Ray Charles - "yall own your own shit????........I'm glad to hear that we are finally OWNING something, now go and kick some ass..."
There were a few moments of what Tom Joyner would call "hidden (or maybe not so hidden) racism
Here are two examples...
VH1-Lackey - "what are you doing here..."
CEO of Soul Patrol - "getting ready to interview Verdine White..."
VH-1 Lackey - "Who is he, how did you get in here?..."
CEO of Soul Patrol - "Verdine is the bass player and co-leader of EWF, he is standing right there...."
CEO of Soul Patrol - "We came into this area along with Harvey Fuqua..."
VH-1 Lackey - "Who is Harvey Fuqua?..."
CEO of Soul Patrol - "he is the leader of the Moonglows...."
VH-1 Lackey - "Who are the Moonglows?..."
CEO of Soul Patrol - "They are one of the artists being inducted into the
Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, Harvey is sitting right over there, would you like me to introduce you to him?....."
VH-1 Lackey - "No, no, that's ok....." (as she hurried away!)
Verdine White - "how come they didn't invite any Black radio stations here?"
There were a few other incidents, but I won't go into them right now :)
ALL of the African Americans we encountered, both the famous and not famous greeted us warmly, in friendship and automaticly approached us, even in some cases before we approached them. They ALL let us take pictures and interview them at length.
They were glad to see us there!
When the Moonglows performed during rehersal, the ballroom full of industry proffessionals/heavyweights, stood there in silence and awe of the POWER of human voices, singing in harmony
Some idiot reporter in the press room asking Maurice White a question, Maurice answering, and the reporter ignoring Maurice's answer, and repeating the same question to Verdine White, prefecing the question by saying "Since he didn't answer it, maybe you can?..."
MY HENDRIX MOMENT WITH JOHN B. SEBASTIAN:
"Back in 1966 I went down to this place in the Village with John Hammond called *Club Bizzare* and there was this Black guy on stage playing the guitar. Nothing unusual about that, except that he was holding the guitar by the neck with ONLY his outstretched left hand, and it sounded fantastic. I asked Hammond who this guy was and Hammond said: "Oh, that's Jimmy James, he just showed up..."
Ray Charles to Paul Shaffer..."If you want, I can give you some piano lessons?...."
MY TWO REGRETS:
Not getting a chance to talk with Eric Clapton to ask him what he thought about the Blues Music Association (BMA) current movement to promote a SEGGREGATED blues scene, and if he was going to join them in their crusade.
Not having the presence of mind to ask Ray Charles the same question when I had the chance, I will try to follow up with him
I HAVE ADDITIONAL RESPECT FOR:
The talent of Diana Ross, the humanity/honesty of John Melencamp
We also got TONS of gossip/dirt too on some of these celebrities (NONE of which will be posted here, you will have to read about that kind of stuff elsewhere)
During the evening, they had us in the press room, which was crowded with several hundred reporters, it was hot, noisy and uncomfortable.
We left early, prior to the conclusion of the actual induction ceremonies.