Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers among Rock Hall inductees
Others to be inducted include the Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro, the Small Faces and Don Kirshner. Among those that didn't make the cut: the Cure, Donna Summer.
Three musical iron fists meet a pair of velvet gloves as Guns N' Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys are joined by Donovan, Laura Nyro and England's Small Faces as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's slate of performer inductees for 2012. Hall officials announced the news Wednesday.
In addition, blues musician Freddie King will join the hall's roster of early influence honorees, while veteran pop star maker and erstwhile TV impresario Don Kirshner has been chosen as recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, given each year to an influential nonperformer. Producers Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns and pioneering New Orleans engineer and recording studio owner Cosimo Matassa round out the new batch of inductees with awards for musical excellence.
“It's really nice to be part of a community of musicians we respect,” Chili Peppers bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary said from a tour stop in Vienna shortly after getting the news. “I feel very emotional about it, and it makes me reflective about our career. I think back about when we just started out as this little band and we kept it going, pouring our heart and souls into it. Pride isn't the healthiest thing, but I feel proud.”
Acts among the 15 final nominees that didn't make the cut were disco queen Donna Summer, Seattle rock band Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, goth-pop group the Cure, rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, and R&B groups Rufus with Chaka Khan, War and the Spinners.
The arrival of GNR into the hall prompts the question of just who will represent the group at next year's induction ceremony, scheduled for April 14 at the Rock Hall in Cleveland, rather than its usual site at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Frontman Axl Rose has long been at odds with most of his band's former members, notably lead guitarist Slash, raising the issue of whether he — or they — will participate in a reunion of the original lineup for the event, which is a tradition of rock hall induction dinners.
Guns N' Roses and the Chili Peppers, both of which emerged in the 1980s from L.A.'s explosive hard rock and alternative club scene, scored entry into the Hall of Fame during their first year of eligibility. The Beastie Boys could have been granted hall membership earlier this year under the hall's requirement that acts become eligible 25 years after the release of their first recording. Donovan, Nyro and the Small Faces have been bypassed for hall induction multiple times.
The Rock Hall ceremony began in 1986, and the 2012 class will bring the total number of performers inducted to 302.
Hall of fame inductees
Guns N’ Roses
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Also, bluesman Freddie King, TV producer Don Kirshner, producers Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns, and engineer Cosimo Matassa.
-- Randy Lewis
Images: Axl Rose & Slash of Guns N' Roses in 1991. Credit: WireImage; the Red Hot Chili Peppers on a Venice rooftop in 2011. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times