John Mellencamp, Chuck D, Steve Van Zandt, Bette Midler and Chris Rock are among the presenters who have been tapped to handle inductions for the 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14 in Cleveland.
Mellencamp will welcome in Donovan; Public Enemy's Chuck D will give the speech for the Beastie Boys; E Street Band guitarist Van Zandt will bring in the Small Faces/Faces; Midler will salute singer-songwriter Laura Nyro; and Rock will do the honors for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Additionally, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill will introduce blues man Freddie King, and Carole King will give the remarks for her former Brill Building boss, publisher and TV impresario Don Kirshner.
Engineer-producers Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns will be welcomed into the Hall of Fame by the Band’s Robbie Robertson, and Smokey Robinson will introduce the newly anointed bands who are joining their previously inducted leaders: the Blue Caps (Gene Vincent), the Crickets (Buddy Holly), the Famous Flames (James Brown), the Midnighters (Hank Ballard) and the Miracles (Robinson).
This year’s ceremony will be held at the hall in Cleveland rather than its usual spot at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. A highlights special will premiere May 5 on HBO.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Chuck D addresses a crowd during a January 2012 concert. The rapper-producer is set to introduce Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductees the Beastie Boys as part of a ceremony on April 14. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times.