They KISS-ed, made up at rock hall’s cer­e­mony

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By David Bauder

NEW YORK — KISS made up, but its mu­sic went un­heard. Nir­vana used four fe­male rock­ers to sing Kurt Cobain’s songs. And Bruce Spring­steen’s E Street Band — pre­dictably — turned its hon­our into a marathon. The three acts were ush­ered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thurs­day in a colourful in­duc­tion cer­e­mony at Brook­lyn’s Bar­clays Cen­ter along with blueeyed soul duo Hall & Oates, Bri­tish rocker Peter Gabriel, 1970s folkie Cat Stevens and the ab­sent Linda Ron­stadt. Nir­vana was the emo­tional cen­tre­piece. The trio, rooted in the Seat­tlearea punk rock scene, was voted into the hall in its first year of el­i­gi­bil­ity. Smells Like Teen Spirit hit like a thun­der­clap upon its 1991 re­lease, but the band was done af­ter Kurt Cobain com­mit­ted sui­cide 20 years ago this month. “Nir­vana fans walk up to me ev­ery day and say thank you for the mu­sic,” said Krist Novoselic, the band’s bassist, who was in­ducted with drum­mer Dave Grohl. “When I hear that, I think of Kurt Cobain.” A sub­dued Court­ney Love, Cobain’s widow, was booed by some in the au­di­ence. She said Cobain would have ap­pre­ci­ated the hon­our. “Nir­vana tapped into a voice that was yearn­ing to be heard,” said for­mer R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who de­scribed how the band made a com­mu­nity of the dis­af­fected. Joan Jett was cho­sen to sing Smells Like Teen Spirit. Kim Gor­don of Sonic Youth, St. Vin­cent and Lorde each took turns at the mi­cro­phone, with Lorde’s ver­sion of All Apolo­gies end­ing the night. KISS was re­spon­si­ble for pre-cer­e­mony drama. The two orig­i­nal mem­bers still ac­tive, Gene Sim­mons and Paul Stan­ley, thought the re­place­ments for ex-band­mates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss should per­form at the cer­e­mony in­stead of the orig­i­nal four. The re­sult was KISS’s mu­sic went un­heard. Still, the es­tranged band mem­bers spoke warmly of each other when the quar­tet ap­peared be­hind the mi­cro­phone. “In and out of makeup, I’ll al­ways be the Cat­man,” said drum­mer Criss, ref­er­enc­ing his makeup in the band. “You’ve got to for­give to live.” The band re­ceived a crowd-pleas­ing en­dorse­ment from Rage Against the Ma­chine’s Tom Morello, who said KISS in­spired him to play mu­sic. He said he had to fight off high school bul­lies who ridiculed him for lik­ing the band. “Tonight proves be­yond a shadow of a doubt that the high school bul­lies and crit­ics were wrong — KISS fans were right,” he said. Spring­steen’s 1999 en­trance into the Rock Hall with­out the E Street Band was a sore point for some of its mem­bers. They got their due Thurs­day in the side­men cat­e­gory, al­though it was a post­hu­mous hon­our for sax­man Clarence Cle­mons and key­board player Danny Fed­erici. So the band, well known for its long con­certs, made up for lost time. Their in­duc­tion took 85 min­utes, as in­di­vid­ual mem­bers ig­nored re­quests to keep speeches short. Then they per­formed The E Street Shuf­fle, The River and an epic Kitty’s Back. “Lucky for you, there are only two of us,” Daryl Hall said when he was in­ducted with part­ner John Oates. The duo was a main­stay on the ra­dio dur­ing the late 1970s and early 1980s. They per­formed some of their hits — She’s Gone, I Can’t Go For That and You Make My Dreams Come True — al­though hit­ting some of the high notes again was a strug­gle. Ron­stadt, the sexy siren of the Los Angeles coun­try-rock scene of the 1970s, couldn’t make it to her in­duc­tion. Now re­tired, she suf­fers from Parkin­son’s dis­ease and doesn’t travel much. Glenn Frey, who played with fel­low fu­ture Ea­gle Don Hen­ley in Ron­stadt’s backup band, saluted her with an in­duc­tion speech. Ron­stadt was saluted by some royalty of fe­male coun­try rock. Car­rie Underwood sang Dif­fer­ent Drum, Ron­stadt’s first hit with the Stone Poneys. Em­my­lou Har­ris and Bon­nie Raitt joined for Blue Bayou. Sh­eryl Crow and Frey made it a quin­tet to sing You’re No Good, then Ste­vie Nicks came out to lead them in It’s So Easy and When Will I Be Loved. Stevens, the 1970s-era hit­maker who left his mu­sic ca­reer be­hind when he con­verted to Is­lam, seemed pleased by the hon­our, call­ing it “un­ex­pect­edly, but strangely, out­ra­geously rock ’n’ roll.” He per­formed Fa­ther and Son, Wild World and Peace Train, joined by a robed choir in the fi­nal song. Peter Gabriel wasn’t around dur­ing his last in­duc­tion in 2010 for his work as a mem­ber of Gen­e­sis. “It feels bet­ter when you’re here,” he said back­stage. Gabriel said as­pir­ing mu­si­cians should sur­round them­selves with bril­liance and, not­ing his early fail­ures as a drum­mer, shouldn’t be afraid to try dif­fer­ent things. “Dream big, and let your imag­i­na­tion guide you, even if you end up dress­ing as a flower or a sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease,” said Gabriel, known for his the­atri­cal out­fits dur­ing early Gen­e­sis days. Cold­play singer Chris Martin cred­ited Gabriel with cre­at­ing a cathe­dral of sound and noted “he helped John Cu­sack get back his girl­friend in the movie Say Any­thing.” That movie’s cli­mac­tic mo­ment fea­tured Gabriel’s song In Your Eyes, and Gabriel per­formed a soar­ing ver­sion to cel­e­brate his in­duc­tion.


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