Backbiting by Blondie members and a bitter letter from the absent Sex Pistols helped color Monday night’s 21st annual induction ceremony of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria ballroom.
Also inducted: Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd and jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
As Blondie’s Deborah Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke received their awards, they barely acknowledged former members Frank Infante, Nigel Harrison and Gary Valentine, reports the Associated Press. The slight prompted Infante to plead to perform with the band: “Debbie, are we allowed?” he begged before Blondie played “Heart of Glass,” “Rapture” and “Call Me.”
“Can’t you see my band is up there?” Harry snapped, prompting Infante to groan into the microphone as the three rejected members walked offstage.
The Sex Pistols declined the honor in a profane letter that compared the hall to “urine in wine.” Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner read the letter, and invited the punk rockers to collect their trophies at the rock hall in Cleveland. “If they want to smash them into bits, they can do that, too,” Wenner said.
A relatively sedate Ozzy Osbourne had previously badmouthed the hall for waiting a decade to induct Sabbath, but at the Waldorf he thanked his wife, Sharon, who sat in the ballroom with their daughters Kelly and Aimee.
Highlights of the ceremony will air on VH1 on March 21.