Rock Hall: Dinner Music

“Being of my generation,” Donald Fagen of Steely Dan told Monday night’s crowd at the 16th annual induction ceremony of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “I’m naturally really suspicious of the commercial nature of the organizations giving these awards. But it’s a nice ceremony.” Among the other honorees who showed up at the black-tie banquet at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel’s grand ballroom were Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Paul Simon, soul singer Solomon Burke, surviving members of the doo-wop group the Flamingos and Queen (which kicked off the evening’s festivities with a performance of “We Will Rock You”). The late Ritchie Valens (who died in 1959) was honored, too. Assisting in the inducting were ‘N Sync, Kid Rock, Moby and Rolling Stone Keith Richards, who, reports The New York Times, was largely responsible for the induction of pianist Johnnie Johnson, who played with Chuck Berry. While Richards seemed ill at ease at the podium, said The Times, he had no trouble expressing himself to a reporter for the paper just before his speech. Said Richards, “Ian Stewart, who’s basically the founder of the Rolling Stones, said to me, ‘Never forget that Johnnie Johnson is alive and well and still living in St. Louis.’ “

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