It seems only fitting that we give a heads up for the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony today. This is the 27th annual event to honor those who have made sure that rock and roll will never die. And it feels more important and relevant than ever, as this week has seen the passing of two giants in the music business; American Bandstand creator Dick Clark and Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist for The Band, one of the foremost iconic rock bands from the 60's. Both were legends in their own way. Dick Clark built a broadcast empire that lasted for decades and made what was once a dangerous new music genre (rock) into a global mainstream art form. Levon Helm had an unforgettable down home voice that gave an authentic American sound to such rock anthems as The Weight and The Night They Drove Dixie Down. He also went on to a great film career as a character actor (Coal Miner's Daughter and The Right Stuff) after The Band broke up in 1976. Anyone who wants to understand Levon's importance in the rock music world can watch The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese film about The Band's final concert which is considered the finest rock documentary of all time. I can say that with absolute authority, since I've watched it myself about fifty times since it was released over 30 years ago.
This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction will honor artists who are still with us (Guns and Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Donovan) as well as those who sadly are not (Laura Nyro). Presenters will include Bette Midler, Carole King, Robbie Robertson, Chris Rock and Green Day.
The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction will air on HBO May 5th (Saturday) at 9pm. It will feature the entire ceremony taped earlier at the official museum of rock in Cleveland Ohio.
We'll have more on Dick Clark in future posts as The Flaming Nose must recognize his enormous influence on television. For now, let's remember Levon Helm with this video from The Last Waltz. Levon is on drums, Robbie Robertson on guitar. The two had been estranged for many years, but reunited and buried the hatchet a few days ago before Levon passed away on April 19, 2012. I'm glad that happened, as I love and admire them both.