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Ceremonial Whines Roil the Rock Hall of Fame

May 25, 1997|Steve Hochman

Neil Young's boycott of the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction gala might be catching.

David Crosby, who was inducted two weeks ago as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash, now echoes Young's complaints about the event's being taped for telecast by VH1 and about the inductees' family and friends being required to pay the full $1,500 ticket price to attend. Crosby, who was also inducted six years ago as a member of the Byrds, says that he doubts he will want to participate in future Hall ceremonies.

"The first time I went I felt really honored," he says. "I was really proud of that. This time I felt used, as if they were working it for a way to have a TV show and that's what they were most interested in and that they didn't really care about honoring anybody."

Noting the absence of Joni Mitchell (attributed officially to recording duties and her recent reunion with her daughter) as well as Young at the May 6 ceremony in Cleveland, Crosby says, "They lost two people this time and certainly would have lost me if I'd known how it would have been ahead of time. And no one I talked to afterward came away feeling good about it either."

Los Angeles Times Sunday June 1, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Page 85 Calendar Desk 2 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Pop Eye errata--Contrary to last Sunday's column, Richie Furay continues to perform both pop and gospel music. He'll be at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on June 26. Also, "Sessions at West 54th" will premiere on PBS on July 5, not in September. KCRW-FM (89.9) is expected to air the weekly performance-and-interviews show in simulcast.

Another honoree left with bad feelings is Richie Furay, inducted as part of the Buffalo Springfield. His manager, Mark Ferjulian, is concerned that the priorities seem out of order.

"Wealthy people can buy all the tickets they want," he says, noting that Furay now runs a Colorado ministry organization and has been out of show business for many years. "Like Michael Douglas, the actor, bought a bunch of tickets for him and his buddies, which is fine. But Richie can't even bring his mom to his own induction because he can't afford it, which is wrong."

Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, says that the organization is looking into ways to mitigate the problem of tickets for family and friends, especially for artists who can't afford to pay for guests. As it stands, the Hall pays for the ticket, air fare and hotel accommodations for each inductee and a companion.

"Neil made an interesting point and we are going to reexamine the possibility of a reduced ticket price structure for families," Evans says. "But I feel it's important to treat all inductees alike and not favor one over another, and there has to be some limit to the number of tickets we can do this with. There's a finite amount of space, and the ticket sales pay for the cost of the show's production."

The Hall's policy is not out of line with other high-profile honors. While the Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony is a free, public event, transportation and accommodations for each inductee and a companion are paid by the Hall. Academy Awards nominees are each given two tickets for the show and Governors Ball, though a spokeswoman says that sometimes arrangements are made to provide tickets to other family members of recipients of special lifetime achievement honors.

Crosby wondered why the profit from the TV deal couldn't help with some of the guest costs. But Evans says that the VH1 deal is meant to provide exposure, not funding.

"This isn't a network show [like the Grammy Awards] where we receive a huge fee," she says. "It didn't even pay for the production."

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