Randy Newman is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Rush,… (Matt Sayles / Associated…)
This post has been updated. See note below for details.
“It’s a good year to be having this in L.A.,” said Greg Harris, the new president and chief executive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, referring to tonight’s induction ceremony taking place at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live downtown, the first time in two decades the event has been held in Los Angeles.
He was referring to the contingent of L.A.-based artists being honored. Randy Newman is among the performer inductees, and veteran record executive Lou Adler and producer-arranger-conductor-composer Quincy Jones are among the non-performers entering the hall this year.
The California presence is heightened with the addition of those giving induction speeches as well as the night’s scheduled performers. Don Henley of the Eagles is set to give the induction speech for Newman, while Jackson Browne and John Fogerty are lined up to perform with the singer and songwriter.
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Carole King will sing in honor of her long-ago mentor Adler, who will be inducted by the comedy team Cheech & Chong.
The other inductees for 2013 are Rush, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Heart and Albert King.
Foo Fighters members Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins will pay tribute to Rush, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains will do so for Heart, and Spike Lee will team with Harry Belafonte to welcome Public Enemy into the Rock Hall.
Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson will be on hand for Summer’s posthumous induction, and John Mayer will give the speech for bluesman King, and then perform in his honor with Gary Clark Jr.
Harris is about 3½ months into his new post, having taken over Jan. 1 from Terry Stewart, who stepped down at the end of 2012 after 13 years at the helm of the Rock Hall in Cleveland.
Harris said the Hall of Fame and Museum’s mission going forward, beyond the high-profile annual induction dinner and ceremony, is “to provide more context” on the recordings, instruments, photos and other memorabilia associated with hundreds of pop music’s most celebrated acts housed at the museum.
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He said the forthcoming Rolling Stones 50th anniversary exhibit will be the first major salvo in a campaign to give visitors -- both those who physically come to the Ohio facility and those who explore it online through the website -- a better understanding not just of personal lives and musical careers but also the way the music has reflected and shaped the world socially and politically.
“The Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction,” billed as the first major museum exploration of the group’s career, is slated to open May 24, coinciding with the group’s new 50 and Counting tour that is scheduled to start May 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
And as for the ceremony itself, who will rock fans be after the Hall to induct next, now that Rush, long the center of controversy among prog-rock fans, is going in?
"Probably KISS will be the next one we'll be hearing about the most," Harris said over breakfast Wednesday. " The good thing is that people are debating this, because they feel so passionately about this music."
Update April 19 at 7:50 a.m.: An earlier edition of this post said this years's induction ceremony was bein held in Los Angeles for the first time. It was held once before in Los Angeles, in 1993, two years before the Rock Hall and Museum opened in Cleveland.
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