20 Feet From Stardom

When I think of backup singers the music of our heart turns specifically to Merry Clayton‘s riveting performance on The Rolling Stones, “Gimme Shelter” from the Let It Bleed album from 1969.

The documentary movie, 20 Feet From Stardom opens this Friday June 14th. It traces the history of the pop background singer, starting with the Phil Spector girl groups of the 1960’s, touching upon their roles in the work of artists like Lou Reed and the Talking Heads, and bringing to light their presence in the pop music of today. Most certainly Merry Clayton and other significant divas are included in this warm tribute.

A public screening of the film took place on a NY city rooftop on the lower East Side on Saturday night, June 8. Darlene Love featured in the movie gave a live performance followed by a Q&A with the director Morgan Neville.

 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2011

One of the aspects I love about New York City is that it is the entertainment capital of the world and its closeby. I keep meaning to hop a train to Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street and walk over to witness as a star-gazer the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony. Its held every year at the Waldorf Astoria, Wouldn’t you just love to have been invited to this gala?

The performer Inductees are:
·    Alice Cooper was inducted by Rob Zombie (White Zombie)
·    Neil Diamond was inducted by Paul Simon
·    Dr. John was inducted by John Legend
·    Darlene Love was inducted byBette Midler
·    Tom Waits was inducted by Neil Young

Ahmet Ertegun Award recipients (nonperformers):

·    Jac Holzman was inducted by John Densmore (the Doors)
·    Art Rupe was inducted by Lloyd Price

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award for Musical Excellence (previously the Sidemen category):

·    Leon Russell was inducted by Elton John

Rolling Stone Magazine had great reportage of the event, which includes photographs and video of the evening (provided by Fuse TV who will broadcast the event on Sunday March 20th). This is my favorite photo of the night.

Paul Simon, Neil Young and Tom Waits backstage at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City, March 14, 2011.