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FEATURE:

May 5, 2012

Hall of Fame induction review

By Chip Latham

posted by Mike Walton



When I first found out The Faces were being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I immediately made arrangements to attend. I blocked off five days on my calendar, booked my hotel and started looking forward to April. There was no way I could miss a possible Faces reunion. I went to Wembley in London in 1986 and now there might be another chance to see them live, together again


I arrived on Thursday, three days before the Ceremony. I pulled up my car to check in my hotel and a black town car pulled in front of me. Out popped Duff McKagan from Guns n Roses. I knew then this was going to be a trip to remember. After checking in and chatting with Duff, I spent a few hours in the bar without seeing anyone I recognized. So, my traveling friends (Rhonda & Randy) and I decided to head to our rooms and call it a night.
But as I unpacked, I realized I left a few of my necessities in my car. Nothing like calling valet parking to pull your car up just so you can grab something out of it and have them go park it again....plus tip them for it!

But on the way down to my car, I noticed someone new in the bar that was a delight to see. The world's best keyboard player, Ian McLagan. After getting my things out of my car, I rounded my friends back up and headed back down to the bar. We all knew Mac from his days of touring with Rod's band in the 90's.

After catching up with Mac and reminiscing about The Faces days and all our personal favorite Faces songs, in walks Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones straight from the airport. Although I have spent a good deal of time hanging out with Rod in the 80's and 90's and knew Ronnie from a Stones tour, I had never met Kenny or have ever been in a room with these three legends at the same time. The bar had just closed but I got the them to re-open it and let me buy a round for the greatest rock band ever, The Faces. Ronnie promptly asked for a diet coke. He looked great and was smoking an electric cigarette. We made a toast to The Faces and their induction.

The bar was pretty much empty except for us and a girl named Sunoco. She was a huge Faces fan and had flown over from Japan by herself to see The Faces get inducted. Now that's a fan!

Then Woody jokingly asked, "Anyone here sing?". Oh boy, this didn't sound good at all. I found out Rod was not feeling well and might not be able to make it to Cleveland. After missing his first induction as a solo artist, I thought there was no way he would miss it this time. But I later heard he was under doctor orders to stay in bed and not to get on a plane. I heard Steven Tyler might fill in. But the next day, Kenny Jones told me that they had Mick Hucknall on a plane coming in to sing.

I was very disappointed that Rod wasn't coming, and felt bad for him. This was a huge moment in history for The Faces. But I was so happy for the band to finally get inducted and decided I was going to make the most of this special weekend. I was hanging out with Woody, Kenny and Mac. How cool is that? So I was still super excited about Saturday night.


Friday was a day of checking in at the hotel for loads of other VIP's; Michael J Fox, Slash & Matt Sorum (Guns n Roses), Alice Cooper, Green Day, LL Cool J, Chris Rock, Darlene Love, Donovan, Carole King, Bette Midler, ZZ Top, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Rock...the hotel was jumping. I saw the Faces guys popping in and out of the hotel all day. They had a special book signing for their new Faces book, complete with a Meet & Greet", at the new Rock Hall Library.

Mick Hucknall arrived late Friday and the band squeezed in a late night rehearsal to run through the songs a few times (see photo up top). The Guns n Roses guys were at a special "Spoken Word" show of Duff's at the House of Blues down the street. Cleveland was already rocking!

The entire hotel was one big party. Each room had been redecorated for this special event. I had a "Pink Floyd" bottle of wine and a personal note from the hotel, welcoming me to their hotel and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony. The "Do Not Disturb" signs for the outside door knobs werel little guitars hanging on a rope. Guitars and large framed photos of past Hall Of Fame events hung on the walls over over the place. Even the music piped into the lobby and bar in was loud.
I woke up Saturday with much anticipation for what I knew would be an interesting night out. The hotel was nuts. People were still arriving and checking in. The bar and restaurant slammed. About 5 o'clock I got dressed and we all headed downstairs to the bar. Some people like Alice Cooper, Michael J Fox, Chris Rock and a host of others headed over early to walk the Red Carpet. The Faces were not that type and I knew they would be running late. I was standing around chatting with a few of Ronnie's friends from New Mexico and Ronnie's assistant when we were motioned over to the restaurant, which was now closed. Ushered in and seated, I knew what this drill was. The Faces guys were about to head down and meet us. This was a huge night...a big moment in history.


Mac and Kenny popped out of the elevator and were greeted by my traveling friends. Then out came Woody and Sherry Daly, his manager. We were rounded up and headed down to the cars. The band rode in a large, silver stretch limo. My traveling friends in a town car and I was directed into a car with Sherry Daly and Woody's friends from New Mexico. Our car (I lovingly refer to as the "Management Car") and the band's car pulled up to the back of the Town Hall, where the event was being held.


Then it was show time. I won't play spoiler since the show is being broadcast tomorrow night on HBO, but I will say The Faces blew the roof off the building. They were on fire and were the first performers to get a standing ovation. And although it wasn't the same without Rod, this event seemed to be more about the history of the artists that got them into the Hall. Rod's spirit was there, as were both Ronnie Lane's and Steve Marriott's (singer of the Small Faces) and Mac deditcated the award to them.

The band played a 3 song set, which included a Small Faces song. Mick Huchnall did a great job filling in on vocals on all three songs. Then at the end of the night, there was the usual All-Star Jam led by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (the last performing band of the night). They performed a classic Motown song with George Clinton dueting with Anthony Kiedis of the Chili Peppers, joined by members of The Faces, Green Day, Guns N Roses and a few other assorted guest, including one nobody seemed to recognize. There was a large man rolling around on the stage floor like a mad man!
And then the ceremony was over....after over 5 hours. I wandered around the floor and congratulated all of the inductees. Woody asked me who the guy rolling around on the floor was. I had no idea at the time, but have since found out he has been George Clinton's guitarist since he was 17 years old. His name is "Kid Funkadelic" (see pic at right, Kid is on the right). Next I ran into Alan Dunn, who has worked with the Rolling Stones longer than any employee and handles all the logistics for the Stones tours. It was nice to see him again and get a real update on what is going on with my second favorite band:)

I also ran into Paul Warren from Rod's band (Guitar), who along with Conrad Korsch (Bass) played with The Faces for their set. Paul told me Rod was quite ill, but would be Ok. He invited me out to see Rod when they come through NC later this summer. I live in Charlotte and hopefully I will be in town then and can catch up with him again.

And as if the night couldn't get any better, I then saw another legend. It was Berry Gordy, who was by himself. This was the icing on the cake for me this night. He was kind enough to spend about 5 minutes with me... just me... chatting about the old days of Motown. My very first favorite band was The Jackson 5! They are the group that got me into music. I also love The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc. These days I manage a "pop soul" band called The Advice and I told Berry how much Motown has influenced their sound and how much I encourage that.

Then I headed to the back door that I came in from and there were about a hundred VIP's waiting for limo rides to various places. One of them was the wonderful Janna Jacoby Harrold (also from Rod's band), who I had a nice chat with.
There was an after party at The House Of Blues that was packed and the hotel bar was also slammed all night. It was all very festive and I was up until 4 AM. But with Woody drinking Diet Coke's all night, it was pretty calm, all things considered. Then Sunday morning came and it was check out time. Time to say goodbye to everyone. Goodbye until the next time....hopefully.


Mac is coming to Nashville soon, which is where I spend most of my working time. Rod is coming to North Carolina in August near where I live and The Stones may be touring next year. Hopefully I will get to see some of these guys again soon. If not, it was the weekend of a lifetime. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones...many of them legends. Yep, my bucket list just got a lot shorter.


About the author: Chip Latham is an artist manager. He began his career with Stiefel Phillips Entertainment (Rod Stewart's management in the late 80's/early 90's), as the assistant for Henry Neuman (Tour Manager on Rod's Out of Order Tour and designated handler for Prince). Latham and Neuman left to form their own company, Waterfront Artist Management, in 1990. Their first signing was Hootie & The Blowfish. In the 90's, Latham & Neuman also managed artist on the Stiefel Phillips and MCA owned record label, Gasoline Alley Records and several ABC soap opera stars. Today, Latham currently manages InPop/EMI recording artist The Advice and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld of Hootie & The Blowfish.
Latham has also asked that all typos and bad grammar be forgiven as his wife was out of town this week and was not available to proof this mess.


Reproduced with thanks to Chip Latham
To see more from the HOF and Chip go to http://www.waterfrontmanagement.com/blog/







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