Pub rock, funk rock, ’50s rock, soul, rap, blues, pop — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012 certainly boasts no shortage of variety. Now it has its inductors. Well, most of them.
Ten performers will present the 16 newest members of the Rock Hall during the April 14 induction ceremony in Cleveland. Conspicuously absent from the list, however, is an inductor for metal gods Guns N’ Roses.
That noted, here are this year’s presenters:
· Chuck D, Public Enemy’s No. 1, will induct fellow New York rap act Beastie Boys. The groups’ debut albums were released within two months of each other. The Beasties have topped the Billboard 200 album chart four times.
· Pot-stirring comic Chris Rock will induct L.A. funk punks-turned-alt and mainstream faves Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have amassed 12 No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s alternative rock chart — more than any other act.
· Heartland torchbearer John Mellencamp will induct Swinging ’60s pop-rock-folk singer-songwriter Donovan, who hit the U.S. Top 10 four times including the No. 1 “Sunshine Superman.”
· Steven Van Zandt— whose résumé runs from the E Street Band to Sun City boycott organizer to The Sopranos and satellite radio programmer — will induct ’60s and ’70s rock act Small Faces/The Faces. The band’s alumni include Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and the late Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.
· Singer-actress-comic Bette Midler will induct the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, who penned Top 10 hits for other artists including “And When I Die” (Blood, Sweat & Tears), “Wedding Bell Blues” (The Fifth Dimension) and “Stoney End” (Barbra Streisand) She died in 1997 at 49.
· ZZ Top mainstays Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill will induct blues guitar legend Freddie King, who died in 1976 at 42, as an early Influencer. A major influence on Eric Clapton, “The Texas Cannonball” was the first to record such future blues standards as “Hide Away” and “I’m Tore Down.”
· Singer-songwriter-pianist Carole King will induct publisher-producer Don Kirshner, for whom she was a contract songwriter at his New York-based Aldon Music during the 1960s. Kirshner, who died last year, is being honored with Ahmet Ertegun Award, which goes to a nonperformer.
· Robbie Robertson, singer-songwriter-guitarist and founding member of The Band, will induct a trio of producers: Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns. They are received the Award for Musical Excellence.
· Rock Hall of Famer Smokey Robinson will induct his backing band, The Miracles, along with a quintet of other groups whose frontmen already have been inducted into the Hall: The Famous Flames(James Brown), The Crickets (Buddy Holly), The Comets (Bill Haley), The Midnighters (Hank Ballard) and The Blue Caps(Gene Vincent).
HBO will air the induction ceremony from 9-11:30 p.m. May 5.