Backstage at the Rock Hall of Fame Induction – Billboard


This 12 months’s inductees into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame all gave heartfelt speeches from the stage of Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater detailing what the glory meant to them. And when a variety of the Class of 2022 stopped backstage to Billboard’s one-on-one sales space, they had been in a position to share much more.


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Duran Duran

Earlier than talking with Billboard’s, the band stopped within the normal press room the place Duran Duran lead singer Simon LeBon talked about how he felt studying former bandmate Andy Taylor’s letter on stage about having stage 4 prostate most cancers — a prognosis that had not been beforehand made public.  It’s devastating information to came upon {that a} colleague­ — not a colleague, a mate, a buddy — will not be going to be round for very lengthy,” LeBon mentioned. “It’s completely devasting. We love Andy dearly. I’m not going to face right here and cry. It wouldn’t be acceptable, however that’s what I really feel like.”

On stage, LeBon delivered an emotional tackle the band’s 1993 hit, “Peculiar World,” which he co-wrote about attempting to deal with the dying of his greatest buddy. He advised Billboard even practically 30 years later, the music takes him again each time he sings it. “I consider my pricey buddy Dave Miles and what it means to me to have the ability to free myself of his dying. That’s what the music was,” he says. “I used to be imprisoned by my emotions about him. I couldn’t proceed on. I couldn’t develop. That music was a method of liberating myself. A method of claiming goodbye, letting one thing go. That’s in my coronary heart each time I sing it.”

Duran Duran gained the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame fan vote in April garnering practically 1,000,000 votes from followers. The assist of their Duranies means “all the things,” says keyboardist Nick Rhodes. Bassist John Taylor, who befriended Rhodes when Taylor was 12 and Rhodes was 10, says the band can nonetheless relate. “We had been followers. Not simply music patrons. Nick and I used to go hang around backstage, take heed to the band do their sound examine,” he says. “We love the fan tradition. We love figuring out with followers by music, so we’ve at all times had a love for our followers. We get them. We’re them.”

This 12 months’s class is among the most musically different within the Rock Corridor’s historical past and every member of the band named a distinct honoree when requested whom they might most wish to collaborate with. For LeBon, it was Terry Lewis & Jimmy Jam. Roger Taylor selected Judas Priest, Rhodes picked Dolly Parton and John Taylor chosen Annie Lennox.  Rhodes got here up with the proper resolution: “The factor to do could be to get us and Judas Priest to do the observe collectively and Dolly and Simon to sing with Jam & Lewis producing.”

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

November is an enormous month for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Not solely did the couple, who celebrated their 40th anniversary this 12 months, get inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame, however on Nov. 22 their latest challenge, InvincibleThe Musical, will premiere on the Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills (it runs by Dec. 18). They started engaged on the play, which is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet by the pair’s catalog and new songs, 5 years in the past.  The pandemic ended up offering a burst of creativity. “We had finished 4 stage readings previous to the pandemic,” Benatar says. “At first it appeared just like the momentum was going to be misplaced, however it turned out that being house and never touring gave us a lot time to work on it. It wound up being one thing actually nice and once we lastly did come again collectively to work, we had been a lot additional forward. That’s why we’re in full manufacturing proper now.”

For the couple, writing songs is among the few issues they do aside­­ — at the least within the early phases.  “I write totally on piano,” Giraldo says. “Generally I begin with phrases, typically I begin with a title or a refrain, and I hand it off to Patricia. Then she provides to that and I’m going, ‘Oh my God, that’s nice,’ and that evokes me. So I do extra after which she hears what I do and goes, ‘Oh my god, that’s nice.’ That’s the way it goes.”

 “We don’t actually write in the identical room on the similar time,” Benatar continued. “We take items of issues. If I’ve a narrative that I’m considering of, I give it to him and he places music to it. It goes forwards and backwards and we don’t do it on the similar time till we get additional alongside after which we come along with our particular person concepts and put them collectively.” 

Lionel Richie

As one among a number of of the inductees who carried out their songs on the occasion, Lionel Richie had the gang on its toes and dancing throughout a joyous model of his signature hit “All Evening Lengthy.” As he advised Billboard, he has reached a spot in his life and profession that’s all about uniting folks. “Have you learnt how great it’s to stroll right into a room and folks begin smiling?” he says. “ I’m not taking part in. I’m strolling right into a dinner, I’m strolling right into a restaurant, I’m strolling my youngsters to highschool. What I’m saying is I don’t know the way you get this blessed, however it’s a second in time if you notice the songs have translated over into this factor referred to as love.”

He touched on one other love: nation music. It’s been 10 years since Richie launched Tuskegee, his wildly profitable album reimagining his biggest hits as duets with nation artists together with Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. Richie, who additionally wrote Kenny Rogers’ smash, “Girl,” says he guarantees his personal nation document of latest music is coming.  “Nation is so strong with me and the reply is it can occur,” he says. “I’m a big procrastinator, so [when] it hits me over the top or runs over me is once I go, ‘Okay, I’ll get on it,’ however [my manager] has been pushing me. Inform Nashville it’s coming. It gained’t be too lengthy. I promise.”

The Eurythmics

Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox wore similar black fits in an intentional homage to the Eurythmics‘ early days.  “All by the years, Dave and I, particularly with [1983 breakthrough hit] ‘Candy Goals,’ we had very small budgets. We didn’t have any price range, really,” Lennox says. “We’d purchase second-hand issues and put them collectively. We wore the fits on the very starting with ‘Candy Goals.’ There was a way for us of being equals, of being like twins.  There was one thing concerning the unit of being one and one makes three. It was at all times what we felt. I at all times cherished it as a result of it wasn’t an overtly feminist assertion on the time, however however it gave me permission to not should be a fairly type of accent. That was the place it got here from.”

Added Stewart, “There was a aware determination to attempt to step away from something that was taking place in any respect and make ourselves like a single unit. United entrance.”

The duo additionally carried out at their induction into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame earlier this 12 months (postponed from 2020), however say they will go years with out taking part in collectively. After they do, muscle reminiscence kicks in. “We’ve performed a lot previously, we all know instinctively, ‘OK, that is this music, we will do that,’” Stewart says. 

However any ideas of reuniting for a tour are usually not reasonable, Lennox clarifies. “There’s at all times a sure pleasure that does come from efficiency and all singers’ our bodies are their devices and, for me, I really did have a fairly severe factor occur in my again,” she says. “I’ve sure well being points and the considered doing an extended tour is de facto arduous. In my time in life, it’s like, ‘What’s greatest to do?’ We do get pleasure from taking part in collectively. I very a lot get pleasure from taking part in with Dave. He’s nice. Among the finest musicians on the planet.”

For Lennox, making ready for the energetic Rock Corridor efficiency helped pull her out of pandemic doldrums. “I type of misplaced a number of my will to stay,” she says. “I’m kidding. I simply needed to say that. All through the pandemic, I simply didn’t really feel like going out. I didn’t really feel like exercising, however this gave me a motivation to return and get match once more, which was an awesome bonus for me.” 

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have extra No. 1s on Billboard charts than every other songwriting and manufacturing workforce — and so they aren’t slowing down. The pair are at work on Quantity 2, their observe as much as to 2021’s Jam & Lewis, Quantity 1, which paired them with Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton and extra. 

They wouldn’t spill any names for Quantity 2 simply but, however from their Rock Corridor class, the 2 acts they’d most wish to collaborate with are Lennox and Duran Duran, “as a result of we simply had a dialogue with them about ‘Hungry Just like the Wolf’ influencing [Janet Jackson’s] ‘Escapade,’” Jam mentioned. 

Associates since their teenagers, Jam and Lewis have at all times operated on a handshake deal and break up all the things 50/50. “We don’t actually fear concerning the cash or the budgets or any of that type of stuff, it’s simply concerning the creativity,” Jam says. “We’re free to individually do what we need to do…Generally there shall be a music that got here out on the radio and it sounds nice and I’ll be like, ‘Terry, when did you do this?’ However I obtained 50 % of it, so it doesn’t matter and it eradicated about 99% of something creatively that we may ever disagree about… It’s not my method or his method, it’s the easiest way.”

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