Black Sabbath, Blondie Enter Rock Hall Mon Mar 13, 10:56 PM
NEW YORK - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame grew a little jazzier Monday with the induction of trumpeter Miles Davis. Lynyrd Skynyrd
, Blondie, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols also joined the pantheon of rock's greatest performers.
Davis was inducted by fellow jazz musician Herbie Hancock
, who said the trumpter often played with his back to the audience simply because he was conducting the band.
"He was a man of mystery, magic and mystique," Hancock said. "It was often said he was an enigma. I would venture to say that many who said that just didn't get it."
Ozzy Osbourne may be better known now as an addled reality TV star, but his musical legacy with Black Sabbath got its due with the band's induction.
Sabbath influenced a generation of heavy-metal fans - including Metallica, which was booked to pay tribute at Monday's ceremony at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel - but had to wait a decade for induction.
That annoyed singer Osbourne, who was badmouthing the hall for snubbing Sabbath even before he shot to fame with "The Osbournes." In Sabbath, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward joined Osbourne in fashioning heavy, dark tales like "War Pigs" and "Paranoid."
Southern rockers Skynyrd, whose name was a deliberately misspelled "tribute" to a hated high-school teacher, made much of its memorable music before a 1977 plane crash killed singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines.
Countless cigarette lighters have been lifted in salute of Skynyrd's epic "Free Bird." "Sweet Home Alabama" is such a well-known prideful statement of Southern heritage that the title was later swiped for a Reese Witherspoon movie.
Behind the unnerving stare of singer Johnny Rotten and the lacerating lyrics of "God Save the Queen" and "Pretty Vacant," the Sex Pistols appeared the most shocking of the first punk-rock generation in the mid-1970s.
The Pistols imploded after only one album, bass player Sid Vicious later died of a drug overdose and the band was overshadowed musically by peers like the Clash and Elvis Costello, who both made the rock hall before them.
Time hasn't diminished their spirit: the Pistols declined to participate in their own induction, issuing a statement comparing the hall to "urine in wine."
Blondie was the most commercially successful of a fertile New York rock scene that also produced hall members Talking Heads and the Ramones. Singer Deborah Harry gave Blondie its look and name.
The act brought a stylistic diversity to the top of the charts on the rock-disco anthem "Heart of Glass," the reggae remake "The Tide is High" and playful rap song "Rapture."
Each of the acts is still active. Blondie and the Sex Pistols reformed after long dormant periods, and so did Sabbath, who frequently headlined the popular Ozzfest summer concert tours.
The late trumpeter Davis is a legendary figure in jazz, but the rock hall took notice of his restless experimentation that included rock, soul, funk and hip-hop. Herbie Hancock was scheduled to induct Davis.
The hall also is giving a lifetime achievement award to Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, founders of the influential A&M Records label that bore their initials and signed artists like the Police, Supertramp, John Hiatt, Cat Stevens and Alpert's band, the Tijuana Brass.
Inductees are honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland. Highlights of the 21st annual ceremony will be shown on VH1 on March 21.