Backstage on the Rock Corridor of Fame Induction – Billboard


This yr’s inductees into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame all gave heartfelt speeches from the stage of Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater detailing what the consideration meant to them. And when a lot 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 common 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 analysis that had not been beforehand made public.  It’s devastating information to came upon {that a} colleague­ — not a colleague, a mate, a good friend — shouldn’t be going to be round for very lengthy,” LeBon stated. “It’s completely devasting. We love Andy dearly. I’m not going to face right here and cry. It wouldn’t be applicable, however that’s what I really feel like.”

On stage, LeBon delivered an emotional tackle the band’s 1993 hit, “Abnormal World,” which he co-wrote about attempting to deal with the loss of life of his finest good friend. He instructed Billboard even practically 30 years later, the track takes him again each time he sings it. “I consider my expensive good friend Dave Miles and what it means to me to have the ability to free myself of his loss of life. That’s what the track was,” he says. “I used to be imprisoned by my emotions about him. I couldn’t proceed on. I couldn’t develop. That track was a manner of liberating myself. A manner 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 consumers. Nick and I used to go hang around backstage, take heed to the band do their sound test,” he says. “We love the fan tradition. We love figuring out with followers via music, so we’ve at all times had a love for our followers. We get them. We’re them.”

This yr’s class is without doubt one of the most musically assorted within the Rock Corridor’s historical past and every member of the band named a unique honoree when requested whom they’d most prefer 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 can 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 a giant month for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Not solely did the couple, who celebrated their 40th anniversary this yr, get inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame, however on Nov. 22 their latest undertaking, InvincibleThe Musical, will premiere on the Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills (it runs via Dec. 18). They started engaged on the play, which is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet via 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, but it surely turned out that being residence 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 without doubt one of the few issues they do aside­­ — a minimum of within the early levels.  “I write totally on piano,” Giraldo says. “Generally I begin with phrases, generally I begin with a title or a refrain, and I hand it off to Patricia. Then she provides to that and I am going, ‘Oh my God, that’s nice,’ and that conjures up 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 in every of a number of of the inductees who carried out their songs on the occasion, Lionel Richie had the gang on its ft and dancing throughout a joyous model of his signature hit “All Night time Lengthy.” As he instructed Billboard, he has reached a spot in his life and profession that’s all about uniting individuals. “Have you learnt how fantastic 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 understand how you get this blessed, but it surely’s a second in time while you understand 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, “Woman,” says he guarantees his personal nation file of recent music is coming.  “Nation is so strong with me and the reply is it’s going to occur,” he says. “I’m a huge procrastinator, so [when] it hits me over the top or runs over me is after 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 equivalent black fits in an intentional homage to the Eurythmics‘ early days.  “All via the years, Dave and I, particularly with [1983 breakthrough hit] ‘Candy Desires,’ we had very small budgets. We didn’t have any price range, truly,” Lennox says. “We’d purchase second-hand issues and put them collectively. We wore the fits on the very starting with ‘Candy Desires.’ There was a way for us of being equals, of being like twins.  There was one thing in regards to 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 must be a reasonably form of accent. That was the place it got here from.”

Added Stewart, “There was a acutely aware resolution 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 yr (postponed from 2020), however say they’ll go years with out taking part in collectively. Once they do, muscle reminiscence kicks in. “We’ve performed a lot prior to now, we all know instinctively, ‘OK, that is this track, we will do that,’” Stewart says. 

However any ideas of reuniting for a tour usually are not life like, 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 truly 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 finest 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 this planet.”

For Lennox, getting ready for the energetic Rock Corridor efficiency helped pull her out of pandemic doldrums. “I form of misplaced a variety of my will to reside,” 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 amazing 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 crew — 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 prefer 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 stated. 

Mates since their teenagers, Jam and Lewis have at all times operated on a handshake deal and cut up all the things 50/50. “We don’t actually fear in regards to the cash or the budgets or any of that form of stuff, it’s simply in regards to the creativity,” Jam says. “We’re free to individually do what we wish to do…Generally there shall be a track that got here out on the radio and it sounds nice and I’ll be like, ‘Terry, when did you do this?’ However I bought 50 % of it, so it doesn’t matter and it eradicated about 99% of something creatively that we might ever disagree about… It’s not my manner or his manner, it’s one of the simplest ways.”

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