By CHRIS TALBOTT
AP Music Writer
Randy Newman’s glad he didn’t have to do anything drastic to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The members of Rush are choosing to let bygones be bygones. And Quincy Jones, well, he’s still mad.
For most of this year’s inductees, inclusion was a long time coming.
Newman is joined in the 2013 class by the eclectic group of rockers Rush and Heart, rap group Public Enemy, “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer and bluesman Albert King. Jones and his friend Lou Adler will enter the hall as Ahmet Ertegun Award winners for their contributions to rock beyond performance.
They will be inducted into the hall of fame April 18 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will mark the end of a long wait for fans of five of those six acts, who’ve been eligible for entry for some time. Public Enemy was inducted on its first ballot appearance, swelling the ranks of hip-hop entries.
In many ways, the 2013 class balances the scales, though not nearly soon enough for some new members.
Summer, who passed away at age 63 in May, gains entry after six years as a nominee. King, a deep influence on Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn who died in 1992, now takes his place along all the other legendary blues guitarists in the hall.
Rush, one of the most-played staples of classic rock radio, gained entry following its first appearance on the ballot. But the Canadian trio became eligible in 1998 and was repeatedly left off the list, to the great consternation of its legion of fans who cried bias against prog rock. Heart also waited a decade to make it on the ballot, gaining entry during its second appearance.
After years of disappointment, then disinterest, Rush’s Alex Lifeson said the band now feels “wonderful” about its entry into the hall and is especially happy for its followers.
Jones was less forgiving of the long wait he had. The 79-year-old entertainment icon’s fingerprints are all over the hall of fame. He pops up often at key moments in rock `n’ roll history and was even Ray Charles’ presenter during the soul singer’s induction at the inaugural 1986 ceremony. He never expected to wait so long for his own entry.
The 2013 class also continues the process of opening the hall of fame’s doors a little bit wider.
In many cases, the delayed entry of this year’s inductees had to do with a debate among its membership over the hall of fame’s direction. The rock `n’ roll family sits under a big tent, but just how big it should be has been a matter of debate for the Cleveland, Ohio, institution.
The class may signal a new direction.
There was clearly no debate among the hall’s membership about Public Enemy, which gained membership on its 25th anniversary.
The openly militant, always angry group helped elevate and define nascent rap in the 1980s and `90s. MC Chuck D said the group’s induction is about more than simple membership.
Lifeson hopes the hall’s membership keeps up with the trend.
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