Original Rolling Stones Manager: Hall of Fame ‘Hijacked the Name Rock ’n’ Roll’
Can this year’s Rock Hall induction ceremony take any more controversy or drama? Throwing his hat into the ring of fire is original Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, who has announced he will not be attending the ceremony.
At a recent lecture at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, Oldham told the crowd, “I won’t be there, I’ll tell you why…. It’s a television show. Twenty years ago it was an incredible party in the Waldorf-Astoria where everybody could behave exactly as they could 20 years ago. And then it became a business. I think it’s healthier to stay home,” adding, “I think those people basically hijacked the name ‘rock ‘n’ roll.’”
In an interview this week with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oldham recalled his initial reaction to his induction. “It was surreal. I’m sure it is for most of us who receive this kind of news. It’s heady stuff, almost a day of reckoning.” However, he then went on to say, “As honored as I am, and as much as I’d like to see the likes of Bob Crewe and Shel Talmy inducted for their recorded work, I’m not sure the background boys should be a part of what the Hall of Fame has become: a televised spectacular.”
Known for his groundbreaking work in the early days of the Stones, Oldham evoked that spirit of rebellion as he further explained, “This is not the private, raunchy, no-holds-barred party at the Waldorf Astoria where Ahmet Ertegun spoke his brilliant mind and Phil Spector accepted his induction supported by three bodyguards. No, the [Rock Hall] has adjusted for the times.”
There is something else at the root of this decision. Earlier this week Oldham tweeted, “Like Brian Epstein, I was not consulted as regards this matter & like dear Brian, I will not be going.” He expanded on this comment in an interview with the L.A. Times, revealing that he felt the fact that both he and former Beatles manager Epstein were scheduled to be inducted by the same person — Peter Asher — wasn’t right: “By having both Brian (whom I worked for doing PR for the Beatles until I met the Rolling Stones) and myself squeezed into one ‘British Invasion managers class of ’64’ segment, that would seem to be failing to address the reason we are being inducted: our artists.”