From: (Robert Perkins)
Subject: Gail on the HOF induction
Date: 19 Feb 1995 03:45:05 GMT

The following was published in the SoCal music ragmag BAM (Feb. 10th, 1995 - Issue 452). It is a blurb written by Bill Holdship, with comments from Gail regarding FZ's RnR Hall of Fame induction.

Posted without permission.


By Bill Holdship

If anyone out there is wondering why Lou Reed (who never had a good word to say about Frank Zappa during Zappa's lifetime) was chosen to induct Frank into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame... well, so is the late rock musician's family. Says his widow Gail Zappa: "Ten days before the actual ceremony, we still hadn't received invitations; the producer said, 'Oh, that's unconscionable! We can give you two free tickets and arrange for two of you to fly from LA to New York.' Well, there's five of us, of course... He said, 'Well, we can *sell* you additional tickets at $1,500 a piece... but you can't sit together.' I just laughed. He said something about non-profit organizations, but they can kiss my ass about non-profit organizations, especially when they were going to exploit it this year as a TV show!

But Moon had expressed interest in going, so we decided she'd accept the award. A week before the ceremony, they called me and said Edward Van Halen - who would have been perfect - had turned down their offer to induct Frank because he doesn't do these things. So, I suggested Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, who Frank Knew, loved, and had worked with. They said, 'No.' I won't say why, because I don't want to hurt Johnny, but I did tell them that Johnny was one of the most lucid and articulate people I've ever heard interviewed. I suggested Aerosmith, but was told they were going to induct Led Zepplin. So, I suggested Led Zepplin. Again, they said no. I asked them who chooses these things, and I was told 'the Board.' I asked if there were any musicians on the board, and, more importantly, are there any *black* musicians? They had to call me back, and they replied: 'Yes. One. Berry Gordy.' They called back, and said 'We've invited Lou Reed to do it!' I was laughing. It was just *so* ironic. I said I'd talk to my kids, and they were against it; they believed Lou had millions of chances to make up with Frank. So Lou called; I told him, 'Listen, you said lots of shitty things about Frank.' We discussed it, and he finally said, 'If I said anything flip that was *meant* to be funny, I'm sorry.' Actually Frank admired him as a songwriter; 'Femme Fatale' and 'All Tomorrow's Parties' were two of Frank's favorites.

We asked for a car to take Moon to the ceremony. The producer told Moon that I said she'd be the one giving clearance to use the Frank footage on MTV, which was totally not true! He said, 'That's OK, the show's running long, so we'll just cut Frank.' Moon called him back, and made him apologize for making her father sound insignificant. A limo did take her to the show, but there was no one to pick her up! I have this vision of her standing in the rain, flagging down a cab, with the award in her hand!

I watched the broadcast, and they didn't play any of his music, although they played at least one song by every other artist. And then I heard Joe Perry say that Led Zepplin had asked Aerosmith to induct them months before, so how come we got word a week before? This is a man who went to Capitol Hill for these people! When Moon said Frank would've enjoyed it, she meant the musicians.

As Lou said, it honored the Hall to induct Frank, not the other way around. It was stupid, insensitive, and just thoughtless."

Back to the Zappa Tributes page