Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp attended the induction ceremony into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, welcoming record executive Jimmy Iovine and entertainment attorney Allen Grubman to the institution.
Springsteen spoke after taking part in a pre-taped video honoring Iovine, who began his career as an audio engineer and worked with such acclaimed artists as John Lennon, Tom Petty, U2, Stevie Nicks and U2. He also engineered two of Springsteen’s albums, born to run (1975) and darkness on the outskirts (1978).
Iovine founded Interscope Records in 1990. The burgeoning label quickly gained a reputation for taking risks with new artists and helping them rise to mainstream popularity. Tupac Shakur, Primus, No Doubt and Nine Inch Nails were among their early hits.
Iovine convinced Springsteen to give Patti Smith an unfinished demo. “Sure, why not?” Springsteen remembered answering. “With Jimmy’s guidance, Patti Smith turned ‘Here Comes the Night’ into a massive top five album – something I never could have done because I didn’t have the guts to turn it into a love song like Jimmy did Springsteen wrote about Iovine’s subsequent entrepreneurial partnership with Dr. Dre before closing with a joke about his first Interscope signing – the one-hit wonder Geraldo, made famous by Rico Suave in the early ’90s.
Like Iovine, Grubman was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame through the Ahmet Ertegun Award, an honor bestowed on non-performing music industry professionals who have “made a major impact on the creative development and growth of rock and roll and music.” had influenced youth culture.”
For more than 50 years, Grubman has served as an entertainment attorney for some of the biggest names in music, including Springsteen, Madonna, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and the man who introduced him, Mellencamp.
His speech included a characteristic memoir in which Grubman compared the music industry to a “big damn tree” that remains “massive and unyielding.” I’m sorry to say, they shrivel up and fall to the ground… sorry forgot.”
Mellencamp said Grubman made sure he was one of those who stayed connected, in emotional comments that brought tears to his old friend. He also made passionate remarks denouncing the worrying resurgence of anti-Semitism.
Grubman is the first attorney to be inducted into the Hall, but his induction was not without controversy. Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stonewho co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Grubman and other industry executives in 1983, has been vocal against the introduction of the attorney.
“Allen Grubman made no contribution whatsoever to the creative development or history of rock ‘n’ roll,” Wenner said billboard earlier this month. “He was chosen to be the entertainment super advocate because of his clout. This decision is about money and about bowing to the ego of a power broker in the music business.”
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