The Fame Game: Rockers Get Cranky at Induction Ceremony

110081165 The Fame Game: Rockers Get Cranky at Induction Ceremony“I am tweeting right now,” Neil Diamond said Monday night in a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. “I’m just trying to communicate with people. Young people, old people, all kinds of people.”

The induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was set to begin, and the honorees were taking turns in the press room. Nobody seemed to be enjoying themselves very much.
Leon Russell stood on a platform with collaborator Elton John. “Tonight is the culmination of an effort on my behalf to get this man recognized for his achievements,” Mr. John said, unsmiling. He lay a hand on Mr. Russell’s knee as the bearded pianist sat gnomic and unfazed behind black sunglasses.

“Why do you feel he’s been forgotten?” a journalist asked.

“I was afraid of the press,” Mr. Russell said.  “I was never as good at publicity as Elton. He’s the master of publicity.”

Not on this occasion. As the pair left the stage, the mood in the room was glum. “That looked like the American Gothic painting,” said one photographer.

Doors drummer John Densmore, a presenter, hit the stage holding a bottle of water. But upon realizing it wasn’t suitable to include in photos, he threw it at a publicist, who let it wing by her. He wasn’t much friendlier to the photographers. He pantomimed snapping off a few shots, then made a cross with his fingers. “What does that mean?” he asked, rhetorically. “It means stop.”

After letting slip that he was working on “one of those self-centered rock memoirs,” which would “put the rock scene on trial,” Mr. Densmore turned around, showing off the angel wings bedazzled on the back of his jacket.

“It is a cool jacket,” the beleaguered publicist muttered. ”I will give you that.”

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_