Joan Jett, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Lorde channelled the spirit of the late Kurt Cobain on Thursday (10Apr14) as they performed with the surviving members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Michael Stipe from R.E.M. paid tribute to the grunge stars as drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic were joined on the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by Cobain's mother and sister and his widow, Courtney Love.
The Hole frontwoman proved that any bad blood between her and the existing Nirvana duo was in the past by calling Grohl and Novoselic her "family" and hugging them both, before saying, "I just wish that Kurt was here to hear this and feel this and be this.
"Twenty years ago, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame maybe wasn't (something he'd appreciate), but today he would have appreciated it. He would have appreciated Krist and Dave... his mother and his sister being here..." She went on to dedicate Cobain's posthumous honour to their daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, who missed the ceremony due to illness.
Grohl and Novoselic then welcomed their female collaborators to rock out with them, with Jett taking charge of vocals on Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gordon joining the pair for Aneurysm, and St. Vincent singing Lithium. Royals hitmaker Lorde helped the band close out the Nirvana reunion with All Apologies, which served as the explosive finale of the near six-hour induction ceremony.
Earlier in the night, Bruce Springsteen saluted his longtime backing musicians the E Street Band, and took the time to remember each and every person who had ever been a part of the group, including late saxophonist Clarence Clemons and his sidekick and "consigliere", guitarist Steven Van Zandt. Soul icons Hall & Oates were inducted by The Roots drummer Questlove, but the singers' performance had to be briefly halted midway through a rendition of their 1976 classic She's Gone after experiencing technical problems.
There was no drama from KISS, who were introduced by Tom Morello, as the original line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss reunited to join the Class of 2014, although they stuck to their vow not to perform after learning that Hall of Fame bosses would not be honouring current bandmates Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Meanwhile, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Nicks joined forces to honour Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was on hand to praise former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel as a solo artist. Art Garfunkel celebrated the career of Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, and British producer Peter Asher helped to induct the Rolling Stones' former manager Andrew Loog Oldham and Beatles svengali Brian Epstein.
Kiss star Gene Simmons has revealed that he and Paul Stanley turned their backs on the chance to perform at the upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony after learning museum bosses only wanted to honour the original members of the group. The bass player tells Entertainment Weekly Radio that he and Stanley spoke to former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss after learning they had been inducted at last, and the foursome had agreed that they would all accept the honour, but the current KISS line-up, featuring Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, would perform at the Barclays Center ceremony in New York on 10 April (14).
But then Hall of Fame officials made it clear they only wanted the original line-up onstage.
Simmons says, "Paul and I got on the phone and called Ace and Peter: 'Hey, congratulations. It was an honour to stand alongside you then and we’ll be proud to stand alongside of you at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to accept the award'. And they were gracious and happy... and we went off our separate ways (sic).
"And then we found out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will only be honouring the original line-up, with Ace, Peter, Paul and myself, and we said, ‘Oh, OK then, we won’t be playing there. We’ll just accept the award. Thank you very much'. And they go, 'What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have a group like the Eagles, who continue to be our contemporaries... and every member that has even been in the Eagles has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but you’re only gonna honour the first line-up that was together for seven years? We’ve been around 40 years!'
"Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years - two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You’re going to slap them in the face and we’re supposed to get... get up onstage and do it? No, that’s not going to happen."
He adds, "Imagine you’re being invited to be inducted at an award ceremony and you get to bring only the first person you ever went out with in your life. The one, your beloved right now? She can’t come, or he can’t come. They get to stay home, they don’t get honoured'... That’s not going to fly."
KISS will be inducted alongside Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Hall & Oates, among the Class of 2014.
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley is unimpressed with the band's upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction - because he believes museum executives voted the rockers in "begrudgingly". The singer and his bandmates are part of the Class of 2014 being inducted into the Ohio music mecca in April (14), but he insists he isn't exactly celebrating - because KISS should already be there.
He tells Classic Rock magazine, "It (induction) was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us.
"At the end of the day, most people don't realise that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It's a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts.
"Was it an honour to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it's validation for them. So, for that reason, I accept graciously and accept on their behalf, (but) my feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hasn't changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn't reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as rock 'n' roll.
"I've always felt the spirit of rock 'n' roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way. I think we've done that pretty much with few exceptions for 40 years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in."
Stanley adds, "I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group. Nonetheless, I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and The Who and the Beatles and The (Rolling) Stones is company I don't mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them; it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted."
And the rocker warns fans not to expect a performance onstage at the induction ceremony, especially one that includes original members Peter Kriss and Ace Frehley.
He states, "Honestly, I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we'll see how it unfolds or unravels."
Guitarist Frehley has previously expressed an interest in performing at the ceremony, but he refuses to be an add-on to the current KISS line-up.
He said, "You can't have me and Tommy (Thayer) both in makeup... I don't have a problem with Tommy and (drummer) Eric (Singer) being there out of makeup if I'm in makeup, because they're a big part of KISS today. (But) they had nothing to do with the beginning of KISS, or the designs or the costumes or the makeup... This is about the celebration of KISS and how it all began and started, and it should be honouring the four original members."
Joining KISS as this year's Hall of Fame inductees are Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Cat Stevens.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.