Rolling Stones’ ex-manager explains Rock Hall induction boycott
Former Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham, in response to a request for comment from The Times, has elaborated on the reasons for his decision to skip his own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week.
Oldham tells Pop & Hiss that the decision reflects “an equal measure of both” his feelings about how the institution has changed over the years and how his induction has been handled this year.
As outlined in a previous Pop &; Hiss post, Oldham, who produced the Stones’ albums and singles from 1963 to 1967, remarked recently that he objects to the way the ceremony has changed since cameras were allowed to record highlights for subsequent airing as cable TV specials.
He also confirmed previous reports that he was unhappy that he and Beatles manager Brian Epstein were being inducted jointly. English musician-producer-manager Peter Asher is scheduled to welcome both into the hall on Thursday in Brooklyn.
“I do feel,” Oldham, 70, wrote via e-mail from Frankfurt, Germany, “as much as I was initially [pleased] to be inducted, that with what the HoF/HBO has become that any manager/producer inducted, if he is not allowed to have pertinent music related to his career played -- as both Quincy Jones and Lou Adler had last year -- then he is reduced to appearing like those accountants who appear at the Oscars, Grammys, or Tonys to assure us that nothing was rigged. Both Brian and I did dreams -- the acts did the business.
“Whether Peter Asher is appropriate or not to induct me is beside the point,” he wrote. “I found it uninvitational to be told by a HoF lady worker that Peter would be inducting BOTH myself and Brian Epstein.
“I know from my inter-reactions with previous inductees that ... there has always been some spirit of discussion as to securing an appropriate, connected party to handle such a personal moment,” Oldham wrote.
“[My] concern [was] that, whilst without Brian Epstein securing a recording contract for the Beatles none of us would be having this conversation, 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.”
He also wrote that further communication with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President Joel Peresman “had a take it or leave it tone.”
“I think the honor is in the work and … so with all these factors….. no input, no discussion, just an attitude of ‘show up, smile, read your speech and enjoy the evening,’ … I decided it was not for me and at the beginning of last month I wrote the HoF that I would not be attending.
“I did not go into detail, I just said ‘due to circumstances...’ . They just wrote back and asked for an address to send the trophy.
“It is a long way from the Waldorf-Astoria [hotel in New York, where the induction ceremonies began in 1986] and I do understand that the HoF has to dance to a new beat to survive but it’s hardly rock ‘n’ roll.
“Who knows?” Oldham wrote in conclusion. “Maybe they also forgot to tell me that Susan Boyle is flying in to sing ‘Wild Horses’.”
Asked earlier for a response to Oldham’s previous remarks, a spokeswoman for the Rock Hall said officials had no comment.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2
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