THE EIGHTH ANNUAL Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction takes place tomorrow night at the Century Plaza Hotel. Besides the obvious honor of being enshrined for his work as a member of Cream, Jack Bruce sees the ceremony as a time to “bury the hatchet” with former bandmates and fellow inductees Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
“We’ve had our problems over the years,” Bruce admits. “I think Eric would probably say it was between Ginger and myself, with him in the middle. It was never business with those guys, it was more of a personality thing. But at this stage of our lives, we should put that behind us.”
The members of Cream will let bygones be bygones in the most appropriate way, performing together jointly for the first time since they broke up in 1969.
“We’re talking about doing a few different things,” Bruce says. “If you’re working musicians, you don’t forget things. There’s not going to be much time, so we can’t do a whole set. I have a feeling, because Albert King passed away, we’ll do ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ as a tribute to him, as well as one of the more , sort of, Cream songs, ‘White Room’ or ‘Sunshine of Your Love.’ ”
Bruce will be touring later this year in support of his new album, “Somethin Els,” available on CMP Records and featuring his first recorded collaborations with Clapton since Cream. The touring band for Bruce’s show will include drummer Simon Phillips and guitarist Blues Saraceno, but Bruce plans to drag in a number of celebrity friends in various towns during his travels.
THE 3,835-CAPACITY Hollywood Palladium, site of dozens of concert, sports and other entertainment events, may lose its liquor license, a penalty that could effectively put it out of business.
A grass-roots neighborhood organization called the Ivar Hill Community Assn. has begun a drive it hopes will culminate with the Palladium shutting down. The organization is responding to what it says are repeated instances of mismanagement and a number of disturbances in and around the hall.
Local politicians are also getting involved. Julie Jaskol, press secretary to city councilman and mayoral candidate Michael Woo, said Woo “is going to be actively involved in the effort to revoke the Palladium’s liquor license. The issue will come up in the next few weeks, either in council committee or in the city council as a whole.”
The latest incident at the venue took place on Christmas, at a hip-hop music dance, when a crowd gathered outside the Palladium was the target of a drive-by shooting, causing many bystanders to rush into the venue. The Los Angeles Police Dept. in turn called a “tactical alert,” which summons the services of a large percentage of available officers.
Ivar Hill Community Assn. president Joe Shea says action against the Palladium is long overdue, adding that the venue has been unwilling to talk to residents about the problems locals have with the Palladium and possible solutions.
“What we essentially want is for the Palladium to close down long enough to develop fail-safe security plans to prevent any further incidents,” Shea said.
But Joe Lumer, a spokesman for the owners of the Palladium, said any past problems have been rectified and that the Dec. 25 incident was not the fault of the proprietors.
But according to Randall Richardson, supervising investigator at the alcoholic regulatory board, that incident was just the latest to be added to an already thick file of complaints aimed at the Sunset and Ivar-located facility.
Few of the charges have resulted in action, and Richardson notes, “In the last 12 months, since I’ve been involved with the Palladium, we’ve made sure that the tenants have done everything that they’re supposed to do under their license, including serving food and maintaining more than adequate security.”
But that recent good behavior may not be enough to save the Palladium’s much-coveted liquor license, a piece of paper that can cost a new business owner over $ 14,000 and is worth much more than that to a successful business.
“We’re going to establish, through Hollywood police division, the number of calls (for action) to the Palladium,” says Richardson. “If we can determine that the Palladium is taking an inordinate amount of police service, we can filea ‘disorderly location’ accusation, which would ultimately lead to some sort of disciplinary action.”
LOS ANGELES IS the biggest radio market in the U.S., with 64 major bands on the dial vying for the huge SoCal ad bucks. As a result, the hit-or-miss nature of radio formats comes and goes, and what was AOR today could be “Hot Country” tomorrow, classical becomes hip-hop overnight, etc.
The most interesting of the recent format changes has taken place over the Westwood One’s KQLZ-FM, formerly “Pirate Radio.”
The first of the “Rock Top 40s” (mucho Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses or “hair bands”) at the end of the ’80s, Pirate busted into the top 10 Arbitron books but couldn’t sustain it. Free-floating for the last seven months or so, the station bowed a new format on Christmas Eve, dubbed “100.3,” launched with the seemingly radical notion that so-called “alternative” rock is now the mainstream, with the occasional nod to metal war horses.
“Segueing Guns N’ Roses into U2 into Pearl Jam into Sonic Youth isn’t so odd, ” says Greg Stevens, 100.3’s music director. “The radio audience in L.A. isn’t satisfied with the narrowcasting going on, that you won’t hear the Police and AC/DC and the Jam on the same band when there is a common musical bond there. We want to widen our audience by siphoning listeners from KROQ, who are perceived as too dance-y, and KLOS, who’re too ‘oldie-oriented.’ ”
So far, 100.3 has held steady in the ARBs with a 1.7 million market share, 22 nd in the region. “Our sales staff have done all right without the numbers, so we’re OK for now,” says Stevens. “All we ask is that the listeners be open-minded.”
To a degree, of course. You’ll still hear more Aerosmith than the Sex Pistols and Van Halen more than the Ramones for older cuts, but at least the old punk records are finally being heard by their intended targets, the youth of America, as well as new turks like Helmet, Ministry and Sugar.
And the old Pirate image is history too. No more “Less Music by Dead Guys” sloganeering (no D.J.’s either), and no more “Harley Girls”– they are now “Team 100.3” and include men as well as the well-endowed females in the field promos. Politically correct, but will it sell?
PRIORITY RECORDS has announced it will donate $ 25,000 from the proceeds of its compilation album, “Street Soldiers,” to Community Build Inc., a Los Angeles non-profit coalition of African-American organizations and individuals dedicated to addressing issues which led to the 1992 L.A. riots.