Why Rock Hall’s All-Star Charlie Watts Tribute Jam Didn’t Happen
Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine reveals that an all-star jam was planned to conclude this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but it was abandoned at a late stage.
She said their planned performance of the Rolling Stones classic “Tumbling Dice” was in tribute to drummer Charlie Watts, who died earlier this year. The show ran long, however, leaving only great memories from a rehearsal held the night before the ceremony.
Valentine said that pre-show run through remained a high point of the induction experience.
“After dinner at the hotel with my little fam, the band went back to the venue for a rehearsal of the finale that was never to be,” she says in a blog post. “The idea was a big traditional Rock Hall everyone-onstage mega-version of ‘Tumbling Dice’ in honor of Charlie Watts.
“Spoiler: it ended up not happening, due to the show length and [a] union issue I am fairly certain,” she added. “It was not the Rock Hall’s fault, that’s for certain. Anyway, rehearsing the song was a highlight for sure, and this was where I ended up feeling totally comfortable with our place in the whole she-bang.”
Valentine said the Foo Fighters acted as “house band,” so she played guitar during the rehearsal in order to avoid a “step-on-toes” situation caused by having two bassists on stage. “I loved joining them … on a Stones song no less,” she added. “Everyone was so supportive and mutually fanning on each other; it was just incredible. … It was a great way to end the night before the induction ceremony.”
Watch the Go-Go's Interview from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
It took awhile to become comfortable with the Go-Go's induction, Valentine admitted, and she had to deal with feeling “anxious,” “impostor-y” and “unworthy” on occasion. But she insisted the Rock Hall staff was highly supportive and understanding.
Valentine concluded with what she called a “semi-mini-rant”: “I’ve always understood the [Rock Hall] had two jobs: to honor rock and roll and the myriad musical offshoots in a central place providing context for popular music in our culture, and to be a destination that would bring tourists and their dollars into Cleveland.
“Totally get it, and so bored with all the 'what about ____' and 'they aren't rock' complaints from people on social media,” Valentine added. “Our induction took years, and many others have been overlooked. But there’s only one event a year and a limited amount each time, and the people who run the hall are not the decision makers.”
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