Eagles, Fleetwood Mac enter Rock Hall of Fame

By Mary Campbell

Chicago Tribune, Jan. 13, 1998 8:25 a.m. EST

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, whose harmonies on stage and excesses off stage defined 1970s popular music, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday night.

Other inductees included the group Santana, led by Carlos Santana's fiery guitar and dedication to Latin music and experimentation; the Mamas and the Papas, folk icons of the late '60s; rockabilly legend Gene Vincent; and Lloyd Price, one of the early practitioners of New Orleans rock 'n' roll.

The induction ceremony was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

Santana kicked the evening off by playing "Black Magic Woman," one of their earliest hits. Carlos Santana began his speech in Spanish, then switched to English to thank his mother for her spirit of conviction and devotion to family.

Afterward, he said he was proud to be the first Hispanic to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"It's a great honor," he said. "I almost feel like Jackie Robinson."

The Eagles, formed in 1971, created a distinctive country sound using traditional rock instruments. The group, led by drummer Don Henley and guitarist Glenn Frey, and later guitarist Joe Walsh, scored hits with "Tequila Sunrise," "Best Of My Love," and "One Of These Nights." Their biggest hit was the 1976 album and single, "Hotel California."

Henley thanked his parents for giving him a set of drums and "letting me play in the house."

Frey said the Eagles "were a very laid back band who played music in a high stress relationship -- we disagreed a lot."

Fleetwood Mac, started in 1967 by two former members of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, became an enormously popular pop-oriented group in the late 1970s.

Stevie Nicks' haunting vocals and Lindsay Buckingham's distinctive guitar work helped propel the band's 1976 album "Rumours" to multiplatinum status.

Problems with alcohol and drugs, as well as well-publicized fights between band members, led to the breakup of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Money and nostalgia brought both bands back together, leading to successful reunion tours in recent years.

"Thank God a sense of healing has come to all of us today," Mick Fleetwood, wearing red suede shoes, said Monday night.

The Mamas and the Papas -- Dennis Doherty, Michelle Phillips, John Phillips and Cass Elliot -- scored a string of hits from 1965 to 1968, including "California Dreamin," "Monday Monday," "I Saw Her Again," "Words of Love" and "Creeque Alley."

Elliot, popularly known as Mama Cass, died of a heart attack in 1974. Her 30-year-old daughter, Owen, appeared at the ceremony with the remaining members.

"Rock and roll was suspected of crushing teen-agers. Mother recognized the positive power of rock and roll. She was one of the first to encourage young people to participate in the political process," she said.

Michelle Phillips said of the portly singer: "Cass is sitting on top of the moon tonight watching this, wearing a size 6 dress."

Vincent's first hit, "Be-Bop-A-Lulu," in 1956 became an instant rock classic. He scored another hit with "Race With the Devil," but after his popularity waned in the United States in the late 1950s, he moved to Britain where he and his band, the Blue Caps, enjoyed several years of success.

Vincent was severely injured in the 1961 car accident that killed fellow rockabilly singer Eddie Cochran. Vincent never completely recovered, dying of a bleeding ulcer in 1971 at 36.

John Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame, sang "Be-Bop-A-Lulu" with Jeff beck on guitar, and called Vincent "an image perfect for rock and roll, loud and self-assured."

Lloyd Price honed his distinctive style as a teen-ager in the 1940s and 1950s. He scored his first hit in 1952 with "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," then kept them coming with "Stagger Lee" in 1958 and "Personality" a year later.

Of "Stagger Lee," Price said it was "never my intent for it to be on the A side" of the record.

Other inductees included jazz composer-pianist Jelly Roll Morton, named as an early influence on rock 'n' roll, and New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint, inducted as a non-performer.

"This is the zenith," Toussaint said, adding that he was happy to be inducted as a songwriter and producer, not as a performer.

He said he'd be happy to get in "even if I was to come in as dog catcher."

Artists become eligible 25 years after the release of their first recording. Five to seven are nominated each year and voted on by about 1,000 rock writers, performers and industry leaders. The first induction ceremony was in 1986.

The names of Hall of Fame honorees are on permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, which opened in 1995.