Donovan Calls Mellencamp 'My Dear Friend,' Says He'll Perform With My Morning Jacket's Jim James
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Carole King, Robbie Robertson and ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons and Dusty Hill will be among the presenters for this year's 27th annual induction ceremony, which takes place on April 14 in Cleveland.
Rock Hall Class of 2012
Beastie Boys: "Sabotage"
Donovan: "Mellow Yellow"
Guns N' Roses: "Paradise City"
Laura Nyro: "Save the Country"
Chili Peppers: "Give It Away"
The Faces: "Stay With Me"
They'll be joined by the likes of Public Enemy's Chuck D, who will induct the Beastie Boys, Steven Van Zandt for the Small Faces/Faces, comedian Chris Rock for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bette Midler for Laura Nyro. Mellencamp will do the honors for Donovan, Gibbons and Hill for Freddie King, King for her onetime Brill Building employer Don Kirshner, Robertson for producers Tom Dowd, Glyn Johns and Cosimo Matassa, and Robinson for his Motown group the Miracles along with Gene Vincent's Blue Caps, Bill Haley's Comets, Buddy Holly's Crickets, James Brown's Famous Flames and Hank Ballard's Midnighters.
A presenter for Guns N' Roses, meanwhile, is still being finalized and will be announced soon.
Donovan tells Billboard.com that Mellencamp is "my dear friend of recent years," and that he'll be joined in his Rock Hall induction performance by My Morning Jacket's Jim James. He's also pleased to be entering the Hall with "a lot of my pals, it would seem;" the Beasties, he notes, are "family" since his daughter Ione Skye Leitch was once married to the group's Adam Horovitz, while he was a 60s contemporary of the Small Faces and, later, the Faces and has also worked with the Chili Peppers in the past.
"My music translates again and again to younger generations of players because I broke all the rules, and they can break all the rules now, too," Donovan says. "(The induction) focuses on the work, and I love that because it will encourage lots of singer-songwriters to try to excel and get on with it and to experiment like I did. So it's a great honor for a songwriter and a performer, but the spotlight it will bring to my work and, in turn, influencing young artists in the future, that's more exciting to me."
Donovan's work will be compiled in "The Essential Donovan," which comes out April 17. His song "The Trip," meanwhile, is being used as the end-credit theme for the new documentary "Sunset Strip," which was co-produced by his son Donovan Leitch.
The Rock Hall induction ceremony will be broadcast by HBO, debuting at 9 p.m. EST/PST on May 5.