"It's just very cool," ZZ Top bassist tells Billboard.com of his band's pending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I'm very excited about it and very honored. It's great company we're kee
"It's just very cool," ZZ Top bassist tells Billboard.com of his band's pending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I'm very excited about it and very honored. It's great company we're keeping." As previously reported, the 2004 class of Hall of Fame inductees will also include Jackson Browne, the Dells, the late George Harrison, Prince, Bob Seger and Traffic.
"I view it like Cooperstown," an ebullient Seger says. "I think about Al Kaline in the [baseball] Hall of Fame. I've played golf occasionally with Larry Bird, who's in the [basketball] Hall of Fame. Now I'm in my Hall of Fame."
"There wasn't a Hall of Fame when I started," he adds, "but to be in there with my heroes -- with your Little Richards, your Elvises, the Beatles, the [Rolling] Stones, [Bob] Dylan, is just beyond words. It's wonderful. To suddenly be in that same pantheon is pretty heady stuff."
Browne, too, is humbled by the honor. "It's just really great to be acknowledged, to be recognized by a group of your peers and your contemporaries and by critics," he says. "That is just good. That feels great."
Seger says he and his Silver Bullet Band will definitely perform at the March 15 induction ceremony in New York, which will be taped to air on VH1 later that week.
Guitarist Dave Mason, a founding member of Traffic who was with the band through its first two albums, is hopeful he and fellow surviving members Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi will use the opportunity to reunite.
"It might be a great opportunity for the three of us to be together and do something maybe. Hopefully," he says. "The last time we did something was at [New York nightclub] the Bottom Line two years, three years ago," he adds. "And that was the first time in 30 years."
For several of the artists, it wasn't their first time on the ballot, or a few years had passed since they reached the 25-year-career eligibility mark.
"I hadn't spent much time thinking about it, not wanting to get too emotionally invested in the possibility," confesses Browne, who released his debut album in 1972. "I have a kind of ambivalent stance when it comes to it. I mean, the music has got to be its own reward. Doing it is the most rewarding. Being acknowledged later is really good though," he adds, laughing. "It's very cool."
Rounded out by guitarist Billy F. Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard, ZZ Top has been a part of the gala proceedings in the past, having been on hand to help induct Bo Diddley in 1987 and Cream in 1993, among others.
"Just to be a small part of that part was an awful lot of fun," Hill says. "Plus, you know, it tickles me to look around and see rock'n'roll guys sitting around, kind of all dressed up and trying to look legit. It's a gas."
But he says that it's too soon to say who might induct his band into the Hall. "We have a lot of very good friends and people we greatly admire, and I'm sure we'll get together and make the invitation and see if they're willing or able to do it," Hill says. "We'll put our three heads together and come up with something crazy."
Seger says his first choice for inductors are Glenn Frey or Don Henley of the Eagles, "because they're my oldest friends in rock'n'roll," but he said Kid Rock has also voiced a desire to do the honors.