LOS ANGELES -- Roosevelt's own Public Enemy is ready for the grousing that will likely come with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Thursday night.
"Thursday, there's gonna be a whole lot of cats with guitars saying, 'There goes the neighborhood,' " Public Enemy's Chuck D said early Wednesday at The Grammy Museum, part of a three-day celebration of their career, culminating with Thursday's induction. "Well, Roosevelt was the test town when it came to 'white flight' migration . . . We come from a town where they definitely said, 'There goes the neighborhood.' They're saying the same thing about this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction."
Of course, not everyone feels that way. Public Enemy was chosen on the votes of a group of music historians, industry execs and journalists -- in the group's first year of eligibility. At the "What Is Rock and Roll?" panel discussion Wednesday at the Gibson Beverly Hills Showroom, the legendary producer Jack Douglas, best known for his work with John Lennon, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick, said he voted for Public Enemy's induction. "It's only been a short period where rock was taken over by white kids," said Douglas. "Rock and roll is Motown. Rock and roll is Public Enemy."
Public Enemy will be inducted by Harry Belafonte and Spike Lee at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, alongside Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Rush, and Donna Summer. An edited version of the ceremony will air on HBO on May 18.
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