Metal heroes Metallica and hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC lead the class of this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, announced yesterday at the headquarters of Fuse, which will air the ceremonies for the first time this year.
"[It shows] we are part of the big picture," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said of the honor. "We are a link in a chain of everyone that's come before and everyone that's come after you. I love how it all fits together."
The diversity is evident in fellow 2009 inductees doo-wop group Little Anthony and The Imperials (who, like Run-DMC, were already inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame), guitar wiz Jeff Beck and '60s soul singer Bobby Womack. Wanda Jackson will be inducted as an early influence and Bill Black, DJ Fontana and Spooner Oldham will be inducted as sidemen.
Metallica is in the midst of a comeback with the release of their "Death Magnetic" album and their arena tour, which stops at Nassau Coliseum later this month.
"This is just the greatest," said Womack, who was also Sam Cooke's guitarist, in a statement. "My very first thought was - I wish I could call Sam Cooke and share this moment with him. This is just about as exciting to me as being able to see Barack Obama become the first black president of the United States of America! It proves that, if you're blessed to be able to wait on what's important to you, a lot of things will change in life."
This year's ceremony will be held April 4 in Cleveland, where the actual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is based. It will be the first time the ceremony won't be at the Waldorf- Astoria Hotel in Manhattan since 1997. It will also mark the first time tickets will be available to the public, rather than well-connected music industry insiders.
The inductees were chosen by the 600 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. Artists are eligible 25 years after their first recording is released.