Talking Heads, Tom Petty Among Rock Hall Inductees


NEW YORK (AP) - The Ramones and the Talking Heads, two bands that helped define the punk sound, are among the artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2002.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Isaac Hayes, Brenda Lee and Gene Pitney were also inducted. The announcement was made Thursday by Suzan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The permanent hall of fame exhibit is in Cleveland.

The induction ceremony, scheduled for March 18, will take place almost a year after Joey Ramone, the Ramones' lanky, leather-jacketed lead singer, died of lymphoma at age 49.

The Ramones, the New York City-based quintet who all adopted the same last name, are considered the founding fathers of punk. Their sound was defined by Joey Ramone's yelp and the band's three-chord thrash. Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Patti Smith are among those who've been inspired by the band's sound.

The Talking Heads were contemporaries of the Ramones, but their sound was defined more by their experimentation with different genres, including world music. Quirky lead singer David Byrne, the band's most readily identifiable member, left in 1991.

It's the first time the hall has honored members of the first punk rock generation, and voters pointedly snubbed Britain's Sex Pistols in favor of two New York bands.

Hayes got his start as a sideman in R&B groups. Playing keyboard, he backed up artists such as Otis Redding, but later became a solo artist. He's best known for scoring the 1971 blaxplotation film "Shaft," with its funky theme song highlighted by his signature deep vocals. He's now a disc jockey on WRKS in New York City and the voice of "Chef" on the animated TV series "South Park."

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers mixed classic rock, folk and Southern rock for 26 years. Their hits include "Free Fallin'," "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "The Waiting."

Lee, a smoky-voiced singer of the late '50s and '60s, is perhaps best known for hits such as "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "I'm Sorry." Pitney, a rock singer with country influences, has recorded hits such as "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" and "It Hurts to Be in Love."

Guitarist Chet Atkins, who died in June, is this year's sideman inductee. Atkins' unusual finger-picking style influenced generations of other guitarists.

The non-performer inductee is Jim Stewart, co-founder of Stax records. Sam and Dave and Otis Redding are among the artists who performed on the independent music label.

Artists are eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after at least 25 years have passed since their first record was released. Nominees are selected by a group of rock historians, and inductees are chosen by about 1,000 rock experts across the globe.

The ceremony will be held in Manhattan on March 18 and will be aired by VH1 two days later.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)