Center award this weekend…
By Fred Mills
It’s a milestone, indeed: on Sunday, Dec. 7, The Who will
receive one of the Kennedy Center Honors of 2008. It’s an award that frequently
goes to Americans, although in the past Elton John, Elizabeth Taylor and Cary
Grant have been honored- but this will be the first time a British band has
ever received it, and the first time, period, that any rock band has been tapped. It’s in recognition of, according to
a press release issued today by the John
Center of the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.,
“the depth and breadth of British rock influence in the fabric of American
Founding members Peter Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be
on hand to receive the award at the 31st annual ceremony, along with
actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, actress Barbra Streisand and
choreographer Twyla Tharp.
“As the heart and soul of the
seminal band The Who,
songwriters and singers Pete Townshend
and Roger Daltrey transformed the sights and sounds of rock and
roll,” stated Kennedy Center
Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman.
Commented Townshend, “This
is a great thrill. Since the Who began in the early ’60s we have
loved American music and audiences and have made deep and lasting friendships
with everyone involved in the industry there. Roger and I both feel our work in
the United States
has been as important as our work at home. Because our medium rock music is
quintessentially American music with broad and deep international and
multicultural roots, this honour is especially meaningful to we Brits.”
Daltrey also made a
statement, saying, “As a teenager growing up in the austerity of
post-war England, it was the
music I heard emanating from America
that gave me a dream to hang my life on.
To make music and make it there.
I am deeply touched at receiving this honour, the warmth and affection I
feel from our US
audience is humbling indeed. To be added
to the list of past recipients of this award makes that dream come true.”
The event will be broadcast on
CBS Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 9pm.
Press Release: About the Kennedy Center Honors
The Annual Kennedy Center
Honors Telecast has also developed a loyal television following, and has been
honored with five Emmy’s for Outstanding Program and is nominated again this
year. It has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding
Contribution to Television and seven awards from the Writers Guild of
America. The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime
contributions to American culture through the performing arts- whether in
dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television-are selected by the
Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is
excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic
achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among
the various arts and artistic disciplines.
Past Honors recipients, as well as Members of the Kennedy Center’s national artists committee,
made recommendations of possible 2008 Honorees.
Artists making recommendations included: Alan Alda, Dan Aykroyd, Garth Brooks,
Kenny Chesney, Glenn Close, Joel Coen, Christine Ebersole, Renée Fleming,
Savion Glover, Thomas Hampson, Herbie Hancock, Paloma Herrera, Hugh Jackman,
Billy Joel, Evgeny Kissin, Patti LuPone, Rob Marshall, Reba McEntire, Terrence
McNally, Mark Morris, Mark O’Connor, Bernadette Peters, Frederica von Stade,
Forest Whitaker, Damian Woetzel, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Previous
Honorees, including Carol Burnett, Clint Eastwood, James Levine, and Sidney
Poitier, also made nominations.
Meanwhile, back at BLURT, get this: At the ceremony Rog and
Pete will apparently be seated alongside their fellow recipients with President
and Mrs. Bush! Wouldn’t you want to be a fly on the wall for some of those
conversations! The mind just boggles…
President Bush: It’s
darn cool to meet you guys, Pete. I’ve been a fan of the Who for ages. During
my younger years I had a personal theme song from you: “However Much I Booze.”
Pete: I can identify,
sir. You know, looking at you now, peering at what’s behind your blue eyes, I
can tell that while people try to put you down just because you get around,
you’ve truly been on an amazing journey these past 8 years.
Bush: You know that
Rummy and Cheney’s nickname for me used to be “Tommy” – because they claimed I
was deaf, dumb and blind! Heh-heh-heh.
Pete: Meet the new
boss, same as the old boss, sir! I understand that your fellow Americans won’t
get fooled again after President Elect Obama comes in, though.
Bush: So they say.
Hey, guess what our theme music is that we play when we have security meetings
about Osama Bin Laden?
Pete: Um… “Run Run Run”?
Bush: No. “I Can’t
Reach You”! Heh-heh-heh…
Pete: Bloody awesome,
sir. My second guess would have been “I Can See For Miles.” Would you like to
sing with us at our next D.C. show, being a fan and all and knowing our music?
Bush: Ah, I can’t
carry a tune. But I do have all four sides of “Quadrophenia” on my iPod. It
certainly sums up how I’m feeling these days. Is it in my head? I don’t know,
but I’ve had enough. By the way, I really liked that song of yours about Mary
Ann and her shaky hands. I knew a girl back in Texas who jerked off the entire football
speechless, for possibly the first time in his career]
Talkin’ ’bout their generation, yo: