Rock Around the Clock: From Kid Rock to Chris Rock. Backstage with Donovan at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

by Chris Murray on May 2, 2012

Donovan and his wife Linda after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

The Renaissance Hotel in Cleveland was abuzz with Donovan as it’s guest for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with other hotel guests Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra (the “house band” for the induction ceremony), the NBA’s Orlando Magic with our old friend from Georgetown, Patrick Ewing, and fifty two-man teams from the 19th Annual Montana Lineman’s Rodeo. Quite a scene at the Renaissance, to say the least.

Donovan was introduced at the Induction Ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall by John Mellencamp, who said that “Donovan was my inspiration”. He talked of Donovan’s “beautiful song writing… like nobody else’s, and a style that Donovan brought that was nothing like it before and nothing like it ever since”. Mellencamp also spoke of Donovan’s “message of peace that spread all over the world”.

As Donovan took the stage after Mellencamp’s introduction, he received a standing ovation from the audience of 6,500 people, before he even said a word. What a wonderful moment it was. After reciting a beautiful acceptance poem Donovan performed three songs to an ecstatic audience, and his special magic was in the air. He performed “Catch the Wind” on a vintage J-45 Gibson accompanied by stand-up bass, followed by a crowd pleasing “Sunshine Superman” performed with Paul Shaffer and the band, and then a haunting “Season of the Witch”, featuring a brilliant solo on the organ by Paul Schaffer and back up vocals by John Mellencamp. Donovan rocked the house.

You can see the entire ceremony honoring Donovan this Saturday on HBO, along with the Small Faces, Laura Nyro,The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n’ Roses, and a tribute to Freddie King.

We reproduce here Donovan’s poem written as his acceptance speech, along with photos from the rehearsal, concert, and backstage, as well as some other memorabilia.

Front and back covers for the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony program.

Members of the Paul Shaffer band in the Renaissance Hotel lobby preparing to leave for Cleveland’s Public Hall. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Fans seeking Donovan’s autograph en route to the Induction Ceremony. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Kid Rock and Donovan at rehearsal outside the Public Hall. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Donovan’s son Donovan Leitch, Govinda Gallery Director Chris Murray, and Clear Channel President John Sykes in the dressing room. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons with Donovan. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Billy Gibbons signing an autograph for Donovan and Linda’s grandson Joolz. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Linda sitting with luthier Danny Ferrington’s custom made electric guitar on which Donovan performed “Season of the Witch”, while Chris Murray admires Billy Gibbons ring. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Linda and ZZ Top’s Dusty Rhodes. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Peer Music’s Ralph Peer and his son Ralph with Donovan’s wife Linda. Peer Music is Donovan’s long time music publisher. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Donovan’s daughter Astrella Celeste and husband Jason Rothberg with Linda in Cleveland’s Public Hall before the concert. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Some of the audience (clockwise from lower right): Robbie Robertson, John Mellencamp, Bette Midler, L.L. Cool J, Ben Harper, Kid Rock, and Steven Van Zandt. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Ronnie Wood getting an earful from Flea during the tribute to Freddie King… while Dereck Trucks takes a solo. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Silence Please! Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Ronnie Wood greets Linda backstage. Woody had his first ever exhibition in the U.S. at Govinda Gallery. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Donovan Leitch Jr. celebrating his father’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Green Day’s Tre Cool seems possessed by Donovan’s induction statue… soon Tre, soon. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Chris Rock, who introduced the Red Hot Chili Peppers, feels the weight of Donovan’s award. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Chris Murray after Donovan’s induction. Congratulations Donovan! Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

To celebrate Donovan’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Govinda Gallery launches the new Artists section of our website, and we start with a page for Donovan featuring his Sapphographs.

Donoavn, Linda, and Astrella relaxing in their room after the induction ceremony. Copyright ©Carlotta Hester. All Rights Reserved.

Acceptance Poem

“From my wandering days on lonely sands
where I sang my song to the moon and stars
To the world’s great stage , hounoured am I
to sing my song to a million fans

Always my wish to be of service
to ease emotion deep in the heart
Always your poet , a shaman am I
to lead us all to the realm within

Yet I was branded for my beauty
yet protected by my art
Many plundered me for booty
only one did steal my heart

How she keeps it in her casket
still remains a mystery
Like the moonrise in a sunset
like the silence of the sea

Thank you for this bright green laurel
resting now upon my brow
Thank you Goddess , thank you Muses
thank you … Fellow Artists All”

– Donovan Leitch Copyright ©All Rights Reserved.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Acceptance Poem
Cleveland, Ohio
April 14 2012

Category: Blog, Events, News & Updates   
  • Comments

    • Diane Seeger

      THANK YOU for bringing this important event to life for us with Carlotta Hester’s profound photographs and Chris Murray narrative! Bravo!

    • Diane Seeger

      You brought this important event to life with Carlotta’s profound photographs and Chris Murray narrative. Thank you!

    • Karen Stafford

      I love the show! I have watched it several times.

    • John Ritz

      The coverage, I hate to use that word, of the induction of Donavan into the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame was great. However I’m curious about your impression of the ceremonies. Could they have been different? Could they have been better and if improvement could have been made or conducted differently, how could they have been done better?

    • Brenda stewart

      Great story, so deserving, thanks for the photos.

    © 2008 Govinda Gallery.  Proudly powered by WordPress.  Website Design by Cary Scott Additional design by Anna Jacoby.