Vini Lopez Gives an Insider’s Look at the Rock and Roll HOF Induction
If you’re a rock n roll fan, there’s nothing like going to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. If you’re a rock drummer like former E Street member Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, there’s nothing like becoming a member.
“There is no feeling like it, says Lopez who will be performing with the B Street Band this Saturday at the Big Jersey BBQ and Brewfest, “After 50 years being recognized for my work is truly incredible. I am honored to the Max.”
Lopez who left the E Street Band in 1974, was back on stage with them for the induction ceremony on April 10th, a very emotional moment according to Lopez
“After Bruce's speech about "The E St band" we all went to the stage. Bruce just handed us the trophies not looking at the name on them. We all did our best and switched them around. It was funny. There were 10 of us and we all tried to keep it short. Still it took awhile for the speeches. Meantime, those statues were very heavy. Non of us got any taller while standing there holding those things. Looking around the stage and standing with all of my oldest of friends, getting this award was so moving. During my speech, while remembering my friends that got me there, when I got to Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, I started to get bleary. Then when I mentioned My daughter, Liz and my girlfriend Dawn I lost it. When I got back in line with everyone it was a very humbling experience. For every one of us.”
Lopez was given credit by Springsteen for starting the band.
“I was the first one he mentioned. All eyes were on me at that point and the world found out how the band got started by Danny and Myself. Very Gratifying. I was thinking of those days and my friend Danny when we first saw Bruce at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park, NJ.”
Then came the dinner, hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones.
“There were 2 dinners says Lopez, one the night before at the Monkey Bar in NYC and then the nosh at the inductions. The first person that Dawn and I were with was Peter Criss and his wife. Then everybody started to arrive.
“All of E Street, Jimmy Fallon's band guys, all were there from the show. At our table the night of the show Dawn and I sat with Max, Roy, Jason Federici, Garry Tallent and all of the wives. Michael J Fox, Sting, Barry Bell, Steve Van Zandt and his wife, were all around us. So manystars.”
Lopez continues, “Afterwards we hung with Bill Murray. He was so much a gentleman. At the after-party, Bill came over to say hello. Everyone wanted pics with him, he said no pics. As I was introducing him to my friends, I introduced him to my girlfriend Dawn. At with point he said "Wow, I know who got the better part of this deal. I'll take a few with her in them. She was so beautiful that night. A fun time was had by all..!!”
Lopez now has his own band called "License to Chill" and they’re working on their follow up album to “Moon Motel” called “Asbury Parked”
“Right now we are working on our next CD called "Asbury Parked". All new originals. Its more Rock and Roll than "Moon Motel'. Moon Motel took you to the Beach. "Asbury Parked" takes you to California.
Lopez then discussed the venues they'll be performing at around NJ. "Coming up we are playing at places like, The Ivy league in Howell, The Channel Club in Monmouth Beach, Tara's Tavern by New Egypt, Club, Maggies Tiki Bar at Lakewood Country Club, Bum Roger's in Seaside Park, to mention a few. We just like you to have fun with us. We have so much fun it kinda rubs off on you..!! You can learn more by visiting the band's website, www.licensetochill.net
The 2014 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremomy will be broadcast Saturday May 31 at 9p on HBO
You can also enter to win a flight for two to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland courtesy of Frontier Airlines at the Big Jersey BBQ and Brewfest!