There undoubtedly will be plenty of backslapping and showbiz teeth-flashing at this week’s sixth annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dinner at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. For $1,250 a plate, music industry fat cats will have the privilege of feting the Byrds, the Impressions, R&B vocalist LaVern Baker, bluesmen John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, and Jimmy Reed, soulman Wilson Pickett, and Ike and Tina Turner as they are inducted into the Hall.
Once plates are cleared, though, some unpalatable facts will remain. Ground has yet to be broken in Cleveland for the Hall of Fame and Museum, which now probably won’t open until late 1993; last month, the site was changed to a 29-acre plot near the waterfront, adding to the delays and costs for the I.M. Pei-designed project. The final tab will be roughly $62 million. John Zoilo, the museum’s development director, says a national corporate sponsorship program will soon be announced and that the board is pursuing private donations and record company contributions. One thing’s for sure: The money won’t come from the lavish induction dinners. They barely pay for themselves.