News Segment


February 4, 2004

The man who helped shape some of the biggest rock hits of the 1970s has been named to the Music Hall of Fame.

Toronto-born producer Bob Ezrin will be inducted at a special ceremony during the Juno festivities in April, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced today.

Ezrin’s lengthy resume lists production credits for Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the album’s classic songs “Comfortably Numb” and “Hey You.” The 55-year-old producer also worked with Alice Cooper for more than 10 years, helming Killer, Billion Dollar Babies and Love It To Death with its hit track “I’m Eighteen.”

Those successes led him to work with Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Roberta Flack, as well as Canucks like the Guess Who and Murray McLauchlan.

Ezrin called the honour the greatest ever bestowed on him.

“It says that I’m recognized by my fellow Canadians,” he said in an interview. “It’s being acknowledged from home which is a very important thing. I feel a tremendous connection to Canada.”

Most recently Ezrin, who resides in Connecticut but holds a dual citizenship, worked with Jane’s Addiction and The Darkness. He got his start as an assistant to producer Jack Richardson in 1970. They later opened Soundstage Studios which attracted a host of A-list musicians.

Ezrin said he looks forward to using his Hall of Fame honour as a platform to promote music education in schools.

“That’s the subject nearest and dearest to my heart,” said the father of six, who is vice president of Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in the U.S. which distributes instruments to children. “This opportunity means I can give back to my country.”

The Academy said it will extend Juno invitations to some of the acts Ezrin has worked with over his career.

“We’re working on it,” said chair Ross Reynolds. In 2002, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson celebrated inductee Daniel Lanois’ career on a video reel at the ceremony.

Established in 1978, the Music Hall of Fame includes Glenn Gould, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Oscar Peterson, Rush and The Band.

Inductees are selected by a committee that meets annually in September to draw up a short list. The list is based on letters of support from industry representatives and fans. A final inductee is selected by a vote in November.

Some Stan Rogers fans had hoped the singer would be the 2004 inductee. Last February, a petition, signed by Colin James, Sylvia Tyson and Bruce Guthro, was circulated online in the hopes of convincing the committee to honour the deceased performer.

Reynolds says Rogers fans shouldn’t fret because there’s a backlog of talent waiting to be recognized.

“The challenge for us is that in most years we induct one artist and one industry builder. Frankly that leaves us with a substantial backlog,” said Reynolds. “You have to make a decision between a Stan Rogers and somebody else.”

A virtual Hall of Fame is in the works to showcase Canadian talent, as well as broaden the number of inductees, he added.

Angela Pacienza courtesy of Associated Press