Iggy Pop, of The Stooges, presented some challenges for whoever at Fuse worked the "bleep" button during last Monday's (March 15) live telecast of the 25th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The Wire was in attendance, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and not monitoring the tube, but Fuse says it caught and erased all the F-bombs. Including Pop's admonition: "Let's [F-bomb] it up!"
Apparently Pop and his bandmates would have preferred going in before this: Hall voters had rejected them seven times. Pop said guitarist Ron Asheton died a year ago, unhappy not to be in the Hall. (He used a different phrase for unhappy.)
Backstage, though, Iggy was a pussycat, shaking hands with Fuse general manager Gavin Harvey and posing for photos with cable affiliate executives.
"His speech was all about who are the cool people, and I shook his hand and said thanks for making time for the uncool people," Harvey told The Wire, referring to himself. "He was such a gracious person."
Harvey said Pop was "savoring the moment" and being playful with his speech.
Pop definitely was playful during the Stooges' performance when he urged the "rich people" in the crowd to join them on stage. "Let's get the Upper East Side up here!" he said, and a few folks (including Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder) accepted.
The ceremony ran about four hours. Also inducted were Abba, Genesis, The Hollies, Jimmy Cliff, David Geffen and seven songwriters whose heyday was the ‘50s and ‘60s.
This was the second Fuse live telecast of the induction, and the first for Harvey, a former Versus exec who joined the MSG-owned music channel last August.
The event will be back on Fuse next year, too, he said.
Fuse wouldn't disclose the rating, but according to Nielsen figures the 238-minute telecast averaged 74,000 viewers, a 21% improvement on the Fuse average in the time period a year ago. Viewers in the 25-54 age bracket (36,000) were 9% ahead of the year-ago average, but the 18-49 figure (30,000) was down 40% from the year-ago average. The telecast averaged just 5,000 viewers in the 18-34 demo, down 80% from the 2009 Fuse schedule in the period -- a reflection on the honorees' vintage status, perhaps.
Harvey said the event was great for Fuse. "It has a life a lot bigger for us" than the rating, he said. "The buzz around it. The knowledge that everybody in that room, the royalty of music, knows that we're the ones broadcasting it live: that serves a lot of agendas for us." Hail, hail rock & roll.
Two-hour versions of the induction ceremony were scheduled to air on Fuse on March 21 and March 27.