Story By: G. H. HARDING
Chubby Checker

SATURDAY NIGHT RINGO --- This past Saturday was an evening of peace and love and honors long-overdue for Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who finally rocked his way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ringo's induction was the final one of a very long evening that even included a brief power outage during Starr’s part of the program, said our on-sight spy.

Those in attendance with Ringo besides fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, who gave the induction speech, were Ringo's wife Barbara Bach, Olivia Harrison, Macca’s wife Nancy Shevell, and Yoko Ono.

For a time, the original rock ‘n roll “killer” himself Jerry Lee Lewis was seen sitting at their table. And our spy further reported that all the Beatle wives were seen dancing to John Legend when he performed during the tribute to Bill Withers, who was also inducted Saturday night.

“When Ringo first drummed for us, we became The Beatles," McCartney said, praising his fellow Beatle during his speech.

And when it came time to perform, Starr was featured in four songs. Ringo began his set with “Boys,” backed by Green Day. Then Ringo's brother-in-law, Eagles’ Joe Walsh, joined him for Ringo's 1971 solo hit “It Don't Come Easy” (the recorded track was produced by fellow Beatle George Harrison).

Then all the inductees and McCartney joined Ringo to sing the anaemic “With a Little Help from My Friends,” followed by another Beatles song, “I Wanna Be Your Man” that again teamed McCartney and Ringo together.

Ringo is the final member of the Fab Four to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Starr has released nineteen solo albums to date—more than any former Beatle other than Sir Paul.

Starr's induction was part of a stellar “Class of 2015” ceremony that also included the induction of Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the "5" Royales—the latter of whom were inducted in the “Early Influence” category.

While Jann Wenner’s Hall of Fame has received more than its share of criticism (from this critic as well), you can't argue with this latest batch. All truly deserving.

RYAN’S BLADE --- Ryan Gosling is in negotiations to star in the Blade Runner sequel, alongside the original film’s star Harrison Ford.

The sequel, provisionally to-be directed by Denis Villeneuve, will take place many years after the end of the 1982 original, in which Harrison Ford’s character Rick Deckard was tasked with hunting down and killing machines that are almost identical to humans. Ford will be reprising his role in the sequel.

Filming is set to begin next year.

DANNY’S GONE --- Danny Federici, a keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since it was formed in the early 1970s, passed last Thursday. He was fifty-eight years old, and lived in Manhattan.

His death, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, was caused by melanoma, according to Springsteen’s website,

Federici was Springsteen’s collaborator since they jammed together at clubs on the New Jersey shore in the 1960s. “He was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure, natural musician,” Springsteen said in a statement. “I loved him very much. We grew up together.”

Born in Flemington, New Jersey, Federici began studying classical accordion at the age of seven before switching to electric organ and joining rock bands. He played at clubs in Asbury Park and made his first recording on a single by an Asbury Park songwriter, Bill Chinnock, whose bands included two other future members of the E Street Band: Vini Lopez on drums, and Garry Tallent on bass.

Federici and Lopez started their own band and invited Springsteen to become a member. “This skinny guy with long hair and a ratty T-shirt was an incredible guitar player and a good singer, so we asked him to join,” Federici once said.

The band was named Child and then soon afterward renamed Steel Mill, and they built a strong reputation touring the East Coast. Federici was also in Springsteen’s short-lived band, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom.

He did not play on Mr. Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973), but he was in the E Street Band when Mr. Springsteen introduced the band that same year on The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

Federici remained in every E Street Band lineup, along with Tallent on bass and Clarence Clemons on saxophone, until taking a medical leave of absence in November 2007. Springsteen called him “one of the pillars of our sound.”

For much of the 1980s, Springsteen kept the E Street Band on retainer while working with other musicians. Federici played on Bruce’s 1987 solo album, Tunnel of Love, and was a member of the band that toured in support of that album. He was also one of Springsteen’s studio musicians on the 1995 solo album, The Ghost of Tom Joad.

Through the years he played recording sessions for Joan Armatrading, Garland Jeffreys, Graham Parker and Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, among others.

Springsteen reconvened the E Street Band to record new songs on a “greatest hits” release in 1995, and started touring with the group again in 1999.

The Rising, Springsteen’s 2002 record, was his first full album with the E Street Band since Born in the U.S.A. in 1984.

A huge talent; a huge loss. R.I.P, Danny . . .

WHIP ‘EM OUT, ANTHONY --- On Friday morning, Anthony Cumia—former host of The Opie and Anthony show—attempted to enter the SiriusXM building in NYC for a scheduled guest appearance. Cumia, who was fired from the entertainment company last year because of controversial tweets, was denied entry by security staff.

The visit was his first time back at SiriusXM in ten months. The appearance would have been on the Opie with Jim Norton show on the Opie Radio channel, though Cumia’s former co-hosts Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Jim Norton were not there Friday.

Comedians Joe Rogan and Ari Shaffir were co-hosting the program.

Hughes and Cumia, who shared a bumpy though prolific two-decade career in radio, had been feuding recently.

Though they disagreed on various matters, each wished the other the best with their respective radio careers—and Hughes was adamant that Cumia should be let into the building for his guest appearance. Hughes placed several phone calls to management, urging them to let his former co-host enter the studio.

“Joe Rogan brilliantly tried to have Anthony on the show today while he was guest-hosting for me,” Hughes said. “Management had no idea this was going down. I told them I was cool with it. In the end, they were taken by surprise and ended up having cold feet. I get the impression that they would be all right with him coming back as a guest in the near-future under more ideal circumstances.”

Keith Maresca, producer of Cumia’s stand-alone podcast, The Anthony Cumia Show, said that Cumia arrived at the building around 7 a.m. and waited in the lobby “for quite some time” before formally being denied entry.

Shaffir took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Friday’s events. “Really disappointed in SiriusXM Comedy. Not letting Anthony Cumia on our show? Fire him, fine. But don’t stop entertainment . . . He got fired for stuff he did off the premises. And you block him in the lobby? Be a human.”

CLOSING NOTES – Check out The Improper’s interview with the “Woodstock Daddy” himself, Elliot Tiber, and his new memoir, After Woodstock.

Everyone’s wondering what Governor Andrew Cuomo will do in Cuba for 25 hours. Cigars, baby! Cuban cigars . . .

Chubby Checker was inducted into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame Saturday (April 18), following his concert in Wheeling, W. Va.

Will the plaque finally be a panacea for the artist who has famously been overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - which also honored its inductees Saturday?

“Not really," Checker said. “It doesn't bother me not to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But I'm the only artist to have five albums in the top 12 simultaneously - that’s 60 songs in the top 12. They don’t recognize that.

“What tears me apart is that my songs aren't being played on the radio. The Beach Boys, Frankie Valli, Bob Seger, Elvis Presley are still played on the radio. And none of them have the No. 1 song on the planet.”