Key members from Aerosmith and Foreigner will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization's 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner and Gala on June 13th. In addition to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and Foreigner's Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, other inductees will include Don Henley and Glenn Frey's frequent Eagles collaborator, J.D. Souther, '60s British songsmith Tony Hatch, and '80s songwriter Holly Knight. The event will once again be held at Manhattan's Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Additional special award honorees will be announced soon.
We asked Foreigner co-founder Mick Jones if there's a tried and true moment when he knows he's on the path to writing a future rock standard: "I had that feeling, definitely, with 'I Want To Know What Love Is.' I also had it with 'Waiting For A Girl Like You,' y'know, those songs come along. 'Hot Blooded' was a natural. There's a number of them that I felt -- y'know, you can never know really, but I can only judge by the goose-bump factor. If I am moved myself -- and I'm a very hard, tough judge -- then I know that there's a good chance that it did something special, and then most of the time that have been. They just had somehow the ability to reach a lot of people."
We asked Eagles songwriter J.D. Souther if while composing with Don Henley and Glenn Frey he ever felt a friendly competition within the trio: "With those guys, yeah, 'cause we were all critical beyond belief. I mean (laughs) y'know. . . I mean we're funny guys, and we were friends so it was a blast to do, but we were very critical while we were writing it. Probably the nicest complement that you would ever hear between the three of us, if someone came up with an idea and deposited a line, the best you would probably hear from the other two guys was, 'Yeah, I think we could say that.' And that was a compliment."
Aerosmith's late-'80s resurgence came only after the band decided to finally get clean. Steven Tyler told us that regaining his sobriety literally gave him a new lease on life: "The reason I stopped taking drugs is not because it was killing me, 'cause I was too busy being high, but that it was stealing something that I had -- by the grace of God, and my parents, and the talent that I was born with -- it started stealing all those things from me, so I stopped taking drugs. And it all came back again, like as if I was 16-years-old, and trying to be in my first band. When you're stoned for 10, 15 years, and you get sober, suddenly things start working again."
Signature Steven Tyler and Joe Perry songs: "Walk This Way," "Same Old Song And Dance," "Toys In The Attic," "Rats In The Cellar," "Back In The Saddle," "Draw The Line," "Dream On" (Steven Tyler only), "Sweet Emotion" (Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton), "Livin' On The Edge" (with Mark Hudson), "Rag Doll" (with Holly Knight), "Cryin'" (with Tyler Rhodes), "Crazy," "What It Takes," and "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" (with Desmond Child).
Signature Mick Jones & Lou Gramm songs: "Cold As Ice," "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Head Games," "Dirty White Boy," "Juke Box Hero," "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and "Feels Like The First Time," "Urgent" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" (Mick Jones only)
Signature J.D. Souther songs: "Best Of My Love," "New Kid In Town," and "Teenage Jail" (with Henley & Frey), ""Doolin-Dalton" and "James Dean" (with Henley, Frey & Jackson Browne), "Victim Of Love" (with Henley, Frey, & Don Felder), "You Never Cry Like A Lover" (with Don Henley), "Heartache Tonight" (with Henley, Frey, & Bob Seger), "The Sad Cafe" (with Henley, Frey & Joe Walsh), "How Long," "The Heart Of The Matter" (with Don Henley & Mike Campbell), "Her Town Too" (with James Taylor & Waddy Wachtel), "You're Only Lonely," "Faithless Love," and "Simple Man, Simple Dream."
Signature Tony Hatch songs: Petula Clark's "Downtown," "Don't Sleep In The Subway," and "I Know A Place," Chris Montez' "Call Me," the Searchers' "Sugar And Spice," and Paul McCartney & Wings' "Crossroads Theme."
Signature Holly Knight songs: Tina Turner's "Better Be Good To Me" (with Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman), Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" and Rod Stewart's "Love Touch" (with Mike Chapman), Benatar's "Invincible" (with Simon Climie), Patty Smythe & Scandal's "The Warrior" (with Nick Gilder), Animotion's "Obsession" (with Michael Des Barres), and Aerosmith's "Rag Doll" (with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry)