Update (2/24/12): Barry Fey video montage added below.
All is right with the universe this morning. We have a pair of Grammy winners in our midst, and as it should be, Harry Tuft and Barry Fey are now officially part of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. While we didn't stick around until the very end of the festivities -- when we left, Firefall was in full swing with Chris Daniels and John Magnie of the Subdudes sitting in -- we were there for most of it, and we can tell you that it was positively lovely.
As reported, the ceremony, originally slated for the Del Ward Athletic Center, was moved to The Stadium Club at Folsom Field. The site of second annual Colorado Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony proved to be the perfect place to host the event. With the Flatirons providing the ideal backdrop, it's hard to imagine a more ideal or picturesque setting to honor two Colorado music legends.
Harry Tuft, founder of the Denver Folklore Center, was the first to be inducted. Future Hall of Famer Otis Taylor kick things off with a song about his friend called, "Harry, Turn the Music Up," with Kenny Passarelli and Larry Thompson. The equally iconic Dick Weissman followed and set the tone for the reverential speech that Nick Forster of eTown and Hot Rize fame later gave about Harry with a ditty whose title pretty much says it all, "He Did It, Friends, For You (The Ballad of Harry Tuft)." Sample lyrics: "It was never about the money, the glory or fame/He doesn't have a 401k or a Grammy to his name/It was always about the music and the people passing through/Raise your voices in this song/He did it, friends, for you."
In his clearly heartfelt induction speech, Forster offered even more insight into Harry's legacy, touching upon the high points of his esteemed career, noting how it truly wasn't about the money for the trailblazer and how Harry made a concerted effort from very early on to ensure that his staff always took care to offer reasonable compensation for the used instruments they purchased.
When Forster finished, Harry trotted out in pair of sunglasses and a bow tie and gave an impassioned speech of his own. After reflecting on his time in Denver and how he went from first discovering folk music to later founding the Folklore Center, and how the entire time he was inspired by a simple desire to sing, he then invited a few of his friends up on stage and did the thing he loves the most. For "If I Didn't Care," he enlisted Forster, Mollie O'Brien, Rich Moore and Weissman, and then played a trio of songs with Grubstake, including a notably moving rendition of "Over the Rainbow."
After a brief breakdown of what lies ahead from Hall director G. Brown (see tentative agenda below), it was Barry Fey's turn to be honored. Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald did the honors for Barry and reflected on his time working for legendary concert promoter, sharing how Barry once noted how more than one person had observed how he was sometimes difficult to deal with, "like that was a bad thing," Fitzgerald remembered Barry saying. Like Forster's speech, Fitzgerald's was notably heartfelt.
Barry himself later marveled at his kind words, saying it was one of the nicest and warmest introductions he'd ever seen -- but then in true Barry fashion, he quipped that it's too bad that Fitzgerald is a comedian, which means nobody was listening. Turns out, though, Barry wouldn't get the last laugh. Up next was a video montage that G Brown and the folks from the Hall put together that had us all chuckling.
In a humorous mock interview style, Brown asked a Barry a series of questions about his career highlights, to which a still photograph of Barry answered through song clips. Example, when asked abou the infamous tear gas scene from the Denver Pop Festival, pretend Barry observed how everybody was "Crying" and how it was "Crying Time Again" during the equally infamous Jethro Tull show at Red Rocks.
Noting how he had blown it in years previous when he was honored by forgetting to thank and recognize the important people in life -- his first wife, Cindy, and his second wife, Lisa -- Barry started off his speech by expressing his gratitude to those who made his induction possible. With that, he went on to enumerate a veritable classic rock radio playlist that included Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Roger Daltry, Bobby Plant (love that!), Jimmy Page, Bruce Springsteen, Freddie Mercury, Bono and more. More important, though, he informed us all, were the fans, the best in the country, he asserted. To that end, he also recalled how Bono once pointed out how the fans were foremost on Barry's mind at a similar ceremony in the '90s.
When Barry concluded his speech, the guys from Firefall -- Jock Bartley, Steve Weinmeister and Bill Hopkins -- took the stage and rolled through an impressive sounding set of their greatest hits, including "Strange Way" and, most notably, "Just Remember I Love You." During their set, the guys brought up original founding member, Rick Roberts. And that, of course, was followed by an all-star jam with Chris Daniel, who gave props to Bartley for his tasty guitar playing, and John Magnie of the Subdudes.
Overall, it was a solid event that dutifully payed tribute to a pair of Colorado legends. And if memories weren't enough, we each received a pretty takeaway to remember the evening by, a double disc mixtape of Harry and Barry's favorite songs. The former's side features tunes from Nat King Cole and Mose Allison, while the latter's includes cuts from Zeppelin, the Stones and Skynyrd. Another nice added touch: When we arrived we were greeted at Folsom Field, which, of course, once played host to some of Barry's more memorable stadium shows, by folks in Feyline security T-shirts.
Colorado Music Hall of Fame Tentative Agenda for 2012
2Q Inductees - Astronauts - Flash Cadillac - Sugarloaf - Gary Stites - KIMN
3Q Inductees - Dan Fogelberg - Joe Walsh & Barnstorm - Caribou Ranch
* Fogelberg concert tentatively being planned at 1STBANK to coincide with a possible tribute album
4Q Inductees - Judy Collins - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Chris Daniels - Bob Lind
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