Pittsburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends Awards, Hard Rock Cafe
They shook, they rattled, they rolled, and by the time Pittsburgh’s rock deities were finished on the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe in Station Square, the only thing left for the audience to do was beg for more.
Barely an hour in, and the Pittsburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends Awards was already living up to a reputation that had caused the phone to ring off the hook as people clamored for tickets. In one corner, a signed copy of Bruce Springsteen’s “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” was dominating the silent auction with an early bid of $1K. In another, Donnie Iris was said to have “nearly lost his mind” when he saw a doppelganger channeling his brief appearance from the 1980 “Back on the Streets” album.
Elsewhere, aerialists dangled upside down and painted ladies near the tented entrance to the VIP party outside braved the elements with little more than a smile to keep them warm.
Iris and Rick Witkowski launched into an acoustic version of “Ah! Leah” that had hands in the air waving cellphones — the modern-day equivalent of cigarette lighters.
With the main room at full capacity, Larry Richert couldn’t resist reminding former WDVE morning DJ Steve Hansen of his radio glory days, back when “they used kerosene-powered guitars” before the introduction of this year’s honorees: Porky Chedwick, Iris and Lou Christie.
When Joe Grushecky, B.E. Taylor, Jack Hunt, Billy Price, Rusted Root, Donna Groom, Hermie Granati, Art Nardini, Frank Czuri and Joffo Simmons played tribute, it was pandemonium.
Spied April 23 were DianeHolder,Rich andCindy Engler, Lucas andRenee Piatt, Theresa Kaufman, Mary Ann Miller, Scott Tady, Dr. Stanley Marks, Roy Smith, and Rebecca Whitlinger. Proceeds benefitted the Cancer Caring Center.