NEW YORK (AP) — Chubby Checker wants the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to know it’s time to induct him into its exclusive club before it’s too late.
“I don’t want to get in there when I’m 85 years old. I’ll tell them to drop dead, so you better do it quick while I’m still smiling,” Checker said Thursday.
Checker’s recording of “The Twist,” and subsequent “Let’s Twist Again” are considered among the most popular songs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
“Let’s Twist Again’ was the first rock ‘n’ roll song that received a Grammy (in 1962),” Checker said.
The 72-year-old recording artist equates a place in the Cleveland-based hall to the ability to sustain his career.
“If you put me in when I’m too old to make a living, then it’s no good for me to be in there.”
He added: “The Rolling Stones, they’re in there. The Beastie Boys are in there, they’re young. Hall and Oates were just in there and they’re still making money.”
He made the comments on the red carpet for the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York where Checker performed “Let’s Twist Again” for the ASCAP Centennial celebration. A representative for the Rock Hall didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, Daryl Hall mentioned that Hall and Oates was the first Philadelphia-based band to be inducted. And after mentioning Chubby Checker, he said: “Why isn’t he in?”
And he’s not alone. Before going into the ceremony, legendary songwriter Kenny Gamble — of the songwriting team Gamble and Huff — said he feels Checker is long overdue.
“I think Chubby Checker should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s the only person I know to have the same song go to No. 1 twice.”