It was a very Happy Birthday for Roger Earl of the band Foghat on May 21. In a surprise birthday party and induction ceremony, Earl became the latest inductee to the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) at the LIMEHOF’s museum in Stony Brook.
Foghat is a hard rock band that was formed in 1971 and had several hit songs including “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Slow Ride”. The band has a rich history of performing on Long Island and even opened a recording studio in Port Jefferson in 1979 where they recorded the album Boogie Motel.
“I’m totally overwhelmed and really surprised that my manager lied to me,” said Earl, 77, of East Setauket. “I was absolutely blown away. I had no idea and to see so many people here… I didn’t know I had that many friends… It was terrific, very moving, overwhelming and I’m just humbled by it.” The surprise party was an idea from his wife and manager, Linda Earl, who went to great lengths to set up and keep the event a surprise, even convincing Roger that he was going to be the one inducting someone else.
“It was really intense,” said Linda Earl. “We had so many moveable parts. We played in New Jersey last night. Roger thought the band and the crew all went to the airport when in fact they came out to stay at a hotel in Stony Brook. He thought he was inducting Jim Faith (LIMEHOF Co-founder). He’s been practicing his speech all week… I totally had him hoodwinked from the beginning.”
After a the surprise party greeting, LIMEHOF Co-Founder Norm Prusslin took the stage to announce the surprise induction and it was musician and Roger’s friend Bobby Rondinelli (who played with several bands including Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow, Quiet Riot, Black Sabbath and others) who had the honor of inducting Earl.
“Roger is a guy I met before I played with any big bands and he treated me as an equal. He was always kind and supportive, just the coolest guy in the business,” said Rondinelli. “It is a good thing this isn’t a roast because I really couldn’t say anything bad about him. It’s long over-due. Roger’s been a Long Islander for close to 50 years and Foghat was a huge band and it’s just the right thing to have him in.”
After the induction ceremony the band members of Foghat including Earl took the stage and played a few songs.
“We are pleased to honor and welcome Roger Earl as a 2023 Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee,” said Prusslin. “A 50-year resident of Long Island, Roger is recognized as one of the top drummers in rock, first with Savoy Brown and then powering the band Foghat throughout a legendary catalog of million selling albums and a career of sold-out concerts around the world. When not on the road or in the studio, Roger has a long history of giving his time and talents to a variety of benefit and fundraising events on Long Island and in 2019 he was awarded an Arts Festival Partner Award for his support of students at Stony Brook University as a mentor, guest speaker and panelist.”
Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall Of Fame (LIMEHOF) is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical and entertainment heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music and entertainment in all its forms. In 2022, LIMEHOF opened its first Hall of Fame building location in Stony Brook Village. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators.