Not your average teen idol.
He had the commercial success and good looks of a teen pop star, but Del Shannon was so much more. He wrote, played guitar on and sang his own songs, often in a minor key that predicted the trends of the British Invasion.
"Runaway"Billy Joel and Bonnie Raitt perform tribute to Del Shannon "Runaway" at the 1999 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Hall of Fame Essay
The characters that populated Del Shannon’s songs often could be found, to paraphrase a fellow inductee, in the darkness on the edge of town.
His haunted heroes were always either leaving or being left behind, in pursuit or being pursued. For Shannon, there were no happy endings, even though his protagonists already had the girl-in fact, that’s usually where the trouble started.
“Love’s a deadly game,” he sang in one of his later tunes. But if the subject matter was dark, the music was some of the most uplifting rockin’ around.
"Runaway" left a really lasting, indelible impression on me
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage
Cleveland, Ohio 44114