An A+ Class Makes Their Entrance into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
by Amy Lignor
This Saturday night, the airing of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony brought the roof down! Amazing moments that will be remembered by music fans for a long time to come were mixed with humor, pure emotion in regards to careers that will never be matched by anyone in the industry – past or present, and some truly poignant goodbyes.
The list of inductees were: ELO, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur and the band Yes. In addition, the Award for Musical Excellence went to Nile Rodgers. But these were not the only tributes or celebrations. In fact, there were extremely surprising guests that no one thought would appear. Leave it to the Hall of Fame to bring about surprises.
One of the biggest questions before this evening arrived was who would take the time to pay homage to Tupac – the man who went into the R&R Hall of Fame who was absent because of tragedy and violence. It was almost endearing (and certainly beautiful) that Alicia Keys was chosen to honor the man with a medley of Tupac’s songs that struck a chord with millions across the globe. Alicia spoke about her love and belief in the man and the performer, and her sincere passion for his words and his music. But once the beauty of Alicia departed the stage, in came rappers Snoop Dogg and YG. In addition, Treach (Naughty by Nature) performed “Hail Mary,” while dressed up in Tupac’s bowtie bandanna. From sweet and lovely to loud and proud, these performers paid tribute to a man whose life was cut far too short.
Being that this was the first ceremony held since the most important person in rock and roll history passed away, ELO took to the stage and gave Chuck Berry fans a delight when they delivered “Roll Over Beethoven.” It was so loud, chances were Mr. Berry, himself, was rocking along up in heaven and having a grand old time.
Another inductee, Joan Baez, kept to her roots during the ceremony. Yes, Baez has been a protester of peace during her lifetime. She has stood up for great causes and great people, so she simply wouldn’t have been her if she hadn’t brought our new President (if you can say that word without getting sick), into the limelight. She sang about everything from deportees to social activism. And when Joan did a solo of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” she tried to make Trump feel better by saying that: “I saw a band of angels, and they were coming to carry you, me, us, even Donald, home.”
Now, Pearl Jam and Yes were two of the biggest bands of the night. Both Class ‘A’ rock bands, the audience basically freaked out for both of them when they made their appearances. It was Geddy Lee who helped induct Yes into the Hall of Fame. This bassist from Rush joined Yes onstage and burst out “Roundabout” for all to scream and yell to. As far as Geddy is concerned, Yes is his all-time favorite band and wanted nothing more than to not mess his moment up. And he most certainly did not.
Unfortunately, for many, it did not happen that singer Steve Perry reunited with Journey during the ceremony when the band was inducted. He did not sing, yet did give a very nice speech in regards to the fact that the band he once played with most certainly deserved the honor they were given by the Hall of Fame. And, yes, when “Don’t Stop Believin’” began, the entire hall erupted with applause. Just shows that no matter how old you get, there are some songs and some performers that just stick with you for the rest of your life.
Inductee Nile Rodgers got highly emotional during his acceptance speech, but perhaps one of the most emotional moments of all came when a man not inducted this year (but certainly will be soon) was given a tribute. It was Lenny Kravitz who appeared onstage to bid goodbye to the late artisan, Prince. This is one man who is truly missed!
David Letterman added some humor, Eddie Vedder shouted out for Climate Change, and even a very humble Michael J. Fox was revered. But when it came to say goodbye for the night, the all-star finale was truly a conglomeration of musical genius.
The entire Class of 2017 brought down the house with an unforgettable jam session. Eddie Vedder did his victory lap around the stage and an iconic song – “Rockin’ in the Free World” was literally brought to life by Pearl Jam, Journey, and every other “Class A” act that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame made a permanent place for inside their walls!
Music fans everywhere are already excited about what next year will bring.
Source: GIG News