Classic rock inductees were brilliantly honored at the 30th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Saturday in Cleveland. During the induction ceremony, speeches were given as introductions and acceptances. Artists from varied genres and generations performed mini concerts of greatest hits. Unfortunately the event was not televised live, as it has in the past. The good news is it will air on HBO, but not until late May. In the meantime here’s a sneak peek as to what happened at Public Hall.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts started off the induction ceremonies with Miley Cyrus giving the first induction speech. Jett was overcome with emotion when she received a standing ovation. Her performance included some of the early hits “Cherry Bomb” and “Bad Reputation.” Dave Grohl provided added guitar and vocals to The Runaways signature song. A very special guest was brought on stage. Tommy James who’s most famous for the 1968 hit “Crimson and Clover” joined Joan Jett in her 1982 cover version. Cyrus, Grohl, and the audience joined in singing the ‘60s classic.
J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf presented the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. They introduced to the rock genre, in the mid-1960s, a Chicago-style blues sound. Surviving members Elvin Bishop, Sam Lay, and Mark Naftalin accepted the award on behalf of their band’s frontman Paul Butterfield and guitarist Mike Bloomfield who both passed away in the 1980s. Zac Brown and Tom Morello performed “Born In Chicago” and later Bishop and Lay closed with Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Workin.’”
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble was inducted by John Mayer. In his speech Mayer described Vaughan as “the ultimate guitar hero.” The Double Trouble band members accepted the award, along with Stevie’s brother Jimmie. Performances from Mayer, Double Trouble, and Jimmie included “Pride and Joy,” “Texas Flood” and “Six Strings Down,” a tribute to Stevie.
Patti Smith once again inducted Lou Reed, this time as a solo artist. He was first inducted into the HOF in 1996 with the Velvet Underground. Laurie Anderson, Reed’s widow, accepted the award. The “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” sang “Vicious,” followed by Beck, who performed “Satellite of Love.”
In true fashion the Hall of Fame saved the very best for last. Ringo Starr was indeed inducted into the Hall by his former bandmate, Paul McCartney. Last year the remaining pair of The Beatles was reunited at the Grammys and a televised special for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arriving in America. Ringo gave a fascinating speech chronicling his rise to fame in Liverpool before becoming the Beatles’ drummer. He reminisced while listening on Luxembourg Radio, the Alan Freed “rock and roll” show from Cleveland, where that term was actually coined, was a favorite of his.
Afterwards, Ringo began with “Boys” on drums accompanied by fellow inductees Green Day (and future classic rockers). Joe Walsh, Ringo’s real-life brother-in-law, was on guitar and Ringo on vocals for one of his greatest hits “It Don’t Come Easy.” It wouldn’t be complete without the Beatles hit featuring Ringo on lead vocals of “With a Little Help From My Friends.” The drummer called out a special friend for the final performance of the night who just happened to be Paul McCartney. The Beatles are now the only band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with all of its members also inducted as solo artists.