Icons of music from Lionel Richie and Eminem to Duran Duran, Pat Benatar and Carly Simon entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame when its induction ceremonies returned to Los Angeles at Microsoft Theater for the first time since 2013 on Saturday.
U2 guitarist The Edge inducted Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, who reunited for a rare performance. Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp closed the the show with a musical tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis, and in an earlier speech, Mellencamp made a passionate plea for every artist to speak out against anti-Semitism and bigotry in the world.
But it was new inductee Dolly Parton, who a year ago protested that she didn’t even belong on the ballot for the Rock Hall, who stole the show on Saturday with her humor, charm and purity of spirit.
After Pink, who inducted Dolly, joined country-rock star Brandi Carlile to sing Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” and Sheryl Crow joined the Zac Brown Band for a rousing take on the classic “9 To 5,” Dolly returned to the stage having swapped her sparkly gown for a shiny maroon patent leather-like jumpsuit and an electric guitar.
“I figured if I’m going to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m gonna have to earn it!” she declared before hitting a few very loud power chords on her new axe. “And you thought I couldn’t rock!”
Parton and the Zac Brown Band then played a new song she’d written, part of what she’d earlier promised to be her first-ever rock album, the lyrics of which paid tribute to the influence of early rock stars like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins on her as a young girl in Tennessee,
“I’ve been rockin’, rockin’, rockin’ since the day I was born,” she sang at the start of the first chorus. “And I’ve still got rock and roll down in my country soul.”
The crowd, and especially the musicians in the room, roared in happy delight.
The traditional end-of-show jam followed, with fellow inductee Pat Benatar, Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, Annie Lennox in a red cowboy hat, and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford in black leather and chains, joining Parton, Pink, Carlile, and Crow to sing Jolene.
“We got a star-studded stage up here don’t we?” Dolly declared in her Tennessee downhome way. “I feel like a hillbilly in the city!”
Here’s how the rest of five-and-a-half hour show, which edited and condensed will air on HBO on Saturday, Nov. 19, went down.
Duran Duran broke news
After actor Robert Downey Jr. introduced the British New Wave band, and they played their hits “Girls On Film,” “Hungry Like The Wolf,” and “Ordinary World,” Le Bon read part of a letter from founding guitarist Andy Taylor who explained his absence by revealing he has stage 4 prostate cancer.
“You can dream about what happened to us, but to experience it, on one’s own terms, as mates, was beyond incredible,” Taylor’s letter read in part.
Later backstage, Le Bon acknowledged how hard Taylor’s diagnosis had hit the band.
“It’s devastating news to find out that a mate, a friend, one of our family is not going to be around very long,” he said. “We love Andy dearly. I’m not going to stand here and cry, I think that would be inappropriate. But that’s how I feel.”
Rapper Eminem delivered a welcome jolt of energy late in the show when, after mentor Dr. Dre inducted him, he packed four songs into the eight or nine minutes allotted to each performer. “Rap God” displayed the ridiculous verbal dexterity and speed for which he’s known.
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler joined him for “Sing For The Moment” and Ed Sheeran came out to sing and play guitar on “Stan,” before Em wrapped up with “Not Afraid.”
He then thanked the audience with remarks that might have set a record for the most expletives used in a Rock Hall induction speech, and paid tribute to his rap influences, reading a list of more than 100 acts who inspired him and paved his way.
“I know the induction is supposed to be me talking about me, but (bleep) that,” Eminem said. “I’m a high school dropout with a hip-hop education. These are my teachers. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Sisters doin’ it for themselves
Women performers, as solo artists or fronting their groups, made up four of the main seven acts inducted this year, something that hasn’t always been the case in years past.
In addition to Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter Carly Simon entered the hall as a solo artist. Simon did not attend the ceremonies — two weeks ago she lost both of her sisters to cancer with just a day separating their deaths.
Sara Bareilles inducted her and then sang “Nobody Does It Better,” the song Simon wrote as the theme to James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Olivia Rodrigo followed with a terrific version of “You’re So Vain,” accompanied by Simon’s longtime guitarist and arranger Jimmy Ryan.
The other two female-fronted acts started out as couples. Pat Benatar and Neil Girardo, who are still married, performed “All Fired Up,” “Love Is A Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker.”
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox started out as a couple in the late ’70s, but found their success as Eurythmics after the romance ended and a fruitful musical partnership began. They’ve not released an album or toured in two decades or so, making their set at the ceremony — “Would I Lie To You?” “Missionary Man,” and “Sweet Dreams” — one of the most exciting.
“You know what, Annie? After 45 years we still rock,” Stewart said at the beginning of his speech. “Thank you, Dave, for the good adventure,” she replied at the start of hers.
‘Easy’ like … Dave Grohl?
Lionel Richie gave a warm, often funny speech after his induction by singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz. He talked about how every time a bandmate, producer, or record label boss tried to steer him away from trying something new he followed his heart instead.
“It was told to me by so many people, ‘These are the songs that will destroy your career,’” he said. Instead, he continued, those were the songs that landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Song such as “Hello,” which opened his mini-set, “Easy,” which saw Foo Fighter Dave Grohl join him on stage, though Grohl had been sitting next to Judas Priest in the audience, and “All Night Long.”
In through the side door
Seven acts were inducted as performers this year: Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and Carly Simon. But more were inducted into the Rock Hall under three additional categories.
Musical Excellence Awards went to songwriter-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were inducted by Janet Jackson, one of the many acts whose instantly recognizable sound they helped craft, and also Judas Priest, one of the founders of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Judas Priest were inducted by Alice Cooper, after which they roared through “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.
“I’m the gay guy in the band,” singer Rob Halford said to the delight of the crowd, going on to give a speech about how at its best, heavy metal is a community that accepts all who love the music, regardless of their sexuality, race, or any other differences.
Early Influencer Awards went to singer Harry Belafonte and the late folk-blues artist Elizabeth Cotten. And Ahmet Ertegun Awards for Lifetime Achievement went to the late Sylvia Robinson, who went from singer to founder of the influential early hip-hop label Sugar Hill Records, producer Jimmy Iovine, who later founded Interscope Records, and entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman.
Springsteen inducted Iovine, who he met with “this skinny Italian kid” and promised Springsteen and his manager Jon Landau that he could handle the job of engineering the album “Born To Run.” Later, as Iovine was thanking a long list of mentors such as Springsteen and Landau, he also thanked himself for that album.
“Jon looked at me and said, ‘Can you do this?’” Iovine said. “I’d like to thank myself for having the (nerve) to say yes.”
Mellencamp, who along with stars such as Mariah Carey, Sting and U2, has long been a client of lawyer Allen Grubman, used the end of his induction speech to deliver a fiery call for all entertainers to use their platforms to fight anti-Semitism and bigotry
“Here’s the trick: Silence is complicity,” he told the audience. “I’m standing here tonight in solidarity with Allen, his family, all of my Jewish friends, and all the Jewish people of the world,” he said in remarks that didn’t not mention the recent anti-Semitic comments or social media posts of stars such as Ye, the former Kanye West, and Brooklyn Nets basketball star Kyrie Irving.
“(Bleep) anti-Semitism and (bleep) anybody who says anything of that matter.”
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/06/rock-roll-hall-of-fame-highlights-from-the-star-studded-los-angeles-ceremony/ Highlights from the star-studded Los Angeles ceremony – Orange County Register