Last night (April 18th), the 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony took place in downtown Los Angeles at the Nokia Theater. A truncated version of the evening's events will air on HBO on May 18th. The inductees to the Rock Hall class of 2013 were Rush, Heart, Donna Summer, blues legend Albert King, Randy Newman, and rappers Public Enemy. The prestigious Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award was given to record mogul Lou Adler and Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr.
Although the classic 1975 to 1979 Heart lineup -- featuring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson along with lead guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, longtime guitarist/keyboardist Howard Leese, and drummer Michael DeRosier -- was inducted, Rush fans have been up in arms over the Hall overlooking original Rush drummer, John Rutsey. Rutsey co-founded the band, played on their 1973 debut single -- a cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" -- as well as the band's 1973 self-titled album. Rutsey, who quit the band due to complications from diabetes in 1974, died in 2008.
Rush drummer Neil Peart, normally the most reclusive member of the band, gave the first and most eloquent of the three members' speeches, followed by bassist/singer Geddy Lee. But it was guitarist Alex Lifeson who brought down the house with a speech consisting entirely of "blah blah blahs," changing the tone of his voice to exhibit a range of emotions -- with everyone understanding what he meant, especially when he "described" getting the call that the band was being inducted.
The night ended with the traditional jam as all the members of Rush, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Chuck D. from Public Enemy, Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, John Fogerty, Gary Clark Jr., Tom Morello and DMC of Run-DMC broke out "Crossroads."
THE SCENE BACKSTAGE
Rush bassist Geddy Lee was asked on the red carpet if he thought the acclaimed documentary on the band, Beyond The Lighted Stage, played a role in the groundswell of support for the band's induction into the Hall of Fame: "Oh, I think it probably did have an effect to a certain degree because of the way the filmmakers put that story together. I think it really showed what a vast and diverse audience that we do have and what the effect of our music has been on young players. And one of the criteria of the Hall of Fame is influence, so I think it's easy to see that in that film."
Rush drummer Neil Peart said that the band's fans had a personal stake in seeing the band inducted: "The thing is, with our fans, is that we grew up together. We always say 'the soundtrack of your life' is a phrase that I love, but it has been that case and we have evolved naturally in our music and our lyrics and our songs and all that, of our experiences from our past and our present as grown-ups, and we've expressed all that through our songs. So a lot of them have grown up with that in a very real, true way, so they share it and they feel like they're part of the team, and our team should win."
Randy Newman on whether he thought he would ever get into the Hall of Fame: "I just didn't think I would get in, 'cause when I didn't get in with the original sort of interest, then I was never -- didn't think it would happen 'til I died or something, or never. 'Cause why would I?"
Newman on how he selected which songs to play: "They suggested some stuff. I wanted to do 'I Am Dead' particularly, because it's a good place for it, and 'I Love L.A.' was the one to open with it, and it was either 'Rain' or 'Sail Away' and I thought I'd do 'Rain.'"
Chuck D. of Public Enemy said that despite being among the pioneers of hip-hop, his group was never a mainstream act: "We were always the uncool, the unpopular, matter of fact, we ain't even the most popular going in right now. We was like, we've never been on a Rolling Stone cover, we've never had a Grammy, we've never had a Top 10 record, you know, in America. Never had any of those things. Only thing we knew how to do was rock the house."
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME FAST FACTS
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983. Artists become eligible to enter the Hall 25 years after the release of their debut single.
The official Rock Hall and Museum opened on September 2nd, 1995 in a building designed by I. M. Pei. The city of Cleveland was chosen after successfully lobbying that "rock and roll" had started with Alan Freed, a Cleveland native who first took to the airwaves in the city.
- The first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony took place on January 23rd, 1986 in Cleveland, Ohio. The inaugural class of the Hall of Fame featured rock's forefathers -- Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sam Cooke, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
- Included in the Non-Performer category were Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, and seminal disc jockey Alan Freed.
- Also inducted that night in the Early Influence category were blues icon Robert Johnson, country's Jimmie Rogers, and boogie-woogie pianist Jimmy Yancey. Columbia Records' A&R man John Hammond -- who was responsible for discovering Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, among others -- received the Hall's first Lifetime Achievement Award.
- The emotional inductions included Keith Richards' speech inducting Chuck Berry, and John Lennon's sons Julian and Sean Lennon inducting their father's hero, Elvis Presley.
CHECK IT OUT: All the Rock Hall inductees throughout the years: http://tinyurl.com/2e2zs8u
RNR Hall Of Fame - Chuck D. On Public Enemy Never Being Mainstream
RNR Hall Of Fame - Geddy Lee On The Impact Of The Rush Documentary
RNR Hall Of Fame - Randy Newman On Choosing What To Play
RNR Hall Of Fame - Randy Newman On Whether He'd Ever Get In
RNR Hall Of Fame - Rush's Neil Peart On The Band's Fans
Read more at Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock Classic Rock and Rolling Stone
Read more on Rush at Blabbermouth, Ultimate Classic Rock, Noisecreep, Spinner, Rolling Stone, Billboard and NME
Check out an interview with Alex Lifeson at Blabbermouth
Read more on Heart at Ultimate Classic Rock and Billboard
Read more about backstage at Rolling Stone
Ultimate Classic Rock posts photos of Rush and Heart
Read more on the Rush/Foo Fighters performance at Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock and Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone reports John Fogerty kept Randy Newman calm at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
Rolling Stone reports Tom Morello praises Public Enemy, Rush at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
Rolling Stone reports Public Enemy's Chuck D: Albert King "Was Always Terminator X's Main Dude"
Rolling Stone reports Randy Newman defends Disco at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
Rolling Stone reports Lou Adler: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction "Really Matters"
Rolling Stone wants to know who should be inducted next into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?