This Saturday saw the well past due induction of former Beatle’s drummer Ringo Starr into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Along with Starr, who was inducted for his solo career that spans 18 studio albums, were 90s punk band, Green Day and handful of legends from genres of soul to R&B to the hall’s namesake, rock ‘n’ roll.
It was a star-clad event, with some epic performances, including the likes of Miley Cyrus, Bill Withers, Paul McCartney, Starr, Beck, Karen O, Wonder, and Dave Grohl joining up to honour the Beatles. And that’s only on one number! Former Nirvana drummer and now Foo Fighters front man, Grohl, also gave a knockout performance with rock goddess, Joan Jett with The Runaways song, ‘Cheery Bomb’.
Along with the entertainment, lucky audience members got to enjoy some heartfelt speeches from their favorite legends. Members of Green Day and Starr kept it down to earth and down and dirty in their acceptance speeches.
Starr, who was formally inducted by fellow Beatle, Paul McCartney, had some advice for bands just starting out: keep it close by sharing hotel rooms on the road and, “if you fart, own up. Everyone’s blaming everyone else…we made a pact in the van, OK. That’s how we get on so well.” You can read the full speech, about his journey across the universe
of musical beginnings and rise to fame here
Green Day, meanwhile, took a moment to thank, ‘the hundreds of people who let us sleep on their floors’. The band’s front man, Billie Joe Armstrong later stated, “I love rock & roll music…I have from the first moment I opened my eyes and took my first breath.” That love certainly showed through when the band performed some of their hits, including, ‘American Idiot’, ‘When I Come Around’ and ‘Basket Case’.
Singer and legend in her own right, Patti Smith, was also there for the posthumous induction of Lou Reed, who passed away in 2013. Reed rose to fame during his solo years in the 1970s, with the song ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and inspired legions of future angst-ridden singer-songwriters from his early days with the band The Velvet Underground.
Smith gave a sincere speech about the day she heard of Reed’s death, when she took a subway into New York City and saw that “people were crying on the street.” She went onto thank the ‘Sunday Morning’ singer for his many contributions, stating, “Thank you, Lou, for brutally and benevolently injecting poetry into your music.
Also honoured with an induction was ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ singer-songwriter, Bill Withers. 76 year-old Withers made his exit from the music industry in the mid-80s, but he made a lasting impression on scores of future musicians during his active years, including the one and only, Stevie Wonder.
Wonder formally inducted Withers and stated that upon hearing Withers’ music he would often say, “I wish I could have written that song.” Now, if that is not the ultimate compliment, I don’t know what is.
Rock icon, Joan Jett and her band The Blackhearts were also there to be honoured for how much they really love rock ‘n’ roll
. Jett, who broke barriers for women in rock with her teen girl band, The Runaways
, was truly touched by the occasion. While she tried to keep it together a few tears slipped through and Jett admitted, “I tried not to cry and be tough.”
We think you’re still pretty tough Joan and most definitely still a “badass babe” as stated by Miley Cyrus during Jett’s formal induction. Cyrus also recounted a badass memory of smoking pot with Jett in a hotel bathroom before their appearance on the Oprah
show together, stating, “I’m gonna start off this induction with the first time I wanted to have sex with Joan Jett.” Ah, classic, classy Miley.
Additional inductees at this year’s event included guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and the band Double Trouble, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and The “5” Royales. The rest of world beyond those 10’000 in attendance can catch all the other magical moments from the evening during HBO’s broadcast on May 30.