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The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame: 2017 Edition

Thanks to the friend of a friend who couldn’t make it at the last minute, I bagged myself a ticket to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where ELO, Yes, Joan Baez, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Tupac and Pearl Jam were being honoured. It’s basically like one big music history lesson inside a mini-concert/giant karaoke session, with a few thank you speeches peppered in between and some surprise guest appearances. In other words, a pretty good time, if a very long evening. Here then, some of my highlights:
  1. ELO opening with a tribute to the late Chuck Berry, the first person to be inducted into the RRHOF 32 years ago. This happened after being inducted by Dhani Harrison, who regaled us with stories of his father George taking him to see ELO for his first concert at age 7.
  2. Silver-haired Joan Baez bringing her flower-power spirit of protest, singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, taking a small dig at President Donald Trump, saying even he would be carried home. She also spoke to her age, saying a lot of people don’t know who she is – “even my granddaughter didn’t know who I was. Until I took her backstage at a Taylor Swift concert.” When she brought out the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter to sing Woodie Guthrie’s Deportee it felt like I finally had a glimpse of what going to Lilith Fair must’ve been like.
  3. Members of Rush inducting members of YES – including South African Trevor Rabin, who wrote Owner of a Lonely Heart, which they all then played to great delight.
  4. Pharrell waxing lyrical, very literally, about Nile Rodgers and the first time he heard Get Lucky (“It reminded me of a party on an exotic island on another planet”), and then Nile saying all he ever wanted was to have one hit song. $3 billion worth of hits’ later…
  5. Snoop Dogg talked about how he and Tupac shared many firsts – Pac gave him his first joint, and they went parasailing together for the first time.
  6. David Letterman explaining how this video came to be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwmlzDaRoI4
  7. Michael J Fox being in the audience as Vedder thanked him for talking about how much the song Given to Fly, meant to him in his book.
  8. The Pearl Jam medley which had 99% of the arena in a fan frenzy.
    As song after amazing song was performed, it just reaffirmed that the musician may be getting older (some, very old!), but the songs never do.

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