Everyone who goes to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, or Cleveland for that matter, is typically disappointed (see: James, LeBron), but the inductions are a pretty cool party. This year's class is amazing, let's hope the celebration is the same...
Beasts Of Hip-Hop
Chuck D and LL Cool J were the privileged two asked to induct the awesome Beastie Boys. This was a tough moment at the ceremony as MCA could not attend due to his illness, which of course tragically took him from us this week.
I remember when my brother turned me on to The Beastie Boys -- they had great albums, great singles and great videos like "Sabotage." They introduced us to a new kind of music: hip-hop mixed with rock and a sense of humor. Classy move by the Beasties in attendance to not perform without their colleague MCA, but we did get a good medley starring Travie, Kid Rock, Black Thought, Mixmaster Mike, Questlove and others.
Letters From Heaven
Adam "MCA" Yauch, who at the time was at the very end of his battle with cancer, wrote a really sweet letter that was read by group mate ADROCK. In it, MCA dedicated the award to his "brothers" in the Beastie Boys, who "walked the globe together." In a touching tribute, he spun a few funny stories -- including one of a friend's father who would always bust in the door during rehearsals and insist that they "Turn that f___ing s__t off already." He spoke of the Boys "disturbing Brooklyn" together. Finally, MCA dedicated the moment most of all to his wife and daughter, which knowing what we now know, is even more beautiful and very tough to digest. Rest In Peace Adam, and thank you for introducing me to a crazy new form of music -- and it's not going away.
Every year there are bound to be some inductees you've never heard of, and this class is no exception. First up, Freddie King was inducted by ZZ Top. Cool, moving along. Next, John Mellencamp, who had to smoke on stage of course (this is Rock & Roll after all), inducted Donovan. Really good speech by Mellencamp, followed by a really bad poem by Donovan.
Bette Midler came to posthumously welcome singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, followed by a nice tribute performance by Sara Bareilles. Later in the program, Smokey Robinson proved that he is still the smoothest dude in the world. He brought us to a portion of the 2012 Class's no-names that get effectively no TV time. Later, we got some engineer inductees, which was about as exciting as the "Sound Mixing" awards at the Oscars. Just a thought -- if they don't get any coverage in a two-and-a-half-hour long program, maybe they're not quite deserving of a Hall of Fame induction?
The Show Must Go On
After the MCA tribute, Carole King returned to speak about Don Kirshner, who brought us so many classic songs from behind the scenes. This was followed up by a nice Memoriam montage with, again, mostly people I've never heard of. It's always a little awkward during these things when the better known celebrities get clearly more applause. They're all equally deceased, right? But I digress.
Moving along -- how bad is Stevie Van Zandt's scoliosis? Yikes. He's here to induct The Small Faces/Faces. Stevie shares a great story about when he first found out that Rod Stewart was actually white. Of course Rod didn't bother to show up -- guess there was a 22-year-old bimbo with no self esteem somewhere.
Rose Colored Glasses
It'll never stop being weird seeing two imperfect versions of Guns N Roses. I'll never forget when they supposedly returned at the MTV Awards -- host Jimmy Fallon introduced them to close the show, only it wasn't actually GnR. What a disappointment. Anyway, it doesn't matter what's happened since the split, because they (expletive) ROCKED back in the day. Loved those guys, and it might be for the best that we'll never get mediocre records from a middle-aged version of the original group to sour what they accomplished.
Slash was so damn good that he actually inspired me to take up guitar, and then he was so damn good that it made me quit guitar. Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day summed it up when he said that Appetite For Destruction is the best debut album in the history of rock & roll. He then followed it up with a weird moment when it came to speaking about Axl Rose and the boos rained down. More bad news for Axl later during a great performance -- new dude can SING.
Red Hot Headliners
Why did Chris Rock present the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Did he have some relationship with them, or did they just need someone who could properly deliver an Axl Rose joke after the Billie Joe awkwardness? Anyway, Chris does a great job and shares a funny story of the first time he saw the band. The Chili Peppers were never my cup of tea, but they do wail live. Wow, Anthony Kiedis has the absolute worst mustache I've ever seen -- it makes his haircut look good. Actually, nothing can do that.
So what did you guys think of the 2012 class, and the show? What were the best moments? Were there any snubs? Good night Cleveland, we love you!