The 34th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame took place on Friday night (March 29th) at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The 2019 class was comprised of Def Leppard inducted by Brian May; Stevie Nicks inducted by Harry Styles, the Zombies inducted by Susanna Hoffs; Janet Jackson by Janelle Monae; the Cure by Trent Reznor; Radiohead by David Byrne, and Roxy Music by Duran Duran's Simon LeBon and John Taylor.
Radiohead did not perform and was represented by drummer Phil Selway and guitarist Ed O’Brien. Despite Janet Jackson launching her Las Vegas residency next month, she chose to pass on performing — a move some industry insiders were whispering had to everything do with the Jackson family's beef with HBO for showing the Leaving Neverland doc. The event was largely predictable with the only real surprise performance coming the second song in, when an unannounced Don Henley joined Stevie Nicks for a rendition of their 1981 classic duet, “Leather And Lace.” After that, a somewhat awkward Harry Styles joined Nicks and her band on “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around.”
Def Leppard closed out the show with a cover of Mott The Hoople's “All The Young Dudes” featuring Mott frontman — and Joe Elliott's hero — Ian Hunter taking the lead, with Leppard augmented by Brian May, Susanna Hoffs, the Zombies' Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera.
Steve Van Zandt presented five songs in the recently-added Hall of Fame “Singles” category, saluting “Maybe” by the Chantels; “Tequila” by the Champs; “Money (That’s What I Want)” by Barrett Strong; “Twist And Shout” by the Isley Brothers; and “Gloria” by the Shadows Of Knight.
Brian May, a longtime friend and fan of Def Leppard's spoke of some inside secrets he and frontman Joe Elliott shared with one another: “These guys are a magnificent rock group in the classic tradition of what a classic rock group really is. Early on, Joe (Elliott) said, 'What's the story, the secret of a successful rock group?' I said, 'Don't split up' (laughter). A few years later, he came back and he said to me, 'I have a couple of other secrets; you have to not get fat and you have to keep your hair' (laughter). I have to say, these guys did not get fat, they did not lose their hair, they did not split up — and they are here tonight, ladies and gentleman (applause). . . these guys are a great band! (applause).”
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott spoke about how every time the band was about to be counted out, they not only rebounded — but came back stronger: “And that's the way that it always played out throughout our career. So, let's face facts, people here: If alcoholism, car crashes, and cancer couldn't kill us — than the '90s had no (bleep-bleep) chance”
Stevie Nicks was joined at her table by her fellow Fleetwood Mac bandmates — who also joined her backstage. In her induction speech she touched upon the historical importance of snagging the award as a solo artist: “It's not hard for me to play for you, but it is hard for me to try to tell you how I thank you for this. For this being the first girl in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (applause).” We asked Simon LeBon if the Cure being chosen for the Rock Hall raised his hopes for Duran Duran and the other English bands they came up with in the 1980's being inducted: “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts seven acts a year, so there must be a very sort of fine process of elimination to get there. One does not presume to be inducted. It's just one of those things that might or might not happen — and if it does, you're very grateful for it.”
17 years after being inducted into the Hall as part of the Talking Heads, David Byrne was on hand to salute Radiohead's groundbreaking career: “I'm a huge fan of the group. They richly deserve this honor — for two reasons; the music and constant innovation in the music. But equally for the innovations in how they released their work and how they market it and get it to the public.”
Ron Argent told us that the way he and Colin Blunstone go about their work with the Zombies hasn't changed over the decades: “We play with the same passion now that we did when we were 18-years-old. And, um, of course it's the original guys here that are being inducted. We always approach what we're doing exactly the same way as we did when we first started out. We still get completely energized by being able to write new music, record it, and play it in front of appreciative audiences. Y'know, that's still the excitement that we feel.”
Janet Jackson spoke about the need to create a career for herself and escape the long shadow her brothers' amazing work: “As the youngest in the family I was determined to make it on my own (applause) I wanted to stand on my own two feet. But never in a million years did I expect to follow in their footsteps. Tonight, your baby sister has (applause) made it (applause).”
The Setlist To The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Stevie Nicks “Stand Back” “Leather And Lace” – with Don Henley “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around – with Harry Styles “Edge Of Seventeen”
The Cure “Shake Dog Shake” “A Forest” “Lovesong” “Just Like Heaven” “Boys Don't Cry”
The Zombies “Time Of The Season” “This Will Be Our Year” “Tell Her No” “She's Not There”
Roxy Music “In Every Dream Home A Heartache” “Out Of The Blue” “Love Is The Drug” “More Than This” “Avalon” “Editions Of You”
Def Leppard “Rock Of Ages” “Photograph” “Pour Some Sugar On Me” “All The Young Dudes” – with Brian May, Ian Hunter, Susanna Hoffs, The Zombies' Rod Argent & Colin Blunstone, and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera.
Source: Pulse of Radio