Watching the Induction Ceremony at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
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I'm a music junkie! So it's natural that I'd love the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I couldn't get tickets to the actual ceremony so I settled for the next best thing, watch it on a big TV at the Hall of Fame (the Ceremony was at Public Hall, across the street). I'd always said I'd go to the Induction if it's in Cleveland again. Well, here I am!
When my girlfriend Jackie and I got there it was packed, a line going down the street. We got to the end of the line and froze our bootys off waiting to get in. My Brother and his daughter were supposed to come with us but couldn't make it, so I had a couple extra tickets. When an older woman got in line behind us, she was talking to the security guard saying she didn't have a ticket but she'd try to get in anyway.
Once inside I realized that its not set up the way I'd expected. Limited chairs, all of them already full and the whole museum was open. Stupid me, I missed most of the show because I was off wondering around the museum (What!? I couldn't help it!). As we were walking in, the man on the TV before it began to be televised on Fuse, had said that the Hall of Fame Induction week had bought in over a million dollars to Cleveland's ailing economy. Yup, the week leading up to the induction ceremony featured special events and concerts all over Cleveland, including the Moondog Coronation Ball, which I was at (Little Richard, Three Dog Night, Tommy James & the Shondells, Jerry Butler and Herman's Hermits), the week before.
The show began with Little Anthony & the Imperils Preforming a medley of their hits, this was actually one of the best performances of the night. After their performance concluded Smokey Robinson came out to induct them, unfortunately the sound went out and we couldn't hear him. This is when I decided to explore the museum, besides I heard that there were TVs playing the ceremony on multiple floors anyway. Off I go to explore the MTV exhibit, basically a tree of TVs playing clips of music videos. Actually pretty cool, You just have to see it.
Soon we found ourselves up stairs at the Cafe, I watched the screen over the balcony to see Wanda Jackson get inducted and perform. I don't know much of her music, in fact, the one song I know, "Let's have a Party", I Despise! But her performance was good, pretty energetic.
Later on, I was walking around the gift shop when I heard the words Run DMC, I ran to the nearest screen to watch. This is why I'm here, one of my favorites artists are getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I'm glad they got inducted in Cleveland so I could see it (unfortunately the same city Run was accused of rape in, about 18 years ago). Eminem made the induction speech, which I was not excited about, I figured it would have more appropriate to have Chuck D or Grandmaster Flash induct them. But I have to give it to him, Eminem's speech was the best of the night.
Run DMC's acceptance speech was good too, DMC's was the best of the night. Run made sure to thank his brother, Russell Simmons, for helping put them on and coming up with original ideas. Russell used to drink screwdrivers and smoke his weed and say things like "Put heavy guitars on the song", Run and D (reluctantly) obliged and Run DMC became a household name. DMC was like an inspirational speaker, much of what he said echos the things he talked about that morning during his show at the Hard Rock Cafe. He thanked the two most important people in his life, his parents, and explained that if people raise their kids right, they could one day be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame too.
As I walked around the museum, I unfortunately missed Bobby Womack's induction but I could hear his performance and it was good. A nice medley of his hits including, a favorite of mine, "If you think you're lonely now". The best performance of the night was by Jeff Beck. Jimmy Page's induction speech wasn't the best but he made up for it by performing with Beck. On "Immigrant Song" Page played his Zeppelin guitar parts as Beck played Robert Plant's vocals on his guitar, then they blended "Beck's Bolero" in, Incredible! After that, Page left the stage and Beck went into an awesome version of "Peter Gunn Theme".
Obviously the majority of fans there were there to root on their favorite band, Metallica. The induction speech for them was by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (eligible for a Hall of Fame induction next year!). Flea did exactly what is needed when inducting a Heavy Metal band, Curse a lot and get the crowd riled up. "Metaillca had brought more people together than any hippy music" said Flea. It was nice to see Jason Newsted on the stage with them again. Cliff Burton's father graciously accepted his son's induction followed by the rest of the members. James Hetfield's speech was the most notable mainly because he mentioned many hard rock and heavy metal artists that have yet to be inducted including Iron Maiden, Kiss and Alice Cooper.
It was time to leave. My girl's not a Metallica fan and we had to be up early the next morning. So we were walking out as they began playing "Enter Sandman". I completely forgot about the ending jam, but I watched it on the internet later on.
Now there are those who think Run DMC don't belong in the Hall of Fame. They do belong there, let me explain. Hip hop music is an extension of Rock and Roll. It comes from the same roots as rock. If you refuse hip hop/rap in the Hall why not reject heavy metal, R&B, Rockabilly, Blues and Doo-Wop too? Then nobody would have been inducted this year. Run DMC were one of the most ground breaking and influential groups of the 80s, they belong there. Besides, when Alan Freed coined the term Rock and Roll, he was putting all black music in that category, why would black music no longer be considered Rock and Roll?
I wanted to take Brianna because my parents never took me to concerts when I was a kid. Growing up in the 80's I could've seen Run DMC in their hey day, or maybe Metallica with Cliff Burton on the bass. Instead I didn't see Run DMC in concert until 2001. Brianna will have the chance say tell her friends that she went to concerts as a kid. This, in fact, wasn't even her first concert. I took her to see Ozomatli just before she turned 5 years old, she even got to get on the stage.
The Hard Rock Cafe in Cleveland is inside Tower City Mall, My niece was amazed at the giant guitars in the lobby. The place was packed, it's the first time I'd ever been to a concert there. We were sat down at a table that was already full, Everybody there was good and cool and among them was a local Cleveland MC named Chango. The food pretty good, but limited on what I eat because I don't eat red meat, but my niece loved the sausage. This was a pretty big deal so a couple news stations were there and mascots for most of Cleveland's sports teams were hanging around (I got a picture of Brianna with Sully, the lake erie monters' mascot, I think). DMC was scheduled to come on at 10:00 am but as any show, he came on alittle later, about 10:30.
It was a short but nice set. About half of his 45 minutes on stage were him just talking to the crowd. It's cool though, even if he hadn't done a song it would've still been worth every penny. DMC came out and thanked everybody for coming out this morning and admitted that after all these years of performing it's still TRICKY to rock a rhyme! His voice sounded great. I had seen Run DMC back in 2001 and DMC's voice was horrible, Jam Master Jay had to do most of DMC's vocals (proving just how amazing JMJ was!). After the conclusion of "It's Tricky" DMC talked about how important the children are and how music can and should be used as a tool to help educate them. He began "Block Education Music", a song from his upcoming album, that sounded like an updated version of "its like that" with lots of guitar. It was a pretty good song, much better than the stuff off of his first solo album, in my humble opinion.
Upon learning that he was adopted, DMC wrote a song about it. It samples Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" and features Sarah McLachlan. D explained that it wasn't until after they were finished recording the song that he had found that Sarah McLachlan was also adopted, that's what Rock and Roll does, it brings people together with a purpose they didn't even know they had. The song is called "Just Like Me" and being that many people there were more familiar song Harry Chapin's song than they were with DMC's solo, the song worked well with the crowd singing the chorus. So well that I had to go buy the CD (I used to not like that song). After thanking the audiance, DMC gave us one more Run DMC classic, "Walk This Way". He had the crowd stand up and sing the chorus on this one too.
After the show we tried to get close enough to meet him and get an autograph but there were too many people around, but I did get some good pictures. Before heading home Brianna wanted a picture with a giant guitar and a chance to walk around tower city. Than it's back home to get ready for the Rok and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony simulcast tonight at the Rock Hall!