Watching the Induction Ceremony at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Cleveland Travel Blog

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I think this is the Lake Erie Monsters' Mascot Sully.

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.

My Niece Brianna and Sully
He explained to her that there wasn't a chance of her getting in but she insisted on waiting anyway. Finally I turned around and said just stay with us and I'll get you in, i have an extra ticket. There, I did my good deed!

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.

DMC on Stage.

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.

DMC being interviewed for TV.
At 71 years old, She sounds great, just like her old records! Why is it that the older artists like Wanda and Little Anthony sound just like they did years ago but the younger artists out today don't sound the same from month to month?

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.

My niece Brianna and a giant Guitar.
"If you grew up on Hip Hop, like I did, they were the Beatles", Em hit the nail right on the head there.

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.

Run DMC excepting their induction on the big screen.
Jam Master Jay's mother accepted the induction for him, stating she never made them turn down the music, she always bought Jay new turntables when he broke his and now her boy is still doing good things. And Jay's wife came on and explained that Run DMC would not be performing tonight because everybody knows you can't have Hip Hop without the DJ.

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".

The crowd looks on.
Definitely worth searching for on youtube if you have the time. 

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.

Jimmy Page inducting Jeff Beck.
James is right, in my opinion, all of these groups deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. They are groundbreaking and influential, whether you like them or not (and I assure you I am not a Kiss fan), and deserve to be honored for the impact they've made on the history of Rock and Roll music. Oh yeah, I'm still typing about Metallica (sorry for the rant). After their Thank yous Metallica took the stage with both Robert Trujillo and Jason Newsted on bass. They fed off the energy of a crowd full of Metallica junkies as a played a complete version of "Master of Puppets".

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.

The crowd watches Kirk Hammet of Metallica make his acceptance speech.
Overall it was a blast, I wish I could have stuck around Cleveland for the after parties and such but it's cool. I got my money's worth, great memories and something to blog about. This has definitely been Cleveland's year, critics say the ceremony was flawless, the Cavs are in the playoffs, the Indians beat the Yankees in the first game at their new stadium and "USA Today" even has a whole page dedicated to Cleveland restaurants today (April 24th 2009)! As for me, I'm hearing that the Hall of Fame is planning to have the Induction ceremony in Cleveland once every four years (though it should be in Cleveland every year), so I'm planning to be there in four years... That is unless I travel to New York to see it sooner.


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Jackie looking like a Rock & Roll Mary Tyler Moore!
On the morning of April 4th, I took the day off work so that I could take My niece, Brianna, to see DMC of Run DMC to a small intimate performance at the Hard Rock Cafe (a Benefit for the Felix Organization). My niece is only 8 years old and doesn't really know Run DMC's music but I figure one day she'll be able to brag that she saw DMC in concert on the day he got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A DMC concert and breakfast buffet for $15, not bad. While all of them were worthy, of all the Rock and Roll Hall inductees this year I was most excited about Run DMC. I grew up on their music, I remember watching the videos for King of Rock, It's Tricky, Walk this Way, etc. As for the other groups (Little Anthony, Bobby Womack, Jeff Beck, Wanda Jackson), most were before my time. Metallica were more my time, but I really didn't listen to heavy metal until I was senior in high school and didn't even know who they were until they made the video for "One". But Run DMC were a favorite when I was a kid and still a favorite now.

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!

Stay Tuned...
I think this is the Lake Erie Mons…
I think this is the Lake Erie Mon…
My Niece Brianna and Sully
My Niece Brianna and Sully
DMC on Stage.
DMC on Stage.
DMC being interviewed for TV.
DMC being interviewed for TV.
My niece Brianna and a giant Guita…
My niece Brianna and a giant Guit…
Run DMC excepting their induction …
Run DMC excepting their induction…
The crowd looks on.
The crowd looks on.
Jimmy Page inducting Jeff Beck.
Jimmy Page inducting Jeff Beck.
The crowd watches Kirk Hammet of M…
The crowd watches Kirk Hammet of …
Jackie looking like a Rock & Roll …
Jackie looking like a Rock & Roll…
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photo by: ErikaMont