Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Highlights and Lowlights

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Highlights

1. Kenny Gamble dissing Elliot Spitzer with, “It’s appropriate that we wrote ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’ because there’s a little ‘Me and Mrs. Jones’ going on here in New York.”

2. Bill Joel’s imitation of Randy Newman doing Farm Aid, and his dis of VH1 and how corporate the Rock Hall ceremony has become after its first few years of free jamming and being the coolest party of all time. I’m not much on most of Billy’s music, but he’s done a good job of blasting corporate advertising. The year that the Grammy’s forced a dying Frank Sinatra off the stage with their orchestra as he was accepting his lifetime achievement award, Joel performed later during the show and stopped in the middle of the song he was performing to say something like, “Precious advertising time going by …”

3. The last unrepentant smoker alive John Mellencamp  extinguishing a smoke on the side of the stage before accepting his award.

4. It’s good to see Madonna is still smart. Any performance that she would have given would have been disected to death with questions about how rock and roll she is. Having Iggy Pop and the Stooges play her songs instead was about as savvy as humanly possible short of getting the Velvet Underground back together to do it. The Velvets being the ultimate rock snob band of all time and in my sole opinion the most overrated band of all time. I would have preferred her to send up one of those gay male cover bands dedicated to her work.

5. John Fogerty referring to his old band as “me, Doug, and Stu” conveniently leaving out his dead brother, who he still hates almost as much as Saul Zaentz.

6. Leonard Cohen following Lou Reed’s rambling introduction with a perfectly paced speech that joked that Jon Landau once wrote, “I’ve seen the future of Rock and Roll and it isn’t Leonard Cohen.” He always read his lyrics from Tower of Song and anyone¬†trying to communicate with the late Hank Williams is pretty damn cool.

7. John Mellencamp threatening his old music industry grudges with his boxing 13 year old son, who he is breeding to be 6’3″ and 235 lbs.

Lowlights

Tom Hanks doing his best manic job at convincing himself and everyone else that the Dave Clark 5 belonged there. I know their paralyzed singer just died and that the remaining members seemed humbly honored, but when you can’t find a single musician to say that they were a big influence on them, maybe you don’t belong there. I saw a post today on the Kinks mailing list that said, “I remember Dave Davies saying that he didn’t really like the Dave Clark 5 that much, does anyone remember why?” I was going to write back that it was probably because there were at least 50 better bands in England at the time, but decided not to.

2. George Osmand made the death list. He should have made the we’re glad he’s dead list. That wasn’t very nice, everybody is missed once their dead and after all they did mention Pimp C.

3. Britney has issues – no need for Justin to take a swipe at her, although it was pretty funny for him to reference Madonna kissing her while he was watching as her boyfriend from the audience.

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