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Review of the R+R Hall of Fame HBO Special

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Over the weekend, HBO premiered their annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Show.  I’m not sure what was more surprising, that Courtney Love didn’t make a complete ass of herself or that the guys from KISS didn’t get into a fight on the stage.

For starters, Peter Gabriel stole the show. I wasn’t surprised by that.  I have seen Peter before and he ranks on my list of Top 5 concerts ever, which is a bold statement.  His version of “In Your Eyes” was excellent and Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s induction speech was brilliant.

Even though they made it through the ceremony without killing each other, KISS should have played.  For a band that prides itself on having the best live show in the world, they were outshined by the artists who chose to play.  What a pitty, especially for a band that talks so much about being their “for the fans”.  Like many things they’ve done over the years, the band members’ speeches reeked of insincerity. The highlight of the KISS induction was Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello’s speech, which included a compelling argument for including more hard rock and metal bands in the Hall of Fame.

With all due respect to The E Street Band, their never ending string of speeches was the low point of the entire ceremony.  I could have taken a nap and woken up before they finally got around to Max Weinberg.

Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens and Hall and Oates all deserve to be in the Hall, and their inductions were tasteful.

Then came Nirvana.  Even though she was met with a chorus of boos, Courtney Love was humble and classy.  And Dave Grohl continues to prove why he’s one of the coolest dudes in rock.  Joan Jett’s version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was good.  Aussie pop star Lorde’s version of “All Apologies” was disappointing.  She can’t sing.

Hopefully next year, the Hall will induct more rock bands that should have been enshrined long ago.  And hopefully, those bands will do the right thing and play.


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