2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction: The Highs & Lows

Paul McCartney, pictured here with his beloved “stalker”.
Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Cleveland got the festive one 30 Rock treatment in late October with the return of a personal Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is now finally available to be seen by the masses on HBO. This year’s class served as the most wonderfully crowded and diverse in Hall’s history: Tina Turner, Carole King, the Go-Goers, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren were recognized as artists; Kraftwerk, Charley Patton and Gil Scott-Heron as early influences; LL Cool J, Billy Preston and Randy Rhoads for General Musical Expertise; and Clarence Avant for the creative Ahmet Ertegun Award. (Whoa. Write them down again now! Would you like to pet a real police horse too?)

Being back in an actual arena and not, well, a small screen due to the pandemic was a pleasure for both inmates, surprise guests and attendees, so much so that no one seemed to worry about having to stay up until 6 p.m. witness it all. Vulture was on the ground throughout the event and here is what we thought were the ultimate highs, lows and whoas.

From left: We think it’s La Mer? Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty ImagesPhoto: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

From the top: We think it’s La Mer? Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty ImagesPhoto: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Drew Barrymore, who is very good at hosting talk shows, recorded her favorite band in the world with a little help from some towels and dirt: Throughout her speech, she slowly recreated the look of the Go-Go’s groundbreaking album Beauty and rhythm, a commitment that elicited enthusiastic applause from the audience. “Beauty and rhythm blew the doors of my life off, ”Barrymore explained. “The coolest girls in the world are taking a spa day in the cool girl sky. It’s always been a party, guys, for so long with these girls. This is a real blue love letter from their biggest fan.” Impressively, Barrymore returned to the stage in under 15 minutes with fresh makeup.

Paul McCartney honored Cleveland with his presence for putting Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters in the hall (this is Grohl’s second inauguration, years after he joined as a member of Nirvana), and the two teamed up at the end of the ceremony to perform the first super jam since 2019: a lively rendition of the Beatles standard “Get Back”. Of course it would have been nice to have more musicians to take part in the fun, but it was still Sir Paul who made a Beatles song. BEATLES. He literally rolled up his sleeves to perform! Yes, we screamed as if it was 1964 too.

This hot information comes from Go-Go bassist Kathy Valentine, who revealed a few days after the ceremony that another super jam was planned to honor Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who unexpectedly died earlier this year at the age of 80. The format, according to Valentine, was one of a rather epic scale: The Go-Goes, Foo Fighters, Mickey Guyton, Brandi Carlile, Jennifer Hudson and HERE would perform the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice” as a tribute. “Everyone was so supportive and mutually waving at each other,” she recalled of the dress rehearsal. “It was just incredible.” The reason it was cut from the last show? The driving time was considered too long at four and a half hours. We have a feeling that fans would not have cared about five minutes extra.

It is estimated that women currently comprise only 8 percent of the total Rock Hall of Fame body, a dismal statistic that many female artists, including Stevie Nicks and Janet Jackson, have paralyzed with their introductory speeches in the past. The Go-Goes continued this trend at this year’s ceremony, with bassist Kathy Valentine shouting what she thought was Hall’s propensity for misogyny. (Belinda Carlisle shared similar thoughts with Vulture earlier this year.)

“By acknowledging our achievement, Rock Hall is celebrating the opportunity, the kind of opportunity that creates aspiring dreamers. By honoring our historic contribution, the doors to this establishment have opened wider, and the Go-Goers will advocate for the inclusion of more women. “Women who have paved the way for us and others. Women who started bands that sing and write songs that excel on their instruments, that make and produce records. Because here’s the thing: There would be no be fewer of us if more of us were visible. “

The inauguration of the five members of the Go-Go’s, Turner and King, marks the most women the Hall has ever included in a single class.

Look to the right.
Photo: HBO

The rap god inaugurated his longtime friend LL Cool J and joked that the LL moniker stands for “ladies love, lickin ‘lips, and living legend.”

This is not a surprise in itself given that we are still in a pandemic and talented musicians may not want to get down over a city on the C-list and sit in a crowded auditorium for almost five hours. To hell, the ceremony last year was referred to a TV special. But as a brief summary for those who chose not to take the trip to Cleveland: Tina Turner, who lives in Europe, accepted her second Hall induction in a short and sweet video message. To Power plant Men said none. (Connecting planes from Düsseldorf just seems complicated.) Meanwhile, Todd Rundgren, who was always true to his word, fit his own damned case at a solo concert in Cincinnati. Which Rock Hall?

“I want to apologize,” Chappelle began his speech at the inauguration of Jay-Z, apparently referring to the huge criticism plaguing his new comedy special. “I’m just fucking with you.” In what was otherwise a gripping speech, the comedian spoke at length about Jay-Z’s cultural significance for black Americans. “What we have heard is that he will never forget us. He will always remember us,” said Chappelle. in the possibility. For this we will always love him, we will always appreciate him. “

The rapper and entrepreneur joined legions of hip-hop icons to be recorded in the hall, admitting in his speech that the honor almost made him “cry in front of all these white people.” Aside from Chappelle, pretty much every celebrity in Knowles-Carter Rolodex appeared in a video montage to celebrate his performance – Jay was inducted into his first year of eligibility – which included Barack Obama joking that the duo shared a special fraternity , because they “both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.” More meaningfully, the former president added: “I have turned to Jay-Z’s words at various times in my life, whether I brushed dirt off my shoulder on the campaign track or tasted his lyrics on Edmund Pettus Bridge on his 50th birthday. By Selma- the march to Montgomery. “

Also his wife Beyoncé, their daughter Blue Ivy appeared in the montage, as well as people like Rihanna, Diddy, Pharrell, Chris Rock, LeBron James, Common and the insidious Jay-Z superfan David Letterman.

We will make a blanket high for all the performances, which included Eminem and Jennifer Lopez, who surprised the audience with their friend LL Cool J and many of the inmates who made their own mini-sets to celebrate the evening. (Brandi Carlile, who climbed with the Everly Brothers for the in memoriam segment, was also quite nice.) However, we want to highlight two covers that attracted the biggest audience reactions: Christina Aguilera’s diva master class of “River Deep, Mountain High” for Tina Turner and Taylor Swift enchant audiences with an ethereal, synth-driven cover of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” for Carole King. Like Grohl, Turner and King are now twice inducted into the Hall of Fame: Turner was previously honored for her music with her husband, Ike Turner, and King for songwriting with her husband, Gary Goffin.

Not really, of course, but even Sir Paul was amazed at the parallels that were shared between him and Foo’s frontman when he recorded the band in the hall. The Beatles and Nirvana? The same. Wings and Foo Fighters? Also the same, funny enough. “We had a great time with our groups, but then tragedy eventually happened and my group broke up,” McCartney explained on the podium. “The same thing happened to Dave: His group broke up in tragic circumstances. And then the question is, what do you do now? That question we were both presented with. In my case, I thought, Well, I’m making an album where I’m playing all the instruments myself. So I did. Dave’s group broke up; what should he do? He makes an album where he himself plays on all instruments. Do you think this guy is stalking me? ” makes you think.

Photo: Arturo Holmes / Getty Images

LL Cool J beat us out with more outfit changes, not surprisingly.

Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Jane Wiedlin, who will always have the beat.

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