An edited version of this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will air tonight (Saturday, May 18) on HBO at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The program will also be available on HBO On Demand after the premiere broadcast, and HBO Signature will present a 24-hour marathon of the special beginning at midnight.
HBO has posted a number of preview clips from the broadcast, including Jann Wenner‘s (founder and chairman of Rolling Stone and chairman of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation) introductory speech, portions of the FOO FIGHTERS‘ speech inducting RUSH, RUSH frontman Geddy Lee‘s acceptance speech and RUSH‘s performance of “Tom Sawyer”. Check out the footage below.
Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of FOO FIGHTERS inducted RUSH at the event. Grohl said in his induction speech, “From day one, the band built its following the right way. No hype, no (baloney), they did it from the ground up without any help from the mainstream press… Their influence is undeniable and their devoted fan base is only rivaled by the GRATEFUL DEAD. Look at you people, all of you people, right here! And their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, RUSH drummer Neil Peart, normally the most reclusive member of the band, gave the first and most eloquent of the three members’ speeches, followed by bassist/singer Geddy Lee. But it was Lifeson who brought down the house with a speech consisting entirely of “blah blah blahs,” changing the tone of his voice to exhibit a range of emotions — with everyone understanding what he meant, especially when he “described” getting the call that the band was being inducted.
Lee was asked on the red carpet if he thought the acclaimed documentary on the band, “Beyond The Lighted Stage”, played a role in the groundswell of support for the band’s induction into the Hall Of Fame. “Oh, I think it probably did have an effect to a certain degree because of the way the filmmakers put that story together,” he said. “I think it really showed what a vast and diverse audience that we do have and what the effect of our music has been on young players. And one of the criteria of the Hall Of Fame is influence, so I think it’s easy to see that in that film.”
Peart said that the band’s fans had a personal stake in seeing the band inducted. “The thing is, with our fans, is that we grew up together,” he said. “We always say ‘the soundtrack of your life’ is a phrase that I love, but it has been that case and we have evolved naturally in our music and our lyrics and our songs and all that, of our experiences from our past and our present as grown-ups, and we’ve expressed all that through our songs. So a lot of them have grown up with that in a very real, true way, so they share it and they feel like they’re part of the team, and our team should win.”
Lee thanked “the most passionate, incredible fan base around the globe …for not only supporting and encouraging our musical progress over the years, but for the insistence of their voices, which has most certainly led us to this evening.”