This year’s ceremony for the much-maligned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame happened in Cleveland this weekend. Inductees included Ringo Starr, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the “5” Royales, a North Carolina doo-wop band during the 1950s; mostly men, so more or less your usual fare. Anyway, the event will broadcast on HBO on May 30, but in the meantime, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the things you missed.
Patti Smith Remembering Her Dear Her Friend Lou Reed
Back in 1996, when the Velvet Underground was originally inducted into the Hall of Fame, Patti Smith praised the band for connecting poetry, the avant-garde, and rock and roll. “They were black in a white world. White in a black world. They opened wounds.” She returned to the stage once again for the posthumous induction of lead singer Lou Reed. “He was a humanist, heralding and raising the downtrodden. His subjects were his royalty that he crowned in lyrics without judgment or irony.” Read the whole speech on Rolling Stone.
Bill Withers Revealing His Favorite TV Show
He’s one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, but we hardly see or hear from the “Lean on Me” singer. As part of the 2015 inductee class, he made the trek to Ohio for a rare public appearance and confessed to the crowd that he spends most of his time watching Judge Judy. (Side note: She has so much money.)
A Very Pregnant Karen O Performing With Beck
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs joined Beck onstage for a sweet tribute set to the late Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground. This just in: Karen O is very pregnant. That child is going to be awesome.
Green Day Getting in Before the Smiths
The band was inducted in its first year of eligibility. Meanwhile, fans of the Smiths, eligible since 2009, continue to hate Green Day and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Miley Cyrus Performing “Crimson and Clover” With Joan Jett
Congrats to Joan Jett & the Blackhearts for being the only women in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Naturally, Cyrus wore pasties while presenting Jett with her award, in addition to performing a duet of the 1968 hit by Tommy James and the Shondells.
A Beatles Reunion
Although he’s been a member since 1988 when the Fab Four was originally inducted, with over 15 solo albums under his belt, the Hall of Fame committee thought it wise to include Ringo Starr as an independent artist as well. Despite this, fittingly, Starr’s first words at the podium were, “My name is Ringo, and I play drums.” So it made sense that Ringo chose to sing a Beatles song, with Sir Paul joining him onstage for a spirited version of “With a Little Help From My Friends.”Too bad Cyrus wasn’t invited to join them onstage.
Absolutely No Rap or Hip-Hop Whatsoever
Maybe next year, N.W.A.