Rock and Roll’s Best Honored

BY HEATHER HACKNEY

This year HBO aired the induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thank god it was them and not network television as Billy Joe of Greenday let the F-Bomb slip more times the Keebler has cookies.

This ceremony fell on the heels of inductees “The Beastie Boys” losing a member of their band, Adam “MCA” Yauch to cancer on May 4. Rappers Chuck D and LL Cool J introduced them. LL Cool J said, “The reason I’m here tonight and the reason that this was so important to me is because if it wasn’t for the Beastie Boys, I wouldn’t have my career that I have today. The Beastie Boys actually played my demo tape for Rick Rubin in the NYU dormitory. A lot of people don’t know that.”

Greenday introduced Guns ‘n’ Roses minus lead singer Axl Rose. Earlier last month when the nominations were released, Axl turned down the nomination and invitation to attend with fellow members of GnR. Public issues with Slash, the band’s lead guitarist ultimately what led to this no show on Rose’s part.

Billy Joe of Greenday, made a comment during the introduction, saying “now who am I missing?” The crowd booed him and with next presenter, Chris Rock when he mentioned Axl’s name. In true Hall of Fame fashion, the inducted band played a few songs. Slash set the stage on fire, but you couldn’t help but miss Axl. They had a stand in for his vocals but both “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Paradise City” seemed to fall short. Shame on you, Axl.

Comedian Chris Rock introduced the Red Hot Chili Peppers to close out the evening. Calling them the “quintessential California Band” and compared them to the Mamas and the Papas, and Ice-T. Their touching acceptance speech included bassist Michael “Flea” Balazry chocking up after spotting George Clinton in the audience. Flea thanked him for his influence on his music.

Both Flea and front man Anthony Kiedis dedicated a portion of their speech and their acceptance to guitarist Hillel Slovak who died in 1988 of a heroin overdose. The played “By The Way” and “Give It Away.” Of course both Anthony and Flea went shirtless, as the Chili peppers we wouldn’t have them any other way (despite Flea’s now gray hair).

The Chili Peppers and GnR ended the night with an all out rock session. Slash and Flea on the same stage? Mindblowing! 3 Drum sets, 3 bassists and way too many guitars to count! This night ended with a huge bang. Even Greenday got in on the action! The stage of the Hall hasn’t rocked so hard since they inducted Aerosmith, Queen and Michael Jackson in 2001.

Other nominees for 2012 included Donovan, Laura Nyro, The Small Faces/Faces, Freddie King, Don Kirshner, Cossimo Matassa (engineer), Tom Dowd (engineer), Glyn Johns, The Crickets, The Famous Flames, The Midnighters, The Comets, The Blue Caps and The Miracles. Stay Tuned…