The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction special was obviously much different this year for obvious reasons. While the usual performances that accompany the induction ceremony were greatly missed, the induction was still packed loads of passion and love for the music of this year’s inductees.
Here are some of the highlights.
The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers were inducted by Luke Bryan who said, “I’ve loved the Doobie Brothers since the first time I heard them as a kid. I’ve had the privilege of playing with them on stage, and I can honestly say that they are great guys as well as great musicians.”
Tom Johnston, Michael McDonald and Patrick Simmons accepted on behalf of the band.
During his speech, Johnston said, “Wow it’s been a long time coming, but we are so grateful and excited to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A lot of our musical influences are enshrined in the hall, so we couldn’t ask for better company. … It seems unreal, but it’s been quite a trip and we aren’t done yet.”
McDonald followed Johnston and said, “I’d like to thank the fans for their continuous support over the years. … Being a Doobie Brother represents some of the best years of my life, so being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight with these guys makes it all the more special for me.”
Simmons closed out the Doobies’ acceptance speeches by thanking all of the fans “…who got us here and stuck with us for over 50 years. We owe you so much.” He added, “My deepest thanks to the Doobie Brothers family, and all of the members over the years who have been part of this journey. It’s always been about our love of music, and because of the band’s success, we now celebrate this induction.”
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails were inducted by Iggy Pop who had an incredible speech.
Pop said, “When I first heard about Nine Inch Nails, and heard a little of the music, I thought, ‘Well, who is this guy?’ So I took a look. And I saw a face straight out of 15th-century Spain. I think Trent [Reznor] could have played Zorro. If he’d been alive at the right time, I think he could have been painted by Velazquez or El Greco, and his portrait would probably be hanging in the Prado [Museum] today.”
Pop added about Reznor, “Trent held the center of that room just by being a kind of dark spot, hunched behind the mic. I’d seen the same thing accomplished in different ways by T. Rex at Wembley, Nirvana at the Pyramid club and Bob Dylan in 1965. This is the mark of the master artist, simply to connect. The controversial and brilliant French novelist Michel Houellebecq, when asked the secret of his success, said: ‘It’s easy, just tell the truth.’ Listening to Nine Inch Nails feels like hearing the truth. So, it gets you a little bit closer to God.”
Reznor accepted on behalf of Nine Inch Nails and said, “What a disorienting, strange year we find ourselves in. As I wrap my head around Nine Inch Nails being welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I think I was most looking forward to the ceremony itself.”
He added about the current state of the world, “…We’re all stuck in our little boxes here in our screens. Even now, music has always been the thing that keeps me going. As an artist, I think the most significant accomplishment or feeling is realizing something you created from a fragile or intimate place is reached out, resonated and affected someone else, possibly changing how they see the world.”
T. Rex’s Rock Hall honor was accepted by Rolan Bolan, the son of the late T.Rex singer Marc Bolan.
During Rolan’s touching speech, he said, “As I reflect on this incredible honor of my dad and his band being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I think about how I really didn’t have a chance to know him very well. He was taken away from all of us so early in his life. I discovered his music pretty much the same way you have, through my eyes and ears.”
He continued, “When I was a kid watching MTV, Def Leppard’s ‘Rocket’ video came on and it had clips of T. Rex’s performance of ‘Get It On.’ That was my daily hello to my father. … I know my dad would be very proud to receive this. He always aimed for the top and here he is now.”