My fellow Rock Hall follower, Tom Lane, has already discussed a few things about the ceremonies, that aired on HBO this past Saturday. Trying not to duplicate anything he said, here are my thoughts on the televised presentation:
-The Crickets.... they were inducted too! I saw absolutely no mention of them, their name not in gold letters like the others.... I'm guessing none of them even had any family members show up to the ceremonies. If they did, you wouldn't know it. Huge shame. They did so much to at least give a little face time for all inductees, unlike last year which barely acknowledged the existences of Jac Holzman and Art Rupe. And they completely omitted any and all mention of the Crickets. This year, Robbie's speech for the engineers was actually really good (what we saw of it). Btw, Tom: Robbie does have some connection to Glyn Johns, as he engineered some of the Band's records, including "The Shape I'm In."
-Small Faces/Faces: I was actually looking forward to Little Steven's speech because I thought he would give some inside track or at least SOME justification for the joint nomination. Nope. He constantly referred to them as "both bands"... not even "both eras" or "both incarnations." This is worsened by Jann S. Wenner's appearance on Paul Shaffer's radio program prior to the actual ceremonies, and when asked about it, he said, "It's like an evolved band... kind of like the Yardbirds-Cream-Led Zeppelin kind of thing." Big problem with that Jann: the Yardbirds, Cream, and Led Zeppelin all got their separate inductions, in separate years ('92, '93, '95). No one with power at the Hall, with one exception, has even given any decent defense of the joint nomination. And even that one exception did backslide a little. So it seems to me that it really is a case of "Captain, we'll never get them in separately, we've got to jam them together as one nomination and induction!" You can audiate whichever Star Trek engineer's voice you want to say that phrase. But that's what it was. I'm disappointed. I defended it, but now... whatever. Just give Ian, Kenney, and Ronnie's family each a second trophy. It's what you really wanted to do, but didn't think you could justify. Just do it now and drop the pretense. Maybe it seems that way because Steven's speech had to be edited for time, but I was disappointed. If someone who was there can comment if the rest of the speech was like this, I'd appreciate it.
The rest of it is pretty much is standard disappointment that's inherent in whittling down a 5.5 hour ceremony to just over 2 hours of TV (even if commercial-free). The speeches were boiled down intensely, so much so that Little Steven and Chris Rock didn't seem to be actually explaining the merits of their inductees. Nor Smokey Robinson, really. I'd have really loved to see his full speech.
Lemme state again.... we're hardcore fans, we want to see the full 5+ hours. I understand it may not be ecomonically feasible, but try the best you can to make it happen. Thanks. If that's the best, then well, something ain't right. I still maintain that 2008's almost fly-on-the-wall kind of presentation is still my favorite. Great broadcast, that one was.