Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ceremony 2017. Quick thoughts.

So now that the edited version of the 2017 induction ceremony has aired on HBO, I just thought I'd give a few brief thoughts on it.  Nothing too big, in fact, I doubt I'll proofread it too much.  So, apologies for the bad grammar that happens in every post I write before I proofread it (and sometimes afterwards!), but here's my take.

On the Future Rock Legends site, one member commented that it was ridiculous how easy it was to predict the induction class from the ballot of nominees, as most who made serious predictions got at least four out of six correct.  Well, not only were the inductees easy to predict, but so was the program order.  Pretty much everyone who wasn't blinded by their own fandom for an inductee knew that Pearl Jam would be the final inductee of the night, that the classic rock artists would be spaced out, and that the tribute to Chuck Berry was either gonna kick things off, or be the all-star jam.  Most predicted Joan Baez would be the second one inducted.  And so on.  There wasn't anything wrong with the order of the inductions, just that it was highly predictable.

It's really hard to say which presenter gave the best speech.  It's kind of ironic that the presenter's speech that focused most on the music was the speech for the one inductee who wasn't in the Performer category.  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is supposedly about honoring the music, and Pharrell Williams gave the most solid speech about the music produced and assisted by Nile Rodgers.  Alex and Geddy weren't too far behind, talking about how they learned their craft by learning Yes songs.  Jackson Browne definitely talked about the music of Joan Baez, but his presentation was a bit on the dry side.  Dhani Harrison's impassioned speech was more about the music than not, but it was also about the personal connection between the Harrisons and Jeff Lynne.  Pat Monahan definitely talked about the music of Journey, but it was more about his personal love of the music, than about the significance of their music in a larger perspective.  Despite being the most deserving inductees, the speeches for 2Pac and Pearl Jam by Snoop Dogg and David Letterman respectively dealt the least about the quality and importance of the actual music.  To that extent, they were a little disappointing; nonetheless, they were entertaining speeches.

Of all the inductees' speeches, Joan Baez gave the most entertaining one, followed by Rick Wakeman of Yes.  In terms of being cutting and pertinent, Eddie Vedder probably takes that one.

Performances... aw heck, I enjoyed them all.  Even Yes, whom I don't particularly care for.

Marvelous tributes.

Overall, a decent induction ceremony.  Not too special, but it's nice once in awhile to have a ceremony that is *relatively* free of controversy.  And unlike some of my fellow Rock Hall hobbyists, I really am giving no thought or concern to next year yet.  And least not in the way you'd think...


  1. Good thoughts, Philip. I'd say Letterman's speech was the best by far- but I'd agree with the general jist of what you are saying-- this was a solid ceremony without any major strikes against it. -Alex Volt.

    1. Letterman's was really entertaining, but aside from saying that the world of music was changed by the release of the album "Ten," most of his speech spoke to either their work in the music business, or about his personal connection to the band, rather than about the music that makes them worthy inductees. Same thing with Snoop hailing 2Pac.