Dopo l’annuncio dello scorso ottobre delle 15 nomination e il sestetto finale svelato a dicembre, al Barclays Center di Brooklyn è andata in scena la grande cerimonia della Rock and Roll Hall of Fame edizione 2019. Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Roxy Music, Def Leppard e The Zombies.
Trent Reznor > The Cure > VIDEO
“The Cure were one of those bands that really struck a chord and Head On The Door is the album that made them really important to me. I got into that and then worked my way backwards. That album got me through a lot of long dark times. I felt that this Robert Smith guy really understood who I was and I loved The Cure from that point on. I struggled my whole life with feeling like I don’t fit in or belong anywhere — kind of like right now — and hearing this, suddenly I felt connected and no longer quite so alone in the world. Immediately this band struck a deep chord with me… A lot of darkness I felt in my head was coming back at me through the speakers… all of it anchored by one of the most exquisite instruments — Robert Smith’s voice. The Cure have been in and out of fashion so many times over the past four decades, they’ve ended up transcending fashion itself. I’ve been, let’s say, ambivalent about certain award ceremonies… they’ll acknowledge X but they won’t even recognize The Cure. Then I got a call I wasn’t expecting and I’ve never been so happy to eat my words”.
Duran Duran > Roxy Music > VIDEO
The 24th of August 1972; an evening in late summer. It’s almost the end of the school holidays — one of those days when it felt like England was about to choke on its own nostalgia; nostalgia for the war years, for the finest hours while we, the teenagers, were screaming inside for something, anything, to happen, and music was where we were looking for signs of life. David Bowie and the Spiders had made their debut earlier in the year; Queen’s was just around the corner. It was into this atmosphere that Roxy Music dropped their pop-culture bomb on the British public, performing their first single, “Virginia Plain,” on prime-time BBC television.The sound was a shock to the system — a psychedelic Sinatra, crooning pop-art poetry over driving drums over oboes and saxophones, heavily treated electric guitars and the most out-there synthesizer parts you’d ever heard. The musicians themselves were dressed outrageously, each one with an individual, well-defined look. (Simon Le Bon)
David Byrne > Radiohead > VIDEO
I was surprised and very flattered when Radiohead stated that, yes, they named themselves after a song I’d written. But had to ask myself, “Why that song? That slightly goofy Tex-Mex song? Why that one?” We’ll never know. Thankfully, I’m a huge fan of the group. They richly deserve this honor for two reasons: their music, the quality and constant innovation, but equally for their innovations in how they release their work — that has affected the entire music business, and there’s quite a few people in the music business in this room tonight. They’re creative and smart in both areas, a rare and inspiring combination. Here’s a tidbit: Radio 1 in the UK refused to play their song “Creep” because they found it too depressing. But then it started getting played elsewhere all over the world, and, well, the rest… And another: Capitol Records felt that what many consider to be their masterpiece, OK Computer, was career suicide and adjusted their release and marketing plan accordingly. It eventually went to Number 1 in the UK. “Paranoid Android,” from that album, was considered the new “Bohemian Rhapsody,” whatever that means. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, and seeing who will play Thom. For me, their record after that, Kid A, was my conversion moment. The record joined together electronics with song forms blew me away. I’d never heard anything like it. There are elements and influences of Can and Miles Davis’s electric period, but this was very different. What was really weird and very encouraging was that it was popular. It was a hit! It proved to me that the artistic risk paid off and music fans sometimes are not stupid. Some of that will be attested to by those in the music industry in the room tonight. As experimental as it was, it went to Number 1 in the US. Business-wise, they were already innovating. This was in the year 2000, with an app that you could stream music on and access things. Now a few records later, with In Rainbows, the music that at one point sounded radical and on the edge now felt completely natural. And at that point they took the radical leap of selling the record for the price of “pay what you wish.” You could pay zero or one cent. You could pay the price that records were going for that year. It turned out most people did pay the going rate, and some people actually paid more. Which was, I thought, an incredible thing. They showed trust in the audience, trust in the public. They trusted them to place value in the music and say: You tell us what you think it’s worth. And the audience responded and said: We think it’s worth something. This was a wonderful social experiment, not just an experiment in the music business. Further release innovations: They released the rejected Bond theme “Spectre,” which was never used, on SoundCloud. And musically, they keep changing. Their last record, Moon-Shaped Pool, sounded very cinematic, sounded like a movie in your head. They’ve both changed our idea of what popular music can be and how it can be released and marketed to us. For those things, I am honored to induct Radiohead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Brian May > Def Leppard > VIDEO
Sixty-five years after Bill Haley sang “Rock Around the Clock,” rock & roll is alive and well, am I right? I have the greatest job in the world. I am so honored and privileged to be importing Def Leppard into the Hall of Fame. I’m going to quote first from the Joe Elliott book of philosophy, which says that you get one chance to do the good shit, don’t fuck it up. So this is my guide tonight, I want to do it justice — I really want to do these boys justice and I’m not going to tell you a history, I’m just going to tell you my personal view. I want to tell you how these guys came into my life and how important they are…
Harry Styles > Stevie Nicks > VIDEO
Stevie Nicks is the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a second time. First, with Fleetwood Mac, and now for her unforgettable solo work. With Stevie, you’re not celebrating music from long ago through the mists of time. She was standing on stage headlining a place doing her best work just three nights ago. She is forever current. She is forever Stevie. But what exactly does that mean? In my family we listened at home, we listened in the car, we listened wherever we could. “Dreams” was the first song I knew all the words to, before I really knew what all the words meant. I thought it was a song about the weather. But I knew it was a beautiful song about the weather. I always knew the words and I love them all. “Thunder only happens when it’s raining, Players only love you when they’re playing…
Janelle Monáe > Janet Jackson > VIDEO
“Hello. I’m here tonight to induct the legendary queen of black girl magic into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Ms. Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Our fearless leader is one of the biggest selling artists in music history. This five-time Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee has sold 180 million albums worldwide. With an epic career spanning over four decades and nine No. 1 albums, this gifted singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, actress is an icon. She is a bold visionary, a rule-breaker, a risk taker, and a boundless visual artist. Quite simply, y’all, there is only one Janet…”
Susana Hoffs > The Zombies
I’ve loved the Zombies for as long as I can remember. I first heard them when I was very a little girl in the 1960s — in the backseat of my Mom’s station wagon — and though their music played through a tinny car radio, its elegance, soulfulness, tonal textures, and foggy London intrigue, found me on the sunny palm-lined streets of Los Angeles. It was love, at first listen. I may not have understood the sophisticated mix of influences in their songs — jazz, classical, baroque, rhythm and blues — but none of that mattered to the little girl in the station wagon. Their music seemed to defy the laws of physics — reaching through space and time to thrill and enthrall me, as if — by magic! But whatever they were doing, I thought to myself — “I want to do that! When I grow up — I want to do that…