Saturday night (November 5th) was a night to remember with The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducting its 2022 members at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater, with an edited version of the event set to air on November 19th on HBO.
This year’s Rock Hall inductees are Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, and Eminem. 2022’s Musical Excellence Awards went to Judas Priest along with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Early Influence Awards were awarded to Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten, with Ahmet Ertegun Awards going to recording engineer, producer, and executive Jimmy Iovine, R&B singer and Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson, and attorney, Allen Grubman.
Sadly three inductees could not attend, with co-founding Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor revealing he is suffering from stage 4 prostate cancer. Carly Simon, who is currently in mourning after losing her two older sisters within a day of each other last month, also did not make the ceremony. The great Harry Belafonte is now 95 and too frail to travel to the ceremony.
The evening was an all-star gala with several surprise guest appearances, including Dave Grohl performing “Easy” with Lionel Richie, both Steven Tyler and Ed Sheeran appearing with Eminem, along with Pat Benatar, Simon LeBon, and Rob Halford all performing with Dolly Parton on her signature tune, “Jolene.”
Appearing with Priest were former members K.K. Downing and drummer Les Binks, as well as sidelined guitarist Glenn Tipton, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease.
Inductors Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp saluted the late-Jerry Lee Lewis with a show-closing medley of “The Killer’s” “High School Hop” and “Great Balls Of Fire.”
In one of the more memorable moments of the night, during his induction speech to entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, John Mellencamp took time out to slam rapper Kanye West for his recent anti-Semitic remarks. Mellencamp said in part: “Guys I cannot tell you how f***ing important it is to speak out if you’re an artist. Whenever you hear hate speech or something derogatory about someone else. We’re all human things. I don’t give a f*** if you’re Jewish, black, quiet, tutti frutti, I don’t care! Here’s the trick: silence is complicity. I’m standing here tonight loudly and proudly and in solidarity with Allen, his family, all of my Jewish friends and the entire Jewish people of the world. F*** Antisemitism and f***anybody who says anything in that manner.”
The Rock Hall streamed exclusive interviews from the event’s red carpet, with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford explaining that he looks back with pride and towards the future with equal amounts of excitement: “It’s a lot of conviction, dedication, faith in what you believe in. We have this phrase in heavy metal — ‘Keep The Faith.’ And that’s what we’ve been doing for 50 years and we’re still going strong and feeling pride to have that mantra working for Judas Priest.”
Eurythmics singer Annie Lenox explained that the group were never confined by traditional musical boundaries: “Our influences, are again, they’re really eclectic. And I think people, sort of, think that you have to be in one genre of music and you only like that genre. For our taste, it could be up for anything.”
Simon LeBon is nothing but humbled by Duran Duran finally gaining entree into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “We always thought it was a club that we’d never be part of. But — things change and suddenly, y’know, Duran Duran’s time seems to be coming ’round again. And we are welcomed as we welcome it — with open arms.”
THE EVENING INDUCTIONS AND PERFORMANCES
Duran Duran – inducted by Robert Downey, Jr.
“Girls On Film,” “Hungry Like The Wolf,” and “Ordinary World”
Pat Benatar – inducted by Sheryl Crow
“All Fired Up,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” and “Heartbreaker”
Eurythmics – inducted by The Edge
“Would I Lie to You?,” “Missionary Man,” and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
Lionel Richie – inducted by Lenny Kravitz
“Hello,” “Easy” – with Dave Grohl, and “All Night Long (All Night)”
Carly Simon – inducted by Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles: “Nobody Does It Better
Olivia Rodrigo: “You’re So Vain”
Eminem – inducted by Dr. Dre
“My Name Is,” “Rap God,” “Sing For The Moment” – with Steven Tyler, “Stan” – with Ed Sheeran, “Forever,” and “Not Afraid.”
Musical Excellence Award
Judas Priest – inducted by Alice Cooper
“You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.”
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis – inducted by Janet Jackson
Early Influence Awards
Harry Belafonte – video salute
Elizabeth Cotten – video salute
Ahmet Ertegun Awards
Jimmy Iovine – inducted by Bruce Springsteen
Sylvia Robinson – video salute
Allen Grubman – inducted by John Mellencamp
Dolly Parton – inducted by Pink
Sheryl Crow & Zac Brown Band: “9 To 5”
Dolly Parton: “Rockin'” and “Jolene” – with other inductees
Jerry Lee Lewis salute
Bruce Springsteen & John Mellencamp with Roy Bittan: “Great Balls Of Fire”