I’m not one to dwell on the memorialization or institutionalization of rock music, an art form that after all was built on rebellion, bucking the norm, and otherwise not fitting in to the establishment, but this year’s class of inductees offers a nice cross section of talented groups and individuals, most of whom had at least some effect on at least their part of the music world. Metallica, Run DMC, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Bobby Womack, and Jeff Beck have little in common with each other, but individually they’re among the giants…Metallica for their continued influence on metal and hard rock, Run DMC for their trailblazing efforts in fusing hip-hop and rock, Bobby Womack for a long career as a performer and writer in soul and R&B that in turn influenced many rock artists. Jeff Beck is one of a handful of truly great guitar players in rock, period, from his Yardbirds days to his solo work, and even Little Anthony, who might be considered a bit of an anomaly here, was an influential part of the early 50’s rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop scene.
The biggest appeal to these induction ceremonies is the performances that accompany the pomp and circumstance. Here’s the all-star jam session from last night’s broadcast that included Metallica with Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, and Flea,among others on a song made famous by the Yardbirds:
Here’s Eminem’s induction speech for Run DMC, where he shows an amazing amount of respect in giving them props:
And just for good measure, here’s a clip of my favorite Bobby Womack tune, from 1972: