Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2023 (2023) Movie Script

[instrumental music playing]
I've been long
A long way from here
I put on a poncho
played for mosquitoes
And drank 'til I was thirsty again
We went searchin'
Through thrift store jungles
Found Geronimo's rifle
Marilyn's shampoo
And Benny Goodman's corset and pen
Well okay I made this up
I promised you I'd never give up
If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
if it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad
You get down
Real low down
You listen to Coltrane
Derail your own train
Who hasn't been there before
I come 'round
Around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed
Scrape the mold off the bread
And serve you French toast again
Well okay I still get stoned
I'm not the kind of girl
you'd take home
If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad
If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
if it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad
Oh-oh oh-oh
[cheers and applause]
Love, Peace, and Soul!
[announcer] To induct Sheryl Crow
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Laura Dern.
Wow. Good evening, everybody.
What an honor to be here tonight
with all of you
to celebrate these music heroes.
Our life narrators, as they are inducted
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
[cheers and applause]
And now I have the privilege
to pay tribute
to a legendary artist, poet, activist,
friend, mother, daughter,
and all-around badass goddess rock star,
Ms. Sheryl Crow!
There's a reason
we feel the connections we do
to Sheryl's story telling.
She lets you in with an open vulnerability
and a personal truth
with reverence and love that guides you
to access yourself
in ways you hadn't before.
She guides you home.
And she also helps you reflect
on those way stations
we've called home in our lives.
From teacher to backup singer,
this hardest working human I know
continued to evolve
into the profound artist,
multi instrumentalist
and producer we love.
When she began, the business
wasn't sure what to do with this
raw, southern, female
rock guitar playing singer/song writer,
but in a very short time
her songs were at the top of the charts
alongside pop icons.
Her first venture
with Tuesday Night Music Club
introduced us to "All I Want To Do,"
"Strong Enough,"
"Leaving Las Vegas"
and with her next record,
"If It Makes You Happy,"
"Every Day Is A Winding Road,"
and "A Change Would Do You Good."
She has continued to give us songs
like "First Cut Is The Deepest,"
"Soak Up The Sun," "My Favorite Mistake,"
and " The Difficult Kind."
With those songs alone
she mapped out the chapters of our lives
and has continued to be
the multigenerational muse
for everything we feel,
always discovering a newness to
reflect on in herself and in us.
With success came massive sales,
numerous awards,
but Sheryl, she makes art
because she has to.
For her, success has never
been measured outside herself.
The resonant impact of her music
is evident by artists
who have chosen to cover her songs,
including Prince, Tina Turner,
Johnny Cash, Phoebe Bridgers,
and Brandi Carlile.
Brandi asked me to say hey and share,
Sheryl Crow really
is at the end of the day
one of the greatest fucking rock stars
of the last 100 years.
Great rock stars create other rock stars
and burn through boundaries
and road blocks.
There's no path for someone
like me without Sheryl Crow.
To say she blazed the trail for
generations of women in music
would be the
understatement of the century.
Now, Sheryl has talked about
how, as a young girl,
she'd lay on her living room floor
listening to the records by the greats
who reside
in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
While the embrace she's received
from these artists is dream like,
recording and performing collaborations
with Dylan, Clapton, the Stones,
Dolly, Emmylou, Smokey Robinson,
and the hero and legend
we get to honor this
very night, Mr. Willie Nelson.
I was personally blessed
to hang out in the studio
and watch the collaboration firsthand
between Sheryl and the
incredible Stevie Nicks,
as Sheryl...
as Sheryl produced her record.
It was the first experience I
had ever had watching two women
in the same profession
championing each other
while being in charge
of their own creative destiny.
Sheryl uses her voice
as a longtime human rights
and climate activist,
and I have also watched
a vulnerable bravery
like I have never known or seen,
as Sheryl went through
breast cancer treatment.
And then I saw her
transform her own experience
and gained knowledge into advocacy
to help heal so many other women.
She is a fierce lover of life,
her children,
her family, and humanity.
She's the kind of friend
that when you need support,
she just moves you into her house.
Literally. I can tell you.
Also, isn't it a prerequisite
of being inducted
that you start out playing dive bars
and have to have a server smash
a tray of beers into your mic
and knock your front teeth out?
Because if so, she's checked that box too.
My kind of rock star.
She is an extraordinary gift to music,
a family member to me,
and our lives are forever shaped
and inspired by her words.
Like Sheryl says,
it's not having what you want,
it's wanting what you've got.
And now I get the incredible
honor of welcoming Sheryl Crow
to her righteous place
in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
I'm Sheryl Crow.
I'm going to be your host today.
As we take a tour of my pink spread here.
Accompanied here by the navigator, Scout.
He is how we get where we're going.
This one down here is mine.
As you can see,
you have the necessary tools.
Leather hat, pumas,
and a curling iron, of course.
And other things that we don't
have to really get into, do we?
We have Sheryl Crow,
this is a real Cinderella story.
Seven months ago, I believe,
you were in southern Missouri.
Here she is in Madison Square Garden.
How did it all happen?
[Sheryl] I went to university of Missouri.
I majored in music
with a secondary in education.
I interviewed for several teaching jobs
and wound up in Rockwood school district.
I got into a cover band
and told my parents I'm moving to L.A.
And I got some session works
and I overheard some singers
talking about the Michael Jackson tour,
so I crashed the audition
and I ended up getting it.
After four-five years of doing
background work
John Henley came to me and said,
"People see you as a background singer,
so you must quit doing that
and just be an artist."
For I can do to you no one else
No one else is gonna do for you
The Tuesday Night Music Club,
my first record,
although it was collaborative,
it was still my solo project.
I wonder what I find
I'm leaving Las Vegas
She should be studied in a lab
because she's one
of the most perfect singers
I've heard on this earth.
And otherwise the bar is ours
Days and night in a car wash too
The matches and the Buds
and the clean and dirty cars
The sun and the moon
All I want to do is have some fun
[Adam Sandler]
And the best new artist is...
Sheryl Crow.
All I want to do
The song "All I want to do"
which broke me,
it was really the throwaway track
it wasn't what I thought
was the really
important song on the record.
He taught her how to run
Baby run, baby run, baby run
That was a first for me
was being able to fall in love
with someone's voice and then realize
they are the creator
of everything behind it.
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad
[Stevie Nicks] Before my show
tonight we were listening
to just Sheryl Crow.
There's a line that will go by
in every single song
that we just look at each other
and go like,
that's a great line.
I wish I'd written that.
I think about lyrics, like,
like, scrape the mold off the bread
and serve you French toast again.
And I'm like, "Nobody can say
that besides Sheryl."
She says things I would have
never thought of
in the most beautiful way.
Be the last to help you understand
Are you strong enough to be my man
My man
[Sheryl] Songs are really
little calendars.
They're kind of journal entries
into who you are as a person
when you write them
and when you record them.
And you let go of them.
Change will do you good
[Maren] The musicality of her records
is so unique and so wacky
and beautiful and impossible to replicate.
I'm gonna soak up the sun
You're my favorite mistake
You're my favorite mistake
There is a train that's heading
Straight to heaven's gate
[Stevie Nicks] Sheryl really
is pretty fearless.
If she feels strong about
something and if it's political,
she doesn't care,
and she's gonna say something.
Feel like I could have held on
Feel like I could have let go
Beautiful Ms. Sheryl Crow.
I walked out and all I could
think was being 14 and unzipping
the zipper on the cover of that.
Oh, my God, it's Mick Jagger.
Don'cha think there's a place for us
Right across the street
If you could only see
What love has made of me
As a kid, you'd never think
in a million years
you'd meet these people.
But to actually play with them,
I'm just very lucky.
Change is a thing to us
Sheryl Crow, y'all.
I get a little bit closer
Told you well
Told you well
Told you well
[Maren] She's just such a badass.
Like, she can't not be.
She encapsulates what Rock & Roll is.
She just effortlessly legendary.
She's a big-time rock star.
She writes fantastic songs.
She is everything that
every girl should want to be.
She inspires so many musicians like me.
She's an absolute icon,
and she's just the coolest girl ever.
At the end of my career,
it's really going to be about
a body of work that you hope
25 years from now, 30 years from now,
like a good Dylan tune
or a good Leonard Cohen
or a good Johnny Mitchell
or a good Rolling Stones,
that you used to love it, appreciate it,
it's still a great song,
and it's timeless.
Not everything is going to be
The way you think it ought to be
Seems like every time
I try to make it right
It all comes down on me
Please say honestly
you won't give up on me
Oh I shall believe
Help me please introduce
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sheryl Crow
and another of her closest friends,
co-Rock & Roll
Hall of Famer, Stevie Nicks!
God I feel like hell tonight
The tears of rage I cannot fight
I'd be the last to help you understand
Are you strong enough to be my man
My man
Nothing's true and nothing's right
So let me be alone tonight
You can't change the way I am
Are you strong enough to be my man
Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave
Don't leave no
I have a face I cannot show
I make the rules up as I go
Just try and love me if you can
Are you strong enough to be my man
Lie to me
I promise I'll believe
Lie to me
But please don't leave
Ladies and gentlemen, I have
to bring out one of my heroes,
Peter Frampton.
I hitched a ride with
a vending machine repair man
He said he's been down
this road more than twice
He was high on intellectualism
I've never been there
but the brochure looks nice
Jump in let's go
Lay back enjoy the show
Everybody gets high everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer
To feeling fine
He's got a daughter he calls Easter
She was born on a Tuesday night
I'm just wondering
why I feel so all alone
I'm a stranger in my own life
Jump in let's go
Lay back enjoy the show
Everybody gets high everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer
Every day is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Every day is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer
To feeling fine
Feeling fine yeah
Take it, Peter.
Every day is a winding road
Every day is a winding road
Every day is a winding road
Every day is a winding road
[cheers and applause]
Thank you. That's how you do it,
Peter Frampton.
Yeah, Peter!
[Laura] Sister Sheryl, come get inducted.
That's heavy.
Um... This... this is so, so surreal.
I'll tell you really quick, it's
been a crazy couple of days.
And I took a nap this afternoon.
And I dreamt that I was in a station wagon
with a bunch of random people
trying to figure out
where the Rock &
Roll Hall induction was.
So, this is a little bit
like getting an Oscar
for a screenplay you
haven't finished writing yet.
But for me, it's just a huge thrill.
And it's... I mean, it's a huge honor,
but it's definitely
also a very big honor for me
to get inducted alongside
one of the people
I admire most on this planet
and that's Willie Nelson.
I'm from a really small town
called Kennett, Missouri
and tonight, my entire town
my town has, like, three stoplights,
it's got one high school,
and it has one movie theater.
And my town is there tonight
with my mom and my dad and my sister
watching this live stream.
I want to say, I love you all,
and thank you.
Thank you to the rest of my family,
who traveled very long
to get here tonight.
Mom and dad, thank you so much
for raising me the way you did.
Thank you for loving me, playing
everything from Stan Kenton
to Duke Ellington to Burt Bacharach
to Dionne Warwick
to James Taylor to Carole King
to Stevie Wonder to Elton John.
I love you, and I'm thankful
for all the years
of unconditional love
and for piano lessons as well.
I have to say I'm one of the
most blessed people I know
that I get to be mom to Wyatt
and Levi, my two sons.
I want to thank my two boys,
who are the greatest gift
God has given me.
And I will say, I was very happy
with whatever God gave me,
but I'm so happy to be raising boys.
I mean, with social media
and all, you know.
Anyway, there is nothing that
can compare to the joy and love
you have given my life.
And nothing I do means
anything without you guys.
I have to say, I had
a beautiful thank you speech.
But It came in
around seven and a half hours.
So, I'm just going to say,
kind of, a brief thank you
that encompasses a lot of people.
The people that started out with me
30 years ago are still here.
They are my manager, my business
manager, my lawyer, my agent.
I mean, all of these people
have stuck with me
through the whole journey.
I always say that all of my
friends are on my payroll,
and it's, kind of, true.
And I always say, you know,
if anybody leaves me
I'll have to have them killed
because they know where
all of the bodies are buried.
But I want to say
I've had the same manager
from the very beginning.
His name is Scooter Weintraub.
And he's...
He's famous after my documentary.
He's a wonderful person,
and he's always put what
was best for me before money.
And that just speaks volumes.
I want to thank Pam also
who basically manages Scooter.
And to all the musicians and the crews
that have traveled with me
for the last 36 years,
you are family.
We have been through cancer together.
We have been through raising babies.
We have been through divorces
we have lost people along the way.
And that's what music has brought me.
It's been the most incredible journey.
When I think about the years
playing music, in my journey,
I could not dream my life...
when I was growing up, our popularity
wasn't based on likes.
It was based on who had
the best record collection
and who threw the best parties
when their parents were out of town.
There's no social media
because there were no computers,
no internets, no cell phones.
There was Rolling Stone
magazine and Cream magazine.
That's where you found
the mythical glimpses
into rock stardom.
There was American Bandstand, Soul Train,
and Midnight Special,
where you could catch
your favorite artists
playing their latest hits.
I was a kid who dreamed Rock & Roll,
who pored over album covers.
I knew every name of every musician
on every album cover.
I found my identity
in the lyrics from the songs
that I was sure were written for me.
Like I was sure James Taylor wrote
"Fire and Rain" about me and for me.
Stevie Nicks, I honestly would
not be who I am without her.
And I felt certain as a kid
that because I could twirl a baton
and had really long wavy blonde hair
that we were probably related somehow.
I found my command of words
through her imagery and her melodies.
I also found myself
in the greats like Tina Turner
and Bonnie Raitt and Nancy Wilson,
who with their ability to front a band
with electric guitars showed me the way.
I sang Linda Ronstadt songs
into a curling iron
like all the greats before me.
I found a way out of my own loneliness
through Joni Mitchell's poetry.
And there have been so many musicians
who have brought me here,
most of whom are actually
in the rock hall already.
Music has been a way out of my hometown
and into a world of possibility.
In 1976, you guys, when I was 14,
my best friend, Joe Beth's mom, drove us,
me and six little girls,
to the Mid-South Coliseum
in Memphis, Tennessee,
to see Peter Frampton.
That was my first experience
at a rock and roll show.
The six of us teens were way up
in the nose bleed section,
and we managed to crawl
all the way down to the floor.
I smelled weed for the first time.
I got to sing along with tens
of thousands of strangers
to "Do You Feel Like I Do"
and who doesn't dream
of that being your life
after you experienced it?
That was a pivotal moment for me
and understanding what Carlos Santana says
about music changing the molecules,
how music can connect a whole
room full of strangers
through a cosmic journey that cannot be
without the collective experience.
My kids always say, mom, you
know you were born in the 1870s.
And I did grow up before
technology became a connecter
and a divider and a anesthetizer
and a distractor and a facilitator.
I grew up before 24-hour news,
before drug companies
could advertise on TV.
That's how old I am.
I grew up with Walter Cronkite
and the Nightly News.
And until 1975, when I was 13 years old,
each evening we watched
the caskets come off the planes
and we read the names scrolled
across the TV
of those lost and missing in Vietnam.
The music from that time
reflected what was happening in the world.
It gave voice to everyone
who was experiencing this,
particularly the younger generation.
And those songs that played
on the radio, Marvin Gaye,
Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater,
that's what the best music does.
It entertains us,
but it also makes us feel.
In my case, music took to me Japan.
It took me to South America.
It took me to Berlin before the wall fell.
It took me to Russia,
and it even took me to Israel.
It is unimaginable that a song
with as many words
as "All I Want To Do" would have people
who don't even speak English
as a second language
trying to capture every word.
Music is a universal gift
that we all share.
And seeing those places
definitely gave me perspective
to how good we have it here in America.
I want to quote...
[cheers and applause]
I want to leave you guys with a quote
from the great Jimmy Buffett,
who I know we all miss.
He said, if you love what you do,
you will never work a day in your life.
Yes. For me there have been ups
and downs along this journey.
But mine is a story of infinite
possibility for any young person
setting out on a musical
journey, I love the work.
Thank you guys so much.
[announcer] To induct DJ Kool Herc,
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, LL Cool J.
[cheers and applause]
Sometimes it takes a while
for the true significance
of an action to become apparent.
The neighborhood party that took
place on August 11, 1973,
in the rec room of 1520
Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx
is one of those times.
Cindy Campbell, a high school
student at the time
she wanted to raise some money
for back-to-school clothes.
So, she invited all her friends,
and charged 25 cents for the ladies,
50 cents for the boys.
Like that, ladies?
And, most important,
she also asked her older brother Clive,
who was 18, to deejay.
Now we don't know how much money
Cindy managed to raise that day,
or what clothes she was able to buy.
But we do know that she changed
the course of history,
music history.
That party has come to be recognized
as the birthplace of hip hop.
And her brother Clive,
her brother Clive,
better known to the world
as DJ Kool Herc,
has been justly
called the father of hip-hop.
Herc used two turntables to isolate
and extend these hot instrumental breaks
of classic soul and R&B tracks
like James Brown's "Give It Up
or Turn It A loose"
and kick the dance floor into a frenzy.
Clive was larger than life
in every sense of the word,
and that earned him the name Hercules.
Soon all of New York City
knew him as DJ Kool Herc.
Herc had learned important lessons
from the dance hall music
and toasting that he heard
in his native Kingston, Jamaica,
before he moved to the Bronx
with his family
when he was 12 and he molded it
into a new form of music
that evolved into a street culture.
Deejaying, rapping, or emceeing,
B-boying, better known as break dancing,
writing, better known as graffiti.
Herc had his hand in every
aspect of hip-hop
that would eventually take over the globe.
Think about that.
He started from a rec room in the Bronx
to the entire world.
Now, public schools in New York
cut back on music education,
and older audiences
were preoccupied with disco.
And where Herc and others got
the ideas of using turntables,
to make the dance floor bounce
clubs in the Bronx were nervous
about possible violence
if they cave to young audiences.
So, that left rec rooms,
public parks, and the streets,
the city streets, and party
as party venues
for Herc and other deejays.
And they would like hack
into the lamp posts
to provide the electricity
for the booming speaker systems
and the turntables and microphones.
Literally jerry-riggin the lampost.
It was a true opportunity for Herc to rely
on his own creativity
to invent a new musical form.
It's a culture that changed my life,
And changed the lives of
millions and millions of people.
And as I've said before,
when hip hop first started,
there were no accountants,
no record companies
who believed in it.
Nobody believed in it.
But Kool Herc believed in it.
And arguably no one
made a bigger contribution
to hip hop culture than DJ Kool Herc.
So, this year, this
is hip hop's 50th anniversary.
So, it's all the more appropriate
that we're here to honor and recognize
one of the founding fathers of hip hop.
The great DJ Kool Herc.
[man] And the Bronx ghetto, or Planet Rock
Let's take a minute
to turn back the clock.
For the first hero of the hip-hop groove
the man who made the people move.
Music he played made life work,
and made him a legend, Kool DJ Herc.
The Bronx New York central consider
Kool Herc birthed hip hop
true believers
[Ice-T] You've got to remember
hip hop started off behind a deejay,
it didn't start off behind a rapper.
It was just word of mouth.
You had to go see this guy.
Clive Campbell went
by the name of Kool Herc.
- Kool Herc.
- Kool Herc.
-Kool Herc.
- Kool Herc.
[Kurtis Blow] Late '60s and the early '70s
Disco came and hit, it was an explosion.
Yo, look at the champagne.
Look at the diamonds.
Look at the sex.
People in the world thought
New York City was heaven.
But back then, the Bronx was burning.
It was like Beirut, [laughs]
you know, certain parts of the Bronx, man.
When they say the Bronx was
burning, the Bronx was burning.
South Bronx, where we lived at,
people were struggling, man.
And out of all that turbulence
and upheaval
was the birth of hip-hop.
This is the birthplace,
the big bang, 1520, right here.
This is my sister.
She gave a party
and I asked her to deejay.
[Cindy] I am the first hip-hop promoter.
My back to school party that
I gave, 1520, Sedgewick Avenue
August 11, 1973,
that was the birth of hip-hop.
People heard music
they never heard before.
The Hudson Brothers, Jimmy Castor
Babe Ruth's "The Mexican."
And that was so important
to the birth of hip hop
that we're going to play punk music.
[Dan] Why is it the first hip-hop party?
It's because of the way
he plays those records.
He plays just the breakdown
sections of these records
where all the instruments drop out
and it's just the drums or drums and base.
And he'd have these huge speakers,
this huge, huge setup.
And every once in a while
Kool Herc would play outside in the park.
And it was party time.
Here we go
There was this new dance,
you know, break dancing.
B-Boy, you know, comes from Kool Herc.
B, meaning break.
Break boy.
You dance on the break.
They became known as break dancers
because they were dancing
to those break beats.
Clap your hands
Stomp your feet
I use James Brown, clap your
hands, stomp your feet.
Then I went into bongo rock.
Bongo rock was still
going on, no vocals in it.
And I would go into "The Mexican."
I've never seen anyone
have two copies of a record
and keep going back to the part
where we normally would pick the needle up
and put it back so there's
a silence for a minute.
Now, that was continuous.
And he called it "The Merry Go Round."
I'm feeling it. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[Marley] He was a revolutionary.
I grew up with hip-hop
He was just magical.
We went through something that
nobody expect to go that far.
It probably would be a fad,
but hip-hop went worldwide.
The ingenuity of DJ Kool Herc
was the spark
that ignited this beautiful
art form called hip-hop.
It's a hip-hop family
and I play for the underdog.
I play music for people.
Thank God for Kool Herc
[cheers and applause]
Yo, Herc, you lit the fire,
and it's still blazing.
It is my great honor and privilege...
you know what I'm saying,
it's one of the proudest moments
of my life...
to welcome DJ Kool Herc
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Watch me now
Feel the groove
Into something
Gonna make you move
Right here, right here.
Right here. Right here.
I got you, I got you.
[indistinct chatter]
I love you, man.
This is yours.
I got you. I got you. I got you.
[cheers and applause]
The tears in my eyes, I'm sorry.
Babe, I'm sorry.
[cheers and applause]
All right, all right,
all right, all right, all right.
All right.
All right. All right.
My son, we had our problems,
but you're all right now.
You shut me out, and that's it,
you know what I'm saying.
Bunch of them people that's not here,
some people that's not here, I love them.
From James Brown,
Baby Huey... Baby Huey and the sitters.
And also a lot of people, man.
I'm not going to rip...
Marcus Garvey...
you know what I'm saying?
Harry Belafonte.
I love them.
You know what I'm saying?
And my father.
Mr. Keith Campbell.
Also my mother, Nettie Campbell.
I love her.
She say, all this stuff downstairs,
I didn't smoke it up.
Down... It's downstairs.
Black Hawk is down.
Don't worry, it's come back.
And I went to one place,
it's called Daytop.
Monsignor O'Brien, I love him.
Wasn't for him, I'd be gone.
Brought me back.
Sal, Sal, Sal, Sal, Sal is back.
Little boy, Joey,
he say, "Yo, I love him, man."
All the people, man, built me up.
But I'm going to time my sister,
she needs some props too.
If it wasn't for her too.
You know what I'm saying?
She's the lady.
Everybody's about the man.
Thank you.
Every man about a woman is a man.
Do your thing.
- LL...
- Do your thing, man.
you gave a heart felt introduction.
Thank you. We love you for that.
We love you.
Herc loves you. He always did.
And I want to congratulate
my brother, DJ Kool Herc,
for staying on that path
and getting where he is today.
Congratulations, my brother, DJ Kool Herc.
[Cindy Campbell] Don't forget to...
[announcer] To induct Chaka Khan
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Jazmine Sullivan.
Chaka Khan, a name as bold and funky
as the artist who owns it.
Before I had the pleasure
of meeting Chaka for myself
as a young adult,
I heard the voice and the name said
from my mother's mouth
like a close relative.
See, Chaka wasn't just an artist
playing in the background
at my household...
She was my mother's favorite artist,
held in high esteem from
a lover of all genres of music.
Which makes sense because
Chaka really does it all.
She can croon over an R&B jam,
riff to a funky bass line,
and even scat with jazz greats.
All with a sound distinctly her own.
That voice, as raw as it is sweet,
as sensual as it is soulful,
has guided us through good times and bad.
Through meet ups and breakups,
through desire and despair,
though hard times and higher loves.
Chaka's voice will never get
lost amongst her peers,
or fade in the background.
Her tone stands alone.
She was born Yvette Marie Stevens,
but an African shaman christened
her Chaka, meaning fire.
And that name couldn't
have described her better.
Burning bright, blazing hot...
Those words
described her expansive vocals,
her timeless beauty, her incredible smile,
her indelible style.
Everything about Chaka is fire.
I never thought upon...
- [cheers and applause]
- Yes.
I never thought upon meeting this legend
that she'd actually be a fan of my music.
But imagine, as my mother
finally got to meet
her musical idol,
that she'd dig her baby girl.
What a full circle moment.
[cheers and applause]
Years later, as my mom
battled breast cancer
and went into remission,
I had nervously requested
Chaka's presence over Zoom,
as our family and friends gathered
to celebrate my mother's victory.
Not expecting her to have the time,
she said yes and called.
I can still see my mother
falling off the couch
in pure excitement when she saw
Chaka appear on the screen.
Her life was made.
Not to mention learning that day
that the woman
whose voice
carried you through so much of your life
was equally a beautiful
and empathetic soul as well.
It's what I learned that day
and will hold in my heart always,
as it's the reason I'm here today
even though I mourn the loss of my mother.
Nothing would make her happier
than to know I was here
to honor a woman not only deserving
for her contributions to music,
but for having the biggest heart.
The fact that she took the time
to reach out to my mother
at that point in her life...
[cheers and applause]
puts her in my personal Hall of Fame.
This year, Chaka is celebrating
50 years in the music industry.
That's five decades of peerless artistry,
five decades of hits,
five decades of influencing generations
of artists, especially
young women like me.
Chaka has rightly been
called the queen of funk.
But she's so much more than that.
She's a songwriter, producer, musician,
and she's absolutely sensational on stage.
And she's one the most
gifted singers of our time.
And that is why Chaka Khan
receives this year's
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Award
for Musical Excellence.
So I'll ask you
Once again
[upbeat music playing]
Try to see it my way
Do I got to keep on talking
[H.E.R] Chaka took that mic and
she was the boss on the stage.
She opens up her mouth
and this powerful thing comes out.
You just feel it and you hear it
and you know that's Chaka.
Putting in down
Ain't no turnin' back no
When I knew Chaka Khan existed,
for a period of time
nobody else did for me.
That lady can blow.
If you dig the funky, funky music
Common move it this way
She's bad, she's bad.
I don't want to see you tomorrow
I come from a very rich musical
community in Chicago.
I thought everybody could sing.
I thought everybody
had music in their homes.
We did talent shows.
We won quite a few competitions.
It was definitely an introduction
to that way of life.
However, I wasn't into being a singer.
And probably, sort of,
searching for my identity.
It was the late '60s.
I was still in high school,
and I was going to a lot
of Black Panther rallies.
Black Panthers were beautiful to me
because if you put your life on the line
for something, that's beautiful.
I became very close to Fred Hampton.
I am a revolutionary.
[Chaka] I love that man.
Things been going wrong
Long enough to know
When Fred Hampton got killed,
that's the first time I really sat down
and took stock of what I was
going to do for my future.
That's when I decided
I was going to do music.
You ain't got no kind of fear
Down inside
I had known of her work with Rufus,
and there was talk
about her needing a song.
I got something that will
Surely set your stuff on fire
[Stevie] Rufus started playing,
she started singing
Heaven Was Mine.
Tell me something good
Oh baby baby baby baby
She represented
a different kind of freedom.
She wasn't conforming
to anyone's standard.
She was just Chaka.
Do you love what you feel
[Chaka] I had all these guys
and Rufus around me,
and they were like big brothers.
We obviously had
a unique chemistry together.
But I felt like I had to grow
up, I had to go out
and learn how to do it on my own.
I'm every woman
It's all in me
When Chaka is working
with a creative dynamo,
she had the vision for
where to sing her harmonies,
how to soar up. It just came out of her.
I'm every woman it's all in me
Chaka Khan is transcendent.
She can change her tune
to match the tenor of the time
or of an era.
I feel for you
I think I love you
[Chaka] This song was on
Prince's first album,
so we went in studio and recorded it.
The next night, I came back to the studio,
and Arif had Melle Mel come in
and rap on it.
Chaka Khan let me rock you
Let me rock you Chaka Khan
Let me rock you that's all I wanna do
Chaka Khan let me...
Because rap was at that time just emerging
and as it turned out it was a good idea.
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome to the stage,
my inspiration...
the voice of life...
the one and only Chaka Khan.
Love me anyway
Even if you cannot stay
I think you are the one for me
Chaka Khan was dope.
She gave you versatility.
She gave you different kinds of records.
You're not mine
I can't deny it
You could be in the club dancing
and then you could be
with your boyfriend
dancing the Sweet Thing.
Then she'll come with a jazz album
and then blow your head off with it.
A long time ago
To box yourself in is boring.
Open yourself up to as many
genres of music as possible.
Chaka takes anybody's song,
when she sings it, she makes it her own.
I feel what she's feeling
when she's singing.
Whoever she's standing next to,
she stands out.
She sounds like horn parts,
doesn't even sound like
what a singer would do.
The rhythm mixed with
the power is, like, unmatched.
Through the fire Through the fire
To the limit to the wall
For the chance to be with you
I'd gladly risk it all
[Chaka] When I sing, it's like
I switch to another level.
It is the time when I connect
with my higher self or my God.
Chance of loving you
I'd take it all away
[H.E.R.] She's just leaving it
all out on that stage
in every performance.
That's the difference
between things that are only
for a moment
and things that last a lifetime.
We stare into each other's eyes
And what we see is no surprise
[Grace] Her voice is
an incredible instrument.
It's not necessarily
the notes that she hits.
It's how she hits them,
how they come out of her.
Ain't nobody loves me better
[Joni] Chaka is exceptional.
There's nobody like her.
She's the G.O.A.T.
Ain't nobody loves me better
[Chaka] The only thing in life,
in my whole life,
that I do and I feel perfect at.
[cheers and applause]
I'm so honored to introduce
a few of the artists Chaka has influenced.
Sia, H.E.R., and Common,
who are all here to perform
with our newest Rock
& Roll Hall of Famer,
my Aries fairy godmother, Chaka Khan!
Chaka Khan Chaka Khan Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan let me rock you
that's all I wanna do
Chaka Khan let me rock you
let me rock you Chaka Khan
Let me rock you 'cause I feel for you
Chaka Khan, won't you
tell you what I wanna do?
Do you feel for me
the way I feel for you?
Chaka Khan let me tell you
what I wanna do
I wanna love you wanna
hug you wanna squeeze you too
Let me take you in my arms
lemme fill you with my charms
Chaka 'cause you know that I'm the one
That you keep you warm
Chaka I'll make it more
Than just a physical dream
let me rock you Chaka
'Cause you make me wanna scream
[instrumental music playing]
Baby when I look at you
I get a warm feeling inside
There's something about
the things you do
Keeps me satisfied
I wouldn't lie to you baby
It's mainly a physical thing
This feeling that I got for you baby
Make me wanna...
Come on, y'all sing it.
I feel for you
Yes I do
I think I love you
I love you
I feel for you
I think I love you
Yes I do
Rock on rock on rock on
Rock on rock on rock on
I feel for you I'm in love
Thank you.
[upbeat music playing]
[Chaka] Ain't nobody here.
Captured effortlessly
that's the way it was
Happened so naturally
Did not know it was love
The next thing I felt was you
Holdin' me close
What was I gonna do? I let myself go
And now we're flyin' through the stars
This night will last forever
I've been waitin' for you
it's been so long
I knew just what I would do
when I heard your song
I want this dream to be real
I need this feelin'
I make my wish upon a star
This night will last forever
Come on!
Oh oh oh oh
Ain't nobody Ain't nobody
Nobody Loves me better
And makes me feel this way
Makes me feel this way
Ain't nobody Nobody baby
Loves me better Nobody
Ain't nobody
[music continues]
Everybody, H.E.R!
[instrumental music playing]
Even if you cannot stay
I think you are the one for me
Here is where you ought to be
I just want to satisfy you
You're not mine
Even if you cannot stay
I think you are the one for me
Here is where you ought to be
Whoo want to satisfy Want to satisfy
Though you're not mine
I can't deny you
Don't you hear me talking baby?
Love me now or I'll go crazy
Oh oh sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything
Everything Oh oh sweet thing
Sweet thing
Don't you know you're my everything
Yes you are
Y-y-yes Yes you are
Yes you are baby
You are my heat you're my fire
You make me weak with strong desire
To love you child my whole life long
Just be it right or be it wrong
I just want to satisfy ya
Though you're not mine I can't deny it
Don't you hear me talking baby?
Love me now You are my heat
You're not mine I can't deny ya
Don't you hear me talking baby
And I love you Love me now
Or I'll go crazy
I can't deny you
Yes you are baby Love me now
Or I'll go crazy
- I love you, Chaka.
- I love you.
Give it up for, Sia!
I'm every woman It's all in me
Anything you want done baby
I'll do it naturally
I got you. Here, baby.
I'm every woman it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
I can cast a spell
with secrets you can't tell
Mix a special brew
put fire inside of you
If you ever feel danger or fear
Instantly I will appear
I'm every woman it's all in me
Anything you want done
baby I'll do it naturally
Oh oh oh
Sing it...
It's what we want, baby Chaka.
I can sense your needs
I'm every woman
I'm every woman
I'm every woman
I'm every woman
I'm every woman Oh oh oh
I'm every woman
I'm every woman
Oh oh oh
- Love you, Chaka.
- Thank you, Sia.
Chaka! Chaka for president! [laughs]
- Chaka for president!
- Sia, everybody!
-Thank you so much.
- Thank you. I love you so much.
-Thank you, darling. Thank you.
- Thank you very much. Thank you.
[Chaka] Sia!
I can't hear you!
[cheers and applause]
Everyone, no one
deserves this honor more...
[cheers and applause]
I was sitting in... Hey, y'all.
[cheers and applause]
You got to hear this.
I was sitting in the car
with my granddaughter,
who's 20-something.
I'm actually a great grandmother as well.
[cheers and applause]
Go figure. Anyway...
I'm sitting in the crowd with
my 20-year-old-something
granddaughter, Raven,
and she pops on this amazing CD.
And I heard a woman singing,
but not just singing.
It was like a life lesson.
It was, like, what all women
needed to hear in a lyric.
I'm not taking that.
I ain't playing.
I... I wanted to...
- Do you play cards?
- [laughs] No.
I don't believe
she plays any games. [laughs]
I don't play cards either,
Scrabble, none of that stuff.
- But I'm so honored.
- I love you so much.
This is your night.
This is your night, Chaka.
- Thank you so much. My God.
- Here you go, baby. Love you.
Thank you. I love you.
[cheers and applause]
One more thing.
One more thing. Bear with me.
I used to be called Rufus.
How many guys... How many
y'all remember the band Rufus?
[cheers and applause]
Well, I brought Rufus with me tonight.
This is the man that
pretty much started the group.
He was my guitar player. We played guitar.
We wrote great songs together.
Without him and the band, Rufus,
I would not be where I am today.
[cheers and applause]
And that's a fact.
So, I don't know where you are, Tony,
but I'm going to get him
and call him up here.
[cheers and applause]
I love this woman.
We've been through so much together.
Yes, we have, we've been through
a whole lot of
good and crazy stuff together.
- We won't talk about that.
- No, we won't.
- We won't talk about that.
- Okay.
But he is a great musician,
writer, guitar player,
and I would not be here
if it weren't for Tony Maiden.
Give me a hug.
- I love you.
- I love you.
- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
God bless you.
[announcer] To induct George Michael
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Andrew Ridgeley.
[instrumental music playing]
Good evening.
It is especially meaningful
and a source of great pride
to have the honor of inducting
the dearest friend I ever had
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Yog... whom you and the
entire world of music know as
George Michael, would have been
delighted and flattered
at his inclusion into
these hallowed ranks.
He placed great importance
on the recognition of his work
and his talent by his
peers and his public.
It affirmed his belief in that
which made him the artist
and the person he was.
George and I grew up together
in an exceptional friendship.
It was ever thus.
Our youth was lived
in each other's pockets,
as good as brothers.
And along the way
from schoolboys to adults,
we achieved, as Wham!,
our burning boyhood ambition.
[cheers and applause]
It, Wham!, was
the realization of everything
I had ever aspired to
and the realization, for George,
that stretching before him
along a gilded and infinite
path lay his destiny.
I shan't over egg the pudding,
but the sheer breadth
of his achievements demands a quick tally.
Over the course of his career
as George Michael,
and as the not quite so
the good looking one in Wham!,
he sold over
155 million records and had...
and had 13 number ones
in the USA and UK alone.
He won a myriad of major awards worldwide,
and equally meaningful to him
were the duets he sang
with those fellow artists
whom he so revered.
Elton John...
Whitney Houston...
Paul McCartney...
Aretha Franklin...
Mary J. Blige...
and Tony Bennett.
That's quite some roll call!
George considered his talents,
in descending order,
as those of songwriter,
producer and singer.
However, whilst his songs and
recordings brilliantly convey
his visceral sense of the ecstasy and pain
that life occasions,
it was the breathtaking beauty
in the way he delivered
that sense, that, in my opinion,
was his greatest gift, his voice.
[cheering and applause]
George was one of the greatest
singers of our time.
His voice was sublime.
It expressed both strength
and vulnerability,
qualities that resonate throughout
his outstanding songwriting.
It was the expression of
his soul made harmony
of raw, unfettered emotion.
It had the power to
send one soaring with its joy
and to make one weep with its pain.
It brought healing also.
Its beauty gave balm
and succor to the listener.
His pain healed ours,
and his grace gave hope.
His achievements were not
solely confined to his music.
They were personal too.
His compassion was as deep
as it was compelling,
and it inspired some of his
most touching acts of humanity.
He was once described as
a "closet philanthropist,"
and it's true.
There is a fiercely private man.
He sought no plaudits for his
many anonymous acts of charity.
He felt his fortune in life obliged him.
In 2019, whilst on a book signing tour,
I met the husband and wife
whose son had been born
as a consequence of George's
magnanimity and kindness.
He had funded, anonymously,
their IVF treatment,
a fact they discovered
only upon his death.
It hadn't worked, but she told me
they had conceived shortly thereafter,
on the day George died.
That day was Christmas day 2016,
and the effervescent little boy,
she and her husband
had brought along for me
to meet, they'd named George.
George Michael left, for us
and for posterity,
a magnificent body of work.
Its descriptions of
life's triumphs and tragedies
are unmatched
in their poeticism and dignity,
and it stands as a resounding
memorial to his gifts.
It is fitting that his name is
now formally counted here
amongst these immortals.
[cheers and applause]
However, perhaps, his most glorious legacy
is carried in the hearts
of those whose lives
he and his music touched,
as he trod that gilded path. Thank you.
I was wondering
if you would read this page
that you wrote and signed.
Okay. I'll-I'll read it.
"My name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou."
"As a boy, my biggest fear
was that my huge ambitions
would stay just out of reach of the child
I saw in the mirror."
"So, I created a man
the world could love if they chose to,
someone who could realize
my dreams and make me a star."
"I called him George Michael."
"He was very good at his job,
perhaps a little too good."
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
Young guns having some fun
Crazy ladies keep 'em on the run...
We met when I was 11
and Andrew was 12 at school.
I had no physical confidence
whatsoever, and I looked up
to Andrew, as he just oozed
confidence out of every pore.
Let me take you to the place
Where membership's a smiling face
If I kind of left the imagery
a little bit more to Andrew,
kids, kind of, loved it.
And I went from being Andrew's shadow
to being really
in the center of attention.
You put the boom-boom into my heart
You send my soul sky-high
When your lovin' starts...
I was doing something remarkable
as a 20-year-old kid. I was
a producer, an arranger.
And I knew how to make these records
and how to make them
jump out of the radio.
Wake me up before you go go
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo-yo
And then suddenly we were
massively successful
and I was supremely confident
that I was writing pop classics.
Last Christmas I gave you my heart
Once I had my foot in the door,
no one was going to get me out.
[Andrew] We were growing
into men and adults
and the shape of George's career
was appearing on the horizon.
I knew and he knew that
his future lay outside of Wham!
Thank you...
Thank you, everybody.
And Careless Whispers was
an obvious launch pad.
[instrumental music playing]
[George] I would finish
a track and feel like
I had actually laid down
a small part of my character
in exactly the way I wanted to.
I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
[Elton] You can tell a great songwriter.
On stage I compared him to Barry Gibb,
Paul McCartney, John Lennon,
people like that.
And no matter what
the press say, the music press,
other bands say, eat their hearts out.
And these are great songs.
I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you
[George] When I was younger,
I had a windup gramophone,
and I had two Supremes singles
and Delilah by Tom Jones, which is funny
'cause I kind of ended up
somewhere between
the Supremes and Tom Jones
when you think about it.
'Cause I gotta have faith
The diva himself, George Michael!
[cheers and applause]
Everyone else that gains
that kind of level of success,
you have to be driven
by this insatiable desire
for everyone to love you.
I want your sex
[upbeat music playing]
I want your love
I don't think there's any way
I could have controlled my ego enough
to have stopped me
exploring the possibility of
being the biggest selling
artist in the world.
I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher...
George Michael's voice to me
was always very soulful
and sultry and urgent.
He had all these things in his voice
that made us want to listen to him.
And at the same time, all his emotion
and his truth made us love him.
Beautiful darling
Don't think of me
because all I ever wanted
I remember being in love with one voice.
I could pick his voice out
from 1000 other voices,
and it was George Michael.
All we have to do now
Is take these lies
and make them true somehow
[George] I was so young when
I started, I really don't know
how I could have been expected to know
what I wanted as an artist.
Freedom I won't let you down
Freedom I will not give you up
Freedom Gotta have some faith
In the sound You've gotta give for...
The burning of the jacket,
the exploding jukebox was me
just saying, I'm sick of this.
As an artist, I don't think
I've asked for any more
than the opportunity to grow up.
Don't let the sun go down on me
A lot of the things I've done
within the last few years
have been about collaboration.
[George Michael "Somebody To Love"]
I wanna learn more, I wanna be around
other musicians a bit more. It feeds me.
Kindness in your eyes
One of the things that is
so difficult to actually accept
is that sexuality is a
really, really blurry thing.
Jesus to a child
I've been trying
to tell people in my own way
for years and years, and something in me
picked the most difficult way to do it.
Yes I've been bad
Doctor won't you do with me
And I knew that my audience
will not really desert me
if they found out I was gay, you know.
I believe in people more than that.
He was in Wembley Stadium
as an out gay man
singing to 80,000 people.
I can't express how powerful that was,
as a child, for me to see that.
I guess that cupid was in disguise
That day you walked in
and changed my life
I would not be here today as an artist
if it wasn't for George Michael.
He pushed down the gate for all of us
to walk through and be ourselves.
And teacher
There are things
that I still have to learn
[George] Most of us
want to leave something,
want to have something
that will be remembered.
And I want to leave songs.
I believe I can leave songs
that will mean something
to other generations.
Just one more
[cheers and applause]
That was pretty moving.
Um, he would have really,
really loved receiving this.
And now to honor our beloved George,
with three of his biggest songs,
Carrie Underwood, Adam Levine,
and to kick things off, Miguel.
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
Time can never mend
The careless whispers of a good friend
To the heart and mind
ignorance is kind
There's no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you'll find
I'm never gonna dance again
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
I should've known better
than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance
that I'd been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you
[music continues playing]
Tonight the music seems so loud
I wish that we could lose this crowd
Maybe it's better this way
We'd hurt each other with
the things we'd want to say
We could have been so good together
We could have lived this dance forever
And now who's gonna dance with me?
Please stay
And I'm never gonna dance again
Don't go
Guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it's easy to pretend
I know you're not a fool
I should've known
better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance
that I'd been given
So I'm never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you
[music continues playing]
Now that you're gone
Now that you're gone
Now that you're gone
What I did so wrong so wrong
You would have leave me alone
Jake Clemons on the sax, everybody.
Y'all, I need you to help me
welcome Adam Levine.
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
Well I guess it would be nice
if I could touch your body
I know not everybody
has got a body like you
Oh but I gotta think twice
before I give my heart away
And I know all the games you play
Because I played them too
Oh well I need some
time off from that emotion
Time to pick my heart up off the floor
Oh when that love comes down
Without devotion
Well it takes a strong man baby
But I'm showin' you the door
'cause I gotta have faith
Oh I gotta have faith
Because I gotta have faith faith faith
I gotta have faith faith faith
Baby I know you're askin' me to stay
Say please please please don't go away
You say I'm givin' you the blues
Maybe huh
You mean every word you say
Can't help but think of yesterday
And another who tied me
down to lover boy rules
Before this river becomes an ocean
Before you throw
my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider my foolish notion
Well I need someone to hold me
But I wait for something more
'Cause I gotta have faith
Oh I gotta have faith
'Cause I gotta have faith faith faith
I gotta have faith faith faith
[music continues playing]
Before this river becomes an ocean
Before you throw
my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider my foolish notion
Well I need someone to hold me
But I'll wait for somethin' more
'Cause I gotta have faith
oh I gotta have faith
'Cause I gotta have faith faith faith
I gotta have faith faith faith
[cheers and applause]
Please welcome Carrie Underwood!
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
I've had enough of danger
And people on the streets
I'm lookin' out for angels
Just tryin' to find some peace
Now I think it's time
That you let me know
So if you love me say you love me
But if you don't just let me go
'Cause teacher
There are things
that I don't want to learn
And the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don't want to learn to hold you
Touch you
Think that you're mine
Because it ain't no joy
For an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye
When you were just a stranger
And I was at your feet
I didn't feel the danger
Now I feel the heat
That look in your eyes
Tellin' me no
So when you say that you need me
And that you'll never leave me
I know you're wrong
you're not that strong
Let me go
And teacher
There are things
That I still have to learn
But the one thing I have
Is my pride
Oh so I don't want
to learn to hold you
Touch you
Think that you're mine
Because it ain't no joy
For an uptown boy
Who just isn't willing to try
I'm so cold inside
Just one more try
[cheers and applause]
Ladies and gentlemen,
one of my favorite groups
here to sing some of the biggest hits
ever created in the English language,
ladies and gentlemen, The Spinners!
[cheers and applause]
[upbeat music playing]
[Questlove] The Spinners
probably best display
the sound of Philadelphia.
Those songs, man, that was
the sound track to our lives.
[instrumental music playing]
One of a kind
Music that makes you feel good.
A lot of it makes you want to dance.
When your down is up
when your up is down
But love stays around
We developed the group back in 1954.
[Bobbie] At that time, you found
everybody standing on the corridor
which they called doo-wop
and trying to sing.
[Henry] A guy walks up and he says,
if y'all do, uh, dream
by The Everly Brothers, I'll give you $5.
Got a dollar fees. We thought
that was our first payday.
Sound of The Spinners.
As I read the words written
in your letter
The Detroit Spinners,
it was one of the first records
I bought.
[Henry] We had a contract with Motown,
but if you don't have a hit record
you, kind of, fall by the wayside.
That's when Stevie presented us
with It's A Shame.
It's a shame the way you
mess around with your man
It's a shame
When our contract ran out, we left Motown
and signed with Atlantic Records.
That was a blessing in disguise, okay?
[Thom] They sent me
a whole cacophony of artists.
I said, "I'll take The Spinners."
They said, "Well, don't you want Aretha?"
I said, "Aretha's fantastic,
but Aretha doesn't need me."
"I want those Spinners."
[Bobbie] So Thom Bell came to Detroit,
and he had everybody sing a little bit.
And he said, "Well, fellas,
I'm going back to Philly."
"When I come back
y'all will be number one."
Yeah, I heard that before.
Whenever you call me I'll be there
That song is just, Whenever
You Call Me, I'll Be There.
It was one of those songs that
actually made you feel like,
you know, everybody that was
listening to it in that area
were all family and friends.
They became a number one
across the country.
And a million seller.
Now I found out today
So now what you had was
the marriage of Philadelphia
and Detroit, the Motown Philly.
I'll be around
I'll Be Around, Bobby Smith,
he had the style
and he was more grounded.
At the end of the rainbow
And when Philippe came in,
it was like this juxtaposition
of-of a calm singing
and then this taking things off.
[Questlove] Philippe Wynne
is probably one of the most
under appreciated soul singers
and ad-libbers of all time.
He was incredible.
But, you know, you got
a bass voice from Pervis.
You've got Henry and Billy and Bobby.
[Daryl] Philly soul, very,
very vocal orientated.
Got a lot of church in it.
But it's also got sophistication.
Since I met you
I've begun to feel so strange
[Shawn] Guys like Thom Bell,
like they really produced.
They had to arrange horn
sections and strings sections
to create these masterpieces.
Could it be I'm falling in love
With you baby
He created the music,
but they brought it to life.
[instrumental music playing]
[Nathan] Back then,
you had to dance and sing.
It wasn't no background vocals
or, you know, you really had to,
when you spinning and sliding and hitting,
you've got to hit them notes.
And when you watch those guys,
the notes never waiver.
One of a kind
We allow everybody in the
audience to participate in it.
And we have a communication section.
[Thom] I give it a 1920's beat.
One, two, three, skip.
One of a kind love affair is
One, two, three, skip. It's always that.
Then he starts skipping across the stage.
And that little skip made
The Spinners at that time.
[upbeat music playing]
In the '70s, The Spinners were
hot, man. They were happening.
I don't know, man.
They were everywhere
at that point in time.
- What kind of band is it?
- Oh, it's a rubber band.
Hand me down, my walking cane.
Hand me down my hat
Hurry now
[scatting "The Rubberband Man"]
[The Spinners "The Rubberband Man"]
Hey ya'll prepare yourself
for the rubberband man
The influence is without
question timeless classics.
Then came you you then came you
I never knew love before
Then came you
The type of music that lives on
way after you're gone.
I keep working my way back to you babe
No Spinners, no Boyz II Men, man.
That's right. Yeah.
Yeah I'm working my way back to you
They were unbelievable because
they were unbelievable singers.
They had unbelievable songs.
I'll be around
I'll be standing in a coffin
They made a gigantic impact on,
on popular music and R&B music.
[upbeat music playing,
The Spinners "I'll Be Around"]
Any Spinners song
you ever heard in your life,
it just feels good.
Ill be around
When we perform... it's from the heart.
And I think people can feel that.
You hear...
[instrumental music playing]
[cheers and applause]
Everybody, it's a dream come true.
You think about things like this
when you first make your first record.
Words cannot describe being inducted
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
And I thank the public. I thank our fans.
I thank everyone, especially
my fellow partners, you know.
We didn't think about
making a living of it.
We just thought about
going on having fun singing
because we enjoyed singing, you know?
And you can't beat that.
The writers and the producers,
like Thom Bell, Linda Creed,
you have to thank them.
You know, Thom and Linda's gone, you know,
but, uh, they was the one that responsible
for our-our-our being what we are today.
You couldn't ask for anything better.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
[cheers and applause]
Hi. My name is John Edwards.
For 25 years, I was
a member of The Spinners.
And I enjoyed every moment of it
and I never thought
that it would get us inducted
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
I would like to thank Dr. Graham,
The Spinners organization,
Buddy Allen management,
Michael Zager, my family and friends,
and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,
and all of our fans.
I told you I would enjoy this almost like
I'm getting married again.
[cheers and applause]
[announcer] To perform a musical tribute
to The Spinners... New Edition!
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
This is our fork in the road
Love's last episode
There's nowhere to go oh no
You made your choice
Now it's up to me
To bow out gracefully
Though you hold the key
But baby
Whenever you call me I'll be there
Whenever you want me I'll be there
Whenever you need me I'll be there
I'll be around
Just call me on the phone,
I'll be there
I'll never leave you alone,
I'll be there
Just call my name, I know,
I know you know
I'll be around
[instrumental music playing]
Since I met you I've
begun to feel so strange
Every time I speak
your name that's funny
You say that you are so helpless too
That you don't know what to do ooo
Each night I pray
there will never come a day
When you up and take your love away
Say you feel the same way too
Now I wonder what it is I feel for you
Could it be I'm falling
in love with you baby
Could it be I'm falling in love
I got to know that baby
Could it be
I'm falling in love with you
With you
With you with you
[music continues playing]
And darling you'll
always be the only for me
Heaven made you specially
Could it be I'm falling in love?
With you baby
Could it be I'm falling in love?
I've got to know that baby
Could it be
I'm falling in love with you?
With you with you with you
Could it be I'm falling in love?
Yes! Ladies and gentlemen, tonight
is the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame celebration
of some legends in the house,
and it feels good to be honored.
The Spinners.
Henry, John.
Make some noise, y'all!
Come on, put your hands up.
Come on, put your hands up. Yeah.
Come on come on come on come on y'all
Hand me down my walkin' cane
hand me down my hat
Hurry now and don't be late
I ain't got time to chat
You and me we're goin' out
to catch the latest sound
Guaranteed to blow your mind
so high you can't come down
Hey y'all prepare yourself
for the rubberband man
Man ah he's my man
You've never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
Oh yeah you're bound to lose control
When the rubberband...
For the rubberband man
Come on
He makes you woozy
Come on
Looks so good
Uh huh
Makes you doozy
Du du du du du du du du
Come ah ah ah
Du du du du du du du du
Where my Rubberband Man? Ow!
Du du du du du du du du
Come on come on come on ow
Well yeah yeah
Hey ya'll prepare yourself
for the rubberband man
Oh yeah yeah yeah
You've never heard a sound
Like the rubberband man
You're bound to lose control
When the rubberband starts to jam
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah
Ah ah come on now
Come on
Du du du du du du du du
Come on
Shake it ya'll
Du du du du du du du du
Well well
Du du du du du du du du
Shine bright, shine bright
Du du du du du du du du
[cheering and applauding]
Henry, John, we love you.
Don Cornelius is probably the
first cool black voice of TV.
[Don] I remember a girl in high school
was saying to another girl,
that Don Cornelius thinks he's cool.
The other girl said,
"No, honey, he is cool."
I was always cool.
[Don] I grew up and started
my career in Chicago.
That city had inspired everything.
Don worked at WVON,
that was the number one
black organization in Chicago at the time.
I used to come in during
the daytime and do the news
but really felt connected to music.
When the TV show got greenlit,
I saw an opportunity to do my version
of a new dance show,
and I called it Soul Train.
Hi. I'm Don Cornelius, and what
you're about to see is a very
special program.
[Don] It was overnight hot.
When it came on, it was, like,
every black person in town knew about it.
That was one time that you
knew that all black America
was at home watching TV,
when Soul Train was on.
Personally for me
Soul Train was a religion.
So-o-ul train
The hippest kids in America.
There's nothing like it.
And to this day it's still
my all-time favorite show.
Hello, there and welcome aboard
to another super hip trip
on the Soul Train.
What Don Cornelius did was
he broke the glass
in terms of being isolated.
The black community
was on national television.
[Don] Back then, black people
were not represented
in a positive light on television.
There weren't very many
people on TV that looked like me
except on Soul Train.
This is the only place in
which you're seeing black joy.
The first major star to ever do Soul Train
was Gladys Knight & the Pips
Gladys Knight and the
dancing, swinging, singing Pips.
Don't you know that I heard
through the grapevine
[Don] Aretha Franklin walked
in the door the first time,
I think we felt like,
we're getting ready to go now.
Come on let your love light
Shine on me
Soul Train was the show.
Nothing else that I can think
of was quite as hot
as Soul Train.
Soul train
And Don Cornelius...
[Don] When Stevie Wonder
walked in the door,
that was when I was
sure that I had something.
[Don] That's the way it evolved.
Big names wanted to come on the show.
The Jackson 5. James Brown.
Chaka Khan. Sly and the Family Stone.
Tina Turner. Al green. Marvin Gaye.
Don Cornelius launched more careers
than anyone else I can think of.
Gitchie gitchie ya-ya da-da
When Soul Train called
for Labelle, that was big.
Being on that show was a rite of passage.
If you made it to Soul Train,
everybody in the community saw you.
[Eddie] He was giving this music a face.
That's what made all the artists
finally realize that they
needed to be a part of it.
What they do...
Not only was it an influence
to the black community,
it became a musical phenomenon.
So, all of a sudden,
white artists were showing up
to launch their records.
Fame makes a man take things over
But the main event of Soul Train
for everyone watching it
is the Soul Train dance line.
[upbeat music playing
That's how you learn what dance
you were going to do that night
at the party.
The Soul Train line was something
that we used to do at parties.
I just borrowed it.
It just caught on as the highlight
of every Soul Train show.
When the beat goes on
Don was the founder, the creator,
basically he was in charge of everything.
I was one of the first African
American guys to be able
to put his name on a television
show as executive producer
or created by.
[man] This has been
Don Cornelius Production.
For me, as a young black man,
I didn't know what an executive
producer was.
And when I learned there was
a black man who created this
and ran this, it was inspiring for me.
You can always bet your money,
He's a stone gas honey, Mr. Don Cornelius.
[Questlove] It's one thing to
transform music,
but it's another thing
to transform culture.
He, kind of, guided us.
He would encourage you.
He would say that you got the potential.
This was our classroom.
Don Cornelius was the
best instructor we ever had.
Baby baby
These were the most
exciting times of my whole life.
Not just my experience with the show,
but in my entire life.
I loved it that much.
We wish you love, peace, and soul.
[cheering and applauding]
I like the way you move
[announcer] To induct Kate Bush
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Big Boi.
Woo ooh I love the way you move
I love the way
I love the way
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
What's happening?
[cheering and applauding]
Check it out.
I fell in love with Kate Bush
when I was in middle school.
My uncle Russell, my favorite
uncle, turned me on to her,
and I listened to Running Up
That Hill every morning
as I rode to school on my bike.
I was that kid from Stranger Things.
I'm talking about,
like I think they really took
my interview and put
it in Stranger Things.
So, since then, I've been
obsessed with her music,
and I've remained her biggest fan.
I know that some of you are
thinking, "What does Kate Bush
have to do with hip-hop?"
She is such a unique artist,
you might as well also ask,
"What does Kate Bush have
to do with Rock & Roll?"
On the surface, our music is
obviously very different,
but in important ways
it is exactly the same.
What I love about Kate's music
is that I never know what sound
I'm going to hear next.
She ignores anything
that seems like a formula,
and instead just does whatever
she wants to do, like me.
She challenges me as a listener
and expands my ears and my mind.
No matter how many times
I've listened to albums like
The Dreaming or 50 Words For Snow...
Yeah, yeah, they sound fresh
and surprising every time.
They fill my head with ideas,
and expand my ambitions
for what music can achieve.
As a singer, Kate's voice
is incredibly inventive.
Who sounds like Kate Bush?
Like Keith Sweat say.
On stage, she's a miracle.
Her songs sound theatrical when
you just hear them on their own,
and in performance they
actually become theater.
Kate is a songwriter, producer
and performer without equal.
If that's not hip-hop,
I don't know what is.
[cheering and applauding]
When I didn't know Kate,
I imagined that she lived
in a castle in London,
like high on the top
of a mountain, writing fairly tales,
playing a big ass piano that,
you know, is super big,
like Bugs Bunny big.
The truth is a little
bit different from that.
I met Kate. We had long conversations.
I introduced my family
to her, and I met her son.
Like, uh, I did her shows in London.
It was-it was cool.
We just two hearts, baby.
Let's go.
It does not surprise me
at all that Kate has enjoyed
a huge surge of popularity
decades after she emerged on the scene.
After all, if you were hearing
Kate's music for the first time,
why wouldn't you believe that
she was a current artist.
The only mistake that you might
make is thinking that
all the artists she had
influenced had influenced her.
But it's every much...
But it's every much the other
way around. Who the f... my bad.
[audience laughing]
Kate... Kate Bush has helped
shape contemporary music,
even the music for artists
who have never heard of her...
or even heard of her.
Did you go to class?
She is a true artist and a true
visionary, that's why Kate Bush
belongs in the the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, man.
You have to believe in yourself.
You can't just accept what
other people say all the time.
Otherwise you become
them and not yourself.
Out on the wily windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green
When does the next Kate Bush
come along after Kate Bush?
There hasn't been one. She's unique.
She's a mystery.
She's the most beautiful mystery.
Wuthering Wuthering Wuthering Heights
Heathcliff it's me I'm Cathy
I've come home I'm so cold
[Annie] For that to have come
out of someone's brain, period
is a remarkable feat.
For that to have come out
of someone's brain
at 17 years old, this incredible song.
When did you start writing songs?
I must have been 11 or 12.
Ooh he's here again...
[David] I went to her house,
met her parents down in Kent.
She played me, God, I mean, it
must have been 40 or 50 songs.
And he put up the money for
me to make a proper demo
with arrangements.
I think we had the record company people
down at Abbey Road,
I said to them, "Do you want
to hear something I've got?"
And the said, "Sure."
So, I played it to them.
And they said, "Yep,
thank you, we'll have it."
[interviewer] You're now just
over 21, and you've made it.
What is there left to do now?
[Peter] She was one of the first
female artists that started
a sort of creative community around her
and controlled it and was just
unafraid to experiment.
All yours
Babooshka babooshka babooshka ja ja
[Kate] What I can do I'll try
and put across in the show
that I'm not a dancer.
I just love dancing.
I consider myself and the performer
two completely different entities.
My cup she never overfloweth
And 'tis I that moan and groaneth
It's in the trees. It's coming.
When I was a child
Running in the night
Kate hasn't really been given
enough credit as a producer.
The production on that record
is so bold and weird
and, kind of terrifying at points.
[Kate] I'm very opinionated.
I'm horrible to work with.
I'm so fussy and picky.
I think what's good is
that I know what I want.
[host] Yesterday I had the honor
of talking to the woman
behind this.
[Kate] It's really wonderful, I
think, is that this is a whole
new audience.
You know, in a lot of cases
they'd never heard of me,
and I love that.
I thought what a lovely way
for the song to be used
in such a positive way.
If I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get Him to swap our places
[Lauren] The songs had so many lives.
Like, I feel like it just keeps connecting
with a different generation of people.
I just feel like Running Up That Hill
is a master class in how to write
dark, emotive pop music.
There's a struggle in it,
but there's a hope in it.
Take away the love and the anger
And a little piece of hope
holding us together
[Kate] Each song has a
different personality.
And so they each need a little
bit of something here
a little bit of that there.
If it doesn't want you
to do it, it won't let you.
[piano music playing]
[Annie] I still remember going
to the CD store and buying
The Sensual World
when was 16, you know,
and my life was forever changed.
I know you have a little life
in you yet
I know you
have a lot of strength left
[Kate] Yes, I'm a private person
but I don't think I'm obsessively so.
It's more that I choose to try and have
as normal a life as possible.
Oh darling make it go away
[Kate] My initial drive had
never to be famous.
Just make it go away
It had been to make a record.
So, I turned it all around.
[Kate] It was a very conscious
decision to take a break,
which is very unusual.
Normally I go straight from
one project into another.
We all know that Kate doesn't
want us to know things
about her life.
And then we really want to know them more.
[Kate] As I get older, it's not
so important to me
to try so hard.
It's more, you know,
it's just a matter of doing it
and trying to enjoy it really.
Aren't we all the same?
In and out of doubt
If they find me racing white horses
[Kate] There's always a,
kind of, divine intervention
that is part of the creative process.
But I think it's also personal.
Let me be weak
Let me sleep and dream of sheep
I consider music a really positive force.
It's something that is there to
help people, to make them happy.
Some moments that I've had
Some moments of pleasure
It's a very positive energy,
and there's something incredibly
beautiful about music.
You can hear one note of
a Kate Bush song and know
immediately what it is.
And that is the biggest feat
of any artist,
especially when you consider,
you know, all the roads
that she's gone down.
Hey there, Bill
Could you turn the lights up?
[Kate] I am who I am.
I really like the idea of
my work speaking for me.
My work says lot more interesting stuff
than I ever could.
That's what I feel I have
to offer the world.
[cheering and applauding]
But, but I can't believe...
I'm up here like the
White House press secretary
for Kate Bush.
Her spokesperson.
Here to honor Kate Bush with
the performance of her classic
Running Up That Hill, St. Vincent's here.
[cheering and applauding]
[rock music playing]
It doesn't hurt me
Yeah yeah yo
Do you wanna feel how it feels?
Yeah yeah yo
Do you wanna know
know that it doesn't hurt me
Yeah yeah yo
Do you wanna hear about
the deal that I'm makin'
It's you
It's you for me
And if I only could I'd make
a deal with God
And I'd get Him to swap our places
Be runnin' up that road
Be runnin' up that hill
be runnin' up that buildin'
Say if I only could oh
You don't wanna hurt me
Yeah yeah yo
But see how deep the bullet lies
Yeah yeah yo
Unaware I'm tearin' you asunder
Yeah yeah yo
Oh there is thunder in our hearts
Yeah yeah yo
Is there so much hate
for the ones we love?
Yeah yeah yo
Oh tell me we both matter don't we?
Yeah yeah yo
It's you
It's you and me
It's you and me
You won't be unhappy
And if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get Him to swap our places
Be runnin' up that road
Be runnin' up that hill
be runnin' up that buildin'
Say if I only could oh
Oh come on baby
Come on darlin'
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on angel
Come on come on darlin'
Let's exchange the experience
Oh ooh
See if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get Him to swap our places
I'd be runnin' up that road
I'd be runnin' up that hill
With no problems
Say if I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get Him to swap our places
I'd be runnin' up that road
I'd be runnin' up that
hill with no problems
Say if I could
Be runnin' up that hill
With no problems
If I only could
be runnin' up that hill
[cheering and applauding]
[Terry] This is Fresh Air.
I'm Terry Gross.
My guest, Al Kooper, played
in The Blues Project,
then cofounded Blood, Sweat & Tears
He played on Dylan's album
Blonde On Blonde
and Highway 61 Revisited
and played the famous organ line
on Dylan's Like A rolling Stone.
Kooper also played on recordings
by The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix
and George Harrison.
And produced records by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
At the age of 13 he became
the guitar player
in The Royal Teens after they
had their hit Short Shorts.
In these days, I was 90%
ambition and 10% talent.
Ambition was everything.
Who wants to buy
I was writing in a team with
two other guys at 1650 Broadway.
This diamond ring doesn't
shine for me anymore
When we originally wrote This Diamond Ring
Jimmy Radcliff was a fantastic singer.
His demo was phenomenal.
Let it shine for you
And when I heard the Gary Lewis
record, I didn't understand it.
Oh, man, that is so white. I hate that.
This diamond ring doesn't
shine for me anymore
Two or three months
later, it was number one.
What do I know?
The Like A Rolling Stone session,
I was invited by the producer to watch.
And only through sheer ambition
did I end up playing on it.
In fact, I had planned to play
guitar until Mike Oldfield
walked in, so still being
ambition to want to play,
I seized the opportunity
and played the organ.
And the take that I played
on was The Keeper Take.
That's the day that I
became an organ player.
People were calling me for
sessions once I came out
and went to number one.
They wanted that organ sound.
One of the sessions I got called
for was a new band
called The Blues Project.
In fact, they asked me to join the band.
We became the house
band at the Cafe Au Go-Go.
They had a big show,
John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters,
and we closed the show,
which was ludicrous.
In the waning days of the Blues Project,
I wrote a bunch of songs that
were crying for horns.
So, I went to the band, and I
said, "Can we add three horns?"
And they said, "No."
So, I decided that I was going
to have to start another band
so that I could do these
new songs that I'd written.
Is that any way for a man
to carry on?
It was just what I heard in my head.
It was exactly what I wanted.
And we were very good.
I can't quit her
We made this Blood, Sweat &
Tears record in two weeks.
It met with moderate success.
And then there was dissension in the band.
I had to leave the band.
And yet that album
Child Is Father To The Man
has stood the test of time and
people seemed to really like it.
I got a job as a producer at CBS
and nobody to produce.
I called up Michael Bloomfield.
And I said, "Let's make a record together,
you know, look a jam session album."
NAS, no adult supervision.
That was the key thing.
So, the day it came out,
I was in Tower Records
and they were selling
them over the counter,
and I couldn't believe it.
I thought if I could find
a great three-chord
Rock & Roll band, I could probably make
a gazillion dollars.
We played this place, Funichio's
for two or three or four months.
One night we were playing
and there was Al Kooper
in the audience.
I mean, I looked at the
marquee Lynyrd Skynyrd.
They started playing
and I really liked them.
Sweet home Alabama
They wrote great songs
and even better than that,
they wrote great arrangements.
I made a deal with MCA Records
and I called my label
Sounds Of The South, and I signed Skynyrd.
We loved Al Kooper's music
and he had just played with
Hendrix on Electric Ladyland.
Fly high free bird yeah
I saw it, I believed in it,
and there it was.
I never wanted to be famous.
I was just interested in
changing music around
to the way I liked it.
That was always what was keeping me going.
Wake me shake me
Don't let me sleep too long
Al Kooper is one of the unsung
heroes of Rock and Roll.
He really has not gotten his due.
There should be a spotlight on
Al Kooper once and for all.
I never dreamed this would happen.
[cheering and applauding]
[announcer] That's Al Kooper.
Why don't you give him a big hand now?
Thank you so much.
This is something I never
dreamed would happen.
And it means a great deal to me.
It's been quite a long run for me
since 1958,
which is when I started professionally.
I've had a wonderful life,
and I've worked with some amazing people.
The key ones are Tom Wilson, who
produced Like A Rolling Stone
and allowed me to play on it,
even though I was just there to watch.
Mike Bloomfield, who I got the
opportunity to play with,
and we became best friends and
made records together for fun.
And they became golden platinum records.
Stuff like that, you know,
doesn't happen every day.
And it was a wonderful experience.
And Lynyrd Skynyrd,
fortunately they said yes,
and I did their first three
albums. And that was great.
And most of all, I would like
to thank my wife, Susan,
who has been with me
for an amazing 22 years.
And without her, I wouldn't be here today.
I'm so honored and amazed and thankful
that this has happened to me
in my lifetime.
It's staggering to be in any Hall of Fame,
but especially the one
that I delved in my whole life.
I did everything I wanted to do,
and at 80 years old,
I can sit here and tell you all
thank you so much for thinking of me.
[cheering and applauding]
[ guitar music playing]
Well hello there
My it's been a long long time
How am I doing?
Well I guess I'm doing fine
Well it's been so long
But it seems like it
was only yesterday
Ain't it funny how time slips away
How's your new love?
I hope he's doing fine
I heard you told him
You'd love him till the end of time
Now that's the same thing you told me
Seems like just the other day
Ain't it funny how time slips away
I got to go now
And I guess I'll see you around
I don't know when though
I don't know when I'll be back in town
But remember what I tell you
'Cause in time you're gonna pay
Ain't it funny how time slips away
Yeah remember what I tell you
'Cause in time you're gonna pay
Surprising how time slips away
Yeah ain't it funny
how time slips away
[cheering and applauding]
[announcer] To induct Willie Nelson
into the Rock & Roll Hall
of Fame, Dave Matthews.
[cheering and applauding]
This is one of those low microphones.
Now I've got to look like I'm serious.
Anyway I've got to get on
with, I've only got a couple
of minutes and I've got
a whole lot of shit to say.
So, just to get a perspective,
Willie Nelson wrote
his first song in 1940.
[cheering and applauding]
Come on.
I mean, he was seven years old,
but that's pretty, I mean, impressive.
Patsy... I'm going to get quick.
Patsy Cline recorded the classic, Crazy,
released in 1961.
And Willie made 72 albums since his first.
And he's an author.
He just published a new book
called Energy Follows Thought
about his songs and writing them.
He's been a movie star.
He plays golf.
I was standing with Willie
or by Willie at a concert
celebrating his 85th birthday.
He's 90 now.
And some local TV station asked
him when he was going to retire,
and he said, "Well, I play
golf and I play music."
"Which one do you want me to give up?"
[audience laughing]
he also loves poker,
and he recorded The Outlaws' album
with his poker buddy, Waylon Jennings.
[cheering and applauding]
And it was the first...
I'm trying to get it all in,
so I'm shouting over you.
It was the first country album ever
to sell more than a million copies.
[cheering and applauding]
Then he had another group
with Waylon that was called
The Highwaymen, and, uh...
[cheering and applauding]
That also had Johnny Cash
and Kris Kristofferson in it,
which is... That's-that's a wrecking crew.
You don't want to get stuck
in the bar with that band.
Anyway, what else do I got?
Oh, you know what?
Don't know if you know this,
Willie likes to smoke weed.
[cheering and applauding]
And-and-and according
to several, uh, uh...
or at least a couple of good sources,
one time Willie smoked in the White House.
And in his autobiography,
he said it was with someone
that worked there, uh, but Jimmy Carter,
who was president at the time,
said that it was with Jimmy's son,
which is, um, um...
So, I like to... but I like
to think that if Jimmy Carter
had been elected for a second term
that weed would have
been legal in the mid '80s.
[cheering and applauding]
Uh, and maybe we wouldn't
have exported all of our
manufacturing jobs,
if-if he had a second term.
[cheering and applauding]
And maybe all the farm subsidies
and tax breaks
that were afforded small family farms
and small farmers in this country
would not have been stolen by corporate
and factory farm industries.
[cheering and applauding]
But alas, so it goes.
But farm foreclosures skyrocketed
and so did farmer suicide.
And then Willie Nelson heard
the voices of desperation,
and he called John Mellencamp
and-and Neil Young
and, and they did the first Farm Aid
with a bunch of great artists in 1985.
[cheering and applauding]
Willie has done Farm Aid every year since.
Um, greed doesn't rest,
so neither, for now, does Willie Nelson.
[cheering and applauding]
The first, the-the time, uh,
that I was at Farm Aid,
uh, we came off stage...
That's the first time I met Willie.
We came off stage and we went on his bus.
And, uh, after I sat...
And I got so high, um, that I thought
I might forget to breathe.
And then we got more high.
And, uh, and then we continued to get high
until finally Willie said, um,
"Is everybody high?"
[audience laughing]
And my mom still has a
photograph of me and the band
so high on Willie's bus
with Willie up on her...
She's very proud of me. Um...
[audience laughing]
Uh, but also it was around the same time
that Willie had an issue with the IRS.
He owed some back taxes.
Um, you should look on Wikipedia
for how much
because I don't want to say it out loud
because it's an embarrassingly
large amount.
Anyway, so he ended up, he did some,
he did a couple of Taco Bell
commercials to pay the bill,
and, uh, and he did a Pizza Hut
commercial with Waylon Jennings.
And, uh, and I figured that's okay
because then you're just taking the taxes
from the corporation
and you're giving them
to the government, which is what
we should be doing anyway.
[audience laughing]
But, uh, but then-but then, uh,
Bill Hicks, the late comedian
said, uh... Yeah, yeah. I miss him too...
Said, "You do a commercial
and you're off the artistic
roll call forever."
And that goes for everyone,
except Willie Nelson.
[audience laughing]
Uh, Willie believes in doing
right, as he sees it.
"Um, everything just takes
care of itself," he said.
Um, if everyone
just takes care of themselves,
then we don't have any problems.
Um, one time before Farm Aid,
uh, uh, before the press
conference, Willie and...
Sorry if I'm nervous.
This is really nervous.
I'm really nervous. So, my apologies.
[audience cheering]
One time... one time before Farm Aid...
It was maybe a decade and a half ago,
um, me and Willie and Neil Young
and John Mellencamp
were on side stage, and we were
catching up a little bit.
And, well, they were catching up.
I was thinking, "What the fuck
am I doing here?"
And I don't know what we talked
about, but Willie said,
"I didn't think I was going to
write anymore songs."
"But then I wrote a couple."
And one of the ones he wrote was
Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die.
And then he recorded that with Snoop Dogg.
[audience laughing]
And Snoop said that Willie was the only...
With Willie was the only time
that-that he ever went smoking
with Willie was the only time
he ever had to say,
I can't smoke anymore.
[audience laughing]
That... That's, uh... Anyway, so...
[audience laughing]
In-in conclusion...
The world seems upside-down
where people are living in the streets,
hoping that they will survive the winter
in the richest country in the world,
and where people working full-time
for a huge profitable
corporation still have to get
food stamps, and we have billionaires who,
while competing for
who can get their little rockets
a tiny ways into space,
or who has the biggest
mega-yacht, don't think
they should pay taxes.
While we rain bombs down on
children and call it
collateral damage or self-defense,
it's enough for you to give up
on the world.
But it's people like
Willie Nelson that make me
hopeful for us all through his words
and through his music and
through the example he sets.
People feel a connection to Willie Nelson.
Willie is an example of how,
if the world...
how the world could be
if we could just straighten up
and fly right.
[audience cheering]
Do you want to sing a song
with my guitar, Willie?
First time that guitar's been played.
[audience laughing]
I'm crazy
Crazy for feeling so lonely
Crazy for trying
Crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you
Hello, all.
How did things go for you today?
[Willie] I really got started in
as a writer
in Nashville first with
songs that other people recorded
before I did as a singer.
And I'll bet you dread to spend
I wanted to play. I wanted to
get a band, go out on the road.
And Faron Young, he said,
"You stay here in Nashville
and write for me and let me
go out and do the touring."
Mr. Ray Price, the Cherokee
cowboy, recorded this one.
When the evening
I was playing bass for Ray Price,
writing for his publishing company.
One week I wrote
Funny How Time Slips Away,
Crazy and Night Life.
I felt they were good songs,
but I had no idea
what they would go on to become.
And the night life ain't no good life
But it's my life
The Nashville Sound back in
those days, there was already an
established way to do things.
And I tried to do it their way
for a while, but it wasn't
the sound that I really wanted,
which was the sound of me and the guitar.
She's a good hearted woman in
love with a good timing man
would play blacked houses
around the country
and yet I couldn't sell any records.
She loves him in spite of his ways
That she don't understand
So that's when I started thinking about
moving back to Texas.
Shotgun Willie sits around
in his underwear
Biting on a bullet and
pulling out all of his hair
My sister lived in Austin,
so I went there to see her,
and once I did, I said, "Well,
this is where I've got to live."
When he moved to Texas and,
kind of, abandoned any notion of
what someone else thought
he should, that's when it really
connected with people.
For me, that's the foundation.
And that move marked a very specific point
in not just country music, but music.
Whiskey river take my mind
Don't let her memory torture me
There's great guitar players
but you say, they sound like
this guy or they sound like this guy.
And you can't say that about...
I mean, he doesn't sound like anyone.
[Norah] Willie, he's just got a
sound on the guitar
that harkens back to Django Reinhardt.
He bends the notes.
He plays behind and ahead.
He's almost like a jazz
guitar player in that way.
Well it's a bloody Mary morning
Baby left me without warning
Sometime in the night
So I'm flyin' down to Houston
Forgetting her's
the nature of my flight
No one is saying make concept
records in country music,
and Willie is making these records
that are, they're just masterpieces.
The red-headed stranger
from Blue Rock Montana
Rode in to town one day
And under his knees
was a ragin black stallion
And walkin' behind was a bay
[Willie] When I finally did
The Red Headed Stranger album,
I was exactly where I wanted.
Took a day and a half to cut
all the tracks the first day
and we did the overdubbing the second day.
The record company thought it was a demo.
Acted like, well, when you
get it finished, bring it back.
Out of there came
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
which is the first record that
I got played on the radio.
In the twilight glow I see her
Blue eyes crying
[Norah] Blue Eyes Crying In The
Rain definitely
one of my favorite versions of
anything ever recorded.
The emotions that he gives to that song,
the way he delivers it,
he owns it completely.
When we kiss goodbye and parted
I remember asking you what
you wanted for your birthday.
I was like ten or eleven.
You were like, "You know what
would make me happy
is if you'll learn to play the guitar."
And you taught me that night
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.
In a land that knows no partin'
Blue eyes crying in the rain
Whatever Willie does, he does it his way.
A song of you
Willie has a sound that if
you listen to it 100 years
from the day, it will still be good.
I mean, Stardust is still around.
It's not going anywhere.
All the songs in the Stardust album
and 100 more like it have been
playing all my life.
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
Mamas don't let your babies
grow up to be cowboys
Outlaw, it was guys doing their things.
I'm taking it for the people.
Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings
really had everybody, from straight folks
to hippies and cowboys
coming all to listen
to the same kind of music.
Mamas don't let your babies
grow up to be cowboys
I got to work on my album
with Waylon and John and Kris.
He doesn't get any better than that.
Don't let 'em pick guitars
or drive them old trucks
Let them be doctors
and lawyers and such
Welcome to Farm Aid,
the concert for America.
We are here with Willie Nelson,
the man who put it all together.
Little things I should
have said and done
We're here to get everybody to
realize that it's important
we save the family farmer.
I just never took the time
But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
How does someone who smokes that
much pot get this much done?
I work over 200 days a year
out here on the road.
On the road again
I just can't wait to
get on the road again
The life I love is making
music with my friends
I can't wait to get on the road again
I know from experience
that I'd never be happy
not playing music. So, why try?
Thank y'all very much.
[cheering and applauding]
Thank you.
Hey, Willie.
It is my, it is my great honor
to induct you
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
They gave me this to give you.
Thank you.
Thank you and thank you, Dave,
for all those nice words.
And you always do that song
justice, so thank you very much.
And thank all of y'all
for this great honor.
I appreciate the acknowledgment
of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,
included with so many legends,
and some I'm lucky enough
to call friends.
It's been a long ride
for my first deejay job
from being here with y'all.
And as a deejay, I was playing
those first songs by Elvis.
I remember writers calling that Rockabilly
rather than Rock and Roll.
And I never really did pay much
attention to categories,
and I'm not sure the fans did either.
I did shows with Jerry Lee Lewis
and of course my buddy,
Ray Charles, who I've been told
we're both inducted
into the very first Hall of Fame
classic back in 1986.
[audience applauding]
And when Ray and I got together,
we never asked each other
what to do or whether to do a soul song
or a rock song or a country song.
We just sang the songs we loved.
And some with my buddies
Leon Russell, Booker T. Jones,
two more Hall of Famers,
everyone thought we were crazy,
and we were, to do Stardust
album of standards.
But it turned out pretty good
and folks seemed to like it.
Folks also like the music I made
with The Highwaymen brothers.
That was fun, with Cash and
Waylon and Kris Kristofferson.
Now that Johnny and I have been inducted,
I want to give a plug for Waylon,
who played with Buddy Holly,
and Kris, who sang so many hits
to be inducted too.
And I want to thank my family
band for hanging out with me
for this ride, and my longtime
manager, Mark Rothbaum
for sticking with me through
thick and thin.
Brian Greenbaum and CAA,
and my wife, Annie,
for keeping me out here doing
what I was put here to do.
[cheering and applauding]
Thank you. And thanks again
for including me tonight.
And thanks for appreciating
my music. Thank you so much.
Whiskey river take my mind
Don't let her memory torture me
Whiskey river don't run dry
You're all I've got take care of me
Whiskey river take my mind
Don't let her memory torture me
Whiskey river don't run dry
You're all I've got
Take care of me
[instrumental music playing]
I'm drowning in a whiskey river
Bathin' my memory's mind
in the wetness of its soul
Feeling the amber current
flowin' from my mind
And warm an empty heart
you left so cold
Whiskey river take my mind
Don't let her memory torture me
Whiskey river don't run dry
You're all I've got take care of me
Whiskey river take my mind
Don't let her memory torture me
Whiskey river don't run dry
You're all I've got take care of me
Thank you.
Please welcome Sheryl Crow.
[slow country music playing]
I'm crazy
Crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy
Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew
You'd love me as long as you wanted
And then someday
You'd leave me for somebody new
Why do I let myself worry
What in the world
Did I do
I'm crazy
Crazy for thinking
That my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying
Crazy for crying
And I'm crazy
For loving you
I'm crazy
For thinking that my love
Could hold you
I'm crazy for trying
Crazy for crying
For loving
Let's bring out Chris Stapleton.
Chris... Oh, there he is.
On the road again
I can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin'
music with my friends
I can't wait to get on the road again
Take it, Dave.
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may
never see again
I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Like a band of gypsies
we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world
keep turning our way
Our way
Is on the road again
Just can't wait to get
on the road again
The life I love is makin'
music with my friends
And I can't wait to get
on the road again
On the road again
Like a band of gypsies
we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world
keep turning our way
And our way is on the road again
Can't wait to get on that road again
The life I love is makin'
music with my friends
I can't wait to get on the road again
I can't wait to get on the road again
[cheers and applause]
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you.
Thank you.
[cheers and applause]
It's a good day.
Here we are in Cleveland
at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,
surrounded by memories and inspiration,
reminding us why we started
out on our journey.
This is the hall of history
from Chuck Berry to Chuck D.
From Johnny Cash to Johnny Rotten.
[Dolly] From rock to pop,
from rhythm and blues
to hip hop, from gospel to country,
there's as many
musical styles in this hall
as there are musical legends.
[Grohl] This is a hall of change.
It's a living timeline of music's past,
present, and future
because Rock & Roll can never die.
And looking around you can see
the decades of evolving style.
Each one of them the sound of
youth. The sound of rebellion.
[Grohl] You see, Rock & Roll
isn't any one sound.
It's an attitude.
[Dolly] This is a hall of imagination
jam packed with new sounds
and new ways of making music
but always coming straight from the heart.
This is a hall of evolution
and revolution.
A temple of Rock and Roll's sacred saints.
[Le Bon] That celebrates
not only the huge stars
we all know and love.
But also honors others
in building the foundations
of our industry.
[Dolly] The artists here created the music
that will connect us all forever.
The story of the music is
the story of all of our lives.
Discover it all at the Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame and museum.
Long live hip-hop, long live pop and funk.
Long live Rock & Roll.
[cheers and applause]
Link Wray.
Oh, boy. I wanted to meet
you for a long time.
Let's see, we had Rumble,
we had Raw Hide, and
Trail Of The Lonesome Pine.
I was riding a horse
right out of the studio there.
That's a good record. I like that.
It kind of moves all the way.
So, you have an album. Wait a minute.
I wanted to show this, because...
- Yeah, please do.
- I like that cover.
- Thanks a lot.
- Link Wray & The Wraymen.
On the university PA system,
I heard...
[imitating guitar strumming]
I said, what?
Whoa, what is that?
That was the rawest form
of the kind of guitar
that a lot of the guys and I listened to.
It's where it started, you know?
And it even still sounds better
when he does it.
You know?
[Link] 1957, [indistinct] playing live
and the TV host, his name was
Milt Grant brought the Diamonds.
After this, to do the live show,
in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Milt Grant said, "Link, play me a Stroll."
I said, "I don't know a Stroll."
Doug said, my brother says,
I know the beat of a Stroll. You know.
And is see that as if God just
zapped it right into my soul
you know and I just give it to the kids.
And did Rumble from West Side Story.
It was one of those teenage
violent sounds, you know,
the disk jockeys hadn't invented.
I recall the papers, they were
saying, Rumble, you know
with the teenage fights and everything.
It's the sexiest,
toughest chord change
in all of Rock and Roll.
It was like James Dean
with the guitar, you know?
Rumble made an indelible mark
on the whole evolution of where
Rock & Roll was going to go.
There might not be a Who,
without no Link Wray.
There might not be a Jeff Beck
group without no Link Wray.
There might not be a Led Zeppelin
if there were no Link Wray.
I guess I was about the first
Rock & Roll guitarist
that they were listening to
back over in England.
Page, Beck, and all those guys
they were little kids
you know, just learning how to play guitar
when Rumble came out.
First time I heard The Rumble,
it was like...
that was something that
had so much profound attitude.
It really does.
They had one very big hit record gone by,
a thing called Rumble,
and they're working on another.
This is one of the biggest
instrumentals of the day.
It's called Rawhide.
Let's greet Link Wray.
Midnight lover
I'm your midnight man
Link Wray
[Link] I'm playing louder music,
Link Wray music, you know,
and the kids go, woah.
I just hand my guitar to them
and they're playing it.
I'm going up down up down
Any way you want me baby
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
[announcer] Link Wray.
He had the power to push me over the edge,
and it did help me say...
fuck it.
I'm going to be a musician.
[Dan] His influence was so immense.
Every musician in the world
loves Link Wray.
I don't know why the rest of the
world hasn't figured that out.
- Rock & Roll has no age.
- Exactly.
I mean, if you got the spirit
in you, you know,
Rock & Roll has no age.
I'm really proud and honored
to induct Link Wray
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
If ever there was a guitarist
who deserved this,
if ever there was a guitarist
who changed people's attitude
to what they heard, it's Link Wray.
I first heard Link Wray's music
via the Rumble
and it was when I was 14 years old.
It wasn't necessarily the sort of music
that was being played on the BBC radio.
But I heard it through a jukebox.
The first time I heard it,
I remember listening to it
with such awe
because I thought, what is this.
In those days there were many
guitar instrumentals
but as a 14 year-old kid who
could barely play the guitar
it really had an affect on me.
The vigor in it, the strength
in it. The power in it.
And you know something else?
It was fearless.
It's just phenomenal.
It's the essence of cool.
Its just a masterpiece.
Just sort of melted its way
into the fibers of my body
and my consciousness as far as the drama
that you can set up with six strings.
It's the sort of stuff
that can't be taught.
It's the sort of stuff that you feel
and you can take on board if you're lucky.
I'm really thrilled and honored
to be the one
to be able to induct Link Wray, my hero
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
[guitar playing]
[music continues]
[music continues]
[music continues]
[music continues]
[cheers and applause]
[announcer] To induct Bernie Taupin,
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Elton John.
[cheers and applause]
[cheering continues]
Once upon a time in England,
two boys were born in Penner...
and in Owmby-by-Spital.
Penner was in North London.
Owmby-by-Spital was
100 miles away in Lincolnshire.
Little did they know as they
were growing up
what would happen to them,
what was in store for them.
They could never have dreamed
in a million-billion years
what was in store for
their life, their friendship,
um, an incredible adventure.
It all started when I answered
an advertisement
in The New Musical Express in England
for song writers and lyricists and singers
um, wanted by Liberty records
who were forming an
independent label in England.
And I was in the back with
Bluesology that was going
nowhere, um, and I was fed up.
And I thought,
well, I've written two songs,
maybe I can write a song,
so I answered the advertisement
and got an appointment.
And I went up there shaking
because at that time
I would never say boo to a goose,
so I just couldn't believe
I was actually going for
an audition up in London.
And I went into the office
and Ray Williams was sitting
behind the desk and said,
"What do you do?"
And I said, "Well, I can sing."
"Um, and I can write.
But I can't write lyrics."
"I'm terrible at lyrics."
And we talked for a few minutes,
and on the desk in front of him
were a pile lyrics
uh, in brown Manila envelopes,
stacks of reel-to-reel tapes.
It was, you know, when you ask
for song writers and singers
and you say, please send the...
you get inundated with crap.
But Ray picked up an envelope
from the middle of the pile
and said, "Hm, this guy lives
in Lincolnshire,
have a look at these."
I went home and read them on the train
and thought, these are amazing.
It was the years of the '60s
Procol Harum, the Beatles, Esoteric.
And I really liked them.
And I went home to my parents' flat
in Penner and started
to write songs with him.
And it clicked right away.
I could write songs to lyrics.
The visual, the words,
the visuals leapt off the page.
It suited me entirely, so...
Eventually I got to meet this young man
who came down from Lincolnshire.
And it was one of the greatest
moments of my life
because not only did we become
the greatest of friends and still are,
who love each other dearly,
but we wrote songs
that got better and better and better.
We had struggles.
We went from writing our first
song to the album Empty Sky
which had "Skyline Pigeon" on it.
To the Elton John album.
That was a huge difference in quality
from Empty Sky to Elton John.
How did we take that leap
in such a short time?
But we did. And we clicked.
We used to go to the cinema together.
We used to go and see shows.
We used to go to live concerts.
It was the most...
he was the friend I never had.
I never had a best friend
at school really.
So he became my best
friend and my lyricist.
And people have always said to me,
well, you know, you're quite verbose.
Why do you need...
Why can't you write lyrics?
I think that's one of the
greatest insults to people
who can write lyrics
because if you think of
all the great lyricists
from the beginning of time,
since popular music began.
They are something else.
Now, our success story is what it is.
You all know.
Um, and through the years, we
grew, and we grew, and we grew.
And we climbed mountains
that we never thought
were possible to climb,
and we scaled heights
that we never thought
were possible to scale.
And throughout that time,
we never, ever really had an argument.
He was disgusted with
my behavior, yes, but, um...
That's a given.
But, you know, to this day,
we are still...
growing as a partnership.
We've just finished
an album in Los Angeles
about three days ago.
Which is going to
surprise the shit out of you.
Oh, I can't swear, um...
And it's absolutely wonderful,
and it's full of youth,
and it's full of vitality,
and it's a wonderful place to be
after we've been together for 56 years,
to have that incredible, incredible bond.
He is without doubt
one of the finest lyric writers
of all time.
Every time I sing his songs now...
and I've sung them hundreds
and hundreds of times...
I feel a different thing
every time I sing it.
I understand what the lyric means more
every time I sing the song,
which is the trademark of someone
who is brilliant at their job.
He isn't just a lyricist. He's a poet.
He's a conjurer of cinema
in words that I can relate to.
When I sit down at the piano, I go,
hmm, that's going to be like this.
This is going to be like that.
And for some god-known
reason, it's worked.
And I'm so proud...
tonight that he's being inducted
into this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
because if it wasn't for him,
I wouldn't be sitting here
talking about him,
because the lyrics come first.
They always have done,
and he's always been generous.
And when I've crossed out
verses, crossed out lines,
he's just gone with the flow,
and he's trusted me.
And that trust has spilled
over into our friendship.
He is the happiest man in
the world with his lovely wife
and his two daughters.
I'm the happiest man in the world
with my husband and my two sons.
We have come through...
We have survived the storm,
and there's been a lot
of tempestuous weather
in our relationship, not between us
but with other things interfering.
Um, but I can honestly say
this is one of the greatest
things that changed my life.
The thing that changed my life completely
was meeting Bernie Taupin.
[cheers and applause]
Hopefully there will be
many more songs to come.
God knows how many we've written.
But I honestly believe that he's
one of the greatest
songwriters of all time,
and it's been a privilege for me
to actually write with him.
[Bernie] If anything was destiny,
it was for him and I to be together.
Some higher power said
let's put these two together
and irritate the world.
I had someone to write my words for me,
and without him, the journey
would not have been possible.
I kind of feel cheating standing
up here accepting this
because without Bernie,
there wouldn't have been
any Elton John at all.
I would like him to come up,
and I would like
to give this to him.
Holy Moses
I have been removed
[Bernie] I grew up in a very
rural area of England.
When I was in my early teens,
the things that really stirred my soul
were listening to Woody Guthrie
and Huddie Ledbetter,
Muddy Waters.
That what made me want to write songs.
I really didn't know
what being a songwriter was,
but it was something I wanted to try.
One day, I just happened to
be thumbing through
my New Musical Express
and came upon this ad.
[Elton] It was a record company
sort of advertising
for new talent and songwriters.
So I went up there and said,
"I need a lyric writer."
And Bernie had written in.
And we sort of teamed up like that.
It's a little bit funny
[Bernie] We started writing material
that was sort of conducive
to us at that time.
I mean we knew each other very vaguely,
and we were just trying to
establish each other as a unit.
Easily hide
When I wrote Your Song,
I was 17 years old.
So it really came from
a truthful standpoint.
There's a virginal quality
that really comes across.
How wonderful life is
While you're in the world
Elton was living in London,
and I was sending envelopes
of lyrics down to him.
I just didn't know what kind
of song was going to appear.
Blue Jean baby
LA lady
Seamstress for the band
I felt it only fair that I
should introduce Bernie Taupin.
Who never really faces his...
I write the words and he writes
the melodies so there's no need
for us to sit together and do it together.
Yeah, suddenly he just comes out to London
and hands me batches of lyrics.
Very, very uncomplicated. That
really is all there is to it.
[Bernie] I don't usually sit down and say
I want to write a song about this subject.
For instance, when I did Rocket Man,
I was just driving along in the car
and I came up with the
first line, you know, about...
"She packed my bags
last night pre-flight."
And thought, oh, yeah, that's nice.
I've always been fascinated
by Marilyn Monroe.
I think everybody has their own idea
of how Marilyn was to them.
You know, she was somebody that you felt
that you could get close to.
And it was just Elton and I, you know.
I would travel as part of the unit.
And then when it came time to record,
then that's when I would write.
So I would be in one room writing.
I would sort of give it to Elton.
He would be off and work in the studio.
I would write some more,
and it became this rotation.
And I was trying to conjure up a sort of
space-age Rock and Roll situation.
And actually if you look in the cover
of the Yellow Brick Road album,
you'll see they were basically
an Android Rock and Roll band.
Bernie has to take
more criticism than I do.
I don't think he gets enough
share of the limelight.
I won't let him.
He was like the brother I never had,
and our friendship and our relationship
as a songwriting duo
started on such a great note.
And 53 years later, we're still here.
[Bernie] I'm just sort of happy
the way I am,
and I want to stay that way, you know?
I don't want to do this sort
of savior of modern writing.
I just want to write what I want to write
and for it to be appreciated.
And if it's appreciated, you know
people don't have to know me
as long as they know my writing.
So it gives me great pleasure right now
to induct my cohort,
lyricist, best friend, buddy,
Bernie Taupin into
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!
[cheering and applauding]
I'm still standing
better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor
Thank you.
I have to follow Jimmy Page.
It's no secret that I've always
been a little conflicted
about what my profession really is.
I'm called a songwriter, but in reality,
I'm just the writer bit.
So I guess that makes me a lyricist,
which in my estimation
always sounded way too professional.
Ira Gershwin, you know, Johnny Mercer
Oscar Hammerstein, those were lyricists.
Originally as a kid, all I
wanted to do was write stories.
But when I was about ten or eleven,
I heard Marty Robbins' classic
western ballad El Paso,
and everything changed.
That was kind of my road to
Damascus moment
because it was raw, real,
and a million miles
from comic book cowboys.
It was cinematic, vivid and visual.
And at that moment, I realized
you could conjure up stories
and that they could be turned into songs,
that is, if you could find someone
who could conspire with your imagination
and ignite your dreams.
In 1967 I became the luckiest man alive
and got the other best wife
a man could ever hope for.
We're kind of metaphorically still married
and are as stimulated and excited about
what we still do as we were
when we shared bunk beds
in a cramped room of a tiny apartment
in the suburbs of London 56 years ago.
Thank you.
So I've been allowed all these years
to tell stories
and to be a cinematographer.
Sometimes it wasn't like writing songs
so much as it was like making movies.
I'm grateful for all my
inspirational sources,
and not just musical.
Believe me, I've plundered
from fiction, motion pictures,
and owe a debt to the likes of
people like Ray Bradbury,
John Huston, Graham Greene,
Mary Renault, Mervin Peake,
Ursula Le Guin and Sam Peckinpah,
and that's just scratching the surface.
I've always liked to mix things up,
intertwine ideas and keep your songbook
racing between styles.
That's because Elton and I
nurtured our collaboration
and diversity
and shared musical interests.
It was open season basically
on the musical landscape.
Elton has a canny knack
of changing styles and keeping us fresh.
He's on top of the current
trends like no one I know.
Me, I'm a little more dyed in
the wool and straddle the ages,
still immersed in the traditional.
I'm never too far away from
those that inspire me
in ways that spur me on
and instill in me the desire to create.
Louis Armstrong and Duke
Ellington, Nina Simone,
Peggy Lee, The Louvin Brothers,
Leonard Cohen, Little Richard,
Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf
and of course I have to mention
the incomparable
Merle Haggard, a one of a kind, rugged,
all-around genius who sets a fire under me
every time I hear his songs.
And as a side note, Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, are you listening?
I acknowledge all these people
because they,
and so many others are why I write.
I guess you could say I'm
being inducted as a paradox.
Perhaps, but either way
I'm honored to be in the class of 2023
alongside such a group of
profoundly articulate women...
And outstanding articulate black artists,
along with all of the other
musical masters here tonight.
You know, diversity of genres and styles
is exciting and relevant.
When it exactly was that the
term pop became a dirty word,
I don't know because every artist
in this musical institution
and every artist inducted
on this stage tonight
is pop because pop
in its original connotation
meant popular, as in popular music.
That's what they all were and still are.
That's a blessed thing.
It means there's no wall,
no inherent snobbery,
and it stands for unity without barriers.
It means we're all in this together.
Thank you.
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]
Blue Jean baby
LA lady
Seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed
Pirate smile
You'll marry a music man
Ballerina you must have seen her
Dancing in the sand
And now she's in me
Always with me
Tiny dancer in my hand
Jesus freaks
Out on the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back
She just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad
Piano man
He makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on
She sings the songs
The words she knows the tune she hums
I know how real it feels
Lying here with no one near
Only you
And you can hear me
When I say softly
Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You've had a busy day today
Hold me closer tiny dancer
And count the headlights
on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You've had a busy day today
Blue Jean baby
LA lady
Seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed
Pirate smile
You'll marry a music man
You must have seen her
Dancing in the sand
And now she's in me
Always with me
Tiny dancer in my hand
Oh how it really feels
Lying here with no one near
Only you
And you can hear me
When I say softly
Hold me closer tiny dancer
And count the headlights
on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You've had a busy day today
Hold me closer tiny dancer
And count the headlights
on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today
Thank you.
[cheers and applause]
Thank you.
[Tina] When I sing it's like flying
the song totally takes you out.
When I was a little girl
I had a rag doll
Only doll I've ever owned
[Tina] I was never afraid,
I knew what I needed,
and I went to work.
It's almost like magic because
you're standing there,
and they're really giving you the love.
And do I love you my oh my
River deep mountain high
My work is for the people.
If I lost you would I...
I've gotten where I wanted to get,
and I've stood with the best.
Baby baby baby
For you
There'll be no more crying
For you
The sun will be shining
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright
I know it's right
[Crosby] Music Bridges the gap
between human beings.
It is a transcendent magic.
We are privileged to do it.
Long time comin'
It's going to be a long
Time comin'
And it appears to be a long
Appears to be a long
Yes a long long long long time
Before the dawn
[Crosby] I'm a gypsy and I'm a wanderer.
I make no apologies for it.
I deal in escapism.
I have heard you call
I wanted to say
When we come to town and all of a sudden
we're an excuse to go crazy,
I think that's an essential part of life,
and I'm glad it's my job.
You've seen it all
[guitar music playing]
Down the way where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily
on the mountaintop
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica
I made a stop
But I'm sad to say I'm on my way
Won't be back for many a day
My heart is down
my head is turning around
I had to leave a little girl
in Kingston town
[Jeff] There's so many
people that helped me,
and I'd like to extend
a huge thanks to them
and a huge thanks to those
that didn't help me.
[instrumental music playing]
Take a notice, I don't practice every day.
I should practice more often
because I've not even
got a quarter of the way
where I want to go.
[guitar music playing]
Train roll on
On down the line
Please take me far away
[Clarence] I don't know how
I got into anything,
but I just took shots.
I helped a lot of people.
But my job, so far as I'm concerned,
is to move us forward.
Somebody to lean on
All the flowers that you planted mama
In the backyard
All died when you went away
I know that livin' with you baby
Was sometimes hard
But I'm willing to give it another try
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
[Robbie] Music took us
to some strange places,
physically, spiritually,
and psychotically.
Up on Cripple Creek
She sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak...
Writing songs is a pretty
mysterious thing.
It's like something just comes
in the air, and you grab it
before it gets a chance to get away.
The night they drove old Dixie down
And all the people were singing
They went na na la na na la
It's goddamn impossible way of life.
No question about it.
[cheering and applauding]
This is for you, Robbie.
I pulled into Nazareth
I was feeling 'bout half past dead
I just need someplace
where I can lay my head
Hey mister can you tell me
Where a man might find a bed
He just grinned and shook my hand
No was all he said
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Rake a load off Fanny
Put the load right on me
I picked up my bag I went
looking for a place to hide
When I saw old Carmen and the devil
Walking side-by-side
I said hey Carmen
Come on let's go downtown
She said I gotta go
But my friend can stick around
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
Put the load right on me
Take it away.
Go down Miss Moses
There's nothin' you can say
It's just old Luke
And Luke's waitin'
on the judgement day
Well Luke my friend
What about young Anna Lee
He said do me a favor son
Won't ya stay
and keep Anna Lee company
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
Put the load right on me
Crazy Chester followed me
and he caught me in the fog
He said I will fix your rack
if you'll take Jack my dog
I said wait a minute Chester
You know I'm a peaceful man
He said that's okay boy
Won't you feed him when you can
Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
You put the load right on me
Catch a cannonball now
To take me down the line
My bag is sinkin' low
And I do believe it's time
To get back to miss Fanny
You know she's the only one
Who sent me here with her
Regards for everyone
Take a load off, Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And you put the load right on me
[cheers and applause]
[announcer] To induct
Rage Against The Machine
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Ice-T.
Nah, nobody is getting arrested.
Can you hear me?
That's what's up.
So I was minding my business, right?
That's how this story goes.
And I get a phone call from a manager.
He says, "Yeah, they want you
to induct somebody
into some kind of awards."
I'm like, "Nah, I'm busy.
I'm doin' something.
I'm playing Call Of Duty right now.
I ain't got no time."
They said, "It's Rage Against The Machine
in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame."
I'm like, "Are you serious?
Hell, yeah, I'm there."
Zach, Tom, Tim, and Brad,
make some noise
for Rage Against The Machine.
[cheers and applause]
I came repping LA.
So let me tell you a story.
I ain't got no teleprompter.
I'm gonna tell you some true stories.
We were playing...
Oh, yeah, for some
of you youngsters out there,
I made a few records in
my day too, alright? You know?
I'm far from a motherfucking
cop. Don't get it twisted.
So we were playing my band...
my little band,
we were playing this, uh, gig
at a club called Madam Wong's in LA
with dancing.
And my guitar player, Ernie,
runs into this guy named
Tom Morello. Tom...
Tom tells Ernie, he says, "Yo,
I got this band I'm working on.
I was in a band called Lockup,
but I got another band I'm working on.
I want you to come to the rehearsal hall."
So Ernie comes to the rehearsal
and he says, "Just check the band out
and tell me what you think."
And Ernie was like,
"Yo, y'all don't need no help.
What the hell?"
So Ernie says, "I'll book you guys.
You guys can open.
We got a show in the palace...
At the palace in LA.
You guys can open."
So Ernie comes to me,
he goes, "Yo, I found this band out of LA.
They're gonna open for us."
I'm, like, "Whatever, word, whatever."
So I go to sound check.
Zach jumps five feet in the air,
and I'm like, "Yo,
that ain't no opening band, man.
What are you talking about?
We got to go on after them?"
Right out of the gate,
Rage Against The Machine
was no... not a game.
And in their career,
they did things
that impressed cats like me.
You can't impress me with normal stuff.
You got to impress me with stuff like
suing the U.S. State Department
for using their music
in Guantanamo Bay for torturing.
Who does that?
Rage Against The Machine does that.
Or how about 1993,
pulling up in Lollapalooza
butt-naked with duct tape?
Protesting against the PMRC.
Who does that?
Rage Against The Machine does that.
I respect the hell out of this band.
They have four albums,
sold sixteen million records.
Not a bad ratio.
But I love them.
They're my brothers from LA,
and I know you love them.
This is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Let's look at the movie. Play the movie.
It has to start somewhere.
It has to start sometime.
What better place than here?
What better time than now?
Rage Against The Machine
from Los Angeles, California.
Rage's music comes from the chemistry
of the four guys in the band.
The brilliant lyricism of Zack.
My right hand with Timmy's growling tone,
and Brad Wilk's funkiness
The chemistry of a bomb, you
know. Very simple humble things.
And then it goes off.
[Lars] Seventy-five thousand
people just losing their shit.
And it kind of always feels
like it could go off the rails.
There's such a release of energy.
At the same time, a sense of unity.
We found your weakness
It's right outside your door
This crowd and band thing, it's happening.
It's very intense,
and it's a cycle of energy.
[man] It was a punk rock ethos.
There was zero commercial ambition.
We didn't think we'd be able
to book a club show.
Sweaty, shirtless, punk rock
warriors with no audience.
And it sounded
like Rage Against The Machine
really from the get-go.
[Zack] I'm just exercising my
right to free speech, you know.
I'm up there just venting
because there's a lot of things
I'm frustrated about.
We're living in a very turbulent time.
[man #2] This song
is about being an individual
and using your strength
as an individual to attack.
Now you do what they told ya
Now you do what they told ya
Rage professed to something
higher than just music
as a form of entertainment.
It really was incredibly inspiring.
That first intuitive feeling
of this tension building,
this anger building,
this frustration building
was very powerful.
You do what they told you
Those who died are justified
For wearing the badge,
they're the chosen whites
[man #1] Four members
of Rage Against The Machine
disagreed about a great many things,
but politics were not one of them.
Political bands are not a dime of dozen.
They're like one every once in a while
that gets a chance to have a voice.
[Zack] That there won't be peace in LA
until we've established peace in campus.
We wrote music to try
to generate some solidarity
with these people's struggle.
Merge on the networks,
slangin' nerve gas
We're the generation,
one generation removed
from the Vietnam war.
Terror's tha product ya push
Well I'm a truth addict,
oh shit I gotta headrush
A lot of our parents were appalled.
They installed in us very good lessons
in how to combat that now.
Fear is your, fear is your,
fear is your only god
Fear is your, fear is your,
fear is your only god
As the guitar player,
I was the DJ in the band.
With Tom creating the sounds
over the beats we're playing,
playing live hip-hop music
is something I don't think
a great many bands have done.
Since 1516,
minds attacked and overseen
Now crawl amidst the ruins
of this empty dream
The messages about questioning authority
feel, to me, as relevant
and as fresh in 2023
as they did 30 years ago
when we first wrote these songs.
That vulture came to try and steal your
name but now you found a gun
This is for the people of the sun!
[Zack] And I always felt
that you could communicate more
with power chords and a screen
and have resonance with new people
than you can from the seat
of the White House.
I am Chris Connelly from MTV News
outside the Democratic
Convention in Los Angeles.
Come wit' it now
Our democracy has been hijacked
Come wit' it now
Weapons not food,
not homes, not shoes
Not need,
just feed the war cannibal animal
[Tom] It's standing up
against illegitimate authority
wherever it rears its ugly head...
in your home, in your community,
in your place of work, in your school,
in your country at large.
They don't gotta burn the books
they just remove 'em
While arms warehouses fill as
quick as the cells
Rally 'round the
family, pockets full of shells
[Zack] I think that people,
once they are exposed
to this kind of information, will act.
Bulls are ready
Bulls are ready
[Tom] The intensity of Zach onstage
is no different from the intensity of Zach
in the rehearsal studio.
He's a preacher,
the ringleader, the instigator.
The way he spits out the vocals
makes it feel so fucking vital.
Just stare
Just stare
Relive the nightmare
The message would not exist
without the music.
[Tim] There's so many things
that we can do, you know,
so many styles of music.
Tom's into like something more metal,
and Zach is more into the punk rock.
Me and Brad kind of on two
different sides of the things
but trying to stay together,
and there's a lot going on.
It works out good, you know?
All hell can't stop us now
All hell can't stop us now
[man] It always feels like what
they're doing is in the moment.
It feels like
they're just speaking to you,
communicating to you.
[Tim] I'm glad I'm in
Rage Against The Machine .
I'm proud of those guys.
They're like brothers to me.
They're always like beneath
the surface with this band.
We always care very much about each other.
And that's become evident now
in a way it hadn't before.
We were too young and dumb.
[Tom] For a band that had
extremely combustible elements,
to have been able to make four records,
to be able to play the shows
we did, I think it's a miracle.
There's a lot of music you can make.
You can make music that simply entertains,
but you can make music
that provokes change,
provokes people to think, important music.
If you wanna go down in history
you got to either make something
or break something.
[cheers and applause]
Rage broke every rule they could
just to let you know they in the building.
Now, I learned from Quincy Jones,
he said, "Ice, if you wanna do pop music,
you just sing
what everybody wants to hear.
Rock rocks the boat?
You understand me?
And I think Rage has the best
rock lyric of all time.
Fuck you. I won't do what you tell me.
I'm proud to introduce and induct
Rage Against The Machine
into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
[cheer and applause]
My name... My name is Tom Morello,
and I am one-quarter
of Rage Against The Machine.
I am deeply grateful
for the musical chemistry
I've had the good fortune to share
with Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford
and Zack de la Rocha.
Like most bands,
we have differing perspectives
on a lot of things,
including about being inducted
into the rock hall.
My perspective is that
tonight is a great opportunity
to celebrate the music
and the mission of the band,
to celebrate with the fifth
member of the band,
and that is Rage Against
The Machine's incredible fans.
[cheers and applause]
You're the reason we are here,
and the best way to celebrate this music
is for you to carry on that mission
and that message.
The lesson I've learned from Rage fans
is that music can change the world.
Daily I hear from fans
who have been affected by our music
and in turn have affected
the world in significant ways.
Organizers, activists,
public defenders, teachers,
the presidents of Chile and Finland,
have all spent time in our mosh pit.
When protest music is done right,
you can hear a new world
emerging in the songs,
skewering the oppressors of the day
and hinting there might be more to life
than what was handed to us.
Can music change the world?
The whole fucking aim
is to change the world,
or at a bare minimum to stir up
a shit load of trouble.
When Rage started we rehearsed
deep in the San Fernando valley.
This guy passed by our place
regularly and one day asked,
"What are you guys doing in there?"
We said, "We're a band."
He asked to hear us and we said, "Sure."
He came in and sat down.
Now this is the first guy
to ever hear the music
of Rage Against The Machine.
We played him a couple songs.
After we finished,
we asked him what he thought.
He paused, stood up and said,
"Your music makes me wanna fight!"
Throughout history, the spark of rebellion
has come from unexpected quarters...
Authors, economists, carpenters.
But as Salvadore Allende said,
"There is no revolution without songs,
so who's to say
what musicians might
or might not be able to achieve
with revolutionary intent
when the bouncing crowd
makes the Richter scale shake.
Personally I'd like to thank
my wife, Denise, and my kids,
who remind me daily that
the world is worth fighting for.
[cheers and applause]
And thanks to all the musicians
and change makers
who helped shape
the band's collective vision.
Rage has also been fortunate to
have so many talented co-workers
and co-conspirators
who have believed in the band.
From Michael Goldstone,
the guy who signed us
and insisted the first radio
single be an unedited song
featuring seventeen cuss words,
to the greatest guitar tech of all time,
Slim Richardson, thank you.
And thanks and deep appreciation
to the hundreds of others,
from those who put up flyers,
to those who have moved mountains
to amplify the message and the music.
What I hear in the music is this...
That the world
is not going to change itself,
but throughout history
those who have changed the world
in progressive, radical
or even revolutionary ways
did not have any more money,
power, courage,
intelligence or creativity
than anyone watching tonight.
The world's changed by average,
everyday, ordinary people
who have had enough
and are willing to stand up for a country
and a planet that is more
humane, peaceful and just.
[cheers and applause]
And that... and that is what
I'm here to celebrate tonight.
Fans often ask, "But what can I do?"
Well, let's start with these three things.
One, dream big and don't settle.
Two, aim for the world you really want
without compromise or apology.
And, three, don't wait for us.
Rage is not here, but you are.
The job we set out to do is not over.
Now you're the ones that must testify.
If you've got a boss, join a union.
If you're a student,
start an underground paper.
If you're an anarchist, throw a brick.
If you're a soldier or a cop,
follow your conscience,
not your orders.
If you're bummed out
you didn't get to see
Rage Against The Machine,
then form your own band
and let's hear what you have to say.
[cheers and applause]
If you're a human being,
stand up for your planet
before it's too late.
So tomorrow... So tomorrow,
crank up some rage
and head out and confront injustice
wherever it rears its ugly head.
It's time to change the world,
brothers and sisters,
or at a bare minimum to stir up
a shitload of trouble.
And finally...
And finally, a special thanks...
a special thanks to my mom, Mary Morello,
a retired public high school teacher,
a proud Rage Against The Machine fan,
and a lifelong radical
who turned 100 years old
a couple of weeks ago.
She's watching at home tonight,
but she asked me to tell you this.
"History, like music,
is not something that happens.
It's something you make."
Thank you very much.
[cheers and applause]
[announcer] To induct Missy Elliott
into the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame, Queen Latifah.
That part, that part, that part.
[cheers and applause]
That's good.
Listen, I'm just gonna say it.
We all know
that the incomparable
Missy Misdemeanor Elliott
is about to become
the first female rapper
to be inducted into
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
She more than deserves that honor.
Now, it's easy to get caught up
in talking about Missy's
massive artistic significance,
which we all know, her monumental impact,
and her influence.
But it's very, very important
not to ever take for granted
the irresistible, insatiable joints
that Missy unleashed on this world.
I'm talking about...
I'm talking about "The Rain."
I'm talking about...
I'm talking about "Sock It To Me."
I'm talking about "Hot Boyz."
"One Minute Man."
And I see... I see
Flavor over there right now.
Work it.
He always gonna work it.
And that's not including
the multitude of hits
she's written and produced,
and she knows I harass her about this
because I think she's one of the
greatest producers ever, period.
But she's written and produced
for artists like Beyonc,
Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston,
Aaliyah, Baby Girl.
The queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige.
Mariah Carey,
Ciara, Jazmine, Swizz,
The Clark Sisters. I could go on and on.
But all of these artists
trust Missy to do just that
because she is a true visionary.
With her debut album "Supa Dupa Fly,"
Missy and her dear friend, her brother,
her close collaborator, Timbaland,
completely reinvented
the sound of hip-hop.
I remember being a...
I was on Tommy Boy Records,
and then I left Tommy Boy
and got signed to Motown.
And one of the executives, Jomo,
brought me in the room
and was like, "Oh, you got to hear this."
And he put on "One In A Million"
by Aaliyah that Missy wrote.
We had never heard anything
like that in our lives.
See, they opened the door
to new possibilities
in all aspects of contemporary music,
very much including rock and roll.
But trust me, nothing sounded the same
after Missy came on the scene.
All the kid's sneers...
Everything changed.
The baselines changed.
The pockets changed,
the cadence, the writing.
And that's because Missy
has always been a futurist,
someone who is always looking ahead.
She is avant-garde without even trying.
She's... It's true.
She's always been committed to coming up
with the perfect sound for the moment,
whether anyone's heard anything
like it before or not.
As a matter of fact, especially
if nobody has heard it before.
You see, when you listen to her music,
you can feel how much fun it is for her
to invent vital new sounds,
to try new Sonic approaches.
Missy never chooses
to do the obvious thing.
Only the smartest thing.
And that's why even when
she decides to switch it up
and pull from the old school,
her sound hits even harder
because of the way she innovates.
Missy has shattered barrier after barrier
for both herself and for other women.
Because that's the greatest
thing about Missy.
She has never been content
to keep her success to herself.
In the same way that she was inspired
by so many female artists
who came before her.
Artists like MC Lyte and Salt-N-Pepa.
Oh, and a bunch of others.
She became determined
to inspire all those who came after her.
So let me tell you something.
Entire generations of artists
owe a debt to Missy.
You feel free?
You want to try some wild shit?
Thank Missy.
And not just women.
I'm talking about... I mean
of course especially women.
But Missy has never been afraid
to speak out about the preconceptions,
the stereotypes,
and the straight-up misogyny
that has been placed and the
obstacles that have been placed
in the way of women.
Hear that now.
She has been a leader
in blowing those obstacles away.
But Missy's message
really is for everyone.
And that message is
it's possible to do everything
and to be great at it.
You can rap.
You can sing.
You can write songs. You can produce.
You can work with like-minded creators
like Hype Williams and Dave Meyers
and create groundbreaking videos.
I remember Missy was like,
"Yo, come through.
I'm shooting a video downtown in LA."
I came through.
It was a whole damn corn field out there.
Like what kind of video?
Missy could... she can do it like that,
especially when you're working
with people who get the vision.
And she smashes the boundaries
of fashion and style.
Smashes it.
And while doing all that,
you can sell tens of millions of records.
Let's take a look
at Missy's extraordinary career.
I've got a cute face chubby waist
Thick legs in shape
Rump shaking both ways
Make you do a double take
Man or woman, like you can't
have a hip-hop conversation
without Missy Elliott.
[MC Lyte] Missy in the whole
spectrum of music,
it was like we didn't know what
we were missing until she came.
Even though everything she's doing is new,
it's true to the real roots of hip-hop.
She's more than her style.
She's more than hip-hop.
She's music. She is culture.
She's a legend.
'Cuz Misdemeanor said so
[woman] This is a Missy Elliott exclusive.
[Missy] I used to make up songs
when I was little.
But then when I turned 11,
I really started trying to write music.
I'm grippin' these curbs (ah) Skrrt,
did ya heard? (Ah)
I had mad doll babies,
and I would perform for them.
And in my mind, those dolls
were screaming for me.
Thank you. You all are so wonderful...
When I was in high school,
the principal would always
see me in the hallway,
and I'd be beating
on the lockers, rapping,
and everybody would be laughing.
They'd be like, "Melissa, go to class."
And I would be like,
"Meet me back at lunch.
I got another rap for you."
I got connected with Timbaland
through Magoo
when we were in high school.
He had a DJ set,
and he started doing beats.
I didn't even know that he even did beats.
I immediately started singing and rapping
to what he was doing.
And from that day,
every day I was at his house.
Corner, corner, you think you tough,
well let me see what you wanna wanna
I was a great DJ in high school
until Missy came into my life.
That's when she told me
that I was a great producer.
[Missy] Power people really
started knowing who I was
through Puffy.
[Diddy] She was in my studio
doing some writing
and I was doing a remix
and I was just, like, "Missy,
why don't you jump on this?"
I came back, 15 minutes later,
and I was like, "Whoa, what is this?
Pizzzow, Gomer be my Pyle like Sha-zam
Her writing style, her energy,
I mean, she's just a genius.
[Missy] The first time
I heard it on the radio,
the DJ kept spinning.
He howled over and over.
I was like, "OK, that must be fire.
I'm gonna use that forever."
I didn't wanna be an artist at first.
I wanted to have a record label.
The Elektra was like,
"I'll give you a record label
if you give me an album."
And from that one album
went on to be six albums.
We went into the studio.
It was like, if it work, it work.
If it don't, it don't. And we
knocked it out in two weeks.
When the rain hits my window
I take and - me some
Me and Timbaland, ooh,
we sang a jangle
We so tight, that you get...
The first time I heard "The Rain",
I ran around for two or three
weeks telling all my friends,
"This is the future of music."
Beep, beep,
who got the keys to the Jeep?
[Mary] Not only did the Supa
Dupa Fly album change the sound
and what people wanted,
but it gave Missy a lot of credibility.
It showed she was a leader in the game.
[Missy] The Rain was constantly
playing on MTV,
and it was like
the beginning of everything.
Give it up for Missy Misdemeanor Elliott.
Be your supa fly
Ooh ah, sock it to me like
you want to, ooh
I can take it like a pro
and you'll know
Missy Elliott is one of the most
important women in hip hop
because she showed us
that you can be creative,
that you can be crazy,
that you can try new things.
She's a trend setter.
She's the wave, she's not a wave rider.
Hot boys (say what)
Baby, y'all be drivin' Lexus jeeps
And the Benz jeeps
and the Lincoln jeeps
Nothin' cheaper, got them
Platinum Visa's
Missy introduced me
to melodies, harmonies.
You can write songs, you don't
have to just rap on these beats.
It was like what I was doing
elevated to the next level.
Boy, I'ma make you love me,
make you want me
And I'ma give you some...
[Cardi] Her music was just so mesmerizing.
Like, break me off
show me what you got
To this day, like, if you
play it, it just hits hard.
I just, I kept playing it
over and over again.
I'm like a little girl.
I really believe
that you can really be touched.
[Missy] The third album,
I didn't think we were finished.
I was, like, "Something is missing."
So I said, "Just see what else
you got on your keyboard."
Tim got on the ASR-10,
and he hit one of the things,
and it was like... [imitating keys]
And I'm like, "That joint is crazy."
["Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott]
Missy be puttin' it down
I'm the hottest 'round
I told y'all mother-ooh
Y'all can't stop me now
Listen to me now
I'm lasting twenty rounds
[Busta] Missy don't play. She ain't scared
of what she gotta do to make it happen,
she ain't scared of the cut and edge
she ain't scared to stand at the
edge of the cliff on her heels
and be able to win the blow over.
Hello, people sing around
Now people gather 'round
[Missy] I'm still pinching.
Did I ever think that I would be somewhere
around the first lady
and the first lady know who I am.
Dancing is a part of me.
I always wanted to have dances
that could make people feel
like, I wanna do that dance step.
Heavy hitter, rhyme spitter,
call me re-run
Hey, hey, hey, I'm what's happening
C'mon pass the dutch
[Pharrell] The way her mind
works like we're in the studio,
and just the things she says
and thinks about,
I didn't know all those
video concepts were hers.
[man] Roll camera. Roll sound.
[Missy] When I'm doing a record,
I have to see a visual for me
to feel like this is gonna be a hit
or a puzzle that's gonna fit together.
To the M
I brrr cap like a semi
The visual always like hits you.
She's a bitch.
She goes crazy with like the
choreography, the background,
the wardrobe, everything.
[Megan] You can play a Missy song
in the middle of any DJ set
any place you in any time,
it doesn't matter.
All her music is timeless.
She is a rock star.
[Missy] Never been a follower,
always been a leader
regardless of what
the masses might have said.
If I saw a vision or I dreamed it up,
or it was my dream, I said,
"I'm gonna make it happen."
I'd like to get to know ya,
so I could show yaou
Put the herb on ya, like I told ya
Gimme all your numbers
so I can phone ya
Is it worth it let me work it
I put my thing down flip it
and reverse it
[cheers and applause]
[siren wails]
Greetings, earthlings,
we are here to take you from your planet.
Be prepared to dance your ass off.
Get ready for a ride you won't forget.
Five, four, three,
two, one, liftoff.
["Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott]
Missy be puttin' it down
I'm the hottest 'round
I told y'all mother-ooh
Y'all can't stop me now
Listen to me now I'm lastin' 20 rounds
And if you want me people
then come and get me now
Is you with me now
The biggie biggie bounce
I know you dig the way
I switch my style
People sing around
Now people gather 'round
Now people jump around
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your, get your,
get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your freak on
Go, get your, get your,
get your, freak on
New York, make some noise!
[cheers and applause]
I'm supa fly, supa dupa fly
When the rain hits my window
["The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
by Missy Elliott]
Me, I'm supa fly
Supa dupa fly
I'm supa fly
Me a supa fly
Against my window
Supa dupa fly
I can't stand the rain
Beep, beep,
who got the keys to the Jeep
I'm driving to the beach
Top down, loud sounds, see my peeps
Give them pounds, now look who it be?
It be me, me, me and Timothy
Oh, look like it's 'bout
to rain, what a shame
Hey, I got the Armor-All
to shine up the stain
Oh, Missy, try to maintain
I can't stand the rain
Let's go!
New York, make some noise!
I can't hear you.
Come on.
Is it worth it? Let me work it
I put my thang down,
flip it and reverse it
Ti esrever dna ti
pilf nwod gnaht ym tup
Ti esrever dna ti
pilf nwod gnaht ym tup
If you got a big, let me search ya
To find out how hard I gotta work ya
Ti esrever dna ti
pilf nwod gnaht ym tup I
Ti esrever dna ti
pilf nwod gnaht ym tup
I'd like to get to know ya,
so I could show yaou
Put a hurtin on ya, like I told ya
Gimme all your numbers
so I can phone ya
Your girl acting stank
then call me over
Not on the bed, lay me on your sofa
Call before you come,
I need to shave my chocha
You do or you don't
or you will or you won't ya
Go downtown and eat it like a vulture
See my hips and my tips, don't ya?
See my hips and my tips, don't ya?
Lost a few pounds in my waist for ya
This the kind of beat that go ra-ta-ta
Ra-ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta-ta
Sex me so good I say, blah-blah-blah
Work it! I need a glass of water
Boy, oh boy, it's good to know ya
Here we go
Oh daddy
Smack smitty smack smack smack
Smack smack smack smack
When I say pass that, you say dutch
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
When I say pass that, you say dutch
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
Misdemeanor on the floor,
pretty boy here I come
Pumps and a bump make
you wanna hurt somethin'
I can take your man,
I don't have to sex 'em
Hang him out the window,
call me Michael Jackson
I'm a pain in your rectum
I am that bitch y'all slept on
Heavy hitter, rhyme spitter,
call me re-run
Hey, hey, hey, I'm what's happening
Hypnotic in my drink, that's right
Shake your ass 'til it stink,
that's right
Mr. Mo's on the beat, that's right
Put it down for the streets,
that's right
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
Pass that dutch,
come on pass the dutch baby
Shake, shake, shake your stuff baby
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
Pass that dutch, pass that dutch
Pop that, pop that, jiggle that fat
Don't stop, get it 'til your
clothes get wet
What kind of dance is this, dutch
Come on work 'em legs, dutch
What kind of dance is this, dutch
Come on work 'em legs, dutch
Now you're gonna do the dutch
Let me see your dutch, dutch
Let me see your dutch, dutch
Come let me see your dutch, dutch
[man] Music makes you lose control!
Music makes you lose control!
New York, let's go.
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!
Here we go now Here we go now
Here we go now
Yo, yo, yo!
Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
I got a cute face, chubby waist
Thick legs, in shape
Rump shakin', both ways
Make you do a double take
Now let's go, y'all!
Planet rocker, show stopper
Flow proper, head knocker
Beat scholar, tail dropper
Do my thang, motherfuckers
My Rolls Royce, Lamborghini
Blue Madina, always beamin'
Rag top, chrome pipes
Blue lights, outta sight
Long weave sewed in
Say it again sewed in
Make that money, throw it in
Booty bouncin', go'n 'head
Everybody here get it outta control
Get your backs off the wall
Cuz Misdemeanor said so
Hey you, DJ, stop the music.
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Get your backs off the wall
Put your backs off the wall
Put your backs off the wall
Put your backs off the wall
Put your backs off the wall
Put your back
Put your back
Everybody here get it out of control
Get your backs off the wall
Because misdemeanor says so
Put your back off the wall
Put your back off the wall
Get your back off the wall
Get your back off the wall
Put your back off the wall
Put your back off the wall
Put your back off the wall
Put your back off the wall
Yo! Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
Miss Misdemeanor's in the house!
Music make you lose control
[cheers and applause]
I'm hyped.
[cheers and applause]
Listen. You don't have to sit down for me.
I mean, but I understand
if you need the sit down
'cause, uh, Missy will wear you out, baby.
Let's go.
[cheers and applause]
[indistinct chatters]
Do you need a moment?
[indistinct chatters]
I don't even... look.
Hold up.
Let me get right in front of that
because this is history
in the making, y'all.
This is history in the making.
All I can tell you is this.
This woman right here
has been on the phone
with me so many nights.
She has prayed with me.
She has laughed with me.
We done got into so much shit,
we wasn't supposed to be into.
We talked about music
for hours upon hours.
She has dreamed for all of us.
She's dreamed for you.
She's dreamed for me.
She's wearing this for me.
I've watched her lose sleep.
I've watched her work out.
I've watched her hike mountains.
This woman does not play.
She goes hard for the art.
For the art!
I mean, she literally hiked
Stone Mountain,
so if that ain't rock and roll,
I don't know what is.
All I can say is this.
I thank God for introducing me
to this woman right here
who has changed all of our lives
and showed us how we can reach
beyond our boundaries and try
new things and take chances.
And you know what?
Give them hell all the way, baby.
You call yourself an executive?
You call yourself a creator?
Well, let's see what you do
when you have a real artist on your hands.
Let's see how far you're willing
to go for the art.
Because this woman has kicked down doors.
So thank you so much
and congratulations for being
the first female rapper
inducted in the Rock
& Roll Hall of Fame.
Missy Misdemeanor Elliott!
[cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause]
First of all, I just wanna...
I'm not even gonna start
without thanking God.
Um, I have been through
so many ups and downs.
Um, and I know where my gifts come from.
At least for me.
Uh, God has brought me all the way here.
He has allowed me to meet some
incredible people along the way.
I have so many people.
I have two tables of people.
I can't say everybody... I see y'all.
Yes, it's like a family reunion,
and all of those people at that table
have been a part of my journey.
Um, I'm still pinching myself.
To even be in a room
with some of the inductees that I see,
Flavor Flav who is a legend.
I love you, I love you,
always been supportive.
Elton John, legendary.
Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, Willie Nelson...
all the people have impacted
people around the world
through their music.
And I don't understand...
And sometimes I be like,
"Do people really realize...
Like, do music...
What music do with people?
That's the one thing
I think we can all say
that comes together is music.
You know, we-we all love music
in some form.
And all of those people who have already
been up on the stage,
the people tonight,
uh, when I was looking...
I was just listening to other
people's stories and being like,
"Wow, they been around all these years,
and just getting inducted.
Um, who I feel, you know,
been worthy to be up here
and that's why I'm still in shock.
Because they have so many years on me
and to be standing here,
um, and I have to...
you know, I didn't want
to call out any names,
but I have to say, Pepa
who is here from Salt-N-Pepa.
Her and Queen Latifah,
Light, Roxanne Shante...
Uh, gee, so many. Monet.
All those ones before me
gave me their shoulders
to stand on.
And so I just wanna take the time...
I know, you know, my people
will say, "Hey, go up there,
and... and people wanna hear
from you, how you feel.
But these are the people who inspired me.
And if it wasn't for them and their music,
I probably wouldn't be standing here.
Um, Sylvia Rhone and Marilyn Barber.
I have to say to them...
because they, um...
I didn't wanna be an artist.
I... They told me...
I wanted a record label
and they told me if I gave them one album,
that I would, uh... they would
give me a record label.
And so I told him, "Let's do
this album real quick
so I can get this record label."
And we did it in two weeks.
And from that Supa Dupa Fly album,
it was another album and another
album and another album.
And so I have to thank them
because they saw something in me
that I didn't see in myself.
I had given up.
Um, and so I thank y'all
for pushing me to do that.
Because y'all said, "Hey,
I'm not gonna give you that
unless you give me this,
and they must have saw something deeper
and I just thank y'all.
I thank everybody at that table.
I have to thank my mother who is here.
My mother has never seen me perform
in my whole entire career.
But let me tell you, it's... Wait.
It's not my mother's fault.
I most definitely didn't wanna
be saying she's a bitch.
No Minute Man,
Feet Don't Fail Me Now,
all of these records,
I never wanted my mother
to come to and hear me curse
'cause, you know, she's from church so...
But this night is so important
and I wouldn't have it no other way.
Mommy, I thank you for allowing
me to write on your walls,
and I'm gonna try to hurry up,
I see all...
Like I said, everybody,
if you see them at the table,
they mean something to me,
and Timbaland, I love you.
We started this in high school.
I am proud of you,
L, I see you, you are legendary.
So many of you are so legendary in here.
And... And...
And this is the 50th year
anniversary of hip-hop.
And so this is deeper
than me just being up here.
Um, it's... it's...
[cheers and applause]
I was telling, um...
I was telling Robin...
I was just like, you know,
you just feel like it's so far to reach
when you're in the hip-hop world,
and to be standing here...
it means so much to me. I thank you.
All the committee, from
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
[cheers and applause]
And, um, I just wanna say I love y'all
and just try to spread love.
'Cause we so need it in this world,
and I thank you all.
All the inductees, y'all are so amazing,
and congratulations to y'all.
I'm honored to be even
just in a room with you all.
And I love y'all, thank you so much.
[cheers and applause]
[instrumental music playing]