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Read Nile Rodgers’ Justifiably Boastful Rock Hall of Fame Speech

Nile Rodgers and his disco group Chic have been on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ballot 11 times. While both Rodgers and Chic have yet to be officially inducted, the guitarist is being honored at this year’s ceremony with Award for Musical Excellence, which is not selected by the voters. Pharrell Williams presented him with the prestigious honor.

Back in December, Rodgers felt “bittersweet” about being presented with the award separate from Chic and not as an official Rock Hall inductee. “I’m a little perplexed because even though I’m quite flattered that they believed that I was worthy, my band Chic didn’t win,” he told Rolling Stone. “The only reason why I met Bowie and Madonna and Duran Duran and INXS is because they all loved Chic.”

Read Rodgers’ full speech at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center below.

So I’m a New Yorker. I was born not very far away from where we’re standing now. It’s funny, I was saying to Pharrell almost everybody on this stage, as a matter of fact almost everybody who’s been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’ve worked with. [Applause]

I started out; I was just a little kid on the side of my bed just playing guitar hoping to get one hit record. Yo, it’s 3 billion dollars now. [Applause] Yeah, they just told me a couple of months ago that I’ve sold over 300 million albums and 75 million singles. I just wanted to have one hit record.

My life has been so amazing. When I met this gentleman named Bernard Edwards, a bass player who started out as a guitar player who had this interesting style of playing and he told me about chucking and he just said, “Man, you need to change your shit up. You got all this jazz knowledge but if you learn how to play this thing, we could change music.” I didn’t believe him until this young kid plugged into my amp that was our opening act and he sounded 10 times better than me but I knew that harmonically I had more knowledge than he did.

All of a sudden, I said OK, cool. I went and I traded my guitar, my expensive big, fat jazz guitar for this little Fender Stratocaster that was like a hundred and seventy-something bucks and it was ugly because I hate solid body sunburst guitars. So, I adored Hendrix; so I went home and I painted it white myself. That same white paint job is the same paint job I did 40 years ago when we were the opening act for the Jackson 5.

From that journey from just being a backup guy I have [pauses; applause] When people work with me, they think that I’m the boss. But believe me, every record I do I join the band. I try and make every artist believe that all I have is their best interest at heart. I remember saying to Madonna, when we finish this record it’s going to say MADONNA [whispers] produced by Nile Rodgers. My name doesn’t mean shit; it’s going to be this big.

This award, which is amazing to me, is really because of all the people that have allowed me to come into their lives and just join their band. Be it Mick Jagger, be it Madonna, be it Duran Duran, be it Daft Punk, be it Pharrell Williams, be it Diana Ross, be it Sister Sledge. I mean it just goes on and on and on. Thank you all.

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Snoop Dogg Talks Tupac’s Historic Rock Hall of Fame Induction

Tupac Shakur is the first solo rapper to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His longtime friend and collaborator, Snoop Dogg, introed the late rapper during Friday’s ceremony. Before the show, Snoop caught up with Rolling Stone to talk about Tupac’s continuing influence on hip-hop and the significance of letting rappers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

You’ve said that Tupac is the greatest rapper of all time. Why? 
His influence, his inspiration, his delivery, the songs that he wrote. He changed hip-hop while he was here and even after the fact. 

What was your first impression when you met him in 1993?
[We were] just on the same page, at the same level. And to be able to meet somebody that gets down and does [things] the way you do it, that’s fly. To know you can respect someone who does it in their own way and build a friendship. 

What was it like recording “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” together? 
That was spontaneous. We were making records and it was just a moment. You really had to be there to capture that moment. 

Tupac is the first solo rap artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. What does that say?
The Hall of Fame has come a long way and we appreciate them for appreciating us for what we do. And hopefully there will be many more to come, because there’s a lot of greats in hip-hop that deserve to be here. 

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Rush’s Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson Talk ‘Over-the-Top’ Yes Fandom

Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee have been lifelong fans of Yes, and at Yes’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the pair not only got to pay tribute to the band that inspired them to pursue music but also got to share the stage with them for the first time.

“As I said during my speech, I was turned on to them through their second album Time and a Word,” Lee told Rolling Stone after exiting the stage. “I’ve been a huge fan ever since, just an over-the-top fan of them for years.”

As a bassist, Lee was thrilled to be able to perform “Roundabout,” a song he considers to be “one of the great bass songs ever written, in the history of recorded music.” After already agreeing to induct Yes, Lee had been asked to join them for a performance by the late and influential bass player Chris Squire’s widow and the remaining members of the band. “Seeing as I was going to be here anyway, why not?”

As Lee said during his induction speech: “It’s not overstating things to say it changed the way I played and listened to music forever. So here we are, decades later, and the music of Yes is still echoing down through the years, showing me that music truly is a continuum.”

Lifeson shared the profound influence of the band on his life during the induction speech as well. “Yes were my gateway band in so many ways,” Lifeson said. “There’s nothing so fleeting yet enduring about the way music feels when you’re 17 years old.”

The Rock Hall audience got another treat in the form of keyboardist Rick Wakeman’s uproarious acceptance speech. Though Lifeson couldn’t hear much of it over the laughs, he appreciated the snippets he caught. “He’s a very, very funny guy. He’s got a great style and sense of humor.”

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Lenny Kravitz Delivers Fervent Prince Tribute Performance at Rock Hall

Lenny Kravitz performed “When Doves Cry” and “The Cross” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on Friday in honor of Prince, who died last year at the age of 57. Kravitz was assisted by Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, who imbued the songs with uncontainable fervor.

Kravitz opened with a slow-burn “When Doves Cry,” which he re-worked as pointy gospel-funk. His guitarist sprayed a series of gnarled, pointy riffs, and the organ player held long-sustained notes. Kravitz, wearing his usual Aviator sunglasses and black leather pants, kept time with a tambourine.

He strapped on his guitar for “The Cross,” a rumination on human suffering and the afterlife from 1987’s Sign o’ the Times. The song started with languid keyboards, but the calm didn’t last for long: soon Kravitz was playing full volume and the drummer beat out a merciless stomp. Still, both their efforts paled next to the power of the choir, which helped “The Cross” land with the full impact of gospel.

In the aftermath of Prince’s death in April of 2016, Kravitz spoke to spoke to Rolling Stone about the Purple One’s importance, first as an idol and later as a friend. “[Dirty Mind] was a pivotal moment for me,” Kravitz said. “Just seeing the album cover opened up my imagination. Here was an African-American cat, skin color like mine was, playing the guitar like I wanted to play… he had a very deep impact on me. I was able to see where I could go. The music, the vibe, the color, the hair, the band members, everything, was amazing to me.”

Prince’s transfixing talent inspired many artists in a similar manner, so it’s no surprise that there have been numerous tributes to him since his death. Erykah Badu, Bilal, Maxwell, Janelle Monae and more were part of a riveting and wide-ranging tribute at the BET Awards last June. More recently, The Time — former Prince collaborators — and Bruno Mars delivered a red-hot Prince tribute at the Grammy Awards

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Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys Honor Tupac With Riveting Medley at Rock Hall

Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, YG, Treach and T.I. all contributed to a thrilling medley of Tupac Shakur songs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn on Friday. Snoop Dogg, who collaborated with Tupac on “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” from the landmark double album All Eyez on Me, accepted the Rock Hall’s honor on behalf of Tupac, who was murdered in 1996.

Alicia Keys began the set by leading a band through a rapid-fire tour of Tupac’s discography. She started with a snippet of “Ambitionz az a Ridah” before moving into a snapping, bluesy vamp based around the theme from “I Get Around.” Next she rendered “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” and “Dear Mama” as big-room ballads. These songs were all picked shrewdly, since they have prominent keyboard riffs and singalong hooks that played to Keys’ formidable talents in both departments. 

The band behind Keys laid low for much of the medley, but the drummer came to life during “Changes,” whacking his kit with enough heft to help her end her short segment at an energetic peak.

After Keys demonstrated Tupac’s ability to craft an indelible melody and pick a perfect sample, Snoop Dogg and YG brought the focus back to his rapping by trading verses on “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Part of the power of the original stems from the contrast between Tupac’s style – he raps with speed and precision, commandeering the beat – and Snoop’s, which is unhurried, though no less authoritative. The same dynamic played out at the Barclays Center, with YG playing Tupac’s role, delivering lines in a breathless rush, and Snoop reprising his part as a steadying force.

#rrhof2017 #rocknrollhalloffame #hof #tupac #snoopdogg #brooklyn #fortheloveofpearljam

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Next came Treach from Naughty by Nature, who tackled the somber but defiant “Hail Mary.” Treach laid raspy lines over the track’s eerie beat, which is defined by a single ring from a gloomy church bell. “I ain’t a killer but don’t push me,” he warned ominously.

T.I. showed up for the medley’s anchor leg and rapped “Keep Ya Head Up,” one of the most hopeful tracks on Tupac’s discography, and one of the most successful, a crossover hit that rose to No. 12 on the Hot 100 in 1994. T.I. wore a kerchief around his head in Tupac’s honor and ended the performance on a note of uplift.

Tupac is just the sixth rapper or rap group to be inducted into the Rock Hall. He follows Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and N.W.A. 

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Snoop Dogg Inducts 2Pac Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – The BoomBox


The BoomBox

Snoop Dogg Inducts 2Pac Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The BoomBox
Tupac Shakur was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight (April 7) and Snoop Dogg, his former labelmate and friend, did the honors. The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with 2Pac …

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Read Rush’s Enthusiastic Yes Rock Hall Induction Speech

Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson inducted Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Friday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. It came four years after Rush’s own entrance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a memorable event in which Lifeson said nothing but “blah blah blah” over and over as a way to mock long-winded speeches. But when it came time to honor one of his greatest influences, Lifeson found he had a lot more to say than gibberish. 

Alongside Geddy Lee, who told the crowd how early Yes albums influenced his own upbringing and music, it was a very moving tribute to the forefathers of prog rock. Read the full speech below.

Lifeson: We’re honored to be here tonight doing this. It’s really, really great. We all start somewhere. For me, my journey with Yes began when I was a teenager gently fishing out the Yes album out of its sleeve being just a bit freaked by the disembodied head on the cover, placing the needle on the groove, sitting back, letting the music wash over me. I may have smoked a cigarette or something [laughter] but Yes were my gateway band in so many ways. There’s nothing so fleeting yet enduring about the way music feels when you’re 17 years old. 

As Yes played in my room, I played too. I spent hours picking my way through songs like “Starship Trooper” and “Yours Is No Disgrace.” How wonderful is that swirling outro in “Starship Trooper”? I must’ve played that a million times. But I loved their music. Even more, once I learned to master … not that I never really did. I never did them justice. But I loved them still. Yes helped give me the gift of music, which is everything as you know. They made me want to be a better musician and that provided some of the determination to one day stand on this stage giving tribute to this amazing band.

I’ll leave you with this: the musical choices we make in our youth help to mold who we become. Choose the guitar intro for “Going for the One.” Choose learning to play “Starship Trooper” on a cheap secondhand guitar. Choose Chris Squire’s amazing bass tone. Choose Jon Anderson’s ethereal vocals. Choose Fragile. Choose wearing a cape before Rick Wakeman did. This guy right here. Choose staying out all night to see your favorite band. Choose “Roundabout.” Choose the glorious guitar work in “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” So beautiful. Choose the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And definitely, choose Yes.

Lee: Blah, blah, blah. [Laughter] I’d like to ask the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to indulge me a few moments to share some personal experiences of Yes, the band. So picture this: in the early Seventies, I spent from one to three years in Grade 10 in high school seated at the back of the class with my new pal Oscar. He sat just across from me, and the teacher’s words were bouncing aimlessly off us as Oscar riffed on some of our favorite Monty Python skits. He had me at the dead parrot gag. How could we not become friends? But it wasn’t just the Ministry of Silly Walks that we bonded over. 

I could still recall one of the days that we opted out of school and were sitting cross-legged on the floor of Oscar’s room as he introduced me to an album called Time and a Word by a band called Yes that I never heard of. I still thrill to the bass part in “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” the way I did the first time I heard it that day. For years people asked me why I played a Rickenbacker bass, and all I have to do is point to that album, that song and Chris Squire’s incredibly original playing. Then Oscar played me “Yours Is No Disgrace” then “I’ve Seen All Good People.” We both sat there open-mouthed as the songs rose up around us and our musical worlds shifted and fell from its axis. I might’ve been a young musician jamming in basement grooves in Toronto, but through Yes, I was tuning into a wider world of possibilities. One where music seemed to have no limitations.

It was a crisp night in 1972 when Oscar and myself and this guy, Alex Lifeson, wind up overnight around the block in what was then Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens to finally witness Yes live for ourselves. The sky was a high dome of stars, and as I recall, Alex kept us going by nipping to the store and bringing back honeydew drinks. Really. I could close my eyes now and I’m back there. Intellectually, visually, viscerally sitting in row 10. It was like nothing I’d ever seen or experienced before. It was actually profound. 

It’s not overstating things to say it changed the way I played and listened to music forever. So here we are, decades later, and the music of Yes is still echoing down through the years, showing me that music truly is a continuum. On behalf of Oscar, my good friend and Alex’s Neil, who is not here tonight, Alex and myself, I say thank you, Yes. It’s our great, great privilege and our great honor to right a terrible wrong and to finally welcome Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Read Jackson Browne’s Laudatory Joan Baez Rock Hall Induction Speech

Jackson Browne inducted folk legend Joan Baez at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Friday night. Bruce Springsteen inducted Browne into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2013, Browne appeared at the ceremony to help honor inductee Randy Newman.

Browne and Baez have crossed paths multiple times over the years, with Baez having covered and interpreted songs by Browne on her own albums. Last year, the folk legends performed on stage for Baez’s 75th birthday celebration at New York’s Beacon Theater, singing “Before the Deluge” and Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” together.

The songwriter gave a deeply personal speech about Baez, tracing her involvement in his own musical upbringing and greater contribution to social causes. Read the full speech below.

The changes that began happening in the Sixties: the civil rights movement, opposition to the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, the spiritual exploration and consciousness expansion, women’s liberation. None of that can be separated from the folk music that was being rediscovered and brought to the forefront of popular culture. On college campuses, in coffee houses, at folk festivals, a new generation was discovering the true history of this country through the music of people who built it.

And we weren’t just listening to it. We were learning to sing and play these songs that contained the hardship and the struggles of the hopes of people who had come to this country as immigrants and as slaves. [Applause]

Folk musicians began traveling to parts of the country where people still made this music and they began finding out who was actually here and that was something you couldn’t find out in those days by watching TV or going to the movies. Of all the many great artists who were singing and recording this music and who embodied the search for what was real, historic and eternal, the one who suddenly emerged and came to national prominence was Joan Baez.

From the moment she appeared in the Cambridge folk scene, she had a spellbinding effect on her audiences. In 1960, at the age of 19, she released her first album, and then a second album, and then a live album, and then she was on the cover of TIME Magazine as the face and voice of a new folk movement.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was Joan Baez’s second album. I was 14. I went down to a record store in Fullerton, out in Orange County where my I had just moved with my family from L.A., and they had a listening booth where you could play records before buying them and I saw this album with her picture on it. She looked like the girls I had grown up with in Highland Park in my old neighborhood in L.A. I went into that listening booth and right away I was taken with what was for me completely new music. Just voice and guitar, but so ethereal. Powerfully in tune. Deeply expressive. Dramatic. Hypnotic.

By the third song, I was completely mesmerized. I took the record home and starting learning to play that third song. It was called “Lily of the West.” The purity of her voice was intoxicating. Her enormous dynamics and the command she had as a singer mixed with the drama and mystery of those old songs led me into the world of folk and blues and the voice and guitar-driven narrative became the center or my musical quest for my whole life.

Almost immediately she introduced her audience to the songs of Bob Dylan. Joan Baez gave Bob Dylan a national audience. When she began singing his songs those who had been time traveling through folk music and discovering all the human drama and the eternal truths of our shared mystery were suddenly in the present “With God on Our side.”

“With God on Our Side,” this Dylan song which summarized and examined the history of U.S. wars and the supposed rationale for each of them was one of the two songs that Joan and Bob sang on their concert tour in 1963 catapulting the broad side or what is now known as the protest song into the consciousness of a whole generation.

Her second live album, released that year, contained her rather shy, almost casual invitation to join her in singing “We Shall Overcome.” Both of these songs had a galvanizing effect on me and my friends. We joined CORE, the congress of racial equality. We joined hands and we sang and we demonstrated and we started writing songs and we were doing this out of Orange County, the bastion of the ultra-conservative John Birch society. But it was happening all over America and when I saw that Joan Baez was marching with Martin Luther King, I felt that I was represented there and that they were marching for all of us.

And that they were marching for, to paraphrase Langston Hughes, the America that has never been yet and yet must be. [Applause] There’s not a way to quantify what Joan Baez means to people of my generation who grew up listening to her voice, leading us in singing “We Shall Overcome.” And when I hear the recording now I feel a deep sadness that the song is as needed now as it was then. Now even more. [Applause]

The changes that began happening in the Sixties are still happening and the injustice we opposed then we must still oppose and we need to be empowered now as much as we have ever needed to be empowered.

To track Joan Baez’s involvement in human rights and social justice is to chart the evolution of our own moral awakening and of our own growing planetary consciousness. Her example has been, from the beginning, empowering for women and for man. Of course, women are smarter and it’s taken men a little longer to realize that we were being empowered too. But that’s right. Joan Baez empowered me and countless people like me to sing and play guitar when I was a kid not that much younger than her and to find my voice and to eventually try to use it to make the changes I need to see in the world.

So, it is my honor and my pleasure, and a recognition long, long overdue, to welcome Joan Baez to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

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Read Dhani Harrison’s Personal ELO Rock Hall Induction Speech – RollingStone.com


RollingStone.com

Read Dhani Harrison's Personal ELO Rock Hall Induction Speech
RollingStone.com
"Tonight is about celebrating that Big Bang … when we welcomed ELO … a musical galaxy right between Chuck Berry and Beethoven," says musician. Read Dhani Harrison's personal tribute to Electric Light Orchestra and seeing his father play guitar
Yes Thank Fans' Discerning Tastes as They're Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of FameUltimate Classic Rock
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York honors Pearl Jam, Joan Baez, YesWashington Times
Yes perform with founding frontman Jon Anderson and RUSH's Geddy Lee at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction …Consequence of Sound (blog)
cleveland.com –100.7 WZLX Classic Rock –Blastr –Ultimate-Guitar.Com
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Read Dhani Harrison’s Personal ELO Rock Hall Induction Speech

Dhani Harrison inducted the Electric Light Orchestra into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Friday night, led by his father’s former Traveling Wilburys bandmate Jeff Lynne. The group has had many members come and go over the years, but the Hall of Fame only inducted keyboardist Richard Tandy, drummer Bev Bevan and multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood alongside Lynne. (Bevan was unable to make it due to a prior commitment.) 

Dhani grew up around Lynne, who produced his father’s 1987 comeback LP Cloud Nine and stayed close with him for years afterwards. The singer talked about going to see ELO, his first rock concert with his father and the surprise he had when his dad jumped onstage with Lynne and Co. to play “Johnny B Goode.” Read the full speech below.

I’m truly honored to induct one of my all-time favorite bands, Electric Light Orchestra, intothe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I can’t imagine any of us being here tonight, least of all myself, without the tremendous lifeand music of Chuck Berry and on behalf of my band, nice one, Chuck.Now, if my father was still with us I would imagine he would be standing where I am rightnow graciously inducting the original members of the ELO into the hall of fame. He lovedELO. People loved ELO. I’d like to introduce the four original members who will be inducted tonight. The powerhousedrummer, Bev Bevan. With his rocking solo on “Don’t Bring Me Down,” he oftentimes wouldbring the house down. Even the keyboard player, Richard Tandy, still with himtoday but unfortunately not with us today. The groundbreaking, multi-instrumentalistRoy Wood.He wrote many of ELO’s early songs. While Roy’s time in the band may be shorter than theothers he will always be an architect of ELO’s DNA.

Last and certainly least, just kidding,my dear, dear pal, Jeff Lynne. A great songwriter, producer, musical [genius] of our time, arare genius, a real live legend, ELO’s mastermind for nearly fifty years. Jeff is one of myfather’s dearest friends and it was March of 1986 when I had my first close encounter of theELO.My dad took me to a benefit concert in England. A massive arena packed to the roof for a headlining set by their hometown heroes.Bev, Richard and Jeff were all there. I’m remember it just like it was yesterday.This is my first big rock show. I was seven-and-a-half and from my distinction, ELO’sperformance that night was less like a regular rock band and more like what I think a 21stcentury, extraterrestrial space man with bizarre instruments. Their songs sound like a symphony. I stood there in silent astonishment watching these guys offer upincredible songs like, “Evil Woman,” “Telephone Line,” “Do Ya,” “Mr. Blue Sky.” Right?I thought, why do I need to see anyone in our house playing such strange lookinginstruments. I mean we all had guitars in our house but that guy had a tiny blue guitarjammed under his chin and that other guy has a massive big guitar on his side playing it.Very strange. 

Anyway, onstage, the band appeared to be having as much fun as we were. That’s when Idecided they reminded me of a Star Wars cantina band. Only with lots more hair. Smoke allaround in the air around them. The leader of the space band stood in the middle, singingfalsetto like an angel. Heseemed affable and occasionally he’d exchange pleasantries with us humans: we meanyour planet no harm.I wanted to be transported, beamed up, probed, whatever, I just wanted to join their team andnever go back. So after a dozen or so songs my father gets up from his seat and tells me towait for him with this candy man who had taken us to our seats. He walked off andmoments after he disappeared from view suddenly he reappeared onstagecarrying a guitar. I began to panic because this was first time I had ever seen my dad playan instrument, ever, onstage in my entire life.Out of nowhere, in perfect unison, they all kicked into “Johnny B Goode.” I remember thinking “What is going on? My father is being abducted by an intergalacticspace orchestra.” ELO has taken my father and left me behind. 

The candy man assuredthat he would eventually be returned to us. So we made it back home together eventuallyand to my joy and surprise with ELO extraterrestrial wizard captain, the man with it all, JeffLynne.He had come to live with us on Earth and Jeff was soon a permanent fixture at our house.Him and my dad drove the same car. Wewere a traveling family. I got to see Jeff work in his secretive ways often late night. This wasthe dawn of an incredible blast of creativity for Jeff. He worked with dad on “Cloud Nine”and he produced Roy’s “Mystery Girl.” Co-wrote, co-produced “Full Moon Fever.” I began to learn the Jeff Lynne studio lexicon youknow words like “trilby” and “model scum.” It’s a tremendous category of artiststhat Jeff worked with – Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh. They aren’t musicians who needed a lot of help, but they just needed Jeff. During one of those sessions I began to realize that all of my dad’s friends were in fact fromouter space like Jeff. You could tell because of their eyes, right? Their eyes were far moresensitive to Earth’s bright sun. They communicated with each other via jukeboxes [and] secret messages through records. 

These UFO-esque machinesthat I came to discover, were the albums of ELO. Starting from disc one, track one of the NewWorld record. It just starts so quietly that I had to turn it up and then the terrifying sound ofmy roof caving in straight into the giant orchestral arrangement with a choir with big strumsand that laser guitar. You’re allowed to start a record like that?Somebody actually wrote an album like that and my life was changed. And years later, on apersonal level, it hits back to home. [When] my father was lost wewere trying to find a record, it seemed we had run out of time, but he told me seek out onceagain that space wizard, Jeff and that together we would know what to do.Jeff knew exactly how to cross that bridge. And within the process, I finally learnedwhat “trilby” meant. Yes, I actually speak fluent Jeff now. 

Working with Jeffis one of the most amazing times I’ve ever had. Seeing those beautiful blue eyes peekingover the top of those space lenses has carried me through some of the toughest musicalmoments of my life and for that I thank you.ELO is alive and well in the galaxy. There were ELO sightings last year at Glastonbury. They were seen by hundreds of thousands of people over a Hyde Park. I saw ELO two nights in arow over the Hollywood Bowl. It was in November right after the election and trust me whenI tell you I was staring at their spaceship thinking, “take me with you.”I saw some kids there that could have been seven-and-a-half and more of them that wereprobably seventy-seven-and-a-half all wanting to get beamed up. 

Jeff, thank you for bringingthe spaceship back with that “Mr. Blue Sky” laser guitar sound. Tonight is about celebratingthe beginning, the birth, that Big Bang in 1970 when we all welcomed ELO, right?It’s to celebrate these four superbly talented musicians, Roy, Bev, Richard, and Jeff whodidn’t always get along, but who were there in the beginning, willing to throw down togetheron these joyous rock, classical harmonies, these killer songs, that have lived longer thanany of us now, somewhere around in a musical galaxy right between Chuck Berry andBeethoven.And so it’s my great, great honor on behalf of all the humans that voted for this, because onsome other planet I’m sure they’ve already done this, to induct ELO into the Rock and RollHall of Fame. 

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