Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2019: a diverse class from The Zombies to Janet Jackson

by Doug MacGunnigle, WPRO with the Associated Press

The 2019 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was inducted Friday night at a lengthy ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The night kicked off with a performance from Stevie Nicks, the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Backed up by her solo band, Nicks performed a solid version of “Stand Back,” before bringing out The Eagles’ Don Henley to reprise their 1981 duet “Leather and Lace.”

Her second duet of the evening was with former One Direction member Harry Styles, who also inducted Nicks. (Nicks misidentified his former band in the press room later as N’Sync. Oops.) He joined her on guitar and duet vocals on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Nicks says she admired Styles because of the rock sound he took on when he released his first solo album in 2017, in contrast to the pop music his band made.

Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Nicks’ set was rounded off with a heavy version of 1981’s “Edge of Seventeen,” which was accentuated by longtime guitarist Waddy Wachtel’s tasty licks.

Nicks was originally inducted into the Hall in 1998 with Fleetwood Mac, who was present in the audience and on the red carpet to support her. Guitarist/Producer/Songwriter Lindsey Buckingham, who made a much-publicized exit from the band last year was not present, however his replacements in Fleetwood Mac Mike Campbell and Neil Finn were there.

Fleetwood Mac at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Nicks encouraged women in bands to ‘take a break’ and record solo music so they have a chance at being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

She said female musicians in groups shouldn’t break up their bands, but break away “just to do an album.”

Despite a heartfelt induction speech from the Talking Heads’ David Byrne, only two members of Radiohead showed up to accept the honor Friday night.

There was doubt whether anyone from the band would show up given their past ambivalence about the Rock Hall. But Philip Selway called the moment a proud one for the band and said he didn’t take the induction for granted.

Ed O’Brien said he wished the rest of his bandmates could be with him and thanked them for the magic they made over three decades.

Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Colin Greenwood didn’t appear, and there was no performance.

John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Roxy Music, inducted by John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, performed six songs at the event: “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” ″Out of the Blue,” ″Love is the Drug,” ″More Than This,” ″Avalon” and “Editions of You.”

Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Eddie Jobson accepted the honor at the Barclays Center on Friday night.

Members Paul Thompson and now-legendary musician and producer Brian Eno didn’t attend. Graham Simpson, who died in 2012, was also inducted.

Last year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame introduced the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Singles.” The new initiative honors songs that shaped rock ‘n roll, by artists who have yet to be inducted.

This year, E Street Band guitarist, and creator of “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” Steven Van Zandt honored “Maybe” by the Chantels, “Tequila” by the Champs, “Money (That’s What I Want)” by Barrett Strong, “Twist & Shout” by the Isley Brothers, “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las, and “Gloria” by the Shadows of Knight.

Gothic rock purveyors The Cure were inducted next by Trent Reznor, who offered some criticism of the Hall itself. “I think it’s only right for me to admit that I’ve been, let’s say, ambivalent about the existence of certain award ceremonies,” the Nine Inch Nails frontman told the crowd. “I remember distinctly saying to myself, among other things, how can I even take this awards ceremony seriously if they’ll open their doors to X, Y and Z and not acknowledge the Cure? Not so long ago I get a phone call I wasn’t expecting, and, well, here we are. Let’s just say I’ve never been as happy to eat my words as I was tonight.”

Band leader Robert Smith was joined by past and present bandmates, alluding to the group’s revolving door of band members by noting they helped “for better or for worse.”

He closed his speech in tribute to the people they want to thank the most — the fans.

Robert Smith of The Cure at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

“I’d like to thank all the fans, everyone’s who bought a record…,” Smith said before a fan loudly yelled to the band at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“We love you, too,” Smith said with a smile on his face.

The post-punk innovators performed “Shake Dog Shake,” “A Forest,” “Lovesong,” which Adele famously covered on her best-selling “21″ album, “Just Like Heaven, and “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Singer, songwriter, actress, and producer Janelle Monae delivered the most passionate induction speech of the night- as she entered the stage to induct Janet Jackson, she took in a deep breath before she honored one of her personal heroes.

“I’m here tonight to induct the legendary queen of Black Girl Magic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Monae said.

Janet Jackson and Janelle Monae at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Monae said watching Jackson on her TV was refreshing because she saw someone “who looked like me.” She went on to call Jackson “our fearless leader,” ″a bold visionary,” ″a rule breaker,” ″a risk taker” and “a boundless visual artist.”

Jackson did not perform at the event, but was present to accept her award.

The Zombies were first eligible for induction into the Rock Hall about 30 years ago. They didn’t make it then, and were passed over again in 2017 and 2018. With their fourth nod, the band was finally inducted this year.

Bangles singer/songwriter/guitarist Susanna Hoffs inducted the British Invasion-era rockers.

Keyboardist and songwriter Rod Argent said: “To have finally passed the winning post this time — fantastic.”

The Zombies at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

The Friday night induction at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn had special meaning — the band said their first gig in the United States was in Brooklyn in 1964. In another happy coincidence, The band was inducted on the 50th anniversary of their single “Time of the Season” topping the US charts in 1969.

Argent was joined onstage by Hugh Grundy, Chris White and singer Colin Blunstone. Paul Atkinson, who died in 2004, was also inducted.

The band, who tours regularly with a lineup that includes Argent, Blunstone, and other members, performed a set of their best-known material- “Time of the Season,” “This Will Be Our Year,” “Tell Her No,” and “She’s Not There.” Grundy and White joined the current touring band for the performance.

80’s rockers Def Leppard closed out the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, inducted with a speech from Queen guitarist Brian May. “Rock and roll is alive and well! Am I right? I am so honored and privileged to be inducting Def Leppard into the Hall of Fame,” said May.

Def Leppard and Queen’s Brian May at the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Singer Joe Elliot delivered a speech that ranged from touching to funny. He began by thanking the band members’ parents, saying without their help it would be a lot “tougher to be standing on this stage tonight.”

The speech took an emotional turn when Elliott spoke about Rick Allen losing his left arm in a car crash in 1984. Allen had tears in his eyes and earned a standing ovation from the audience. He then embraced Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell onstage.

Elliott said: “He survived it, and came out the other side stronger.”

Steve Clark, who died from alcohol poisoning in 1991, and Pete Willis, who was fired from the band in 1982, were also inducted as members of Def Leppard. Campbell announced in 2013 that he was battling cancer.

Elliott added: “If alcoholism, car crashes and cancer couldn’t kill us, the ’90s had no fucking chance.”

Def Leppard performed “Hysteria,” “Rock of Ages,” “Photograph,” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concluded with an all-star jam on David Bowie-penned classic “All The Young Dudes,” led by Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter. Bowie penned the song specifically for the band.

Def Leppard, Queen’s Brian May, E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt, the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs and the Zombies’ Rod Argent and Colin Blundstone joined forces to perform the 70’s glam rock staple.

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