Good thing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's induction ceremony rolls into town only once every three years — we're not sure if we could keep up with everything going on if we had to do this every 12 months. For more than a week leading up to the big show at Public Hall last Saturday, the Rock Hall hosted everything from a free concert at the Q to a new Grateful Dead exhibit to an official opening of its library and archives. Here's a rundown of what we'll remember most.
TOP 5 MOMENTS ...
1. Girl Talk's sold-out concert at Public Hall on April 7 had even gray-haired music fans dancing in the aisles.
2. Kid Cudi and George Clinton's free concert at the Q on April 12 kicked out the P-Funk and kicked off 48 hours of nonstop buzz around town.
3. Freddie King's daughter Wanda accepted the late bluesman's Early Influence award on Saturday with a funny and affectionate tribute.
4. Kid Rock, Travie McCoy, and the Roots capably filled in for the Beastie Boys, who didn't perform because an ailing Adam "MCA" Yauch couldn't make it.
5. Chris Rock treated his induction speech for the Red Hot Chili Peppers like a welcome stand-up routine: "They have black ties on their dicks tonight."
TOP 5 LETDOWNS ...
1. Bette Midler's rambling speech for Laura Nyro included a "New York City was a pit" line that came off sounding very much like a slam on Cleveland.
2. Simply Red's Mick Hucknall did a good job filling in for a flu-stricken Rod Stewart,
but the Faces were mostly faceless without Stewart at the helm.
3. We knew Axl Rose wouldn't show, but that didn't make Guns N' Roses' fairly listless induction any easier to take — especially when the band played three Appetite for Destruction classics.
4. After five and a half hours, the closing jam (including the Chili Peppers, George Clinton, Slash, Billie Joe
Armstrong, and Ron Wood) seemed like a tiresome afterthought. Mercifully, it didn't last long.
5. Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis must do something about that Hitler Does Dallas mustache. It's killing the libido of fortysomething women everywhere.
TOP 5 WTF MOMENTS ...
1. We're not ones to nitpick rock & roll's fluid definition, but the April 10 gospel show at the Q sure did seem like a stretch.
2. Rock Hall CEO Terry Stewart's introductory speech on Saturday took an odd turn when the crowd growled in response to his props for Governor John Kasich. Stewart eventually restored order with a well-timed F-bomb.
3. Sandwiching the snoozy induction of a trio of sidemen between Guns N' Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a major late-night buzz kill.
4. A touching tribute to dead rockers included an awkward moment when presenter Steven Van Zandt referred to onstage vocalist Ledisi as "Odessa."
5. Public Hall is a wonderful old building, but closing time in its narrow hallways feels like a cattle stampede to the slaughterhouse.