7 Things to Look for on the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Broadcast
Here's a look at some of the expected highlights for this weekend's broadcast of the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Set to air at 8PM ET Saturday on HBO, the event honored Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, the Zombies, Roxy Music and the Cure through stirring speeches, fun collaborations and raucous onstage performances. The broadcast will also be available via HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO on Demand and on partner streaming platforms.
Don Henley's Surprise Appearance
Nicks provided the evening's first big twist when she was joined by Don Henley for a performance of "Leather and Lace," the Fleetwood Mac star's second-ever Top 10 hit. She opened the show with "Stand Back" from The Wild Heart, later noting that she was wearing the original cape from that 1983 album cover – and that "not one thread is out of place after all this time." Nicks also performed "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with pop star Harry Styles, then closed things out with "Edge of Seventeen." She was the first woman to be inducted twice.
Rick Allen's Emotional Response
A partisan crowd roared in approval at every mention of Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen's stirring return from a potentially deadly '80s-era car crash. But they weren't the only ones moved by praise from Brian May, who inducted them, and singer Joe Elliott. Allen appeared to be nearly overcome with tears on more than one occasion. "The loss of drummer Rick Allen’s arm in 1984 was a massive shock and setback, which would’ve ended the career of a lesser band," May noted. "But thanks to the incredible fortitude of Rick himself and bringing himself back – and also thanks to the incredible loyalty and cohesiveness of that family which is Def Leppard in supporting him when he came back, they actually grew in stature." Elliott was typically more blunt. "Let's face facts here," he added, "if alcoholism, car crashes and cancer couldn't kill us, the '90s had no fucking chance!"
Awesome Expanded Setlists
Bands typically offer a compact three- or four-song performance during the Rock Hall ceremony, but not this year. Fans were treated to more music than ever, perhaps because there was time to fill in Radiohead's absence. Roxy Music played all or parts of "In Every Dream Home a Heartache," "Out of the Blue," "Love Is the Drug," "More Than This," "Avalon" and "Editions of You." The Cure also offered an expanded set that included "Shake Dog Shake," "A Forest," "Lovesong," "Just Like Heaven" and "Boys Don't Cry." Elsewhere, the Zombies joined Stevie Nicks and Def Leppard in sticking with the more traditional four-song list, performing "Time of the Season," "This Will Be Our Year," "Tell Her No" and "She's Not There." It's unclear, of course, how much of this will make it into the HBO broadcast, since the recording is always edited for length. Broadway World is reporting that all four Nicks songs will be shown, while the Cure's broadcast set will not include "A Forest." They say only three songs by the Zombies and Roxy Music made the cut.
Trent Reznor's Passionate Argument for the Cure
Trent Reznor called the Cure "one of the most unique, most brilliant, most heartbreakingly excellent rock bands the world has ever known," as part of the night's most personal induction speech. He said he first encountered the group on a college radio station after moving to Cleveland from the small town of Mercer, Pa. "I hadn't heard anything like it before," the Nine Inch Nails frontman remembered. "I felt a lot of the darkness that I felt in my head coming back at me through the speakers, and it blew my mind. It was like this music was written just for me." Nine Inch Nails became eligible for the Rock Hall in 2014 then appeared on the ballot in 2015-16, but have yet to be inducted. "I've struggled my whole life feeling like I don't fit in or belong anywhere," Reznor said, before getting one of the biggest laughs by dryly adding, "Kind of like right now."
The Zombies' Pure Joy
Nobody was happier to be at the Barclays Center than the Zombies. "It was honor enough," keyboardist Rod Argent said, "to have been nominated four times in the last five years. To have finally [made it] this time? Fantastic." Singer Colin Blunstone earlier called this honor a "career-defining” and “life-defining moment." It happened at just the right time, too. "There's a wonderful coincidence to all of us standing here in Brooklyn, the site of our very first concert in America," Argent added. "It's also 50 years ago to this very day, the 29th of March 1969, that 'Time of the Season' reached the No. 1 position in America." The Zombies opened their set with that signature song, following an introductory speech by Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles.
Duran Duran's Nod to Brian Eno
It came as little surprise that Brian Eno wasn't on hand when Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera accepted Roxy Music's long-awaited honor. After all, he left in 1973 and hasn't joined them onstage since. Still, Eno's presence was certainly felt. Duran Duran singer Simon LeBon inducted Roxy Music along with bandmate John Taylor, and LeBon spoke glowingly of Eno, a pioneer in ambient music who later produced a host of rock acts including U2 and Peter Gabriel. He's "become the world's most imitative musician – a one-man zeitgeist," LeBon said. "Eno helped shape some of the most significant artists of our time. He also has the distinction of being the musician most frequently cited in answers to clues in the New York Times crossword puzzles." As the assembled crowd broke into laughter, LeBon added, "'Musician Brian, three letters.'" Roxy Music had been eligible since 1997.
Ian Hunter's All-Star 'All the Young Dudes'
Def Leppard did something unusual to close out this year's ceremony: "There's normally an all-star jam," Joe Elliott told the audience, "but this is a little different – more up-to-date, less messy, more classic." What followed was an all-star rendition of Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes," featuring Ian Hunter himself. Also onstage were Brian May, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, Phil Manzanera, Susannah Hoffs and Steven Van Zandt.
What You Won't See
Unfortunately, the evening's most viral moment won't be aired – because it didn't happen onstage. Famously dour Cure frontman Robert Smith gave a very Robert Smith-y response to a red-carpet question before the ceremony got underway at the Barclays Center. The clip was viewed millions of times over the following days.