15 Best Moments at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2016 Induction - Rolling Stone
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15 Best Moments at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2016 Induction

Most incisive speeches and best tributes from annual ceremony

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Best Moments

An all-star jam closed out the 31st Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn.

Kevin Mazur/Getty

The 31st Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony welcomed N.W.A, Deep Purple, Chicago, Steve Miller and Cheap Trick into its pantheon Friday night at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Surprise performances by David Byrne (with the Roots) and Sheryl Crow (with Grace Potter) added to the mix, making for a lively and unpredictable evening. Here are the big night's most unforgettable moments.

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Danny Seraphine

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Danny Seraphine speaks onstage at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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Chicago’s Former Drummer Grabs the Spotlight

In his induction speech, Rob Thomas did everything possible to assure the crowd that Chicago were much cooler than most people thought. "If you think Chicago is your mom's band," he said, "then I want to party with your mom!" But it wasn't until former Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine stepped up to the microphone that his point was proven: "We lived together, as most bands do, we cried together, we fought together, we fucked together," he said. "'Please wrap it up?' Screw you. I've waited 25 fucking years for this!" By the end even his bandmates were urging him to stop talking, but the crowd loved it, as did Kid Rock. "The drummer for Chicago turns out to be a fucking badass!" he said before inducting Cheap Trick.

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Kid Rock

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Kid Rock’s Pro-Drug PSA

When it was his turn to induct Cheap Trick, Kid Rock delivered a typically hilarious and heartfelt speech, praising Lars Ulrich's remarks, shouting out Ice Cube's recommendation that kids stay in school and mentioning how "the drummer from Chicago turns out to be a badass." But the moment that got the biggest laughs was a tangent: "As long as we're keeping it real, I'd like to really quickly address the issue of drugs in America," he said. "If you do drugs, kids, there's a good chance you're going to ruin your life. But there's also a pretty good fucking chance you'll end up in a band and be rich and bang hot chicks."

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Robert Zander

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Robin Zander Suits Himself

Cheap Trick leader Robin Zander has always shown a flare for flashy looks, and for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — an event for which even the most hard-living rockers rent tuxes — the singer marched to his own drummer, and it wasn't Bun E. Carlos. While the rest of his bandmates dressed in black, the singer wore a pale pink suit covering a T-shirt and topped it with a broad-rimmed white hat with a feather.

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Rick Nielsen

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Steve Miller and Rick Nielsen attend 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Rick Nielsen Gives Back

Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen knows he's a guitar hoarder. It probably takes a lot for him to want to give away one of his many precious instruments, but he leaned into a generous mood when he offered up a guitar emblazoned with the Miller beer logo (and shaped like one too) to fellow inductee Steve Miller. "I love you, man," he told the "Joker" singer, when he came onstage to accept it. "Now get out of here." Later, when artists gathered for the super jam, Miller came out brandishing his eponymous ax.

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Rick Neilsen

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick performs onstage during 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Rick Nielsen Expresses Himself

When Cheap Trick finished their set and began the super jam, guitarist Rick Nielsen gave voice to the frustration that N.W.A was not performing. "I'm a little pissed off," he said. "I wanted to have N.W.A [participate]. I wanted to do a song with those guys." The audience cheered. "We could be like Aerosmith and Run-DMC, and we'd be famous and play cool shit."

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; Cheap Trick

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Cheap Trick Reunite, Destroy the Place

Cheap Trick and former drummer Bun E. Carlos don't get along very well these days and haven't really communicated outside of legal proceedings since he left the group in 2010. But nobody at the Barclays Center would have had any clue about that when watching their smoking three-song set. "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police" and "Surrender" were played to perfection, with Zander hitting all the notes he hit at Budokan back in 1978. The performance was extra special since it was probably the final time the original lineup will ever play together.

Rock and Roll hall of Fame; jam

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: The inductees perform onstage during 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Kevin Mazur/Getty

The All-Star Jam Avoids Going Off the Rails

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all-star jams are often better in theory than in practice, and in the early years they produced little more than cacophony as a large group of musicians struggled to play a single, unrehearsed song together. But all four of the non-N.W.A acts come from the same time and place, and they had little trouble joining forces on "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino. With Paul Shaffer directing traffic from the side of the stage, most of the singers took a turn at the mic, even David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes who were denied the opportunity to play with Deep Purple. Sheryl Crow's mic may have not been turned on at first, but for the most part this was about as tight and organized as these sort of jams have ever been.

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