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20 Best Moments at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 Induction

The funniest speeches, loudest performances and most touching reconciliations

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The night was ripe for drama: Kiss' founding lineup were taking the stage together; Courtney Love and Dave Grohl were standing inches apart. But last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center was full of surprising hugs, landmark onstage collaborations and superfans in full face makeup. After the final strains of Nirvana's "All Apologies" faded into the night, these were the event's most memorable moments.

By Patrick Doyle, Caryn Ganz, Andy Greene, Brian Hiatt, Christian Hoard, Nick Murray and Simon Vozick-Levinson

Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Best Lightning in a Bottle: Michael Stipe’s Speech for Nirvana

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe delivered one of the classiest speeches of the night, eloquently explaining how a trio of misfits from outside Seattle reflected and defined a generation. "It is the highest calling for an artist as well as the greatest possible privilege to capture a moment, to find the zeitgeist, to expose our struggles, our aspirations, our desires; to embrace and define their time," he said. "That is my definition of an artist. Nirvana captured lightning in a bottle."

Emphasizing how Nirvana came from a blue-collar town (not a hipster rock scene) and created a community without the benefit of digital social media, Stipe explored how Nirvana was a true product of the underground. "Nirvana were kicking against the system, bringing complete disdain for the music industry and their definition of corporate mainstream America to show sweet and beautiful but fed-up fury coupled with howling vulnerability," Stipe said. "They spoke truth and a lot of people listened."

 

Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Best Surprise Kiss Fan: Stevie Nicks

While Stevie Nicks was thrilled to induct Linda Ronstadt ("She was a rock star!," she said), she was disappointed Kiss couldn't put their differences aside the way Fleetwood Mac did. "They should have played," she told us. "When we were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lindsey's a little bit like, 'OK, whatever.' But let me tell you, when we walked up there and we were inducted, we stood up there and it is a moment like no other. Then you get to go and strum on your guitar and get your microphone and sing two or three songs to that audience on your day. It is their loss that they didn't play, because the Kiss Army is out there, right now screaming for them."

Nicks continued, "And they should have played for them, no matter how they felt about it. You know, Fleetwood Mac had about 500 people in it, too. They weren't all there. All 900 guitar players didn't get inducted. They weren't there. So the thing is, you know what? It's your moment. Take it. Go out there and play. It's the most important part. I like Kiss very much, and I think that they have done amazing. They're an amazing band."

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Best Dance Opportunity: Hall & Oates’ Performance

Questlove opened his speech by recalling when he heard "She's Gone" for the first time: "That song scared the bejesus out of me!" For their performance, the duo opened with that very song, then transitioned into a rendition of "I Can't Go for That" that climaxed with an extended sax jam that curiously spotlighted neither Hall nor Oates. If that one was for the head-nodders, closer "You Make My Dreams" was for the dancers, bouncy enough to inspire some genuine in-aisle stepping.

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Best Punk-Rock History Lesson: Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic’s Nirvana Speeches

As soon as he reached the podium, Dave Grohl was quick to shout out those who came before him: "Not a lot of people know this, but I was the fifth drummer of Nirvana," he told the crowd, taking a moment to list the previous four and pointing to the camera to thank Chad Channing for writing the riffs that he got to play after he took over. Turning his attention to his musical upbringing, Grohl then shouted out some of the most important D.C. punk bands of his youth, and thanked his mom because "I listened to some really fucked up shit and my parents never told me not to."

Novoselic, meanwhile, focused on Washington, remembering how, "Kurt was an intense artist, and he really connected with a lot of people." He went on to thank people and organizations like Buzz Osborne of the Melvins and Sub Pop Records, the label that released Nirvana’s first single. 

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Best Superfan: Bill Murray

Bill Murray is known to show up in the unlikeliest of places, and he did just that during Cat Stevens’ speech when he went onstage to give Yusuf Islam a water. Murray could be seen having a blast from  his front-row seat throughout the night, dancing during "The E Street Shuffle" and giving some loud talkers the evil eye during Michael Stipe’s Nirvana induction speech. Murray hit up the after party later, where he spent some quality time with Bruce.

Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Best Unexpected Beef: Hall & Oates Vs. The E Street Band

Daryl Hall and John Oates got to the stage right after the E Street Band took nearly 40 minutes to deliver their speeches, totally throwing the planned running time of the evening out the window. To save time, the duo gave part of their speech together and Oates took a little shot at the E Street Band: "Aren't you glad there's just two of us?" he said. Daryl Hall dug in a little deeper backstage. "You don't give each member of a 12-piece band 20 minutes," he said. "You don't do that. That's just bad planning."​

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