The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony managed to get Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Ron Wood, Flea and Metallica in the same room together. It was inevitable the night would end with a ferocious guitar battle, and the most obvious song was “Train Kept-A-Rollin.'” The 1951 Tiny Bradshaw song had been famously covered by The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, though it had never been played previously by Metallica. They learned it earlier in the day, and watching clips from that night make it seem like they were pretty psyched to be joined by so many legends. “This is rhythm guitar player heaven,” James Hetfield said before it kicked off.
Jeff Beck started off the song, just as he did many times with the Yardbirds back in the mid-1960s. From there it was a chaotic jam. There were three bass players, causing Jason Newstead to joke it sounded like “Bigger Bottom” (riffing on Spinal Tap’s bass-heavy “Big Bottom”). The jam lasted a mere four minutes since drummer Lars Ulrich ended it a little prematurely, inadvertently nixing some of the planned solos.
We’ve got a long way until next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all-star jam gets mapped out, but with Steve Miller, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Chicago in the house, there are plenty of opportunities for another monster guitar jam. “Well, how about Deep Purple doing ‘I Want You to Want Me’ with Chicago’s horns and Steve Miller doing the solo and N.W.A turning it into the ‘Walk This Way/Aerosmith combo?” Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen said. “Everyone in the world knows that song.” Steve Miller has his own idea. “We can play. Let’s do ‘Fly Like an Eagle,'” he said. “Everybody can take a solo.”
The only person not completely down with the idea of a big jam is Ice Cube. “It’s all about if we can do something cool,” he said. “If we’re doing something and it’s feeling kind of corny, I won’t want to do it.”