The jam included Queen’s Brian May, the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, “Little” Steven Van Zandt and, the surprise guest, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, who emerged from backstage to join the inductees and presenters for the rendition of the David Bowie-penned classic.
“There’s usually an all-star jam but we’re gonna try something different. More sedate, less messy, more classic,” Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott told the crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The Def Leppard singer also introduced Hunter as “a gentleman whose band 45 years ago today released their last studio album. He fronted that band for about five years; he’s fronted himself about 40.”
Elliott has long professed that Mott the Hoople is his favorite band, telling Rolling Stone of “All the Young Dudes” in 2018, “It’s the anthem of our generation. I first heard it when I was 12. It was the definitive moment for a bunch of scruffy teenage kids in Sheffield and all over the U.K. – maybe more in the U.K. than in America. I had been a fan of the band since their early days when they were making hard rock, and I was totally up with Ian Hunter’s persona, his voice; everything about him resonated with me.”
The all-star jam closed out an epic Rock Hall ceremony that featured a Roxy Music reunion, the Cure’s hits-filled mini-set, the Zombies’ performance and Stevie Nicks delivering a medley with Don Henley and Harry Styles.