The members of Rush are rethinking the idea that their overdue induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was more for their fans than for them. “We’ve been saying for a long time, for years, that this isn’t a big deal,” said drummer Neil Peart. “Turns out it kind of is.”
Frontman Geddy Lee called the band’s induction alongside Public Enemy, Heart and Randy Newman a “celebration of popular art,” adding, “There’s a really interesting thread through a lot of the artists tonight.” Though he’d heard jokes about the supposed incongruity of the class of 2013, they all share “such strong honesty.”
The band singled out Foo Fighters‘ Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins as two of the nicest guys in rock & roll, and Lee said his favorite moment of the night was the inspired jam at the end of the ceremony, which featured a wild hip-hop and hard rock improv on the blues standard that originated with Robert Johnson‘s “Cross Road Blues.” The jam “highlighted the link between Robert Johnson and Chuck D and us,” says Peart.
“I could have played that song for an hour and a half,” Lee added with a smile.
Interview by Matt Diehl; text by James Sullivan