Rush jams into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rush fans can relax. The band is now officially in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Canadian rockers were welcomed into the musical fraternity at Thursday's 28th annual induction ceremony by the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. At the beginning of the Nokia Theatre event, the audience was already administering a standing ovation to the group.
"We've been saying for a long time that this wasn't a big deal," drummer-lyricist Neil Peart told the crowd, most of whom came out to specifically support the band. "It turns out, it kind of is."
Rush gained entry following its first appearance on the ballot after repeatedly being left off the list since gaining eligibility in 1998, to the great consternation of the legion of Rush fans who cried bias against progressive rock. The long wait didn't seem to matter at Thursday's star-studded concert event, which ran over five hours. Peart, lead singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson made up for lost time by launching into a rambunctious rendition of "Tom Sawyer" in front of the more than 7,000 attendees.
Rush was among this year's eight eclectic inductees, which also included fellow classic rockers Heart, singer-songwriter Randy Newman, rap group Public Enemy, disco queen Donna Summer, bluesman Albert King, and producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler.
For Heart, entering the hall of fame isn't just about music.
Alex Lifeson, center, Neil Peart, left, and Geddy Lee, of Rush accept their band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
"Our long and winding road has always been about the magical power of love and the enduring strength of family," said Nancy Wilson. "We came from an era when women normally did not rock and women were not expected to be leaders."
Wilson, her sister, Ann, and their band mates celebrated their induction with lively performances of "Crazy for You," ''Dreamboat Annie" and "Barracuda."
Adler was inducted by comedy duo Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong before being serenaded by Carole King with "So Far Away." Jack Nicholson was among Adler's fans in the audience who lavished the producer-mogul a standing ovation.
With his guitar around his neck, John Mayer inducted the late King before joining Gary Clark Jr. for King-tinged jam session.
"Albert King is why guitar-face was invented," joked Mayer.
Newman — joined by Jackson Browne, John Fogerty and Tom Petty — kicked off the Los Angeles ceremony with a performance of his classic "I Love L.A." It was an appropriate song choice given the fact this year's event marks the first time since 1993 that the Cleveland institution has held its induction ceremony on the West Coast. Backstage, Newman was matter-of-fact about his inclusion.