Here’s a recap of my whirlwind day in New York City for the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony
Thursday, April 10th-
8:00 am: The alarm goes off. Ugh, I’m tired.
11:00 am: Finally make it out the door and on the way to Penn Station.
11:30 am: What do you mean the parking lot is FULL? After circling the block a few times, I finally settle on an outdoor lot. Not my first choice to leave my car in but with only 15 minutes til my train, I gotta do what I gotta do!
11:45 am: On my way to NYC!
2:15 pm: We pull in to Penn Station.
2:45 pm: My first attempt to navigate my way to Brooklyn using the subway is rather unsuccessful because I’m heading in the wrong direction. I eventually find the right train and get there. A bit later than expected but I’m there!
3:20 pm – Barclays Center! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place here in less than 4 hours. I’m starving! Let’s eat!
3:25 pm: Hmmmm. Where to eat? Not much right outside the venue unless you like chains like Starbucks and Tony Romas. (Which I almost ended up at because their beef ribs are to die for and the Baltimore location closed eons ago.) But I wanted a place that I could only go to in NYC. After making my way on Flatbush Avenue, I finally find a bunch of great looking places and settle on 67 Burger.
5:30 pm: After a bit of a walk around the area, they still aren’t letting people in to Barclays Center. So it’s off to Starbucks to kill some time and take in the crowd. Nirvana and KISS fans are out in full force with the KISS fans being the most creatively dressed. I never knew you could get a button down shirt with KISS on it!
6:00 pm: Standing in line waiting to get into Barclays, I strike up a conversation with what look to be a mom and daughter from Manhattan. It was the daughter’s awesome purple hair that caught my eye and I notice her Nirvana tee as well. We bond over the fact that we really have to pee.
6:30 pm: Seating is tight here. 2 rather large KISS fans are sitting uncomfortably a few seats down to my left. The person sitting directly to my left squeezes in but just as quickly leaves to grab himself a drink. I’m enjoying the personal space when a rather loud and annoying woman takes the seat to my right. “OH MY GAWD! IS THAT HALL AND OATES? I’M GOING TO DIE!” she exclaims to her friend. From that moment on, she never shuts up. I really don’t know if I’m going to make it through this night.
7:00 pm sharp: The show kicks off with some words from Jann Wenner, co-founder of both Rolling Stone Magazine and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
7:16 pm: If you think KISS and Nirvana fans are vocal, you’ve never been to New Jersey. The E Street fans are LOUD. I wish I had my earplugs.
7:26 pm: First to be inducted – Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham, managers for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
7:31 pm: With no warning, out comes Peter Gabriel to perform “Digging In The Dirt.”
7:40 pm: Chris Martin of Coldplay is inducting Gabriel tonite. His speech is amazingly witty proving that I like him a lot more sans Gwyneth.
7:54 pm: Martin and Gabriel duet on “Washing of the Water” followed by Gabriel bringing out Youssou N’Dour for “In Your Eyes.”
8:06 pm: Uh oh. Time for KISS. Will we see the first drama of the evening? Loud lady to my right: GENE SIMMONS!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EYES!!!! I COULD DIE!!!
8:31 pm: Nope. No drama. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine was a rock and roll preacher, rallying the KISS Army as he gave his induction speech, calling the Rock Hall the “Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day Hall of Fame.” Gene Simmons pretends to like Ace and Peter. Paul Stanley takes a dig at the Rock Hall Voters – “The people buy tickets, the people buy albums, the people who nominate do not.” Which begs the question, if you’re here for the fans, why in the world won’t you put your differences with Peter and Ace aside for a few minutes and PERFORM. It’s what the fans want.
8:32 pm: No performance means we swiftly move on to Cat Stevens now known as Yusuf Islam. Meanwhile, the large uncomfortable KISS fans to my left leave, never to return. They spent $100 for that? It’s at this point, I realize the guy to my immediate left never came back either. I’m enjoying the extra room. Now if only loud, annoying lady would leave. OH MY GAWD!!! IT’S ART GARFUNKEL!!! Why yes, it is. He’s inducting Cat Stevens.
9:00 pm: 2 hours in. Stevens finishes performing (including Peace Train with a full choir) and Linda Ronstadt is up next. IS THAT GLENN FREY OR DON HENLEY??? EITHER WAY, I’M GOING TO DIE!!! Hi loud, annoying lady. That’s Glenn Frey (of the Eagles.) He’s inducting Ronstadt. Apparently I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t know he and Henley played in Ronstadt’s band before forming The Eagles.
9:28 pm: Wow. Amazing performances of Ronstadt’s songs by a supergroup comprised of Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks with a little help from Frey.
9:29 pm: With the E Street Band up next, I’m once again wishing I had earplugs. It’s LOUD in here. Especially when BRUUUUUUUCE comes up to induct them. Loud, annoying lady to my left loses it. OH MY GAWWWWWWWD!!!!! BRUUUUUUCE!!!! *screams*
10:25 pm: Holy crap, there are a lot of E Streeters. Speeches finally done, we get a mini Springsteen concert which includes a beautiful version of The River. Meanwhile, I get the feeling I’m the only person around who isn’t really a BRUUUUCE fan. I mean, he doesn’t suck but it’s just not for me.
10:57 pm: OH MY GAWWWWWD!!!! Most of my row (including loud, annoying lady) cleared out after Springsteen was done. Lots of room to stretch out and my headache may go away now. *phew*
10:58 pm: YAY!!! Hall and Oates are next. Which means they’ve left Nirvana, understandably, for last. Questlove of The Roots, a fellow Philly native, is doing the honors for them inducting them into the “Rock and Roll Hall and Oates of Fame.”
11:15 pm: H&O make their speech together, keeping it short but sweet so they can get to playing. Unfortunately, feedback mars She’s Gone and they halt it to start over. I assume this will be edited out of the tv broadcast?
11:20 pm: I’m about to bitchslap a guy to my right who is screaming BRUUUUUCE during Hall and Oates.
11:39 pm: Hall and Oates wrap up with my favorite song (You Make My Dreams) and you can feel the anticipation of the crowd as we prepare for Nirvana up next.
11:40 pm: Michael Stipe of REM is doing the duties for Nirvana and wow, he’s looking old. Which means I must be old. Lovely.
11:50 pm: First up to speak is Dave Grohl. Always an entertaining speaker, he doesn’t disappoint as he thanks all the drummers that came before him in the band. He also namechecks Slayer and thanks his parents (who are in the audience) for letting him listen to “some f*cked up sh*t” growing up and for letting him drop out of school. Ha! He also mentions how lucky he was to grow up in the DC punk scene.
11:59 pm: After Krist Novoselic and Kurt’s family speak, the moment I was hoping for happens. It’s Courtney Love! But a drama free Love. She makes some quick remarks, mentions Frances Bean who is home sick and then puts the problems with her and Dave (who she first called Mr. Grohl) behind them with a long, seemingly heartfelt hug. The jury is still out about how Grohl was feeling in that moment but it happened and I loved it!
12:02 am: 5 hours in and, no surprise here, Joan Jett is up first for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” And look! It’s Pat Smear too!
12:10 am: Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth becomes Kurt #2 tonite with lead vocals on Aneurysm.
12:15 am: Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, is our third (and ultimately the best) Kurt on Lithium.
12:20 am: Lorde, who wasn’t even born when Nevermind came out, is the fourth and last Kurt on All Apologies. Have I mentioned how fun it is to see Dave Grohl tearing it up on the drums?
12:26 am: And just like that, it’s over. Some anonymous announcement thanking us for being there and the lights go up. Okay then. No All Star Jam in sight.
12:45 am: I get on the right train this time! On the subway back to Manhattan.
1:15 am: Back at Penn Station with 3 hours to kill. First up, FOOD. Then NAP. Zzzzzzz.
3:00 am: I wake up just in time to see all the buzz about Nirvana playing a small club in Brooklyn. Damn. I’m here and I missed it!
4:40 am: Train time! Baltimore, here I come!