Rush were inducted by Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters: "Rock & roll has forever been ensconced in mystery..." Grohl said, "...but there's one mystery that surely eclipses them all: when the fuck did Rush become cool?...From day one, the band built its following the right way. No hype, no (baloney), they did it from the ground up without any help from the mainstream press...Their influence is undeniable and their devoted fan base is only rivaled by the Grateful Dead. Look at you people, all of you people, right here! And their legacy is that of a band that stayed true to themselves no matter how uncool they may have seemed to anyone...They have always been cool! Consider this mystery solved. It is our honor to FINALLY induct Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
Neil Peart was the first to give a speech, opening with: “We’ve been saying for a long time that this wasn’t that big a deal, turns out, it truly IS a big deal.’’
Geddy added it was "a little overwhelming for a nice Jewish boy from Toronto" and crowned his speech with thanks to "the most passionate, incredible fan base around the globe...for not only supporting and encouraging our musical progress over the years, but for the insistence of their voices, which has most certainly led us to this evening."
And Alex, well, Alex gave a speech that was uniquely his own, using the simple phrase of "blah blah blah" and charades to convey the highs and lows of a career fighting for respect with the mainstream media, as well as the trio’s underlying love for each other, and the journey of the band to that point in time.
Here is a complete fan recorded video of Rush's induction speech. The event will be broadcast May 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, and will also eventually be released on DVD.
After Rush's induction speech, Dave Grohl (guitar), Taylor Hawkins (drums), and Nick Raskulinecz (Geddy's Rickenbacker), wearing wigs and kimonos circa 1976, opened the Rush set with "2112 Overture" before Rush joined them and performed "Tom Sawyer" followed by "The Spirit of Radio". The all star jam finale was "Crossroads," featuring the new Class of Hall of Famers as well as Grohl, Gary Clarke Jr. and current Hall of Famer John Fogerty.
Backstage after the event, Dave Grohl said "It's terrifying to play your favorite song in front of your favorite band. it's one thing to sit in the basement to sit in the basement and woodshed 2112, and it's another to stand in front of Rush in a fucking kimono and a wig. Tonight was one of the most special nights of my life. I met Neil Peart for the first time at rehearsal. This man was as influential to me as any religion. And he said, 'So nice to meet you, can I make you a coffee?' And he made me a coffee. Later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine and I started fucking crying, because my hero made me a coffee."
Geddy Lee also reflected on the night's events, "When we first found out, I don't think it really dawned on me what it meant. And in the days building up to this tonight, I've started reflecting on our lives and what this actually does mean in the context of music, popular music."
For our gallery of photos of what we deem the best of the night click here.
See below for additional stories published today
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction 2013: Rush (And Fans) Fight the Power - RollingStone, April 19, 2013
- Rock Hall of Fame Inducts Rush, Public Enemy and Heart at Passionate Ceremony - Billboard, April 19, 2013
- Rush rules Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction - USAToday, April 19, 2013
- Rush, Public Enemy Get Emotional Backstage at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony - RollingStone, April 19, 2013
- Rush to Judgment: The Agony and Ecstasy of 2013's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction - Spin.com, April 19, 2013
- Rush's Geddy Lee and Neil Peart thank their fans for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction - Hitflix.com, April 19, 2013
- Rush's Geddy Lee: 'Strong Honesty' Links Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2013 Class - RollingStone, April 19, 2013
- Q&A: Dave Grohl Reflects on Inducting Rush Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - RollingStone, April 19, 2013
- 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony - Grammy.com, April 19, 2013