Tuesday, March 15, 2005

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CEREMONY (you can watch it this Saturday on VH1)

"Thanks for giving us a great life"

Those were the final words Bono spoke to me after I had finished talking to him. And the truth is, that statement works both ways. U2 has been a part of the fabric of my life since 1982. They inspired me musically, politically, socially, spiritually and gave me some of the best moments of my life. They are why I was there last night.

To be there to see them perform in front of 1200 people and get inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame brought everything full circle. Its been a hell of a ride with them and its not over yet.

Meeting and talking to Bono was a thrill beyond description for me. I got to say so many things I had been saving for so many years.

And now, for the rest of the story...

Highlights of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Party.

-Before the ceremony started there was time to walk around the floor and in between tables. I was able to meet and greet and take pictures with some of the best and brightest of the Rock and music world.

Before rubbing elbows with the Rock royalty, I spotted Catherine Zeta Jones (who came as the date of Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner). I walked up to her and said hello, and lo and behold, she remembered me from our meeting at the Red Ball in February. Once in a lifetime turned to twice in a lifetime in a moment. What a trip.

I got up close and personal, said hello and shook hands with Chrissy Hynde, Neil Young, Roger Waters, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dan Akyroyd, Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven and so many more.


James Gandolfini and Little Steven got things started by inducting famed promoter Steve "The Godfather of Rock" Barsalona.

Ice-T gave an awesome speech while inducting producer Seymour Stein.

The O'Jays perfomed a great medley of their hits (Backstabbers, Love Train. For Love of Money) and Percy Sledge brought down the house with "When a man loves a woman."

Things kicked into a higher gear with Robbie Robertson, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, inductee Buddy Guy and Bo Diddley rocking out an awesome blues set.

-Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders were just electric. They sounded like they had just formed and left the garage yesterday. They were joined by Neil Young on guitar.

And then the highlight of the evening. Bruce Springsteen inducting U2. The Boss' speech was simply marvelous. It was witty, insightful, funny, loving, and really evoked who and what U2 are. It was just brilliant. I am going to try and find it in its entirety.

Then U2 accepted their trophies, and gave their speeches. All four members spoke eloquently and it was very touching to hear them reflect on the last 25 years.

Then they took the stage and absolutely brought the house down, bringing 1200 people to their feet, dancing, singing and shaking the rafters of the Waldorf Astoria.

They played four songs:

Until the End of the World (Achtung Baby)

Pride (In the Name of Love) (The Unforgettable Fire)

I still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (The Joshua Tree)

Vertigo (How to dismantle and Atomic Bomb)

All in all it was an absolute dream come true type of night. To be in the same room with all of the people who have inspired me and changed my life with their music, words, ideas and soundtracks to my life, was beyond what I can actually try and convey in words on these pages. I'm still smiling, still swaying and as the Ramones said, "HEY HO, LETS GO." And to all of you there last night.

Thanks for giving me a great life.