‘Honesty’ is Theme for Rush Rock Hall Induction
Musical integrity was the theme when Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 18 along with Heart, Public Enemy, Randy Newman, and, posthumously, Donna Summer and Albert King.
David Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters in their induction speech cited Rush’s refusal to bow to commercial pressure throughout their four-decade career. “Playing 250 shows a year, from day one the band built its following the right way,” said Grohl. “No hype, no bullshit, they did it from the ground up.”
Geddy, in an interview with Rolling Stone after the festivities, said honesty is the thread that connected all of the night’s inductees together. “A lot of people make jokes about how this was a strange group of people being inducted, but if you actually look inside the music of each of these individuals, there’s such strong honesty that runs through all of it and I think it really is a thread.”
“We all felt the link,” said Neil. “With all these people we were engaged immediately.”
Perhaps the most honest moment of the night was Alex’s speech, which commented on the artificiality of speechifying by taking an absurdist approach. His entire speech consisting of the word “Blah.”
Neil and Geddy took a more conventional approach. Geddy attributed Rush being in the Rock Hall that night to the band’s fan base. “On behalf of my partners, I have to thank the most passionate, most dedicated, incredible fan base around. [It’s] the insistence of their voices that most certainly led us to this evening. We share our [honor] with you.”
Neil used a metaphor about outer space to put Rush’s musical place in context with all the other artists in the Rock Hall. “All the previous inductees into this human pantheon are like a constellation of stars in the night sky,” he said.”Among them, we are one tiny point of light—shaped like a maple leaf!”
Neil’s full remarks:
“We’ve been saying for a long time, for years, that this wasn’t a big deal. It turns out, it is. Our sincere thanks to Dave [Grohl] and Taylor [Hawkins, both of the Foo Fighters] for doing us the great honor of inducting us. [It’s certainly] praise from the praise worthy. Maybe one day we’ll be inducting them. A quote from Bob Dylan: ‘The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What can you do but inspire someone?’ It’s gratifying to think about having inspired these youngsters (motioning to others) to pick up a pair of sticks, a guitar, a rhyming dictionary, and torment their parents as we tormented ours. . . . It’s a little human magic. All the previous inductees into this human pantheon are like a constellation of stars in the night sky. Among them, we are one tiny point of light—shaped like a maple leaf! And one of these stars is a galaxy, in our case a galaxy of families, the families that raised us, elevated us, and now the families that ground us. Those who remain, and those who are gone. Then there is the family around us, that takes care of business, day after day, deal after deal, time after time, like our manager throughout all of this, Ray Danniels. Then there is the family of people who truly put on the show, for it is fitting that he receive this honor, as a working man, in the middle of a tour, in our 39th year. I speak of the road crews, the technicians, the engineers, co-producers, our friends and family. And these guys.”
Geddy’s full remarks:
“Thanks, guys, so much. I have to say this is a litle overwhelming for a nice Jewish boy from Toronto. I’ve been really fortunate in my life to be able to spend my time doing something that I truly love. Working with two really terrific partners makes it all the sweeter. So I’d like to thank Lerxst, Pratt over here, for the privilege of making music together, and [also] for the great pleasure of their mostly hilarious company for the past four decades. And on behalf of our partners I have to thank the most passinate, most dedicated, incredible fan base around…. The insistence of their voices most certainly led us to this evening. We share our [honor] with you.”
Alex’s full remarks:
A collection of videos from the night are on a separate page to reduce load time: The videos are 1) the Grohl-Hawkins induction speech, 2) Neil’s, Geddy’s, and Alex’s speeches, 3) the performance of the “2112” intro by Grohl, Hawkins, and Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz, 4) part of the performance of “Crossroads” by all the inductees,and 5) the after-hours Rolling Stone interview, which is preceded by a short commercial.
Read coverage by Rush is a Band.