By Brian Ives
Now that we’re over the excitement of the announcement of this year’s nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, (see the full list of nominees here) we’re starting to look forward to the actual induction ceremony, set to take place in New York in April.
For true music lovers, the show is always a blast (if occasionally a bit long), but there’s always great moments that make it worth it. The tribute speeches are always heartfelt and often come from unexpected corners: Miley Cyrus waxing about Joan Jett, Oprah Winfrey paying tribute to Quincy Jones, Chris Rock talking about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The acceptance speeches have some unforgettable moments, such as Dave Grohl and Courtney Love embracing at Nirvana’s induction, Gene Simmons actually showing hints of humility and Alex Lifeson of Rush’s immortal “blah blah blah” soliloquy.
And then there are the performances: Ringo Starr with Green Day. Ringo Starr with Paul McCartney. Nirvana with Lorde, St. Vincent, Joan Jett and Kim Gordon. Rush with the Foo Fighters in “2112” drag. Stevie Wonder and John Legend covering Bill Withers while Withers himself watched.
This year’s crop of nominees offers the promise of some pretty spectacular moments as well. Here’s some that we hope to see.
N.W.A. with Kendrick Lamar: Seeing the surviving members of N.W.A. – Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella – perform together would be amazing. But someone needs to do Eazy-E’s verses. Snoop Dogg has filled in before, and Eminem wouldn’t be a bad choice. Nor would Eazy’s son, Lil’ Eazy-E. But Compton’s own Kendrick Lamar is a disciple of the group, a protégée of Dre, and arguably the most respected MC in hip-hop at the moment, he’d be the perfect choice to show the group’s relevance, nearly a quarter century after they split up.
Deep Purple with Ritchie Blackmore: Two of the hallmarks of Deep Purple‘s classic ‘60s and ‘70s heyday was Jon Lord’s inventive organ playing, and Ritchie Blackmore’s face-melting guitar. Tragically, Lord (who retired from the band in 2002), passed away in 2012. Blackmore, on the other hand, is alive and well, but quit the band in 1993; these days, he performs mostly medieval music at renaissance fairs. It would be amazing to see him strap on a white Strat again and play with his former bandmates, bassist Roger Glover, singer Ian Gillian and perennial Purple drummer Ian Paice. Also cool would be a partial reunion of the Mk. III lineup, featuring Paice, Blackmore, bassist Glenn Hughes and singer David Coverdale (who went on to form Whitesnake after Purple’s initial breakup).
An Appearance by David Bowie: Highly unlikely, but there’d be no better choice than Bowie to introduce Nine Inch Nails, a band who he influenced profoundly, and who influenced him in return. The Bowie/NIN tour of 1995 saw epic collabs every night; there was no break between the acts. Instead Bowie and his band gradually joined NIN, and the two collectives performed a few songs, from each repertoire, together each night. In fact, Bowie skipped his own induction into the Rock Hall during that tour.
Beyonce!: Who better to introduce Janet Jackson than Queen Bey? Well, maybe all three members of Destiny’s Child, actually. They performed “Let’s Wait Awhile” at MTV’s Janet Jackson ICON tribute back in 2001. Which is a great ballad, but we’d love to hear them do “Control,” “If” or “Black Cat.” Even better, they can do those songs with Miss Jackson.