Chris Martin inducts Peter Gabriel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Martin told the audience about how he first encountered Gabriel's music: he "got lost for a day in Paris with just me and that album ['Us'] and I fell in love with it... I was a true fan."
Inductee Peter Gabriel reflected on his massive success backstage: "I'm very fortunate because I've worked with extraordinary people, great musicians, record labels and singers like Youssou N'Dour," Gabriel said.
Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Rait, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood paid tribute to inductee Linda Ronstadt, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Backstage, Harris explained what Linda means to her: "She's been an extraordinary friend to me. I'm sorry she can't be here tonight but I think all of us are in agreement that we've all been inspired by her." Harris added, "We'd take a bullet for her, but instead we're just singing here tonight."
Tom Morello inducted Kiss with a passionate, personal speech. He continued his testimonial backstage. "It was a conscious act of rebellion to be a fan of Kiss. You put yourself not only in opposition to authority figures, but to other kids in your school," Morello attests. "You had to stand up for yourself and what you believed in at a very early age. That made an impression on me later in life."
"I'm so happy to be here," Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley said backstage. Although the band did not perform, Frehley had nothing but love for his bandmates: "We're still brothers in rock and roll. And even though we don't see each other for five, 10 or 15 years, it's just like yesterday that we saw each other."
"I certainly wouldn't be here without all the love and support of those who carried me," inductee Cat Stevens said in reference to his family. "Thanks so much all my fans for believing," he added.
"In addition to the concept of democracy, American popular music is the most important thing that America has ever exported to the rest of the world," inductee John Oates said backstage. "I'm proud to be part of it." Nodding to his co-inductee Daryl Hall, Oates said: "The two of us together have synthesized our past and we're excited for our future."
Steven Van Zandt talked about the E Street Band's unique dynamic backstage: "We have a really fast ability to learn. Every one of us. There's a lot of spontaneity going on in the show. A lot of spontaneity going on tonight."
Backstage, Van Zandt dished on working with Brue Springsteen: "He's a very creative guy. He never stops being creative. He never does a song the same way twice. Our job is to follow where he goes and keep it coherent. We got to make him look good, basically."
"We came from this underground punk rock scene," inductee Dave Grohl explained about Nirvana, "It was all about doing it for real and the reward was doing it right and sharing the community of music."
"Here is a lady who I can't believe is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who should be," Nirvana's bassist Krist Novoselic said as he introduced Joan Jett to sing "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
St. Vincent stands in for Kurt Cobain on a performance of "Lithium." "All those guys were feminists in the early '90s when it was even less popular to proclaim yourself so," St. Vincent said backstage about Nirvana, adding, "They're rad and forward-thinking and inclusive."
HBO Special Event
The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony premiered on May 31. Inductees included: Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, KISS, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. Guests include: Chris Martin, Glenn Frey, Michael Stipe, Questlove, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Lorde, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Tom Morello, Sheryl Crow and more.