The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is this Friday (March 29.) Similar to last year’s class, there seems to be something different about the 2019 class: There’s little to no drama surrounding the inductees.
While it’s nice to see everyone seemingly getting along (for now), it just doesn’t seem like a proper Rock Hall induction without something crazy happening. With that in mind, here are eight of the biggest drama moments in Rock Hall induction history.
Good lord…who could forget this one?! KISS’ induction was long overdue, but they certainly made up for the late honor with a whole boatload of drama. From controversy around only the original four members being inducted to whether or not the band would perform to the all-out war of words in the press, it’s amazing the band were inducted without a hitch.
This one was awkward. When Blondie was inducted in 2006, past group members Frank Infante, Jimmy Destri, Nigel Harrison and Gary Valentine were invited to attend the ceremony, but Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke wouldn’t let them perform. During the band’s acceptance speeches, all the performance controversy came to a head thanks to Infante’s time at the mic.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Another awkward moment! CCR was part of the 1993 induction class, and when it came time to perform, John Fogerty refused to so with former bandmates Doug Clifford and Stu Cook. Per Fogerty’s book Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, he said it was due to Clifford and Cook’s roll in an ongoing dispute with their record label.
Many artists take issue with the Rock Hall in how they operate the induction ceremony, but no other artist has taken the system to task quite like Steve Miller in 2016. With the exception of how he spoke to a publicist who was only trying to do her job, this might be one of the most rock and roll moments in Rock Hall induction history.
The Sex Pistols were a no-show when they were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2006, but they did send a letter, which was read by Rolling Stone founder/Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner. (Spoiler: The letter’s badass.)
What a mess this induction was! VH was inducted in 2007, and around that time, the following things happened: Michael Anthony was fired and replaced with Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang; EVH was receiving treatment for alcohol/drug addiction; and David Lee Roth was rejoining the band for a reunion tour. Long story short: The only members to attend the induction was Anthony and Sammy Hagar. Velvet Revolver ended up performing in tribute to VH, with Anthony and Hagar performing “Why Can’t This Be Love” with the house band.
After Chicago was announced as part of the 2016 Rock Hall induction class, an epic back-and-forth began regarding whether or not Peter Cetera would actually attend and perform at the induction ceremony. In the end, Cetera opted to sit out the ceremony, which surely disappointed many of Chicago’s fans who hoped to see the founding singer/bassist reunite with the band since quitting back in 1985.
Guns N’ Roses
In hindsight, GN’R’s Rock Hall induction in 2012 is now even more awkward since Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan reunited for the “Not In This Lifetime…” tour. At the time, Rose declined the ceremony invite and wrote a letter stating, “Let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense.” Guitarist Izzy Stradlin also sat out the ceremony but considering his reclusive ways, that wasn’t terribly shocking.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.