Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Public Hall ~ Cleveland OH
April 4, 2009
Saturday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I texted the person with my tix. No luck reaching her. It was still early though so maybe she was sleeping. We had a tasty breakfast. Oh and we had heard a rumor that Jimmy Page was spotted eating breakfast there the day before but we didn’t see any celebrities that morning.
We took the shuttle bus from the hotel to the museum. I tried reaching her again by text, but still no luck. I left a voicemail message and waited to hear back. We got to the museum right at 10:00 a.m. and there was no wait. Did I mention, it was free admission day? Can’t get any better than free, right?
Our plan of attack was to hit up the Rock Hall store first. I bought WAY too much but I also found a sign that I had been looking for forever. Rock N Roll Avenue! Everything I bought (2 shirts, a magazine, a magnet, a coaster, a shot glass) was quite heavy. While this ended up being being a pain towards the end, it ended up being an awesome plan! By the time we were finished with the museum, the store and the entrance to the Rock Hall was a MADHOUSE!
I had been to the museum two times previously (1997 & 2004) but there were a LOT of things that were new to me. I remembered some memorabilia from previous visits, but it was still cool to see again. If you’ve never been to the Rock Hall and you’re a fan of music, GO! You won’t be disappointed!
It wasn’t until we had walked the entire museum (we were there just over 3 hours and at one point, I walked right past Rolling Stone Senior Writer David Fricke!), sat thru the hour long video montage of all inductees from 1986-2009, saw the autograph wall and all the cool current memorabilia of the 2009 inductees (way cool stuff for Metallica!) that I checked my phone for messages. (it buzzed during the inductee video montage) I believe it was around 1:30 p.m. and we were still on the 3rd floor.
Now, prior to seeing that dreadful text message I was feeling pretty damn stoked. But then all of that came to a crashing halt. WHAT. THE. FUCK. How was this happening? Shirley there must be some mistake in reading her text message. I didn’t have the heart to tell Kim yet. I had to get a clearer understanding. One that wasn’t so vague.
We headed down to the main lobby and boy was it a madhouse. Bobby Womack was doing a meet n greet in the store and the line to get into the museum was beyond crazy long!
Not long after we took the photo in front of the Rock Hall, I got the reply text that confirmed my worst nightmare. It read: “No, I don’t have the tickets.” She had used the excuse of some serious problem she needed to get help for, that she bit off more than she could handle, and that she would refund my money. At this point, I had to tell Kim. After I told her and Jess, the three of us stood out in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum dumb-founded, confused, sad, angry, and in shock. WHAT. THE. FUCK.
We took the shuttle back to the hotel and were back in the room around 2:30 p.m. We sat in the room dumb-founded, confused, sad, angry, and in shock. WHAT. THE. FUCK. More and more I was falling apart emotionally. Here I had been so close to seeing my fave band of all time at the event of a lifetime only to have it ripped away from me. I couldn’t believe I was going to miss this.
I don’t remember how long I had been sitting in the room trying to keep it together and not doing a very good job of it, before it came to me. What were the odds that the venue would release tickets before the show? Hey, it could happen! Can you imagine the number of “comp’d” tix for an event like this? I called the box office MANY TIMES but no one answered. While I was sitting around waiting, a friend called. He had heard about the situation and mentioned there were other clubbers that had also been affected.
WTH? She had done this to more than just me? One particular clubber posted a phone number. He gave me the number and I wrote it down. Again, I tried to pull myself together. I decided to take a shower in hopes that we would still manage to get tickets some how, some way!
I think it was around 4:00 p.m. when I called the box office again. Someone answered and confirmed that tickets had been released. HOLY HELL!!! Excited panic set in! I asked how many? She said 150 and that they were pretty close to the stage. HOLY CRAP! She told me to hurry up and call Ticketmaster. I asked if she had the number, I wrote it down, then I DID! I excitedly yelled to Kim, “Get your computer and hook up the internet!!!!”
Unfortunately, Ticketmaster was not aware of this…on the phone OR the internet. I called the box office again and the lady said she had released the tickets back. She also mentioned that I could come down to the box office to buy them. She also gave me the event code and I called Ticketmaster again. By now, Kim had been refreshing the internet screen a ton of times with no luck and I was on hold but time was running out! I think it was 4:45-5:00 p.m. at this point. The ceremony started at 8:00 p.m. Well, with wet hair and no make-up on, still on hold, I quietly got my shoes and coat on, told Kim and Jess I was going to the box office and headed out the door. Once in the elevator Ticketmaster told me they could not access the tickets. FAIL.
I walked out of the hotel, asked the doorman if the shuttle was there and he said no. Sternly I said, “I need a cab NOW!” I mentioned needing to get to the Public Hall to buy tix at Will Call. The door man quickly got me one. Before I got into the cab I was thinking, “Could it work?” I jumped in the mini van taxi and told the guy something like, “I got screwed out of tickets for the event tonight and I just found out I could buy tickets at the box office. Can you drive me there and WAIT for me since I need to come back to the hotel right away?” He replied with, “No problem.”
He dropped me off a block away from the venue since the main road was blocked off due to the red carpet traffic. I quickly headed for one of the doors to find Will call. No dice. I was told to go farther down. Now, the red carpet tent was in my way of getting to those doors. I had no way to get past it other than walking across the street, walk down a ways, just to come back to the same side of the street. Well, I said FUCK IT and quickly walked between the two rows of cars being valet parked until I was on the other side of the tent. I walked up to those doors and asked for Will Call again. I was told I had to go farther down and around to the other side of the building. WTH!? I quickly walked around the corner (I was now 2-3 blocks away from the cab).
I was at the back entrance where again, I asked for Will Call. They told me I had to go back the way I had just come. WTF!!! I was beyond frustrated at this point. I called the box office as I walked back to the 2nd set of doors. The guy on the phone said Will Call would be there. I walked in and looked to my left. There it was. The Box Office was in my sight and I was about to walk up to the window when I was stopped by security. “Ma’am, you are not allowed to be in here.” I pleaded that I had JUST spoken to someone at Will Call and they told me I could come buy tickets.
Again, with a more stern voice he told me I would have to leave. Great I thought, I’m about to be taken out by security. I pleaded with the guy at Will Call that I had just spoken to someone about tickets. He quickly spoke to someone who spoke to someone else. Sure enough, no one was allowed in, not even to buy tickets, until 7:00 p.m. It took everything I had not to break down and cry right there. I asked the guy how many tix he had and again he said 150. I practically ran out of there. Once again I snuck between the two rows of valet cars to get back to the cab. Thank God, he was still there. He asked if I had any luck and told him no and gave him some of the details of my situation. He couldn’t believe it.
I got back to the hotel, paid the $13.75 cab ride plus tip and hopped out. The doorman asked if I had any luck. I quickly told him no and that I’d need a cab later. He said to look for him and he’d make sure I had one right away.
As I walked back into the hotel I spotted a guy on the phone off to my right. As I headed up the stairs, I got “a feeling” and I knew I had to turn around and go over to him. I asked if he was a Clubber. When he said yes, I asked if he was Loiselle (the guy that had posted his phone number on PPM). He said no but that he was with that guy. I asked if he was one of the people that got screwed over and he said yes. I told him what I had found out about Will Call. We exchanged PPM names (his was Boomstick) and briefly spoke before I headed back to the room and he headed off to his friends. Not long after I got back to the room and explained what had happened with Will Call, tickets were available on Ticketmaster.com! HOLY HELL! BUY! BUY! BUY!!! Of course, it was moving SO slowly. While my friend tried to pull up the tix, I looked for Loiselle’s number. I had to call and give an update.
I got him on the phone, explained that I had run into Boomstick in the lobby and told him things had changed. I pretty much said, GET TO A COMPUTER NOW! Brett (Loiselle) asked how many I could possibly get and I told him just my two (there was a limit of two per person). He said thanks and hung up. Kim secured our $75 tix under my name. $167 later and a BIG HUGE FREAKIN’ SIGH OF RELIEF turned into “OH CRAP! I GOTTA GET READY!!!” It was now 6:00 p.m. Soon my phone rang. It was Brett asking if he could come use our computer. I asked Kim and Jess, who were still getting ready, if they would mind. They didn’t. I told him, “Come on up.” I gave him our room number and warned him that we were three women trying to get ready! haha It wasn’t too long before the man in black from Detroit Rock City was knocking at our door.
I can’t remember if Chad (Boomstick) was with him then or if he showed up a few minutes later. Either way, he too was the man in black. (Clubbers clean up nicely! haha) Although, at one point, Chad realized he had white socks on and went back to his room to change into black ones (yes, I remember weird details!) When Chad left, Brett sat down in front of the computer and was flipping out. Kim had just gone thru the same feelings when looking for our tix. I told him to stop and take a deep breath. After he did that, he was OFF to the races. Of course, tm.com was moving SO SLOWLY. After some madness of trying to get tix, the website page taking forever to load, all the tix they needed were secured! They thanked us again and waited for us to finish getting ready. We all walked downstairs together.
Down in the lobby there was already a group of people waiting for the shuttle. Kim and I left our friends and headed to the venue. Luckily, I didn’t have to hail another cab since there were two seats left on the shuttle. I was practically holding my breath. Until I had those tickets in my hand, I couldn’t breathe.
We made it to the venue only to find that the line to get in wrapped around the freakin’ building which ended near the back entrance. One good thing while back there, we spotted Ron Wood taking a smoke break! My friend got in line while I went to see if I could pass the line and get to the Will Call window. By the time I got to the door, it was 7:00 p.m. and people were walking in. I guess you could say I cut in line, but it was more of a group of people vs a straight line.
I walked up to the same guy I spoke to earlier at Will Call. It looked like he remembered me. My hands were shaking so badly as I signed for the tickets. Once in my hand, I was still so nervous over this whole situation. I called Kim and waited for her to come into the lobby. Not long after that, Brett and Chad showed up to get their tickets. There were two more guys that mentioned they were also sitting in Sec 4. How funny, 6 of us that were screwed over were in the same 2nd balcony section not to mention in the same freakin’ row all next to each other!
Kim and I waited in line to have our tickets checked and were given a program.
Let me tell you, it was a madhouse trying to get into that place. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. It made for good people watching though. There were all age groups and everyone was dressed in everything from jeans and sweat shirts all the way up to suits and fancy dresses.
Considering we were looking at the ceremony lasting 3+ hours, we decided to hit up the bathroom first. After all, the last thing I wanted to worry about was missing part of the ceremony! By the time we were out of the bathroom we had to walk past a million sections to get to ours. We literally sat down and 2 minutes later, the mayor and then someone with the Rock Hall Museum was on stage talking. It was now 7:45 p.m.
HOLY HELL! WE WERE THERE! All the chaos, drama, heartache, and the 100 other emotions I felt during those 4 hours earlier in the day had all come to a screeching halt. Now…NOW, I was FUCKING EXCITED!!!! I know I had a crazy/silly smile on my face all night! I quickly texted a couple friends to let them know we were in our seats. Speaking of our seats, even though we were close to the stage, since we were in the second balcony, we were pretty high up. No worries though, we had a video screen not too far from where we were sitting. To get most of the “bigger picture” I would look to the stage. But for close ups, I fully took advantage of the screens! At times it felt like we were in the front row.
While we waited for the show to officially start, I made small talk with the guy a couple seats away from me. He also was a Clubber (found out later he was Fordman65). We realized we were both at the same three shows back in January! Awesome.
Side note: When I was back home, after reading countless threads about the Ceremony on PPM, I realized by my calling Brett (Loiselle), I had also helped Fordman get tix. Considering the hell I went thru, along with others, I just can’t describe how good it felt to know that I helped, I think, 5 people to get into the ceremony. I wish it could have been more since there were some people that had also been screwed over and were not able to get last minute tix.
Quick note on the venue. The entire floor was full of round tables where all the celebrities sat. They had arrived earlier for dinner. All of the artists being inducted were seated at the tables across the front of the stage. It didn’t take Kim and I long to spot the two Metallica tables that were closest to where we were sitting! How awesome! We were on the same side of the venue as Metallica! We could see James and his family, Kirk and his family, and Rob and his family. One of the tables we could only see half of which held Lars and his family and parents. We figured Jason and Cliff’s Dad were also at this table. Next to their table, farther away from us, were RUN DMC and their families along with Eminem. At the table next to them were Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Paul Schaffer and…could it be? Yes! Joe FREAKIN’ Perry! OMG! I had no idea he was going to be there too! Another table held Roseanne Cash, DJ Fontana, members of Bill Black’s family and Scotty Moore (Elvis’ guitar player). It was very cool to see everyone dressed up in suits and with their families.
At 8:00 p.m. the show started. Wow…my first ever ceremony and my first live taping. While the show was happening, I wondered how it was airing on TV. There was barely any down time between speeches and performances. I found out later, the live part we were watching was actually an hour ahead of what was being aired on TV. Makes sense to have a tape delay to throw in commercials and what not. I couldn’t wait to watch it at home since I was having it recorded. I just knew with all of the excitement, there would be things I would forget that I was seeing live. Speaking of a live show, there was also a HUGE teleprompter about half way back on the floor. Not every presenter used it though, as some of them read from speeches on paper in their hands.
The night started off with a video screen lowered over the middle of the stage. On it was a video montage about Little Anthony and the Imperials. Once that was finished, the announcer introduced Smokey Robinson, who was there to induct them. He stood at the podium closest to us (there was one on each side of the stage). Behind him were four blocks which showed various pictures/album covers. After his speech, Anthony and the Imperials walked from the tables on the floor up to the stage to accept their award and give their acceptance speeches. Once they were done, the stage was set up for them to play live. The Paul Schaffer Band was the backing band for them that night. They played a couple songs and overall sounded really good. I didn’t really recognize their songs, but it was still a good performance.
Once again, the video screen was lowered and we saw a video montage about Wanda Jackson. Her hey day was back in the 50’s and she did pretty well for being a woman performer back then. She was known as the Queen of Rockabilly. Once again, we heard the announcer and Roseanne Cash came out to induct Wanda. She stood at the podium opposite us and once again there were four blocks showing pictures/album covers of Wanda behind her. Roseanne’s speech was really great, funny, and had cool stories. Because our seats were more on the side of the stage, we could see Wanda standing side stage waiting to come out. She walked out in this white fringe outfit. She was a hoot! Her husband of many, many years was also watching from side stage. After her speech, she too performed with The Paul Shaffer band as backup. That woman can still rock!! It was a really great performance!
Again, the video screen was lowered and we saw a video montage about Bobby Womack, a Cleveland local. I wasn’t familiar with his music but I found out that Bobby wrote a song for the Stones…”It’s Over Now.” Awesome! The announcer spoke and Ron Wood came out to induct Bobby. The four blocks behind the podium also showed pics/album covers of Bobby. Once again, another great speech with really great stories! Bobby came up to give his acceptance speech before playing a couple songs live. Ron even joined by playing during “It’s All Over Now.” AWESOME!
Next up was a video montage for Run DMC! WOOHOO!! Ive been a fan of theirs since 1985-86, so other than Metallica, I was really excited to see them presented with the award. The announcer introduced Eminem and he came out to give his induction speech at the podium closest to us. The four blocks changed behind him to represent RUN-DMC. Again, Eminem gave a really great speech. Quite a few funny parts as well.
RUN-DMC had a huge group up on stage with them. Rev Run was the first to speak. He had some great and funny stories about staring out, how Walk This Way came about, etc. Next DMC gave a very touching speech. He thanked his birth Mom for giving him up because if she hadn’t he never would have been adopted by the people he calls his parents and he never would have lived in Hollis and never would have met Run, etc, etc. He mentioned the idea to everyone of adopting a foster kid. Because you never know, 25 years down the road they could be up here accepting an award. When he was finished, he received a standing ovation. Last but not least was Jam Master Jay’s Mom. In her speech she talked about how the band started out playing in her house. How Jay kept breaking record players left and right, but she still continued to keep buying him a replacement. She seemed like a really great lady! I had read prior to the ceremony that since Jam Master Jay was no longer with them, they didn’t feel right performing. While I understand the reason, it would have been super cool to see them perform again on stage.
I forget the order of these next two, but I know they were before Jeff Beck 🙂
As with the other artists during the night, we saw a video montage on the career of DJ Fontana and Bill Black. Max Weinberg and Garry Tallent came out to induct them. The took turns speaking during the induction speech but to be honest, this felt like THE longest part of the whole night. The induction speech went on and on and on. The history was cool and all, but the speech was just a tad bit too long. I believe it was Bill Black’s son who accepted on behalf of his Dad and he was pretty emotional, but thankful for the opportunity. DJ Fontana seemed to have a great sense of humor.
The final award before the last two “rock” performers was Paul Shaffer inducting Spooner Oldham. A keyboard player who played for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and many others. By the end of the night, I had for sure learned a few things in the world of Rock n Roll!
By this point, I believe it was after 10pm. Oh, earlier in the night Kim and I realized with each person being inducted, they would switch back and forth between the two podiums. This could only mean ONE thing…by the end of the night, Metallica would be presented to on OUR SIDE!!!
Next up was the video montage for Jeff Beck. He had previously been inducted with the Yardbirds, but this time was being inducted for this solo work. When the video ended, as the announcer stated, out came the ONE and ONLY…Jimmy freakin’ Page!! All hail…HEHE Jimmy gave a great speech. Once again full of great stories. Jimmy even mentioned that they had known each other since they were 13-14 years old. Considering their age, wow, that’s a long time! 🙂 Not to mention their past band history, it was no wonder Jimmy was inducting him.
At one point during Jeff’s acceptance speech he carefully rubbed his nose with his middle finger as a “thank you” to those that didn’t help him along the way. Too funny! After his speech he played his own stuff with his own backing band (he had female bass player and she rocked!). After he played for a bit, out walked Jimmy Page (guitar on) and they went into the Immigrant Song. WTH?! Are you KIDDING me?! GAWD WAS IT AWESOME! This carried over into another song. After it was over, Jimmy and Jeff hugged and Jimmy left the stage. Jeff continued to play the Peter Gunn theme song. Awesome!