Right around this time every year, I’m riveted, mesmerized, and lost for about three hours in front of my television. No … not that show. Not that one either.
This show is an eclectic mix of genres, backgrounds, and styles, mixing together like a well-blended cocktail of only the best unrelated ingredients served in a chalice that is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
It tastes refreshing and makes you feel good.
The atmosphere is one of love, respect, and positivity. It’s a nullification of boundaries, lines, divisiveness, hate, ethnicity, religious beliefs, politics, and human drama; which is all based on bullshit, as far as I can tell.
Is it the soulful words in acceptance speeches? Is it the introduction speeches, because they’re written and given by a fellow artist who just happens to be a big fan of whom they’re speaking of? It’s not just some presenter and a teleprompter, you know. In Brian May’s speech, when he was inducting Def Leppard, he said, I wouldn’t let anyone else do this. He’s a fan and a friend.
Is it the music? Yeah, I turn that shit up to eleven.
But, that’s not what captivates me. Actually it’s all of that, along with an appreciation of the artistry, talent, skill, effort, writing, sacrifice, tragedy, triumph, risk, and the drive to keep going, producing beautiful music in the face of all adversity.
No, that’s not quite it either.
It’s what I see that could be. I see Janelle Monae genuinely enthralled by the performance of Def Leppard; dancing and smiling. It’s when I see Stevie Nicks hanging on every word of Janet Jackson’s acceptance speech. I see an audience full of highly accomplished artists, all in their own right, cheering for one-another with appreciation and respect.
That time when Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn, George Harrison’s son, and Prince all played together, performing “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. Or when Bono, Mick Jagger, Fergie, Will-I-AM, and The Edge all performed “Gimme Shelter” together. Harry Styles performing with Stevie Nicks. Brian May, Susanna Hoffs, Steve Van Zandt, and Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople (what?!) performing together, “All the Young Dudes.”
Yes! It truly is a joyful explosion of humanity.
It’s like Robin Williams once said about music; “… a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”
Photo by Israel Palacio on Unsplash