Judas Priest, Mellencamp leave memorable Rock Hall moments

Two weeks after the exciting entry of Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Eminem and Lionel Richie and many others rock and roll hall of famethe ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will air on HBO Saturday at 8 p.m. and will also be available to watch live-streamed on HBO Max.

If past telecasts are any indication, the 6 1/2 hours of TV viewership will roughly be cut in half. Here are some memorable moments from the show that might have gotten the snub on TV.

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Many of this year’s Hall of Famers are bigger names than Judas Priest. It doesn’t get rockier than this. The heavy metal mainstay delighted a room full of pop-minded Lionel Richie fans and Duran Duran fans who likely avoided them during their 1980s heyday .

Judas Priest lit up the Microsoft Theater on Nov. 5 with performances including “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight,” showing they can still bang their ashen heads, bringing back former members, including original guitars with KK Downing and ex-drummer Les Binks.

Priest’s acceptance speech that followed made metal feel warm and fuzzy, especially with Rob Halford, the face of the band and frontman, walking last.

“Hey everyone, I’m gay in the group,” Halford began, bringing cheers. He broke ground when he came out in 1998.

“We call ourselves the all-inclusive heavy metal community, no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, what you believe or don’t believe,” he said. “welcome everybody.”

Later, Halford thrilled the audience again with a verse during an all-star riff on Parton’s song “Jolene” that ended the night, a singular combination of these moments in the hall.

Or maybe it wasn’t so weird on this night. parton who temporarily dismissed the honor Think it should be handed over to a rockier artist, playing to her new status, since her performances feature as much black leather as Judas Priest.


Newcomers working behind the scenes rarely make headlines at Rock Hall or get significant TV minutes. But sometimes those who attend induction ceremonies give them a big boost, as three Hall of Famers did this year.

Janet Jackson (Class of 2018) wore what she wore on the cover of her breakthrough 1986 album Control to pay tribute to the men who helped her achieve success and were key collaborators in her career, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Bruce Springsteen (Class of 1999) pays tribute to Jimmy Iovine, who rose from a studio engineer on his 1975 album “Born to Run” to one of the most important music executives of the past 30 years, becoming the founder of Interscope Records people. “Congratulations buddy!” Springsteen yelled as he invited Iovine to the stage.

John Mellencamp (Class of 2018) delivered perhaps the most memorable speech of the night, a long, drawn-out, occasionally awkward but always heartfelt tribute to lawyers.

He introduced Allen Grubman, co-founder of Rock Hall and attorney to many current and future members.

“Allen is Jewish, and there’s a reason I bring that up,” Mellencamp said. “I am a Gentile and my life has been enriched by countless Jews.”

Mellencamp makes threat of anti-Semitism his subject, though he never mentions it Ye’s latest commentsthe artist formerly known as Kanye Westhe must have reminded them.

“If you’re an artist, I urge you to speak out and speak out against anti-Semitism, against all forms of bigotry, all forms of hatred,” he said.

He added, “I don’t care if you’re Jewish, black, white, tutti-frutti. I don’t. That’s the trick. Silence is complicity. May I say that again? Silence is complicity.”

“I knew he’d make me cry,” Grubman said when Mellenkamp finally brought him on stage.

Springsteen and Mellencamp couldn’t resist adding to the music, taking to the stage eight days after the death of Jerry Lee Lewis (Class of 1986), to cap off the show with a hit song. “For the murderer!” Springsteen said.


In the early days, before the telecast, when the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were inducted, Rock Hall ceremonies were a loose and chaotic affair. It now runs with the neat efficiency of a sitcom episode.

It made it all the more exciting when Duran Duran opened with a major technical glitch. After a warm introduction by Robert Downey Jr., they took to the stage to break into 1981’s “Girls in the Movies.” kind of. They would be inaudible were it not for the voice of singer Simon Le Bon. They stop and start over.

“We just need to prove to you that we’re not lip-syncing,” Le Bon said.

—Andrew Dalton, Associated Press

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