Well the dust has settled. If you read Rolling Stone’s online report, Steve Morse was not invited, Don Airey was overlooked and Jon Lord made it. I guess we can excuse their confusion, if not their ignorance.
In fact it was Ritchie who opted out (you’re not seriously telling me he would have let Bruce Payne keep him away if he’d really wanted to go?!); those cod-pieces don’t clean themselves you know. Jon’s widow was there, but we had nobody to represent Tommy, while Nick Simper was not inducted and Rod Evans didn’t turn up even though he was.
The Purple’s who did go got dressed up. Lars Ulrich did the introduction honours and as you might expect from someone who has never missed an opportunity to praise the group, did them full justice. I particularly liked his ‘legacy without end’ line (and Roger thanking him for reading out his prepared speech!). You can sort of watch it here (or at least listen to it!).
It does seem daft that we’re having to watch poorly filmed audience footage, and that they couldn’t prepare some decent official clips. There are a wealth of videos from the audience to watch online, but otherwise HBO will air the official version on April 30th.
The band did four tracks, opening with Highway Star ( and full marks to Don Airey for giving more than a nod to Jon Lord during the solos) and Hush, then a short burst of Green Onions as a way of remembering Jon. A closing take of Smoke On The Water was not filled with guests as had been expected. David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes did their shorter speeches, but didn’t join in which does on the face of it seem a shame. And you did sort of get the feeling David was feeling his chance of Whitesnake ever making it to the nominations were now slim though he did give them a good plug!
All in all though looking at the immense coverage this has brought the group (even Paice’s local rag did a story) it can do them no harm and might up their profile in some areas as well, in the run up to the next album.
Which leaves us only to finally name the guilty party; those shoes in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibition were Glenn’s. He gave them away some time in the distant past, but got them back so he could be photographed with them for the Songs In The Key of Rock CD cover shoot!