Typically, the most exciting thing about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony happens outside of the actual event. Arguments crop up around the long list of potential nominees that are revealed every year and then another argument starts when they let us all know who is getting in. But due to the sheer impact of the musicians we’ve lost in the last year, the notably strange situation in the White House and the outsized names being inducted, this year’s ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was uncharacteristically eventful.
Famed folkie and activist Joan Baez used her acceptance speech to do what she’s done for more than 50 years, push for causes she believes in.
“Where empathy is failing, and sharing has become usurped by greed and lust for power, let us double, triple and quadruple our own efforts to empathize,” she said. “Let us together repeal and replace brutality and make compassion a priority. Together, let us build a bridge — a great bridge, a beautiful bridge — to once again welcome the tired and the poor. And we will pay for that bridge with our commitment.”
If the target of her speech wasn’t apparent, she later shouted out President Donald Trump during a rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
While most inductees used their time on the mic to thank friends, fans and family, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman decided to test out some Andrew Dice Clay B-material.
Wakeman also made jokes about prostate doctors getting erections and informed the room that his first ever sexual experience happened nearby the arena.