THE MOODY BLUES: Now officially members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The 33rd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony -- Saturday night at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, home to the Rock Hall and Museum -- honored The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, The Cars, Bon Jovi and the late Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Eligible since 1989, the Moodies made it in on their first ballot. According to drummer Graeme Edge, it was worth the wait.
A portion of Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech:
"It was so long that we were eligible and didn't make it that I got a real sour grapes feeling about it, you know. And when it actually became something for us all to appreciate and have, I did realize that it means the world to me."
Bassist John Lodge tipped his hat to American radio, and the support they have given the band for five decades. John Lodge thanks American radio during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech:
"Their belief in us has just been tremendous and it's given us encouragement to keep going and doing everything we love to do, and that's make music."
The Moody Blues closed the show, which clocked in at four-and-a-half hours, a fact not lost on Justin Hayward:
"It was an interesting night and I learned that, whatever you do, keep your speech short. That was the lesson I took away from it. But, no, it was very enjoyable."
Hayward was of course referring to Howard Stern's induction of Bon Jovi, as well as Jon Bon Jovi and Nina Simone's brother, Sam Waymon, both of whom went on and on and on while accepting their awards.
Ann Wilson of Heart did the honors for The Moody Blues, which, as she explained backstage, was something she lobbied for:
"I wrote a letter asking if I can induct them because when I was 16 and they released Days of Future Passed in 1967, that was the album that really hit home in my soul. Their music had great melodies, fantastic poetry, great playing, philosophy, metaphysics -- I mean all of those things meant a lot to me then. Justin Hayward's songwriting was the thing that inspired me to start writing songs. They have made a real mark and they sure have filled my life for a long time."
Honored alongside Hayward, Lodge and Edge were former members Mike Pinder, Denny Laine and the late Ray Thomas, who passed away in January, just weeks after learning they would be inducted. While no one was on stage to represent Thomas, Hayward did say, “Ray Thomas, we love you!"
The Moody Blues followed their speeches with performances of “I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)," "Your Wildest Dreams," "Nights in White Satin" and “Ride My See-Saw."
Highlights from this year’s ceremony will air on HBO on May 5th at 7pm (Central).