I have never been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve never even been to Cleveland. I hear it’s nice there by the lake. I don’t know - and I can’t be bothered looking up - why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland. There’s a reason I’m sure, and it’s probably money, because it usually is. The funny thing about the Hall of Fame is that I don’t know most of the people in it. Now, I’m a huge baseball fan, and I know a lot of baseball history, and so if you talk about the Baseball Hall of Fame I can almost certainly tell you a lot about them. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I don’t know much about music history. So when I look through the list of people there, I’ve hardly heard of most of them. I mean seriously, there are bands in there that I know nothing about. Not only that, there are bands that I’ve heard of that never thought were anywhere near Hall of Fame worthy. You just seem to need to stick around for a while, I guess.
So U2 were inducted in 2005, their first time of eligibility (it had to be 25 years after their first release, which was in 1980). They were introduced at their induction by Bruce Springsteen, and it’s interesting to go back and look at what he said. He talks a lot about the band, and it’s clear that they are close, Bruce and U2. Since then of course they have performed together with him filling in for Bono, but interesting that they knew each other way back when. He mentions seeing them perform in London in the early 80s, before they were someone, and seeing their potential. I guess I never knew that.
The other thing he mentions, which is somewhat embarrassing to me, is the idea of them being a team, a group that leaves no man behind. The quote he has is “the other guy is more important than you think he is,” and that’s what gets to me, because I have a couple of times talked about Larry and Adam as somehow being lesser members of the band. I don’t know that I actually believe that, but it’s certainly a commonly held impression of the band.
And to their own speeches, Bono talks about how the music business has changed, and that the world is now looking for instant success. If you’re an up and coming band, if you don’t hit quickly then you’re out. Of course, that’s similar to so many different industries now. Then he tells the story of Adam standing in front of him, ready to take a bullet for him. I always love that story. Edge says the standard induction speech, Larry makes it short and sweet, as you would expect. And Adam starts off funny, does the nice speech, and ends funny (remembering the band members’ names). All in all, fairly what you’d expect the band to say.
So they belong in the Hall of Fame, obviously. Inner circle, you’d probably say.