The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame held its annual induction ceremony on Nov. 5, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Inductees included Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Eminem, Pat Benatar, and Neil Giraldo were inducted as performers. Music producers and writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis received their honor of Musical Excellence in a grouping with Judas Priest. Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotten were given the honorary Early Influences induction, and Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine, and Sylvia Robinson were added with the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Like all Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, there were highlights and there were lowlights, and it all depends on your personal experience with the artists in question and how you experience the passing of your youth. This class had a lot of people I grew up listening to on the car radio and on vinyl. For me, the highlights were Pat Benatar and her music and life partner Neil Giraldo performing. I’ve always thought that while Benatar was rated in the pantheon of popular performers, she was still underrated.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were recognized for their cannon of pop music as both songwriters and producers, working with everyone from Michael and Janet Jackson to Rod Stewart and Mariah Carey. The Eurythmics, comprised of singer Annie Lennox and musician Dave Stewart also brought their talents to the show and were worth watching. Duran Duran gave a solid performance after battling through technical difficulties at the venue. Missing was Andy Taylor, who could not attend due to illness (he has been battling metastatic prostate cancer for the last few years). Lead Singer Simon LeBon read a statement from Taylor during their induction. Lionel Richie performed some of his hits, as well as shared the stage with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who performed a guitar solo on “Like Sunday Morning.”
The big ticket item on the night was Dolly Parton, who was voted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year. She initially declined the nomination, saying she didn’t feel she had earned the “right,” before being swamped with an embarrassing amount of adulation and relenting. Parton performed “Jolene” along with the rest of the group at the end of the show, but not before unveiling a new song about her life’s relationship to Rock and Roll music. She’s one of the greats for a reason.