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Raquel Penzo
March 29, 2019

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

Visions Dreams and Rumours by Zoe HoweDo you remember where you were when you first heard Stevie Nicks taking her love and taking it down? Or when you realized that the littlest Jackson was all grown up and in Control of her own career? Or when Bill Murray sang “More Than This” in Lost in Translation and you knew you’d heard the song before but couldn’t remember where? If so, then this year’s batch of inductees in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame will definitely spark joy.

On Friday, March 29, Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, Roxy Music, Def Leppard, The Cure, Radiohead and The Zombies will recognized as artists who’ve had a significant and cultural influence in the music world during the 2019 Induction Ceremony for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Barclay’s Center right here in the heart of Brooklyn.

Honorees have to have a career spanning at least 25 years, and are chosen under the cover of night (I imagine) via a super-secret ballot (I’m assuming) by “more than 1,000 historians, members of the music industry and artists,” and the top five (although it’s seven this year? Because rules mean nothing in 2019?) get to be inducted.

While this may seem like a great honor, induction ceremonies have historically been riddled with drama and no-shows, Like that time Paul McCartney let us know he and the other Beatles aren’t BFFs, or when Axl Rose wrote a soliloquy about why this award means nothing and that no one had better accept a darn thing in his absence, or when the Sex Pistols told everyone to, in essence, piss off.

Add to that this year’s cold receptions: Radiohead decided, “meh, we’re too cool for this,” choosing instead to be elsewhere on Friday. Def Leppard’s Phil Collen is quoted as saying that the award isn’t a huge deal to him. And if you comb The Cure’s website, you’ll not find one mention of the Hall of Fame induction or ceremony. Maybe it’s a British thing?

But barring any (very significant!) absences, fans of the inductees should get excited! Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how many scarves Stevie will get away with. Or how much eyeliner Robert Smith will pile onto his lids. And if Def Leppard shows up and can still pull off a heart-thumping and sexy rendition of “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” I might just melt. These are the artists and performers behind some of music’s more notable hits (who didn’t feel Thom Yorke’s angst in “Creep” or did some old-timey California surfer-type dance to The Zombies’ “She’s Not There”?); songs that were there as we daydreamed, boogied, celebrated milestones, and escaped from the world. These are the songs of our lives.

The ceremony always promises amazing performances, lots of retrospectives and pats on the back, humblebrags and egos, and everything else that screams Rock n Roll. If you can’t go or can’t wait, check out these Spotify playlists to remind you that music is life and why the 2019 inductees deserve the status of Rock Gods (a title I may or may not have made up):

And for my fellow musicologists and music historians, visit your neighborhood library to read up some more on the 2019 Hall of Fame Class and their contributions to music history.

Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumours by Zoë Howe

Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephan Davis

Adrenalized: Life, Def Leppard, and Beyond by Phil Collen

True you: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself by Janet Jackson

The Cure: A Perfect Dream by Ian Gittins

Radiohead: Back to Save the Universe by James Doheny

Brian Eno: Oblique Music edited by Sean Albiez & David Pattie

The Great Rock Discography by M.C. Strong

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