Sir Paul McCartney performed with Foo Fighters at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday night, 30 October.
The Beatles legend hailed the group as one of the “greatest rock & roll bands in the world” in a passionate speech at the event in Cleveland, before joining them to close out the evening with a performance of Get Back, on which he and frontman Dave Grohl shared a mic as they traded falsetto lines.
SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY RELATES TO DAVE GROHL
Giving a speech before the performance, McCartney drew comparisons between himself and Grohl, pointing how they had both been through “tragedy” and after their first bands – The Beatles and Nirvana respectively – ended, went on to take their careers in a new direction.
“We had a great time with our groups, but eventually tragedy happened and my group broke up. Same happened with Dave. His group broke up under tragic circumstances. So the question is, what do you do now? We both were presented with that question,” he said.
In my case, I said, ‘Well, I’ll make an album where I play all the instruments myself.’ So I did that. Dave’s group broke up, what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself. Do you think this guy’s stalking me?”
“Anyway, so me, I’m gonna name my new group, and I call them Wings. So Dave’s got the same problem, and he’s got to think of a name for the group, so he comes up with Foo Fighters. So now the group is formed. It’s ready to take flight.
“It’s Dave, Taylor [Hawkins], Nate [Mendel], Pat [Smear], Chris [Shiflett], and Rami [Jaffee] – all the members of the Foo Fighters. So here they are tonight. I was just saying to them in the dressing room, ‘Guys, this is it. You’re here in Cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And tonight, you’re gonna be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.’”
“I mean, it’s not just any Hall of Fame — it’s the f****** Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. OK, now they’re gonna show a little film, and this film shows the reasons why this band is one of the greatest rock & roll bands in the world.”
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONEY
Before giving their own speeches, Foo Fighters gave a quick three-song performance of Best of You, My Hero and Everlong.
Elsewhere, Jay-Z admitted it was an “incredible honour” to be inducted into the hall because hip-hop had previously been dismissed as a “fad.”
“Thank you, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, for this incredible honour. And you know, growing up, we didn’t think we could be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We were told that hip-hop was a fad. Much like punk rock, it gave us this anticulture, this subgenre, and there were heroes in it,” he said.
“When thinking about what I was going to say tonight, these heroes just kept coming to my mind, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One and Chuck D, and, of course, a fellow inductee, LL Cool J.”
“I watch these guys, and they have big gold chains and leather and sometimes even the red, black, green medallions and whatever they wore, everybody would wear the next day. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be like those guys.’ And so I set out on my journey.”
After reflecting on his career and his influences, the 99 Problems hitmaker recalled meeting with Barack Obama on his presidential campaign and how being asked to help him made him realise the “power” of hip-hop.
“I got a phone call and it was like, ‘Hello? Jay?’ – I got to work on my Obama accent – And he called me and he said, ‘You know, it’s the fourth quarter. We’re down two. I need you to assist me, give me the ball, I’m Michael Jordan and I’ll get this done. I need you to go to Miami, Philly, Atlanta, and Ohio.’ And I thought like, ‘Man, hip hop was really an agent for change and how amazing is its reach that this man is calling me to help out when he campaigned,’” he said.
“I thought, ‘N**** I’m Michael Jordan.’ That’s what I really thought. But I met him in Ohio and we won. We got it done here in Ohio. That just shows me the power of hip-hop, the power of these heroes who let me know that these things are possible.”
OTHER ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2021 also includes Tina Turner, Carol King The Go-Go’s, and Todd Rundgren.
Clarence Avant received the Ahmet Ertegun Award, while the Musical Excellence Award went to LL Cool J Billy Preston, and Randy Rhodes. and the Early Influence Award was handed to Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron, and Charley Patton.