I usually make fun of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve called it Jann Wenner’s favorite toy and the full Cleveland in the past. The latter was what Hunter Thompson called a dude in a leisure suit with white shoes.
This year I am oddly gratified by the induction of Yes. The RRHOF is always banging on about honoring innovation whilst ignoring prog rock and the most important prog band of all, Yes. They finally broke down and did it; in part thanks to teevee newser Steve Capus.
You’re probably asking yourself: where’s the damn quote? It comes from Rick Wakeman’s acceptance speech. It was really more of a stand-up routine wherein the classically trained keyboard player cracked several dirty jokes. This is my favorite passge:
I’d like to thank, apart from all the guys in Yes that I work with, my father, who played a massive part in my career. Like my family, we were all in the entertainment business. We generally were very, very poor. My father was an Elvis impersonator. But there wasn’t much call for that in 1947. [Laughter] He taught me a lot. I remember he sat me down once, he said, “Son,” he said, “Don’t go to any of those really cheap, dirty, nasty, sleazy strip clubs because if you do, you’ll see something you shouldn’t.” So, of course I went. And I saw my dad. [Laughter]
Take my Moog, please.
I hope that Rick’s raucous speech disproves the notion that Yes are a bunch of stuffed shirts. The only sad note of the evening was the absence of the late, great Chris Squire. Chris was the heart and soul of the band and the *only* member of every version of Yes from 1968 until his death in 2015. He might have tossed off a few wisecracks as well. Cheers, mate.
This post may only be of interest to N Todd, Tommy T, and a few of my friends but what can I say? I’m also happy for Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Richard Tandy of ELO. I hope it’s Tull time soon. The caption for that one will be: Take my flute, please. Ian Anderson is also a funny fellow.
The RRHOF ceremony debuts on HBO on April, 29 so all we have are audience shot videos. The sound is pretty darn good so they’re still worth posting:
Repeat after me: Take my Moog, please.
Now for the musical entries: their two biggest radio hits. Steve Howe ably fills in for Squire on Owner and Rush’s Geddy Lee on Roundabout:
Once more with feeling: Take my Moog, please.