At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony held in April and set to air on HBO on May 31, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band delivered a nearly hourlong acceptance speech – the longest in the hall’s 29-year history. A tour of the more awkward moments onstage:
Mike Love, 1988: In an icy address, The Beach Boys’ Mike Love skewered several fellow inductees who were MIA that night – including Diana Ross and Paul McCartney. Julian Lennon fumbled for a cigarette when Love remarked, “We did 180 shows last year. I’d like to see the Mop Tops match that.”
Little Richard, 1989: Maybe the spirit moved him. Little Richard surprised the crowd by repeatedly shouting “Shut up!” while inducting the late Otis Redding – and broke into several Redding classics on the spot, unprovoked. “I feel good,” he shouted between tangents, adding he’d had “nothing but water!”
Eddie Vedder, 2002: The Pearl Jam frontman spent 17 minutes introducing The Ramones in 2002, inspiring some ribbing from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis later that night. “The Ramones’ songs may be two minutes long,” he told Vedder from the stage, “but that speech was not.”
Blondie, 2006: The strains of a bad breakup occasionally show up onstage. After thanking his mother, estranged Blondie bassist-guitarist Frank Infante asked frontwoman Deborah Harry if he could join her lineup for the night’s performance. “Can’t you see my band is up there?” she asked. Infante shot back, “Your band? I thought Blondie was being inducted tonight. Sorry.”
Alex Lifeson, 2013: The Rush guitarist gave one of the oddest addresses ever, repeating one word – “blah” – for an impressive two minutes.