Foo Fighters were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend, and their inductor was legendary The Beatles bassist Paul McCartney.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2021 includes Foo Fighters, The Go-Go's, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, and Tina Turner.
In addition to the Class of 2021, LL Cool J, Billy Preston, and Randy Rhoads have been announced for the Musical Excellence Awards, while Kraftwerk, Gil Scott Heron, and Charley Patton will receive the Early Influence Award and Clarence Avant will receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Footage and transcripts from the event have surfaced. Here is Paul McCartney's induction speech:
When they asked me to do a speech, they said, “Do you want to have the autocue?” I said, “No, I’m good. I’ll look at the paper.” But I’ve been seeing everyone do these amazing speeches, I’m beginning to think I should have taken the autocue. But I didn’t, so here it goes.
OK, so me, a teenage kid in Liverpool, just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll. It just happened. One day. Suddenly, the world changed, and I just fell, like, through a hole in time. And suddenly, I was in rock & roll. By the same time in his life, Dave did the same kind of thing. You know, he’s just an ordinary, kind of goofy kid. And same thing happens, he falls through the same hole, and he’s in rock & roll and it’s gonna be his life. It’s gonna take over everything. And nothing was every the same again.
It’s so magical. Everyone who knows, everyone who’s connected with it, everyone who loves rock & roll. It really is a magical thing that contains so many elements – like all of the people we’ve heard tonight. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. So I feel super privileged to be here tonight, inducting these guys.
So when that happened, and I fell into rock & roll, I joined a group. My group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group, Nirvana.
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. 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 fucking 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 'n' roll bands in the world. OK, let’s roll the film.
Most of the members of the Foos kept their speeches brief. Bassist Nate Mendel said "The honor of my life has been playing music with them for the last 20 years." Drummer Taylor Hawkins lobbied for the inductions of George Michael, Jane's Addiction and Soundgarden saying "I’ll share this [induction] with you guys, but when you guys get it, you’ve got to give me back your bit. And thanks, everyone."
Guitarist Chris Shiflett recounted getting the gig saying "I remember when I got the gig, Dave asked me, he said, 'Are you ready to pack your bags and say goodbye to your friends for a while?' I was like, 'Fuck yeah, are you kidding? What kind of question is that?' And luckily, 'for a while' turned into the last 22 years and this life that I never could have imagined."
Guitarist Pat Smear mentioned his previous bands before thanking Dave Grohl. Grohl also offered some words. "I would like to say that the best thing about being here tonight is being surrounded by our family. And when I say that, I mean, if anybody knows how the Foo Fighters work, the people that we are with and we’ve worked with, it’s been 20, 25, 30 years and we stick together like a family. And I think that’s important because then you’re doing it together, not just because it’s work, but because you love each other. And so there’s a whole section over here of our extended family for the last 25, 30 years that I have to thank. But I also have to thank my beautiful family who without my beautiful family, I would not be as happy as I am, so I love you guys so much and thank you very much. And I have to thank these people, because we wouldn’t be here tonight if it weren’t for each one of these Foo Fighters. And, we did it."
Here is footage of the speeches and some performances.