New York Daily News
HBOâ€™s Rock Hall of Fame induction wheels along despite the no-show by Axl Rose
Top performers include Billy Joe Armstrong, Bette Midler and the Beastie Boys
Friday, May 4, 2012, 8:00 AM
The annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies never have and probably never will lend themselves to being a perfect TV package.
That doesnâ€™t mean the edited version airing Saturday on HBO doesnâ€™t have its fun moments.
Those who equate rock â€™nâ€™ roll with shouting 12-letter words at the audience will be hooked from the beginning, when Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day starts the show by doing just that.
Those who like things a little more reflective will enjoy Bette Midlerâ€™s moving induction of Laura Nyro, savoring her impressive catalogue of pop songs.
The Beastie Boys, minus Adam Yauch for medical reasons, deliver a nice tribute, not just to their predecessors in rap music but to the city where they made their own.
â€œNew York taught me everything,â€ says Ad-Rock, while Mike D is that rare inductee who remembers the importance of radio in popular music.
Mike D shouts out Mr. Magic and WBAU, the college station that was playing rap when the rest of radio would have read school lunch menus on the air before it would have spun Kurtis Blow.
Drama-wise, itâ€™s a little tricky that the big advance story of the night was Axl Roseâ€™s no-show. It turns out to be no-show, no problem, as plenty of loud music remains available, and Myles Kennedy sounds perfectly acceptable subbing for Axl on the Guns Nâ€™ Roses tunes.
It all sounds as good as rock â€™nâ€™ roll can sound on TV, which is never as good as it sounds live.
So the producers do what they can, which is show us the gathering of musicians who donâ€™t usually gather.
For almost every music fan, it will have its moments.