It’s all about respect.
That’s what the remaining members of the punk band the Ramones were thinking as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday night, the band, whose lead singer Joey Ramone died of cancer last year, was recognized for its revolutionary music, which paved the way for many guitar-heavy bands after them.
“I’d like to congratulate myself and thank myself and give myself a big pat on the back,” Dee Dee Ramone joked with the audience. “Thank you, Dee Dee, you’re very wonderful.”
Joining the Ramones in the induction ceremony were the Talking Heads, former teen idol Brenda Lee, “Shaft” composer Isaac Hayes, singer/songwriter Gene Pitney and rockers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Petty seemed genuinely impressed with being a part of the Hall of Fame, even though he is known more for his cynicism.
“It’s very easy to be cynical about the hall of fame,” Petty told the Associated Press backstage. “But on the other hand, it’s really a beautiful thing for someone like me. I dedicated my entire life to this music.”
All the bands were on hand to perform some of their best-known hits. Petty and the Heartbreakers played their songs “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and “American Girl.” Talking Heads band members, who broke up in the early 1990s, played their first live performance in 18 years with the songs “Psycho Killer,” “Burning Down the House” and “Life During Wartime.”
VH1 will air highlights of the induction ceremony Wednesday night.