U2 were surrounded by the people who have been instrumental in their career as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. Among those supporting the band as they were ushered into the prestigious music organization were the band’s wives; manager Paul McGuinness with his wife Kathy Gilfinnan; many from Principle Management’s team (both past and present), including Keryn Kaplan and Ellen Darst; “band consultant” and friend Gavin Friday; producer Steve Lillywhite; concert promoter Barry Fey; sound engineer Joe O’Herlihy; and Until the End of the World author Bill Flannagan.
U2 owned the night, even though it wasn’t solely their party. Also inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame with U2 were Percy Sledge, The O’Jays, Buddy Guy, and The Pretenders. Sire Records exec Seymour Stein and talent agent Frank Barsalona were honored with the lifetime achievement award in the non-performer category.
In rebel style, U2 played by their own rules for the entire induction ceremony. They skipped the red carpet arrivals, disappointing the paparrazi and mob of fans who hoped to catch a glimpse of them. (They had arrived at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria, where the event was held, earlier in the day to rehearse and avoided the arrival hoopla.) Instead of playing the three songs they were scheduled to perform, they threw in a fourth — and, as usual, Bono couldn’t be contained on stage while they performed.
Cindy Trickel and Ruth Barohn report for U2log.com
(Includes full transcripts of speeches. Click on images for enlargements.)