The majority of this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were selected by your step-dad. This isn't all bad—the dude could use a pick-me-up. And, besides, it's all an arbitrary measure of an artist's perceived success, ill-fitting at its inception and comically insufficient in taking in the depth and breadth of music in the 21st Century. Thus, when we learn that the dude from Train is going to induct Journey into the Hall at the April 7 ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we collectively give only one fuck, trying to exorcise both That One Journey Song and That One Train Song from our consciousness.
This whole get-together can, however, be quite good fun. Lenny Kravitz will perform a tribute set for the late and immeasurably great Prince, honoring his idol and trying to one-up the effusive but decidedly not transgressively sexual Bruno Mars. Kravitz was friends with Prince for over two decades; the two met for the first time in 1990 and Kravitz said that he felt a piece of himself die last April 21. No one person or combination of people can capture the fullness of Prince onstage, but Kravitz will, one imagines, give it everything he can. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, let's never forget, was the set for one of Prince's most widely memorable live performances, a marvelous, showboating "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which you should watch again right now, if only to marvel at the fact that his guitar shot up to heaven and never returned.
Elsewhere, Pharrell Williams, a man whose Faustian eternal youth bargain involves the wearing of a silly hat, will present an Award for Musical Excellence to Chic's Nile Rodgers. Dhani Harrison, son of George and stoked guitar man rightly grinning like a joyful child onstage with Prince in the video above, will induct Electric Light Orchestra. This all follows the news over the weekend that Snoop Dogg will induct his old friend Tupac Shakur. Neil Young has already signed on to induct Pearl Jam.
Lead photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr.
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