The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony April 5 at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium was a milestone in more ways than one: It was the first time the ceremony was held at the Cleveland location since 1997 and open to the public.
About 5,000 ticket buyers plus VIPs watched as Metallica, Run-DMC, Bobby Womack, Jeff Beck and Little Anthony and the Imperials took their place amid rock ’n’ roll history.
Also inducted were drummer DJ Fontana, bassist Bill Black and keyboardist Spooner Oldham in the sidemen category and rockabilly’s Wanda Jackson as an early influence.
The event was previously held at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria ballroom, which had room for only a limited audience of inductees, their guests and VIPs.
Cleveland officials also made sure the city was ready for its closeup by refurbishing and redecorating the 10,000-capacity venue built in 1922.
“I think it’s nice for Cleveland,” Russell Simmons said during the event. “They fought to get it here. They deserve it. It’s good for the people of Cleveland. It should be held here every year.”
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman said the plan is for the ceremony to be in Cleveland every three years.