by Jeff Hahne
Justin Timberlake is not a comedian... His induction speech was not funny, though he tried. Madonna also gave a snoozer of an acceptance speech.
The highlight — I heard it on the radio this morning, but haven't been able to locate it online — was Billy Joel's speech about John Mellencamp.
It was hard-hitting, honest and humorous — the way Timberlake wishes his was. Joel told Mellencamp to be proud for outliving the music industry which is dead. He talked about VH1 being more fun when it played videos, and the Hall of Fame inductions were more fun before they were worried about selling commercials.
Part of the speech, thanks to Atomic Pop:
“…don’t let this club membership change you, John. Stay ornery, stay mean. We need you to be pissed off, and restless, because no matter what they tell us - we know, this country is going to hell in a handcart. This country’s been hijacked. You know it and i know it. People are worried. People are scared and people are angry. People need to hear a voice like yours that’s out there to echo the discontent that’s out there in the heartland. They need to hear stories about it. They need to hear stories about frustration, alienation and desperation. They need to know that somewhere out there somebody feels they way that they do. In the small towns and in the big cities. They need to hear it. And it doesn’t matter if they hear it on a jukebox in the local gin mill, or in a goddamn truck commercial, because they ain’t gonna hear it on the radio anymore. They don’t care how they hear it, as long as they hear it good and loud and clear the way you’ve always been saying it all along. You’re right john, this is still our country…”