As is the running theme of 2020, this years Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was hosted virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday night (Nov 7th), HBO aired the “exclusive special” vent during which Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, the Doobie Brothers, T. Rex, Depeche Mode, the Notorious B.I.G. were all inducted into the Hall.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions [Official Trailer | HBO ]
Unfortunately, the two hour special is only available in full to HBO subscribers but there are still some highlights to enjoy. One being, Iggy Pop’s esteemed Nine Inch Nails induction speech where he likened listening to Nine Inch Nails to “hearing the truth” among his many praises of the band and its fearless leader, Trent Reznor.
“When I first heard about Nine Inch Nails and I heard a little of their music, I thought, ‘Well, who is this guy?’,” Iggy said. “So, I took a look and I saw a face straight out of 15th century Spain. I think Trent could have played Zorro. If he’d been alive at the right time, I think he could have been painted by Velasquez or El Greco, and his portrait would probably hang in the Prado today.”
“Listening to Nine Inch Nails’ music … which is so often called “industrial” … I actually hear a lot of funk. Just listen to ‘Closer,’ and the foundation could be Stevie Wonder or George Clinton, but on top of that is a focused and relentless process of emotional destruction which paints a portrait of pain, pressure, and dissatisfaction.”
Nine Inch Nails | “Closer”
“It’s the soundtrack to the dark and lonely party that was beginning to play out in America at that period, so I would call it, not industrial, but the sound of industrial and digital ambition.”
Describing his experience of seeing Nine Inch Nails live, Iggy said: “Trent held the centre of that room just by being a kind of dark spot, hunched behind the mic. I’ve seen the same thing accomplished in different ways by T-Rex at Wembley, Nirvana at the Pyramid Club, and Bob Dylan ’65. This is the mark of the master artist, simply to connect.”
“The controversial and brilliant French novelist Michel Houellebecq, when asked the secret of his success, said, “It’s easy: Just tell the truth.” Listening to Nine Inch Nails feels like hearing the truth, so it get you a little bit closer to God. It is my honor to assist in inducting Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Trent Reznor delivered a gracious, but raw acceptance speech, acknowledging the weird and challenging year that has been, band members past and present an concluding on a determined note, saying: “This journey’s far from over if I have any say in it, so let’s stop fucking around patting ourselves on the back and get to it. Hope to see you all in the flesh soon.”
Watch Trent’s acceptance speech in full below.
Listen to Nine Inch Nails on Spotify:
Listen to Nine Inch Nails on Apple Music: