The 7 guitar highlights and sad revelation from the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 2022 ceremony

Dave Grohl and Lionel Richie
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

What is rock n' roll? Let's just sidestep the usual arguments of that / why some bands have still not been inducted and get straight to it; the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday night (5 November) was a vintage one for performances. 

Why? We'll show you! 

1. Eminem brought Ed Sheeran on for Stan…

…He also has Aerosmith legend Steven Tyler on call. The Hip Hop icon was pretty open acknowledging some taking issue with the genre's place at the annual event, but his live performance with friend and fellow D12 alumni Mr Porter with a  full live band should help shut the detractors down. Inducted by his mentor Dr Dre, Marshall Mathers was also quick to pay homage to his rap inspirations in his speech - and among them was LL Cool J in the crowd.

In a medley of Eminem classics, Tyler appeared in person to sing his part on Sing For The Moment – and he's still got the pipes! After the bombast of that Sheeran seemed low key when popped up with his signature Sheeran By Lowden travel-size acoustic guitar to sing Dido's Thank You sample on Eminem's modern classic Stan.  

2. KK reunited with Priest

In the words of Taylor Swift, KK Downing and the current lineup of Judas Priest 'got bad blood' but it was all under the bridge as Birmingham's second finest metal band finally got their dues from the Hall. And we got a three-guitar attack!

Downing, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton… we haven't seen this much leather on show since our school trip to the local tannery. Les Binks was back on drums too!  

3. Lionel Richie and Dave Grohl are Easy 

Of course Lionel Richie brought Dave Grohl out to guest on a performance of Easy Like Sunday morning – why wouldn't he? The Foo man casually strolled out and picked up one of his Trini Lopez models for the song's solo. 


4. Dolly Parton led the finale 

Anyone who can unite Rob Halford, Sheryl Crow, Simon Le Bon, Pat Benatar, Zac Brown, Pink, Brandi Carlile and Dave Stewart to perform Jolene is rock n' roll to us, so it's hard to see why Dolly had previous reservations about being inducted. More on that later. 

5. Jimmy Ryan gets a shout out 

Let's hear it for the session guys! Olivia Rodrigo paid a great tribute to inductee with her take on Carly Simon's You're So Vain but it was great to see Simon's longtime guitarist Jimmy Ryan get some dues from Rodrigo and the crowd before his wonderful guitar solo.

The session kings behind classic hits might get respect from musicians and industry peers but often get overlooked by the headlines of the Rock Hall in the wider public consciousness. 

6. Dolly Parton rocks 

They were all winners but it was Dolly Parton's night – she wrote a song called Rockin' just for the occasion and played a custom electric guitar for it. 

7. Duran Duran's Roger Taylor reveals some sad news 

Though their founder guitarist joked that he'd bought a new whammy-fitted guitar for Duran Duran's induction, the sad news was the reason Andy Taylor couldn't make the event in person. In a heartfelt open letter read by Simon Le Bon during the band's induction, Taylor revealed why.

An excerpt from the letter reads:

'Just over 4-years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different; so I speak from the perspective of a family-man but with profound humility to the band, the greatest fans a group could have and this exceptional accolade.

'I have the Rodgers and Edwards of doctors and medical treatment that until very recently allowed me to just rock on. Although my current condition is not immediately life threatening there is no cure. Recently I was doing okay after some very sophisticated life extending treatment, that was until a week or so ago when I suffered a setback, and despite the exceptional efforts of my team, I had to be honest in that both physically and mentally, I would be pushing my boundaries.

'However, none of this needs to or should detract from what this band (with or without me) has achieved and sustained for 44 years. We've had a privileged life, we were a bit naughty but really nice, a bit shirty but very well dressed, a bit full of ourselves, because we had a lot to give, but as I’ve said many times, when you feel that collective, instinctive, kindred spirit of creativity mixed with ambition, armed with an über cool bunch of fans, well what could possibly go wrong?

'I'm truly sorry and massively disappointed I couldn’t make it. Let there be no doubt I was stoked about the whole thing, even bought a new guitar with the essential whammy!

'I'm so very proud of these four brothers; I'm amazed at their durability, and I'm overjoyed at accepting this award. I often doubted the day would come. I'm sure as hell glad I'm around to see the day.' 

We wish Andy the best, and after some awkward technical issues at the start of their three-song set that derailed Girls On Film, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor and John Taylor did him proud. A proper British pop band. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.