Monday, April 15, 2019
By Austin Rese
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It starts when we are small children.


The need to feel appreciated. The need to be acknowledged for our abilities. The need to feel valid. -- Such desires are fulfilled by recognition.


Award ceremonies are expressions of praise. They are recognition manifested. Those being honored for their contribution to society are supported by those presenting the award as well as those attending the presentation. The recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 34th Induction Ceremony was proof of this.  I was fortunate to attend this sold out occasion.


The Barclays Center in Brooklyn was buzzing with anticipation. -- Excitement filled the air. The list of winners had already been made common knowledge. Attendees were there to support their music idols, in hope of hearing their favorite tunes one more time.  


This year’s winners included:

The Zombies

Roxy Music


  Stevie Nicks

     Janet Jackson

   Def Leppard

The Cure


The whirl of a black lace stole ignited the event. Of course, it was Stevie Nicks. Her fans were in bliss as she sang selections from her repertory of hits. This was the second time the artist had achieved this award—the first, as a part of the band Fleetwod Mac. Without a doubt, she was loved and supported by this audience.

Each recipient was introduced by a fellow well-known member of the music industry. A bit of history and imagery was shared regarding the inductee. It was a mini-glimpse into the artist’s journey which had led to this achievement. While some of the inductees gave only an acceptance speech of thanks, others also sang a few select tunes. Music has a magical way of uniting people. It possesses a means of transporting us to places where we have been and memories of those who were with us.



Tonight was a trip down life’s highway of memories.


Even though voices change as we age, a true artist’s emotion and heartfelt sound doesn’t. One word from Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure, sent his fans into a total frenzy. I was surrounded by a cluster of patrons who were so enthralled with his music that you could easily sense their nirvana. It was exhilarating. It was contagious.


The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was established in 1983, and is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is dedicated to recording the history of some of the best-known and most influential musicians, bands, and producers who have been integral to the music industry—particularly in the area of Rock & Roll.


Artists become eligible for induction in their category 25 years after the release of their first record. One must be nominated by a committee that selects from 9-12 candidates.


Ballots are then sent to over 600 rock & roll experts for voting.


The evening was a punch bowl of emotions: Thoughts of youth, excitement, former loves, “better days”, and unfulfilled dreams. Simultaneously, it was an expression of thanks to those being honored. It was a way that each of us who were present could recognize that the artist(s) had contributed to our own life.  It felt good.


Heading back to the subway station, I thought to myself, “You know, daily life is like an award show of sorts. It is our own opportunity to acknowledge others who are contributing to our life.” It can be as simple as the words, “Thank you", or even just a shared smile.  


Whatever the case may be, it makes one’s soul feel complete.




This was A Moment in America.

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