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Patti Smith accepts induction

"Thank you. I’m very proud to be here and I’m really very happy and if it seems like I’m not, it’s just that so many people that I love ... that are so happy for me ... have a different scene ... they’re a bit higher up, but I know that my mom and my dad and my brother and Fred and so many people that I love are with us. First I would like to thank Clive Davis. When I came to Clive, I was really awkward, arrogant, couldn’t really sing, I had pretty clumsy movements, I had a lot of guts ... not a whole lot of talent ... but he had faith in me and let me go out of the gate ... just a colt ... and stayed with me. Thank you, Clive. And I want to thank my present company, Columbia, whose being so kind to me at this time. And the three women who shepherd me all through my years ... Jane Friedman, Ina Minebeck and Rosemary Carol. It’s like at the Academy Awards, isn’t it? I want to thank all of the musicians that I have collaborated with ... it’s a collective, it’s a brotherhood. I want to thank my musicians in the 70’s, especially the late Richard Soul and Ivan Kral. And in recent years, I would like to thank Ala Veray and Tom Verlaine. I have a very small crew ... probably the smallest crew in rock and roll ... but they are very loyal, and through the years from my late brother Todd Smith, to Yip Wan to Barry Dorier, god bless you, god bless our crews. We are nothing without our crew. And I would like to thank my family ... the support I get from my beautiful daughter Jessie, and my son Jackson, who will be playing with us tonight. And my present band, Tony Shanahan, J.D. Dougherty ... who has played drums with me since 1975 ... and my good friend and collaborator, but most of all my good friend and champion, Lenny Kaye. Many of you may not know that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation has a program to aid musicians in need. As a tax-exempt organization, they have the capabilities and the resources to help musicians in need, and so we encourage the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to help our musicians in need, as well as to encourage us and to give us accolades who are not so in need. Please let’s all help our musicians. And musicians in need, know that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation exists. Please call upon them. Lastly, my late husband, the great Fred Sonic Smith, once predicted a long time ago ... actually right before he passed away ... at the end of 1994, we had an argument in the kitchen while I was peeling potatoes and he said to me, “Tricia, one day you’re going to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” And I said, “No way” and he said, “Yes you will, and you’re not going to like it, or you might feel rebellious, or you might feel guilty because I’m not in it, and I’m clearly the better one.” And he was. But he asked me please, to accept it like a lady and not to say any curse words, and to make certain to salute new generations, because it is the new generation that will re-define the landscape of rock and roll, and together they have the power ... an unprecedented power ... to unite and make great changes in our world, to make our world a better place ... for sometimes we have tried and failed. So I salute the new generations. And I thank everyone who has encouraged me through the years and all the people that come to our concerts and help me when I forget the words ... which is all the time. And I accept this wonderful honor in the name of Fred Sonic Smith. Some people say that it took a long time for me to get here. I have to say, I never expected to get here, so it seems like it was just a second. But my mom really, really wanted to be here with you. She loved rock and roll. She loved it so much, she answered all my mail for over 25 years and right before she died ... I mean hours before she died ... she said to me, “Tricia, did they save the Stone Pony?” I said, “Yes mommy.” She said, “Good. Did you get in the Hall of Fame yet?” I said, “Not yet, mommy.” And she said, “Oh, I’m not going to make it, but when you do, sing your mother’s favorite song, the one I liked to back you." So mommy, this is for you."

Patti Smith