The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Neil Young inducts Woody Guthrie

"What an honor for me to induct Woody Guthrie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In the early days for me, when I was in high-school, I was trying to figure out what I was doing, you know. I thought maybe I'd like to be one of those rockers that could bend the strings and get down on my knees, and kind of make everybody go crazy.  Then I wanted to be that other guy, too, that had a little acoustic guitar, and sing a few songs - sing about things that I really felt inside myself, and things I saw going on around me. Then I saw Bob Dylan, then I saw so many others, Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin, Pete Seeger, and it all started to come together kind of for me - and I still couldn't forget about that other guy with the guitar, jumping around.  I saw, you know, what I wanted to do with my life.  And I saw in Rock and Roll, a lot of bands, and sometimes you see both of these people in the same band; you see the one guy going crazy with the guitar, and jumping around, and you see the other real serious kind of guy up there, and he's singing along, and the other guy's jumping around.  It's really effective. So you know, I don't know which one of those guys I tried to be, but any way, these guys, they all came from the same place, these singer-songwriters, and it all seems to go back and start with Woody Guthrie. His songs are gonna last forever, and some of the songs of his descendents are gonna last forever.  It gave me a great feeling last year at Farm Aid to be up there with Willie Nelson and Arlo, and singing 'This Land is Your Land,' screwing up the words in front of all those people.  You could see all those people just singing along - the farmers and all the people, thousands of people, singing this song. And I can't help but think that some day, that song's gonna be sung on other planets.  So it gives me great pleasure to induct Woody Guthrie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Come on up here, Arlo."