Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five made history as the first hip-hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. ‘There was a time when hip-hop was like a passing ship in the night,’ Flash told reporters backstage. ‘Some people called it a fad. They called it a flash of greatness. At one point, I was considered to be some sort of idiot, nut, crazy. It is really good to know that there’s a world full of nuts and idiots just like me in this culture called hip-hop.’ Nedra Talley, whose girl group the Ronettes was inducted, talked about being in the only female act to perform with the Beatles. ‘I can’t say enough nice things about them. They were not big-headed or anything like that. We had never experienced 50-60,000 people screaming at that pitch. Your chest would rumble as you walked onstage. The stage was shaking under your feet from the sound that would come up. I thank them.’Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who inducted the Ronettes, talked about shooting ‘Pirates of the Carribbean: At Worlds End’ with Johnny Depp. ‘I love farmer Johnny. We had a good three or four days of swashbuckling.’ R.E.M., Patti Smith and Van Halen were also added at the 22nd annual ceremony.-Valerie Nome
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