Of course, it had to be Bon Jovi.
Jon Bon Jovi is expected to be joined on stage by former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such to perform some of their arena-friendly anthems like "Livin' On A Prayer". The Killers earned a loud applause from the audience when they started performing "American Girl", then transitioning to "Free Fallin'".
When Stern's involvement was announced, he said on his show that he was "honored" to have been asked, but the native New Yorker was less-than thrilled with the location of this year's ceremony. "The Bubonic Plague killed 50 million people". Six-hundred-and-twenty-five-thousand people died in the Civil War. The band will be inducted by Howard Stern. "I really feel blessed to know you and to have been given this honor of inducting you". There was no performance following the band members' speeches.
Founded in Boston, The Cars had a strong connection to Cleveland, the hometown of late bassist Benjamin Orr, who sang lead vocals on some the band's biggest hits like "Just What I Needed", "Bye Bye Love" and "Drive".
Backstage, Bon Jovi turned to his band: "These guys, they gave me their lives".
Dire Straits, led by Mark Knopfler, emerged from Britain's so-called pub rock scene of the 1970s, which emphasized blues roots and no-frills musicianship in an era of angry punks and flamboyant glam bands.
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For photos of the red carpet event, see the photo gallery above.
"They were really struggling".
The Cars have pulled into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This year marked the band's third nomination; Brandon Flowers, of The Killers, will induct the band.
"It's quite odd to be here without him", Ocasek said.
Before beginning their set, several members of the Cars paid homage to Orr. "We help people get through".
Dire Straits went into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame without its leader.
After sharing induction years with NY and Los Angeles, Cleveland will now get the program every other year. "I gotta go to fucking Cleveland", he said.
It was hard to disagree after a magical night and a weekend when Cleveland was the center of the rock universe.