When you think of Foo Fighters, do you think of… Wings? Paul McCartney does. He gave an induction speech Saturday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in Cleveland comparing his career after the Beatles’ breakup to Dave Grohl emerging like a phoenix out of the ashes of Nirvana’s untimely end with a new approach to music.
McCartney also invoked rock ‘n’ roll’s “magical” powers as a talismanic lure both to Grohl — “an ordinary, kind of goofy kid” like himself.
Foo Fighters performed “My Hero,” with a nod to the hero who was inducting them, But for a finale involving both parties, it would have to be a song that really is an everlong-standing classic — a team-up on “Get Back,” soon to be the title song of a major streaming three-part motion picture.
McCartney made some introductory comments about how he had decided to avoid using the “autocue” — that is, Teleprompter — and go off written notes… and the results did seem noticeably more impromptu than the other speeches of the night.
Read McCartney’s speech here:
“So me, a teenaged kid in Liverpool, just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else. And then one day, I heard some music, and I fell into rock ‘n’ roll. It just happened one day. Suddenly, the world changed, and I just fell through a hole in time, and suddenly, I was in rock ‘n’ roll. OK, so by the same time in his life, Dave did the same kind of thing. You know, he’s just an ordinary, kind of goofy kid… and the same thing happened. He falls through the same hole, and he’s in rock ‘n’ roll. And it’s gonna be his life. It’s gonna take over everything.
“And nothing was ever the same again. And it’s so magical. Everyone who knows, everyone who’s connected with it, everyone who loves rock ‘n’ roll, it really is a magical thing that contains so many elements. Like all of the people we’ve heard tonight, I mean, it’s just unbelievable, yeah? So I feel super-privileged to be here tonight, inducting these guys.
“So when that happened, and I feel into rock ‘n’ roll, I joined a group. And my group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group — Nirvana. We had a great time with our groups, but then eventually tragedy happened, and my group broke up. The same happened with Dave: His group broke up under tragic circumstances. And so then the question is, what do you do now? And we both were presented with that question. In my case, I thought, “Well, I’ll make an album where I play all the instruments myself.” So I did that. Dave’s group broke up — what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself. Do you think this guy’s stalking me?
“Anyway, so me, I’m going to name my new group, and I call them Wings. So Dave’s got the same problem, and he’s got to think of a name for the group, so he comes up with Foo Fighters. So now the group is formed, and it’s ready to take flight. It’s Dave, Taylor, Nate, Pat, Chris and Rami – all the members of the Foo Fighters. So here they are tonight. I was just saying to them in the dressing room, ‘This is it. You’re here in Cleveland, and tonight, you’re going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” I mean, it’s not just any Hall of Fame, it’s the fucking Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.’”