On 2013, Alex Lifeson gave one of the most memorable Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions speeches. The whole speech, which only comprised of “blah”s and “bleh”s, was certainly a surprise for the audience and the Hall of Fame executives. But what isn’t really known is that fact that not even his bandmates knew about what he was going to do.
“He didn’t tell us he was doing that,” Lee told Rolling Stone in an interview. “I know he had a whole other speech planned. Neil and I thought he had lost his marbles when he was talking. You can see the look on our faces behind him, going, ‘What the f— is he doing?’ And of course, we couldn’t see him act it all out — we just kept hearing ‘blah blah blah.’
“He’s genuinely one of the funniest people you’d ever meet in your life. But I wanted to kill him at the three-minute mark. Neil and I were threatening to knock him on the head and drag him offstage.”
Although the first response to this speech was probably that it was a joke, Lifeson was actually giving a message to the HoF:
“I had a speech written and I was rehearsing it on the way to the venue and I kept thinking, “My memory is so bad now, I can’t remember anything, I might as well just get up there and go ‘blah blah blah’.” And then I thought about it and I wasn’t sure I would do it until we were walking up to the stage, and then I decided it was the way to go. I knew it was either going to be horrible or it could be a little funny. It was probably a bit of both.
“Also, acceptance speeches – how many do you have to hear? They’re all the same, so let’s mix it up a bit. It’s the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, for Christ’s sake – be irrelevant, irreverent! Be relevant, but be irreverent!”