Pink Floyd’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Speech
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
On Wednesday, January 17, 1996, Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
The three members of the band, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason were present.
Roger Waters, who left the group in 1985, was absent.
So too was Syd Barret who had been living in seclusion since the mid-1970s.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan provided the band’s induction speech.
“I’ll keep my remarks to the average length of a Pink Floyd song,” Corgan joked before embarking on a six-minute overview of the band’s career and the impact of their music upon his own life as an artist.
“Before I even heard a note, there was a certain reverence that surrounded this band,” he shared.
“The first album I heard was Darks Side of The Moon,” he continued, “which, as we all know was probably one of the best albums of all time.”
When Corgan’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer ‘Wish You Were Here’ “summed up everything” he was feeling.
“It still makes me cry,” he reflected, “it’s such a beautiful song.”
He also tipped his hat to Syd.
“We are so consistently amazed in rock ‘n’ roll with tragedy and beauty,” Corgan enthused. “Syd was both.”
He commended Shine On You Crazy Diamond for being uncommercial and considered The Wall to be one of the bravest records he had ever heard.
Gilmour and company then took the stage.
David didn’t shy away from the fact that the band’s two creative visionaries were missing.
“I’ll have to grab a couple more of these [awards],” he stated, “as two band members have started playing different tunes… Roger and Syd, and we’ll take a couple of these home for them. Thank you very much indeed.”
“The whole band started with Syd,” Rick added. “We’ve all touched people with our music and that’s all we’ve wanted to do.”
“All these record executives in one place, somebody should do an audit!” Nick Mason quipped when it came to his turn to speak. “As you’re probably aware being up here, there’s been an awful lot of hard work. We’ve managed to avoid doing a lot of it; we’ve had a lot of other very talented people to help us, and it might be worth mentioning some of them.”
Mason then humbly thanked Floyd’s numerous engineers, stage designers, record company executives, and managers.
“I think for us it means an awful lot,” he concluded, “and I think it probably means that it’s official that we never, ever have to be a support act, ever again.”
Joined by Corgan the three closed the night with a performance ‘Wish You Were Here’.
Pink Floyd would not perform live again for another 9 years.