If two figures in modern rock owe their careers to Rush, it’s Foo Fighters members Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. Not conventional nerds, Grohl and Hawkins basically devolve into giddy schoolboys talking about the monumental influence of Neil Peart and their undying admiration of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
All you have to do is listen to the fill-heavy Foo Fighters catalogue: tracks like ‘Best of You’, ‘Everlong’, and ‘Rope’ have more than a bit of Peart’s DNA in them. While the Foos have yet to dive headfirst into prog rock, their addition of keyboardist Rami Jaffee has added a distinctly spacey edge to the group’s music on their most recent albums.
Probably thanks to their massive standing in the music industry, Grohl and Hawkins were able to put their names at the front of the list when Rush finally got their nod into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Relishing the moment, the pair gave the famously good-natured and goofy Canadians a proper induction.
Framing the entire speech around one central question, Grohl and Hawkins dissect when Rush, the sci-fi loving, unapologetically geeky, superfan cultivating, mainstream averse prog rockers, became cool. Through quite a bit of humour, including references to Axl Rose being potentially dead, Grohl and Hawkins lightly roast their heroes as the band members heartily laugh in the front row.
It’s hard to find the best moment of the speech: Grohl naming every single Rush album from memory, the crowd roaring at just about every interval, Hawkins’ bewilderment at how the band let the drummer write the lyrics. For my money, it’s probably when Grohl pronounces ‘The Temples of Syrinx’ with just the right amount of reverence and mockery, followed by a quick cut to Peart’s obviously amused face. The entire six minutes is perfect, and it only gets more impactful the further we get from Peart’s death in 2020.
Check out the induction speech down below.