Couple of things:
- Though a glorious invention, the Internet can sometimes be a pain in the ass. Translation: We originally did not catch Mike’s initial words during his acceptance speech last night, which were a personal message to Eddie. They are now included in the transcript below.
- Streaming video of specific segments from the ceremony are now available on demand via AOL’s Rock Hall webpage.
Sammy and Michael were on hand to accept the band’s induction into the Rock Hall. In typical fashion, both demonstrated a tremendous amount of class and respect for the other members of the band.
Here’s some of the acceptance speech:
Michael: First off, I’d like to say god bless you to Edward Van Halen. I wish you were here, buddy. He couldn’t be here tonight. He’s home gettin’ some help and, uh … I love you, man. …
I’d also like to thank everybody who’s been with the Van Halen family through all the years and have endured and and toured and partied and worked and partied … It was a lot of hard work at times, but the partying kind of outweighed that once we took it out and brought it out to the people. [I’d like to thank] everybody from the record company to everybody’s that’s been a part of Van Halen … all our managers … Ed Leffler [gestures to the sky] … god love you, man … [applause] … I’d like to also thank my family, my parents, my brothers and sister—my sister who turned me on to rock and roll in the first place. She brought me this little record, “Blue Cheer,” and I said, “I wanna do that: [have] long hair and play bass.” But, anyway, my parents, my brothers and my sister, and also my beautiful wife Sue, my daughters Taylor and Elisha. Sue, she’s stuck with me and endured all the craziness and she’s still doin’ it. … I’d also like to thank, well, obviously, Sammy, Dave, Eddie, Al—I mean, it’s been a blast. And, also, Gary Cherone, I’d like to give him a little thanks, because you were a part of this too, man. … The fans: We love you, man. If it wasn’t for all of you, we wouldn’t be here.
Sammy: Well, I can’t tell you how much I wish everyone was here tonight. And it’s out of our control, and it’s out of some other people’s control. I think it’s a good thing; I think Eddie’s gonna come out the other side a better person, and maybe we’ll get our buddy back. This is … it’s just hard for Mike and I to stand up here and do this, but you couldn’ta kept me from here with a shotgun. I’m honored to be here. Honored to be here. I especially wanna thank the powers that be from the Hall of Fame for including me, because they really didn’t have to do that. And, man … like James Brown said, “I feel good!” You know? Shit! I’m tryin’ ta get loose! But, just a couple things … couple people that I think were missed. Ted Templeman, Donn Landee, and of course, Mo Austin, Lenny and everyone over at Warner Bros. who really helped get this band where [it was] when I joined it and taking it farther from there. Barbara Skydell and Frank Barcelona of Premiere Talent. They booked every show we did up until the  breakup. Certainly my wife and children for following me around the world over and over again. That’s, uh … can’t beat that. Ed Leffler, of course, but Mike said that. Ed, Al, Mike and Dave. That’s it. And all of the people that got inducted as well: I just wanna say it’s really an honor for me to stand up here on stage with Patti Smith and R.E.M. and all these people. It’s … I’m humbled. Thank you very much.
Velvet Revolver then performed “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and a short, nearly unrecognizable excerpt of “Runaround” (chorus only), after which the announcer asked the audience to stand by for a special performance. As the crew was tweaking the stage, house-band leader Paul Shaffer began playing a repetitive, synthesized keyboard riff. Suddenly, Mike appeared on stage and strapped on his bass, and was joined by Sammy (who was wearing an “OU812” tour t-shirt under a suit jacket). The two former VH members then led the group in a rendition of “Why Can’t This Be Love.”
Velvet Revolver is an amazing band that sounds great—when they play their own stuff … and the house band couldn’t hold a candle to how Ed and Al would have done it … but at least Mike and Sam were there to represent and perform for the fans, as usual.
We hope they get their buddy back, too.
Again, congratulations to new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees … Van Halen.