On January 12, a tenth-anniversary party was held at the Waldorf-Astoria. The first class of inductees was chosen in 1985, and now, a decade later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum -- a masterpiece designed by I.M Pei -- was only nine months from completion in Cleveland. For the first time, the event was taped for a later broadcast on MTV.
Led Zeppelin's appearance onstage elicited the most anticipation. Rolling Stone's Jancee Dunn reported that the band's bassist, John Paul Jones, won "the evening's award for Best Bon Mot in an Ongoing Family Feud. Jones noted obliquely that he had not been ask to join Page and Plant's current Unledded reunion project, but at least they invited him to come to the Hall of Fame ceremony."
There were poignant moments, too, as when Moon Unit Zappa accepted for her father, Frank Zappa, who had died thirteen months earlier of prostate cancer at age fifty-two. Overcome, aweeping Jeff Buckley, who'd just recorded his first album, approached her backstage, frightening her with his emotionalism to the extent that security was nearly called on the then-unknown singer. Also emotional was Melissa Etheridge's inspired induction of and musical tribute to Janis Joplin. But the evening ended on a festive note with an onstage dance party, led by Martha and the Vandellas and B-52's Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider.