The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

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Gwen Stefani inducts the Police

"I can't believe I'm the one doing this.  It's crazy, but I'm completely honored to be here tonight, to induct one of my all-time favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite bands, the Police, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It seems crazy to me that enough time has passed already to get these guys into a museum, I mean, it just seems insane to me, but um...  I saw all the guys last night, and I asked them if there was anything specific they wanted me to say or mention, and Stewart said, make sure to tell everyone that he is the greatest drummer ever, and that the Police are the greatest band of all time, so I just want to say that.  Next I went up to Andy, and I asked him, "Is there anything that you want me to mention about, you know, you guys," and he said, "Just make sure to tell everyone that I'm the greatest guitar player ever."  So, saying that.  So after all these years, I am here to reveal the great secret of the Police - that Sting is actually the humble one of the group.  So I was in Eighth grade - about 13 years old - when I first heard the Police in my older brother's bedroom.  I remember hearing those early songs, "Roxanne," "So Lonely," "Message in a Bottle..."  And it was in the '80s - it was an amazing time to be growing up, and to be a music fan.  We had our MTV, we had our VCRS, we had alternative radio - true alternative radio.  So I can remember taping the video for "Don't Stand So Close to Me," and watching it, and sitting and watching over and over, Sting taking his shirt off, and watching over, rewinding it, over and over and over.  And we would watch MTV as much as we could.  I was starting to discover myself through this band.  There were [sic] a whole bunch of new music that included the Police, Elvis Costello, the Clash, as well as a bunch of other bands.  These bands were the dividing line between old and new, innocence and discovery - they defined my teenage years, and they inspired me to start a band myself.  The Police was the first big concert I ever went to.  I missed the van days, I missed the club shows, I wasn't at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, the Santa Monica Civic, or the Palladium, but by the time I fell in love with them, they had already achieved world domination, and were about to play the largest show they would ever play in the L.A.area, and that was at the Hollywood Park, on their Synchronicity tour.  This is where the story gets good.  Because my dad works for Yamaha Motorcycles, he got us backstage passes, so Yamaha was doing a special promotion for the Police, and they were shooting this poster.  They had the bikes, they had the smoke machines, and we were all standing there watching them.  And even as a 13-year-old kid, I was aware of the band's reputation for fighting, and that, like, Sting was a little bit scary.  And all of a sudden, Sting takes off on one of the motorcycles, and my dad's like, "Hurry up, you've gotta go get his autograph, hurry!"  You know, and I'm like, terrified, but I run after him, and I was this little, chubby 13-year-old girl from the suburbs of Orange County.  This wasn't the typical backstage girl.  I was in love with him.  But I just want to show you what was happening there.  [Points to projection of photograph.]  This is me and Sting.  Pretty cool, yeah?  He wasn't even looking at me!  You know, he's totally grumpy, he didn't want to sign my poster, but he didn't blow me out too bad.  That was the last and only autograph I ever got.  This was one of the most memorable concerts of my life.  They played so many incredible songs: "Wrapped Around Your Finger," "King of Pain," and of course, "Every Breath You Take."  The song was everywhere that summer - you couldn't get away from it.  It had this wild... You know, it was crazy to see 50,000 people singing all these songs word-for-word, and it was a life-changing performance for me.  The Police were so unique.  They had such a fresh, special sound.  They were a mix of rock, new wave, punk, reggae, jazz, pop - they were like this fruit salad of sound, all coming together - just amazing.  In addition to being hugely popular, they were totally a musician's band.  Andy Summers' guitar style created such a wall of sound, which is really amazing, because these guys were only a three-piece.  Stewart, he was a drummer's drummer - everybody wanted to be Stewart Copeland.  You know, Adrian in my band, Adrian looks up to Stewart - he's like a drum god.  He's so versatile, he completely has a style of his own.  Then, of course, Sting.  Let's start with, how sexy is it to have a bass player be the lead singer as well?  And his lyrics are just purely poetic.  He simplifies all his experiences so the whole world can relate.  His vocal style is so completely recognizable; as soon as you hear it, you just know it's him.  So 20 years later, my band was able to play "Message in a Bottle" at this year's Superbowl, so you can imagine me walking down, singing "Message in a Bottle" with Sting.  It was just an amazing, amazing experience.  See?  [Points to another projected photograph.]  Anyways.  Move on here.  The Police achieved something with me and many others, that I believe is one of the most difficult and fulfilling accomplishments.  They created music that inspired me to be in a band.  They motivated me and many others to create and grab hold of our destiny.  I'm sure that they will continue to be a creative point of reference for years to come.  That connection and level of inspiration with their fans deserves acknowledgement from the Hall of Fame.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland, Sting - the Police."