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Adam Clayton Accepts

Oh dear, it's the bass player approaching the microphone. What's he gonna say? I feel bassless. Yesterday, it was my 45th birthday. And that's a fine age to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That means that 25 years ago, we released our first recording. That means 29 years ago, we all met and formed our band. 30 years ago, I got my first bass guitar, or as I thought, a guitar with only four strings. I had no idea what bass was. I had not heard of James Jameson, Duck Dunn, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle or Bootsy Collins. I just knew I had a weapon, and a shield to take on the world. When we all got together in Larry's kitchen, we didn't know about the great traditions of American music. We didn't know the blues, or soul, or R&B, or country. But we did know that together, we had the chance to change the world by making a noise. This was punk, and it saved my ass. We needed someone to get us gigs and pay for demos. We met Paul McGuinness, and he became our manager. Next we needed a record deal. We were turned down by many people until Nick Stuart offered us a deal at Island Records. This was the start of a long relationship with Island. Many people along the way helped us develop and grow. Rob Partridge, and of course Chris Blackwell. Ian Wilson and Ian Flukes were our UK agents. We made three records with Steve Lillywhite, came to America, and Frank Barsalona and Barbara Skydell were our US agents. They introduced us to a network of promoters: Barry Faye, Bill Graham, Ronny Delsner. Ellen Darce and Karen Kaplan ran our US office, and they taught us how radio and promotion worked. As we were learning all this stuff about the music business, we were also learning about American music, and the kind of artists that are honored here by the Hall of Fame. John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Hank Williams, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan. Now a generation is being inducted, and our time has come to join those that we did not know 25 years ago. And I hope that in 25 years, when this room is full of hip-hop and pop artists, that they will enjoy joining the diverse list of talents that the Hall of Fame recognizes. It took many people to get the band here tonight, and I would like to thank some of them personally. Paul McGuinness and Kathy Gill-Filham, Ann Louise Kelly, Ellen Darce, Karen Kaplan, Sheila Roach, Regine Morlet, Barbara Galvin, Susan Hunter, Trevor Bowen, Gavin Friday, Chris Blackwell, Antoine Corbin, Steve Lillywhite, Danny Landwell, Brian Eno, Jimmy Iovene, Doug Morris, Arthur Fogel and Michael Cole, Dennis Sheehan, Joe Hurlaheigh, Willie Williams, Sharon Blankson, Dallas, Sammy, Stuart, and Terry. But in the end, the people who really got me here tonight, and who I must thank for everything I have, are Allie, Ann, Morley, Susie, Larry, Edge, and Bono. Thank you. I'd really like to thank Bruce for what he said, and I, fortunately, can remember the names of everyone in the band as well.

U2