On Sept. 2, 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened to the public in Cleveland. It would give a physical home to the foundation started back in 1983 by Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, one that had been inducting musicians and industry insiders into its Hall of Fame in 1986. The opening of the museum was first announced at the ceremony’s 10th anniversary, held on Jan. 12, 1995, making it the last ceremony that would be held annually at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. It was also the first ceremony to be televised, with MTV airing a two-hour edited version on January 18.
Inductees that year included Al Green, Janis Joplin, Martha and The Vandellas, The Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young, Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin as performers. The doo-wop group The Orioles were inducted in the early early influences category, and Billboard magazine music editor Paul Ackerman made it into the non-performer category. Twenty years later, we take a look back at some of the most noteworthy moments from that wild and event-worthy night.
Gregg Allman’s Barely-There Tribute To His Brother
After a heartfelt introduction from Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman stumbled to the microphone in between speeches given by his bandmates Dickie Betts and Jaimoe Johanson, where he managed to utter a barely audible and very brief tribute to his late brother, Duane, saying he was always “the first one to face the fire.”
Allman would later regret all those he didn’t thank that night, calling the moment a personal crossroads and an all-time low for him. After his lackluster performance with The Allman Brothers Band, he checked himself into rehab the following day.