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"We have just received word and wish to acknowledge that we have been [chosen/again passed over] for membership in the internationally renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is indeed a [great honor/great honor] to even be considered and short-listed for this prestigious award and we stand prepared to [join/be blackballed from] the august company that comprises the inductees of the Hall of Fame."
——Steely Dan

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES GIVE THANKS

Nothing Says "Space-Filler" Like A Story Filled With Acceptance Speeches
On Tuesday (12/12), the elders of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the Hall's latest inductees—those illustrious icons who will be enshrined in I.M. Pei's monstrosity on the shores of Lake Erie (hitsdailydouble.com, 12/12).

The list included Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Queen, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Ritchie Valens, Solomon Burke and The Flamingos, as well as "non-performer" Chris Blackwell and "side men" James Burton and Johnnie Johnson.

And though the induction ceremony—slated for a live broadcast on VH1 on March 21—looks to be an entertaining gala, immediate entertainment is provided thanks to the reaction statements from the artists in question.

"I am both pleased and flattered to be honored in this way," said Paul Simon, who has already been inducted into the Hall as part of Simon and Garfunkel. "It has been an unbelievably rich and satisfying year for me, a rare year in which I've seen my past and present work merge in a variety of moving ways."

OK, that wasn't all that entertaining. In fact, it was pretty standard, as if an award-accepting computer cranked it out.

"I am gratified to learn that Ritchie [Valens] will finally be inducted in the Hall of Fame, as I feel this has been long overdue," said Valens producer and Del-Fi Records Owner and President Bob Keane. "Since his death, nearly 42 years ago, Ritchie Valens has become a legend and an icon, revered by young and old alike, and he represents the true meaning of freedom in America."

Well, that's nice and everything, sentimental and all that. And so, for that matter is the statement from celebrated sideman Johnnie Johnson.

"This is the best Christmas present I could have gotten," the 76-year-old bluesman said. "I'm so happy I could burst."

Hmmm.

"I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honor," wrote Michael Jackson in a statement. "I could not ask to be in better company than the list of fellow inductees. Each and every one is a master from whom I have learned. And I feel especially at home being in the company of a svelte, Hispanic teenager."

All right, all right. We made up that last sentence. But we're sure there's some comedy somewhere here. Isn't there?

The answers sometime come from the most surprising places. Like, for instance, the founders of Steely Dan, who posted a statement on their Web site before finding out whether they made it in. Their statement therefore covered both winning and losing.

"We have just received word and wish to acknowledge that we have been [chosen/again passed over] for membership in the internationally renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is indeed a [great honor/great honor] to even be considered and short-listed for this prestigious award and we stand prepared to [join/be blackballed from] the august company that comprises the inductees of the Hall of Fame.

"Of course we shall stand ready to [participate in/boycott] the festive induction ceremony at the pleasure of our fans, to whom we owe everything and whom we have vowed never to disappoint, [ever/or as infrequently as possible]. We shall be [wintering/falling back to lick our wounds] in Hawaii starting any day now, so please let us know as soon as possible [where we can pick up our trophies/that we should go fuck ourselves] and what, if anything, we should wear."

Now that's comedy!

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