Remembering that time Rush's Alex Lifeson trolled the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with the most ridiculous awards speech ever

Rush at the 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
(Image credit: YouTube / Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame)

Awards shows can be a tiresome old thing. We sit for hours on end, watching celebrities be wheeled out one after the other to give carefully scripted introductory speeches, before handing awards to their celebrity mates, who give carefully planned, endlessly long speeches of their own, thanking everyone they've ever met in their decades of existence, before finally walking off with a gong that'll inevitably end up in a draw or on a toilet shelf somewhere.

Alright, maybe that's a little over the top - when done right, awards shows can be a legitimate and emotional way to pay tribute to our heroes - but whether it's an overly sanitised Brit Awards or a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame that can't seem to go a year without pissing off a fanbase or two, it certainly feels like, for the most part, when it comes to awards, we've just seen it all before.

It's perhaps why legendary Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson decided to take matters into his own hands when Rush were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013. The induction was widely accepted in the rock community as a huge victory for prog music, and a moment of vindication for a band who had often been treated snidely by certain corners of the rock media and fanbase.

This didn't stop Lifeson, however, deciding to undermine the whole shindig in the most hilarious way possible. Following warm, eloquent and heartfelt speeches by his Rush bandmates, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and drummer Neil Peart, the guitarist proceeded to spend no less than two and a half minutes 'blah blah blah'-ing into the microphone.

We're not being facetious. He literally spends his entire speech saying 'blah' in more ways that we ever thought possible, from imitating instruments to pretending to have a phone call and, most brilliantly of all, mocking the teary-eyed acceptance speeches of many an awards show gone by.

As it dawns on the star-filled audience that this isn't merely an opening gag, Lifeson's bandmates look on in amusement, and a ludicrous moment of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame history is born.

Years later, Lifeson would comment on the speech, telling Rolling Stone: "Well, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I had a speech written and I was trying to memorize it and I couldn't remember it. And I thought I might as well just [go] 'blah blah blah.' And I thought, 'Well, that's a good idea.' And so I thought it would tell the story of our history and how we got to that stage without using any words. And the interesting thing is that everybody remembers my speech."

Watch the iconic moment below.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.