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Michael Stipe backstage at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony

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The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony took place on April 10, 2014, at Barclays Center in New York City's Brooklyn borough. HBO will premiere an edited version of the show on May 31, 2014. In 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 2014 were Kiss, Nirvana, Cat Stevens, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, the E Street Band, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham. Here is what this artist had to say backstage during a brief press conference in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame press room.

MICHAEL STIPE

You’re presenting the speech for Nirvana’s induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Can you comment on Nirvana’s legacy and their place in history?

I wrote the speech and while I’m inducting them, maybe you can pick up [some of what I say in the speech] later in the evening. Thank you for your question.

Nirvana is credited with leading the movement of rock music from Seattle that became popular in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. How did Nirvana affect you personally when you first came on the music scene?

I don’t know if they pioneered a movement, but they were definitely at the beginning of something powerful that was happening. And again, I talk about that in my speech.

Who else would you like to see inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Seeing Cat Stevens perform was very f*cking awesome. Hole, I’d like see inducted.

Can you talk about the first time that you met Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain?

He was late. It was in Seattle. He and Courtney [Love, Cobain’s widow] had moved in next door to my former guitar player Peter Buck. And they were late to a party at [Nirvana bassist] Krist [Novoselic’s] house. When I looked into Kurt’s eyes, I was like, “I get it. He is a very special person.” He had really blue eyes.

You and your former band R.E.M. championed a lot of bands before they made it big. Why is that important to you?

We were music bands before we were anything, before we were a legitimately OK or mediocre act ourselves. And as fans, we found ourselves in the position to champion others who were doing great work. Of course, we wanted nothing more than to help them on their own trajectory.

For more info: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website

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