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RECAP | Backstage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Get an inside look at what's happening behind the scenes at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Photo: Denise Polverine, WKYC

CLEVELAND--Welcome to the backstage of the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony here at Public Hall.

As important as it is to bring you the sights and sounds of what is happening on stage this evening, we also are camped out in the press room, where many of the inductees, presenters, and special guests are expected to address the media.

If you need a quick refresher on this year's class, check out their bios by clicking here.

12:04 a.m.--The Moody Blues finish off the night

That will do it for tonight. :Make sure you scroll down for full coverage of what we saw this evening backstage here at the hall. And remember, you can also recap what happened on stage by clicking here.

11:07 p.m.--Mary J. Blige and brother of Nina Simone stop by the press room

Mary J. Blige gave an emotional presenting speech for Nina Simone tonight. She didn't answer questions afterwards, but did hang around for photos. Simone's brother, Dr. Samuel Waymon, also stopped by and was happy to talk after accepting the induction on Nina's behalf.

By the by, Andra Day and the Roots are putting on quite a show in performing some of Simone's greatest hits right now. Lauren Hill is also out there. Ryan Haidet has more here.

10:55 p.m.--A surprise visitor to the press room

You gotta love when unplanned special guests walk in for pictures. During a hurricane of activity earlier this evening, NBC Today Show host Savannah Guthrie was brought back for a quick visit. Guthrie was a guest of Jon Bon Jovi, joining the likes of Patriots owner Bob Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.

10:35 p.m.--The Cars move backstage

My favorite part of the press conference featuring The Cars was their answer to how they went about picking their songlist for tonight's performance.

You have to love the competitve nature of a band all these years later.

For the record, the band played "My Best Friend's Girl," "You Might Think," "Just What I Needed," and my personal favorite "Moving in Stereo." Ryan Haidet has more on that here.

10:15 p.m.--Richie Sambora makes an unscheduled stop in the press room

While we are waiting for The Cars to come back and talk with us, Richie Sambora made an unexpected visit to the press room. It makes sense, he didn't really have an opportunity to answer a question (other than the below awkward exchange with Jon Bon Jovi about a return to the group) with the rest of Bon Jovi. He posed for pictures, answered one question about when he knew the band had something going for them in the early days, and one about his new solo project.

9:45 p.m.--Dire Straits (missing a couple of members) head to the microphone

A couple of things are unique about Dire Straits' induction into the Rock Hall this evening. One, they did not have a presenter. Two, the man who was the voice, guitar, and driving force of the band just up and decided not to show up.

Bassist John Illsley said of the decision to have him induct the band was made this morning.

No one asked the band about the absence of Mark Knopfler, who made headlines earlier in the week by saying that he just didn't feel like coming. Illsley specifically mentioned the absence in his speech, "I know there’s been a lot of speculation about the fact that Mark is not here, but I can assure you, it’s just a personal thing. It’s personal reasons, let’s just leave it at that."

The Cars are now performing after giving Cleveland several shout-outs during their acceptance speeches. Read more about that from Ryan Haidet here.

9:30 p.m.--Brittany Howard stops by

My pal Betsy Kling caught this photo of Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard performing in honor of inductee Sister Rosetta Tharpe

She made a brief appearance in the media room. Dire Straits will be coming shortly.

9:15 p.m.--Bon Jovi heads backstage

There was an 'oooh' moment at the start of the Q & A with the members of Bon Jovi when a reporter asked Jon Bon Jovi if Richie Sambora would be playing on the group's next album. Hush.

"You'll have to ask Richie," Bon Jovi said.

"If he asks me," responded Sambora.

Sambora departed the band in 2013, but did play on all of the group's songs in tonight's set.

Once the tension was lifted, Bon Jovi spoke about the affection for his bandmates:

He and the band also had an unsolicited reunion with a pair of disc jockeys from WAPP in New York who helped to give them their big break in the early 1980s by playing "Runaway."

8:30 p.m.--Just checking in as Bon Jovi wraps up their set

It's been awhile since there was any activity here backstage. Between Howard Stern and Jon Bon Jovi's wide-ranging speeches, and four songs, Bon Jovi took a little over an hour to induct.

For highlights of Mr. Stern's incredible speech, the speeches from the Bon Jovi band members, and more, check out my man Ryan Haidet's blog here.

As Dire Straits is next for induction, we expect the members of Bon Jovi here in the press room shortly.

7:30 p.m.--The show is now underway!

As people were taking their seats inside Public Hall, Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris announced that the great people at Key Bank have made a $10 million dollar donation to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Killers got the night started with a tribute to the late Tom Petty. They gave a very fine performance, including a rendition of "American Girl."

7:00 p.m.--Revolving door of stars continue to hit the backstage as we close in on induction time

We are 30 minutes away from the start of tonight's induction ceremony. There was a flurry of people making their way to the microphone just now.

Greg Harris, CEO of the Rock Hall was the first to stop in after The Moody Blues wrapped up. He spoke about the excitement of the event, having Bon Jovi and The Moody Blues at the hall on Friday to dedicate the inductees exhibit, and more.

Harris was followed by Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Ann Wilson of Heart. Both are here to honor the late Chris Cornell, while Wilson will also be presenting for The Moody Blues. She spoke about the importance that the band has played in her life, particularly their landmark 1967 album "Days of Future Passed."

She also spoke about the future of Heart:

6:25 p.m.--The Moody Blues are here!

One of the sentimental favorites in this year's induction class is the group from Birmingham, England: The Moody Blues. Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and Graeme Edge are the current members of the band being inducted this evening. It took a long time for this group to get here. Consider that their first hit, "Go Now," was released in 1964. That means they were eligible in 1989. Yet, year after year, they couldn't get in.

"We knew once the voting was opened up for the fans to participate, we'd have a good chance," Hayward says. "They've stayed with us always and this validates their support."

The Moody Blues are still quite active, touring all over the world, and taking their fans on the "Moodies Cruise" every year.

6:10 p.m.--First guest of the evening, Desmond Child

You may not know the name Desmond Child, but you know his music. Child is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and co-wrote many of Bon Jovi's greatest hits, including "Livin' On A Prayer" and "You Give Love A Bad Name."

He also wrote with other Hall of Famers as well, including Aerosmith, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Kiss, and Cher, among others.

When asked if he would like to see the Rock Hall expand its induction to include recognition for songwriters, Child deadpanned, "No, not all of them, just me!"

And...we're off!

You can also interact with us all night long on Twitter by using the hashtag #3RockHall

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