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Arts and Entertainment

Madonna's Surreal Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Last night Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Justin Timberlake. In another unusual spin, she chose The Stooges, fronted by Iggy Pop to perform two of her hits, "Burning Up" and "Ray of Light.". Stooges bass player and occasional LAist contributor Mike Watt rocks out in the above clip. Stay tuned at the end of the video for some backstage scenes from last night's induction, which was televised live on VH1 Classics.

It was a strange thing to watch. And it was not just the incongruence of the Stooges concept and the Madonna concept. They've both had Mike Watt in common for a long time, so it actually doesn't seem that weird to me. Watt's had cover bands - yes plural - dedicated to each one. What IS kinda weird is seeing him up there with the actual Iggy and the actual Madonna. The Iggy thing I've had time to get used to, since he started playing with the Stooges in 2003. But the Madonna thing, not so much.

There's this awesome moment in the broadcast (which will almost certainly be cut from the edited VH1 program) also included in this clip. The band is following Iggy off stage through a room that apppears to be the food service hall, and eventually bring him and the entire band around to the Green Room. Madonna hugs Iggy and shakes hands with the band members, including Watt, who practically genuflects. You can just tell it means a lot to him, and you can't help but wonder if she even remembers that she once checked him out in the "Madonnabes" one night at the old Garage on Santa Monica. Or is she has ever heard his "Intense Song For Madonna To Sing," or Ciccone Youth, I mean it's not totally out of the realm of possibility.

"Sounded good!" she tells Watt as Iggy and Madonna get whisked away to the press tent. Iggy tries for a moment to pull the band along with him, then gives up, joking, "Well, later!" So maybe we'll never know if she remembers the Madonnabes.

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The Stooges looked and sounded just fine covering Madonna songs. At least to a guy like me who likes the Stooges. No doubt there were some who are wondering why this noise-bomb fronted by a human dirtbag is even allowed on telelvision, let alone to touch the songs of our sainted Madonna. I'll have to check the message boards later.

With an excess of distortion and crazy-ass abandon, they did themselves and the songs proud. Iggy didn't kick any tables over, or piss people off too badly. Even when he got right in their tuxedoed faces, they kind of chuckled at him. But he sang those songs wonderfully and commanded the stage like only he can. It must be said, it was the closest thing resembling a rock and roll moment in the entire broadcast.

So yeah, pretty good.