Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp Close Out Rock Hall Ceremony with Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Friends and musical legends Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp closed out the recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies over the weekend with a tribute to the late rockabilly artist Jerry Lee Lewis.

The two performed Lewis’ hits, “High School Confidential” and “Great Balls of Fire.” Springsteen and Mellencamp were backed by Zac Brown Band and E Street Band keys player Roy Bittan also played.

“One last one for the Killer,” said Springsteen ahead of the performance. “Anybody know the lyrics? Can you get ’em up there?”

Lewis died on October 28. He was 87 years old. He was also the last surviving member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first class of 1986, which included Chuck Berry, James Brown, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley.

Earlier in the show, Springsteen and Mellencamp made an appearance as they inducted record executive and former record producer Jimmy Iovine and entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman. Both received the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which recognizes those professionals who “have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock and roll and music that has impacted youth culture.”

Springsteen told the story of Iovine convincing him to give Patti Smith an unfinished demo, which later became the hit, “Here Comes the Night.”

With Jimmy’s guidance, Patti Smith turned ‘Here Comes the Night’ into a huge Top 5 record—”something I could never have done because I didn’t have the guts to turn it into a love song like Jimmy did,” Springsteen said.

Mellencamp said Grubman was like a “great big motherfucking tree” that is still “massive and unbending. On this tree are a bunch of apples. A few stay firmly attached, but most of the apples, I’m sorry to say, they shrivel up and drop to the ground … sadly forgotten.” Mellencamp thanked Grubman for making sure he stayed part of that metaphorical tree.

Springsteen and Mellencamp also appeared on Mellencamp’s recent single, “Wasted Days.”

Check out Springsteen and Mellencamp performing Lewis’ music below.

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