Induction Speech 3/12/2007

The Ronettes at the podium
First appearance together in 40 years-Estelle, Ronnie, Nedra of The Ronettes

WOW... I never thought I'd get here but here I am! I am blown away.

All my life... all I ever wanted to do... was sing rock & roll... and now... to be honored this way... it feels like... like... like (SING) "This is the way I always dreamed it would be..."

I grew up 100 blocks north of here in Spanish Harlem... Never thought for a minute I would be in the Waldorf being recognized for what I love to do. Sing and Perform.

From amateur night at the Apollo Theatre to dancing on the rails at the Peppermint Lounge and singing with Joey Dee and the Starliters... the early 60's were as great as they looked.

Keith, Ronnie and Estelle
Ronnie telling it like it is with Keith Richards and sister Estelle

Thanks to Stu Phillips our first producer. I want to thank my sister Estelle and cousin Nedra for being there in the beginning. Cher for being my girlfriend in the 60's and taking me around to all the cool places to shop in L.A. Jack Nitzche, who arranged all of our hits. Murray the K and the Brooklyn Fox. My mom who toured with us, my dad who took me to baseball games - sorry you didn't live to see this.

Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, thanks for the great material. George Harrison, who produced my first solo recording on Apple Records.

Then all the people who, when I came back in the early 70's, tried to be there for me, Jimi Hendrix, my dear friend John Lennon who introduced me to Jimmy Iovine who got me involved with Springsteen and the "E" Street Band, Eddie Money... "Take me home tonight"... and my friend and producer, Joey Ramone.

Ronnie singing
Photo by Bob Gruen

I also want to thank Patti Smith for contributing to my new cd and being so supportive. Thanks to Frankie Lymon, my idol, for the inspiration.

For three years - 1963 to 1966... we had the best times...getting ready to go on stage... our dresses slit up the side... our beehives sprayed with Aquanet... the excitement from the crowd when we would walk out on stage.

Whether a riot broke out or boys were rolling around on the floor having orgasms when we performed live... I always said, we weren't better...just different.

Ronnie singing

Thanks to those people that stood by me for the last couple of decades:
Chuck Rubin for hanging in with us... and putting up with me. Alex Peltz for not giving up. Susan Blond for looking out. Janet Oseroff... what can I possibly say. Bob Donnelly I can't thank you enough.

Keith Richards, whenever I see you it feels like it's 1964 and we're traveling through the fog together in the UK. Like you said to me, Ronnie they never thought we would live this long. HAH! I guess we fooled them.

My kids, Austin & Jason, for being so patient and understanding my need to Rock. And Debra Greenfield for making me look good.

I recorded a song in the 70's with the line... "So many faces in and out of my life.. some will last, some will just be now and then", so my last and biggest thanks goes to my partner for the last 28 years... through the ups and downs, he never left my side... Jonathan Greenfield.

And to all my fans, thanks for remembering. It's been a long journey getting here. But now that I am here... Let's Rock!!!!