Midler, who said she started out as a fan of Nyro’s before actually meeting her, gave a rousing speech, mentioning that Nyro embodied the spirit of New York City in the ’70s, joking that in that era, NYC was even more of a dump than Cleveland. She admired Nyro’s uncompromising spirit, noting, “She embodied what everyone in our line of work could be, if they only had the guts,” welling up with tears.
Sara took to the stage to play Nyro’s “Stoney End,” despite rumors that Midler would perform the Nyro song.
Shortly before her performance, Sara tweeted, “Uh. Carole King wished me luck and was talking me down from my nerves. I’m overwhelmed and so grateful to be here. Wow.”
Also, it’s ironic that last year, during Midler’s speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony (for Darlene Love), she quipped that she was doing it so that if anyone ever Googled “Bette Midler” and “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” there would actually be a result. Her speeches in the last two years, though, would lead one to expect that she’ll keep getting invites: even if it is just as a presenter and not as an inductee.
Laura Nyro, who passed away 15 years ago, was a part of this year’s list of inductees that also included Donovan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Guns N’ Roses and The Faces/Small Faces.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local