David Letterman To Induct Pearl Jam Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Neil Young Bows Out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony Due to Illness

Neil Young Bows Out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony Due to Illness

"These guys in Pearl Jam were something more than a band", said Letterman.

You don't have to take our word for it. The induction ceremony will air on HBO on April 29, and a special exhibit dedicated to the 2017 class will open at the Rock Hall in Cleveland on March 31.

That wasn't the only tribute the evening had in store.

Former late-night host David Letterman, who gave the induction speech on behalf of Pearl Jam, got nearly as big an ovation as the band itself. "I thought it would never happen", Journey guitarist Neal Schon said in his acceptance speech.

The former late night comedian filled in for Neil Young, who was originally going to introduce the band but came down with an illness this week. I had something to do with it. "It was either that or he swallowed a harmonica". And every time, they were there, they would blow the roof off the place.

Earlier, Shakur was inducted by Snoop Dogg with a speech that was both touching and playful.

Snoop Dogg was on hand to collect Tupac's trophy, more than two decades after he was shot dead in Las Vegas.

Tributes were also paid to 1986 Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Berry, who died last month aged 90, with ELO playing one of his best known hits - "Roll Over Beethoven". Lenny Kravitz led a gospel choir on "When Doves Cry", followed by a rocking take on Sign O' The Times track "The Cross".

Drummer Steve Smith thanked the band's current singer, Arnel Pineda, for keeping Journey alive. He did not. But Perry did join his former bandmates onstage to accept the award, recalling that before he joined the group, he'd watch them with awe during performance in Los Angeles. See - they told us not to stop believin'!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held its 2017 induction ceremony on Friday night at the Barclays Center, and now Joan Baez, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Electric Light Orchestra, Tupac Shakur (as the first solo rapper) and Pearl Jam are part of the establishment.

And what would a rock and roll event be without a little activism?

Pearl Jam was a lock to make it in on the first ballot.

Folk great Joan Baez joked about how much of the audience might not know her, talked social activism and harmonized with the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

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