Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

David Letterman replaces Neil Young at Rock Hall show

Inductee Eddie Vedder from the band Pearl Jam performs at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

"We've got a lot of evolving to do, " Vedder said during his acceptance speech after the band was brought into the Hall by fan and friend David Letterman. The band invited erstwhile Pearl Jam drummers Matt Chamberlain, Jack Irons, and Dave Abbruzzese to attend Friday night's party in NY, despite the fact that they were not selected for induction.

He said to laughs from the audience: "That's right — Tupac got Snoop Dogg smoking blunts".

To some who know Pearl Jam the best, that ability to survive in and emerge from a turbulent and precedent-setting scene - and continue to thrive nearly three decades later - might be its greatest achievement as the band prepares this week to receive one of its greatest honours - induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg recalled he and Shakur in the early 1990s as "two black boys struggling to become men". Also performing are Alicia Keys, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls. In the 25 years since its release, it has been listed as one of the greatest rock albums of all time by Rolling Stone, Q and NME music magazines. For "Alive", Pearl Jam reunited with original drummer Dave Krusen, while members of Journey (who were also inducted this year) joined the band for "Rockin' in the Free World".

Shakur, whose songs about social and racial injustice still resonate today, was only the 6th rap act to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its 30-year history.

He thanked his family and said, "If somehow Chance the Rapper sees this, I want to tell you my daughter Olivia loves you and thanks for the great work you're doing in Chicago!" The ceremony will be edited down for an HBO special premiering April 29.

As well as David, their former drummers Matt Chamberlin, who David replaced, and Jack Irons were not included in the Hall of Fame nominations profile either.

Berry wasn't the only late legend who was honored: Lenny Kravitz paid tribute to Prince after the "In Memoriam" section with an explosive performance of "When Doves Cry", backed by a choir and beaming purple lights.

Now that Pearl Jam is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Ament and Schultz are reflecting on their career too.

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