It’s official: The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class is here. Pearl Jam, Journey and a handful of other legendary names were recently inducted into the Rock Hall (April 7) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Here’s a rundown of the 2017 event and the Rock Hall’s newest members.
Pearl Jam’s 1991 debut full-length, Ten, thrust the Seattle rock band into the national spotlight, and they’ve never left that spot. At the Rock Hall induction, David Letterman filled in for Neil Young, who missed the ceremony due to health problems, and gave an appropriately funny and heartfelt speech. Letterman also spoke about how frontman Eddie Vedder gave his son, Harry, a small guitar and wrote him a note stating he would get him a bigger one if he learned to play one song.
Other notable moments included Vedder giving an emotional speech at the podium, touching on everything from the band’s loyal fans to his thoughts on climate change to a “thank you” to Michael J. Fox, who was in the crowd, for writing a book that inspired Vedder called “Given to Fly.” Pearl Jam also performed “Alive” with Dave Krusen on drums for the first time since the album came out. The band also rocked “Better Man” and “Given to Fly.”
Ever since Journey was announced as a 2017 Rock Hall inductee, fans have been buzzing about whether or not singer Steve Perry would be at the ceremony. The good news is that Perry attended the induction. The not-so-good news is that he didn’t perform.
After getting inducted by longtime Journey fan Pat Monahan of Train, Perry thanked Journey fans for always standing by the band.
“We would not be here had it not been for you and your tireless love and consistent devotion. You never have stopped,” Perry said. “I've been gone a long time, I understand that, but I want you to know that you've never not been in my heart...I love each and every one of you.”
Meanwhile, Journey’s current singer, Arnel Pineda, met Perry for the first time backstage. As for performances, Journey played "Separate Ways," "Lights" and "Don't Stop Believin'." Former keyboard player Gregg Rolie and former drummer Aynsley Dunbar performed with the band for "Lights."
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush inducted British prog-rock band Yes at the 2017 Rock Hall ceremony.
As Lee inducted Yes, he said that having the chance to induct the group was "righting a terrible wrong," since the guys were eligible for years.
"Truly, this for the Yes fans everywhere," former vocalist Jon Anderson said while getting inducted. "I went to the Hall of Fame about four years ago...and all my heroes were there, every one of them...and we're gonna join them! I can't believe it! It's truly amazing."
As Yes performed, Lee filled in for late bass player Chris Squire on the tracks "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart."
Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra kicked off the induction with the song “Roll Over Beethoven,” in honor of the late Chuck Berry.
George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, inducted Electric Light Orchestra, saying they were the first band he saw live when he was 7 years old.
During his speech, ELO frontman Jeff Lynne, said, "It's such a pleasure to get one of these (trophies) 'cause I've watched hundreds of people gettin' 'em all the time...'"
The group performed "Evil Woman" and "Mr. Blue Sky" at the ceremony.
Joan Baez, who was inducted by Jackson Browne, teased that she thought many youngsters watching wouldn’t know who she was.
"My own granddaughter had no idea who I was," Baez said to the audience, "until I took her backstage at a Taylor Swift concert." She was referring to the time Swift had Baez onstage during a show in San Francisco in 2015.
Baez performed "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” the latter two songs with the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Late rapper Tupac Shakur was inducted into the Rock Hall by longtime friend Snoop Dogg.
While accepting Shakur’s award on his behalf, Snoop said, "I know you're gonna live forever, 'cause legends always do. They can't take this away from you, homie...I love you Tupac. Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thug life!"
Snoop, Alicia Keys, T.I., Treach and YG performed a mix of Shakur’s tracks.
The evening also included a moment where Pharrell Williams gave songwriter, producer and Chic leader Nile Rodgers an "artistic merit" award. Also, Lenny Kravitz performed a Prince tribute, with the songs "When Doves Cry" and "The Cross."
At the end of the ceremony, Pearl Jam and the 2017 class performed a version of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air April 29 on HBO.