Pearl Jam, Rush, Journey Members Cover Neil Young at Rock Hall All-Star Jam
Neil Young could not make it to last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony due to illness, but his spirit prevailed throughout the evening until the finale all-star jam of "Rockin' in the Free World."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony ended with a raucous, enthralling all-star jam on Friday night, as a group of musicians that included Yes' Trevor Rabin, Rush's Geddy Lee and Journey's Neal Schon joined Pearl Jam onstage at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to cover Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."From TRANSCRIPT: David Letterman's Eloquent Rock Hall Induction Speech for Pearl Jam
Young, who was originally slated to induct Pearl Jam but pulled out due to illness, was absent. "The truth of it is, the poor guy can't stay up that late," David Letterman quipped before inducting Pearl Jam earlier in the night. "It's either that, or he swallowed a harmonica."
Young's absence didn't hamper the performance, which featured enough guitars to equip a small army battalion. The all-star ensemble kept solos to a minimum, choosing to focus mostly on the central riff that gives Young's track its rugged power. As all the guitarists slammed through the chugging progression again and again, "Rockin' in the Free World" began to acquire the sludgy charm of primal garage rock. It's a testament to Vedder's singing abilities that he wasn't drowned out by all the players around him.
David Letterman: Thank you. That's very kind of you. I can't even begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is to be out of the house. I know Neil Young was supposed to be here. People are looking at me like I had something to do with it. Why isn't Neil Young here? The truth of it is the poor guy just can't stay up this late. That's what it is. Either that or he swallowed a harmonica. I'm not sure.From TRANSCRIPT: Pearl Jam's Humble Rock Hall Induction Speech:
When I came here to rehearsal and heard live music again I was reminded, oh my God what a gift live music is. I know all of these people and my band and Paul Shaffer were tremendous. Never take the opportunity for live music for granted and that's the message I can bring you folks tonight. It's a delight to be back here for this. By the way I've known Neil Young for many, many years. We met a long time ago on farmersonly.com. In 1988 is when I first met most of the people involved in Pearl Jam who were all in a band called Mother Love Bone. [Applause]
Jeff Ament: When I was 13, my uncle Pat gave me some singles, which was, the key to a well-respected man. This coincided with reading Death of a Salesman, in 7th grade class. After that I was put in a course never to be Willy Loman, which somehow correlated to a lifetime of playing bands, so if I seem a little bit nervous, blame Arthur Miller as I've never been very comfortable in a room full of seats. In 1983, I moved to Seattle, looking for my tribe. Other artists, musicians, individuals, hard workers, skateboarders. I found a lot of these folks – many are still my friends. I met Stone a month after moving to Seattle. At those first Seattle punk rock shows, I met Stone almost thirty-five years ago, which ultimately led me to our band community.
Being here with the band, who have become some of my best friends in the process, making music and art, traveling the world, supporting causes and programs together, making small differences, meeting great artists and creative minds all over the world. That's a pretty great fucking life. It's an honor in to be part of a club that includes so many of our heroes – Neil, the Clash, Zeppelin, the Stooges, Cheap Trick – but the fact is that we were affected by bands that aren't here. So many important bands that made us want to pick up our guitars and right songs. But the very best part about tonight is that my mom, who gave me the keys to the piano and my dad, who taught me about hard work and community, they're here with my family. So this is for every small town kid who has a dream. Thanks to everybody who supports us and inspires us. You're great fans. Everybody who works with us with the band. Kelly, George have been with us for 27 years, 26 years. Thank you. Love you.
Pearl Jam at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage/Getty
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