So How Many Pearl Jam Drummers Turned Up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction?

Subbing in the for the ailing Neil Young (don’t worry, it’s nothing serious) David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night after an ovation that lasted about a minute from the crowd at the Barclay Centre in Brooklyn. Here’s what he said:

Here’s what he said:

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.

I’m so excited and you people know this but for 33 years every night I got to experience the blessing of live music. For 33 years. From the people in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and people who will be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and then for two years that went away. CBS caught me using a copier and fired me.

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 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]

Then, in 1991 things in the world of musical culture changed with an album entitled Ten. It was like a chinook coming out of the Pacific Northwest. It had an anger to it and it appealed to twenty-something people who felt displaced and unemployed and left out. I was almost 50 and even I was pissed off and it was also easy to dance to but that’s another deal.

Then, it turned out that these guys in Pearl Jam were something more than a band. They’re true living cultural organisms. They would recognize injustice and they would stand up for it. Whether it was human rights or the environment. Whether it was poverty. They didn’t let it wash over them. They would stand up and react.

In 1994, these young men risked their careers by going after those beady-eyed, blood-thirsty weasels. I’m just enjoying saying that. And because they did, because they stood up to the corporations I’m happy to say, ladies and gentleman, today every concert ticket in the United States of America is free. As I’ve got to know these gentlemen, they are very generous in spirit. As a matter of fact, listen to this, tonight the entire balcony is full of former Pearl Jam drummers. Stand up.

You can read his full speech here. But back to the subject of drummers. Who was there?

Dave Krusen was first, joining the band to perform “Alive,” from Ten, the album on which we hear Krusen.

“Alive” by @pearljam at the @rockhall induction ceremony. #rockhall #rrhof2017 #rockhall2017

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Matt Cameron performed on the next two songs, “Given to Fly” and “Better Man.”

And that was it. Eddie, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard and Mike McCready were inducted. So were Matt and Dave (a shock to him, by the way). Matt Chamberlain, Jack Irons and Dave Abbruzzese were not. Rolling Stone has more on that part of the story.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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