“Due to illness, Neil Young is regrettably no longer able to induct Pearl Jam at this Year’s Induction Ceremony,” the Rock Hall said in a statement Wednesday. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is thrilled that David Letterman has agreed to induct Pearl Jam this Friday night at the 32nd Annual Induction Ceremony.”
Letterman’s Late Show was a favorite late-night venue for Pearl Jam, who performed at the Ed Sullivan Theatre seven times – compared to the zero appearances they made on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show – with Eddie Vedder also performing as a solo artist on Late Show. In 2006, the band played a 10-song set for the Late Show audience.
The band’s first Late Show visit occurred in September 1996 with a run-through of No Code’s “Hail Hail.” “This is a big thrill for me,” Letterman told the band after finally recruiting them to appear on the show.
Letterman joins a Rock Hall induction roster that includes Snoop Dogg (inducting Tupac Shakur), Jackson Browne (Joan Baez), Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson (Yes), Dhani Harrison (ELO) and Train’s Pat Monahan (Journey). Lenny Kravitz will also pay tribute to Prince at Friday’s induction ceremony, while Pharrell will honor lifetime achievement recipient Nile Rodgers.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on HBO April 29th at 8 p.m. ET/PT. A special exhibit dedicated to the 2017 class will open at the Rock Hall in Cleveland March 31st.