The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is just days away. The Brooklyn event is going to bring together rival factions of bands and honor rock greats we’ve lost in the past year, though we just don’t know exactly how it’s going to all happen. Here are eight lingering questions.
1. Will Steve Perry show up?
The current lineup of Journey hasn’t laid eyes on Steve Perry since he made an unexpected appearance at their Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2005. Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain told the Dayton Daily News that Perry will come and not perform, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Steve Perry has said not a single public word on the subject, so the world remains in the dark about his intentions.
2. If Perry does come, will he sing with Journey?
Neal Schon has tweeted that the group plans on performing “Lights,” “Separate Ways” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” These are all Perry-era songs. Will he really stand backstage or in the audience as Arnel Pineda sings them? The group has made it very clear they’d love to have him join them. Schon has even offered to tune down his guitar to C and let him handle the relatively easy “Walks Like a Lady.” Perry did sing with the Eels a few years ago and pulled off “Open Arms” pretty nicely. If he did sing even a single song with Journey it would be an amazing Hall of Fame moment. Right now, we simply have no clue what’s going to happen, though the safe money is on Perry not singing.
3. What will happen with this Yes reunion?
Yes are currently on tour in two different camps. A mere two of the eight inductees (guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White) are in Yes, while ARW has frontman Jon Anderson, 1980s-era guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman. Then there’s original keyboardist Tony Kaye, original drummer Bill Bruford and the big gaping hole where the late Chris Squire used to play bass. How exactly all of this will come together onstage remains to be seen, but it’s going to be epic. If Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson get it on the act it’ll be one of the great jams in prog history.
4. How will Chuck Berry be honored?
The Hall of Fame has already announced that Lenny Kravitz will perform in honor of Prince, but it’s hard to imagine them not also staging some sort of a Chuck Berry tribute. ELO had a big hit with “Roll Over Beethoven” and Dhani Harrison, who is delivering their induction speech, is the son of the man who sang lead on the song when the Beatles covered it. Might they be involved with a tribute to the father of rock & roll? So far, the Hall of Fame has said nothing about this.
5. What will happen with Pearl Jam’s drummers?
Five men have played drums in Pearl Jam, but only founding member Dave Krusen and Matt Cameron of the current lineup are being inducted. The group invited the three others to attend the ceremony, but Matt Chamberlain has indicated he can’t make it. That leaves Jack Irons and Dave Abbruzzese. The group remains very close to Irons and Eddie Vedder even played with him a couple of months ago, but Abbruzzese is a different story. He hasn’t really been in touch with them since he was fired in 1994. He was livid that he’s not a part of the induction, so we don’t know if he’ll show up. If he does, will he have a chance to shake hands and finally make peace?
6. What will Pearl Jam play with Dave Krusen?
Dave Krusen has tweeted that he’s going to play drums with Pearl Jam for at least one song, marking the first time he’s performed with the band since he left in early 1991. He even posed with Matt Cameron for a recent photo at PJ headquarters, possibly at rehearsals for the Hall of Fame. He only appears on Ten, so it’s a safe bet they’ll pick one from that album. Will it be “Even Flow” “Jeremy”? Our money is on “Alive.”
7. Will Roy Wood play with Electric Light Orchestra?
A mere four members of ELO are getting inducted: frontman Jeff Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan, keyboardist Richard Tandy and original multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood. Bevan has a prior commitment and isn’t coming. Lynne and Tandy are in the current lineup and will obviously play. That leaves Roy Wood. He hasn’t played with the band since leaving after the first album in 1972. It would be pretty great if he came out for “10538 Overture,” but that’s probably a little doubtful.
8. What will they play during the all-star jam?
Most Hall of Fame induction ceremonies wrap up with everyone from the night coming out for a big jam. “Rockin’ in the Free World” makes sense this year, as does “Johnny B. Goode” or another Chuck Berry tune. They certainly have enough great guitar players to make that happen with Jeff Lynne, Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, Mike McCready, Neal Schon and Lenny Kravitz all on site. Whatever happens, the image of Pearl Jam, Yes, Journey, Joan Baez, Jeff Lynne and Snoop sharing the stage should be pretty incredible.
The complete tale of prog rock legends Yes in a seven-minute animated video.