The annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony has gone down in Brooklyn without any major drams, allowing the likes of Pearl Jam, Tupac, Journey, Yes, Joan Baez and Electric Light Orchestra to be officially enshrined in rock history.
Regardless of your opinion of how relevant the Rock Hall is beyond being yet another mildly entertaining music industry circlejerk, the event routinely plays host to a bunch of notable happenings and this year was no exception.
From historic reunions to supergroup jams and inspirational speeches, catch all the “fuck yeah” moments (and one sort-of “fuck you”) from the 2017 Rock Hall induction below.
1. Pearl Jam reunite with OG drummer Dave Krusen for the first time in 25 years & perform ‘Alive’
2. Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament wears a shirt listing all of the great bands who’ve been snubbed by the Rock Hall over the years
In something of a middle-finger to the Rock Hall’s Powers That Be, the Pearl Jam string-slapper wore a T-shirt imprinted with the names of legendary bands yet to be flagged for induction, including Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth, Kraftwerk, The Smiths, Elliott Smith, Motörhead, Kraftwerk, Kate Bush and Nirvana’s original drummer Chad Channing, who wasn’t inducted with the rest of the band.
Ament also referenced the same forgotten acts during his acceptance speech, saying: “It’s an honour 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.”
3. Snoop Dogg inducts Tupac Shakur, calling him “the greatest rapper of all time”
The D-O-double-G delivered a rousing speech ahead of legendary rapper Tupac’s induction, honouring him as the world’s greatest rapper and sharing an historic tale of how Tupac passed him his first ever blunt. Which means — in addition to all of the game-changing music that he gifted us with over the years and all of the artists he’s inspired — we also have Tupac to thank for stuff like this this.
“While many of you remember him now as some kind of thugged-out superhero, Tupac knew he was only human. It’s a fact that he never shied away from—he wore it like a badge of honor.” Snoop told the crowd. “Pac embraced those contradictions that proved that we aren’t just a character in someone else’s comic book. To be human is to be many things.”
4. This all-star Tupac tribute performance
After inducting his departed hero into the Rock Hall, Snoop then teamed up with a mega-squad of stars including Alicia Keys, YG, T.I. to perform a medley of Tupac’s greatest hits.
5. Lenny Kravitz’s Prince Tribute
Lenny teamed up with the Love Fellowship Choir to perform a tribute to the late, great Purple One (who himself was inducted into the Hall Of Fame back in 2004) which featured renditions of his classic songs ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘The Cross’.
6. Pearl Jam, Rush & Journey team up for an all-in jam on Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’
Fresh Rock Hall inductees Pearl Jam teamed up with members of Rush (Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson) and Journey (Neil Schon, Jonathan Cain) plus Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin and George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison for an epic super-jam on the Neil Young classic ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ to close out proceedings. Young was actually supposed to MC Pearl Jam’s induction but was replaced by David Letterman at the last minute after falling ill (apparently it’s nothing too serious though).
7. David Letterman inducts Pearl Jam with a funny yet heartfelt speech
The veteran funnyman (and his giant beard) tagged in to induct the grunge legends into the Rock Hall with a speech that was filled with wisecracks about ticketing site Ticketmaster and the band’s former drummers.
8. Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman’s induction speech devolves into an awkward stand-up comedy routine
Complete with jokes about prostate exams and seeing his dad at a strip club. Enjoy.
9. Yes perform with Rush’s Geddy Lee and founding frontman Jon Anderson for the first time in over a decade
This was much less awkward than the acceptance speech.
10. Steve Perry reunites with Journey for the first time in 20-years (doesn’t sing though)
Journey performed at the ceremony without their reclusive OG frontman, but he stood up alongside them during their Rock Hall induction, which was still pretty cool to see.
During his speech, Perry praised each of his former bandmates as well as the band’s current singer: “I must give a shout out to a man who sings his heart out every night, Arnel Pineda,” he said.
— Jason Hanley (@jasonhanleyrock) April 8, 2017
Pharrell’s speech honouring Nile Rodgers with the Award for Musical Achievement
If you fancy another dose of musical inspo.