Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday (April 7th) by former late night host David Letterman, according to Rolling Stone. Letterman is filling in for Neil Young, who was originally scheduled to induct the group but can no longer make the ceremony due to illness. The Hall of Fame issued a statement saying, “Due to illness, Neil Young is regrettably no longer able to induct Pearl Jam at this year’s Induction Ceremony. 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 was a huge Pearl Jam fan during his tenure as host of Late Show With David Letterman, inviting the band to perform on the show seven times and inviting frontman Eddie Vedder to appear solo as well. The band also played a 10-song set for the Late Show audience during one taping in 2006.
- By contrast, Pearl Jam never appeared on The Tonight Show when Jay Leno was hosting that program.
- The nature of Young’s illness was not disclosed. He and Pearl Jam have also had a strong relationship throughout the years, with Pearl Jam both opening for Young on tour and serving as his back-up band on the 1995 Mirror Ball album and subsequent European trek.
- Letterman joins a list that includes Snoop Dogg inducting Tupac Shakur, Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson inducting Yes, Train‘s Pat Monahan welcoming Journey and others.
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York this Friday and air on HBO on April 29th at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.