×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Watch David Letterman’s Epic Pearl Jam Speech at the Rock Hall of Fame

David Letterman and his colossal beard made a rare public appearance Friday night to induct veteran rockers Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York.

After a lengthy ovation from the Barclay’s Center crowd, Letterman mused: “I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is to be out of the house.”

The retired TV host, now 69, was an 11th hour substitute for Neil Young, who cited an undisclosed illness and couldn’t make the event (“The poor guy just can’t stay up this late,” Letterman teased).

Letterman fondly recalled having Pearl Jam on the “Late Show,” as well as other live acts “and future hall of famers,” during his 33-year tenure.

“Never take the opportunity for live music for granted and that’s the message I can bring you folks tonight,” he said warmly.

Pearl Jam became a staple on the CBS program over the years, performing a total of 10 tens, including one stint that turned into an epic 10-song after-party for the Ed Sullivan Theater crowd.

“Every time they were there, they would blow the roof off the place,” Letterman recalled, “and I’m not talking figuratively. They actually blew the roof off the place. For two years I did a show without a roof over the goddamn theater.

He added: “The nice thing about knowing them for as long as I’ve known them, I know them as friends as well as cultural icons. And I would just like to say one day I hope to come back here for the induction for my friend Warren Zevon.”

Watch the full speech above.

More Music

  • The Prom Broadway

    'The Prom': How the Little Show That Could Found Its Way to the Tonys Dance

    Does a Broadway musical still count as an underdog if it’s got über-producer Ryan Murphy in its corner? It does if it’s “The Prom,” the labor of love from a team of Broadway veterans that’s carving out a place for itself as an original story on a street full of familiar titles and well-known brands. [...]

  • lucian grainge: cannes lions media person

    Vivendi in Talks With Tencent About Universal Music Sale (Report)

    In the 10 months since Vivendi confirmed that it is seeking a buyer for as much as 50% of Universal Music Group, the industry has watched analysts’ proposed valuations of the company balloon from an initial $22 billion to as much as $50 billion. But according to a report in Bloomberg, private equity investors have [...]

  • Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s

    Watch Karen O & Danger Mouse’s ‘Encounter With Lux Prima’ Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Karen O & Danger Mouse’s “Lux Prima” is one of the year’s best albums so far — but it’s more than an album. “An Encounter with Lux Prima – The Art of Collaboration,” a short documentary chronicling the 18-month development of their multisensory art installation “An Encounter With Lux Prima” premieres today exclusively on Variety. [...]

  • Netflix's Clarence Avant Doc 'Black Godfather'

    Barack Obama, P. Diddy, David Geffen Hail 'Black Godfather' Clarence Avant in Netflix Doc (Watch)

    The first trailer for “The Black Godfather,” Reginald Hudlin’s documentary about black entertainment trailblazer Clarence Avant, has been released. The film features interviews with Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, David Geffen, Clive Davis, Diane Warren, Lionel Richie and Irving Azoff, among other industry titans. Former president Barack Obama also makes an appearance. Hudlin spent three years [...]

  • Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall on

    Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall on the New Warner Chappell (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even by music industry standards, publishing is a pretty small world: It’s an ultra-specialized area of the business and a tight community where pretty much everyone knows each other. But although the two co-chairs of Warner Chappell Music Publishing — former Sony/ATV president of worldwide creative Guy Moot and former SONGS publishing partner Carianne Marshall [...]

  • Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps

    Malcom McLaren’s Son Joe Corré Preps ‘Wake Up Punk’ Feature Doc (EXCLUSIVE)

    Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corré has voiced his opposition to a Sex Pistols feature film in the works, and is about to launch his own project, “Wake Up Punk.” The feature documentary will follow events after his decision to burn punk memorabilia worth millions of pounds. John Lydon has already tweeted that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content