×
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

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: 'Women Have Balls!'

    For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first [...]

  • Fat Joe

    Fat Joe Joins 'New York Undercover' Pilot at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fat Joe has been cast in the “New York Undercover” pilot currently in the works at ABC, Variety has learned exclusively. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore (Toby Sandeman) and Melissa Ortiz (Otmara Marrero) as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content