Daily Archives: April 7, 2017

Read Pearl Jam's Humble Rock Hall Induction Speech

A quarter of a century after they released their 13-times platinum debut, Ten, Pearl Jam remain one of rock’s biggest bands. They had sprung into the world’s consciousness with a mix of aggressive and emotional songs and have since refined their palate in order to write expansive, transformative rockers. Their last two albums have reached Number One on the Billboard charts, and they’ve never put out a studio album that has charted lower than Number Five. Moreover, they still tour regularly – having once taken on the concert industry by challenging Ticketmaster – and they still play two-hour sets to packed arenas.

On Friday night, the band appeared at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to accept their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following a speech by retired talk-show host David Letterman. The band’s current lineup – Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron – all appeared onstage to make speeches marking the achievement, as did founding drummer Dave Krusen. Read the band’s full speech below.

Stone Gossard: Maybe the most important reason we came tonight is not to receivethis honor, but to honor those who have worked so hard for this band, to help it function. All of us can fill sheets of paper with themany names, of our loving family members, our oldest and dearest friends, our influences,our idols, our collaborators, our counselors, our contributors, the people who mediated forus and assisted us in countless ways. They disagreed with us, respected us, encouraged us, gave us shoulders to lean onand cry on. They [dealt with] boring paperwork, endless organizing, agonizing phonecalls, computer work, torturous floods, drives, terrible conditions. They’ve hung lightingramps around countless tables. Purchased thousands of tambourines. Changed tens ofthousands of batteries. And even vacuumed our rooms, all to keep this band living on. 

To all these people we give our most sincere and dearestthanks. Your hard work and love and dedication means that this award is as much for youas it is for us. We give our sincerest thanks toGeorge, Kerry, Liz, Simon, our manager Josh, Liam, Donny, Nicole,Kevin, Brett, Jimmy, Jimmy V, Andy, Sarah, Dave, Pete,Sonny, Larry, Jesse, Key, Dan, Tom, Peter, Mellie, Gary,Pharrell, Anna, Ellie, Mark, thankyou so much. Tim P, Rob, Ryan, Avery, Will, Barron, Jess, Christian, Ziggy,Janie, Betsy, Scully, Jacquelyn, Margo, Rod,Diana, Ryan. Thank you to all the incredible artists who have created all of our incredibletour posters. But even more importantly than all of those folks, we want to thank our fans. Whose belief inus has carried us through the times where we didn’t believe or we lost hope or we lost each other. Thank you so much to the greater Pearl Jamcommunity. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’re having so much funwatching you.And lastly, I would like to thank our amazing wives, my amazing wife, Vivian, her beautifulfamily, our beautiful children, my mom and dad, my sisters and theirfamilies. Thank you all for giving us this opportunity. 

Dave Krusen: I’d like to thank the Hall of Fame. Pearl Jamsaved my life. And to my family, my kids, I love you guys. Thank you.

Matt Cameron: I would just like to thank my, my muse, my girl,my one special lady, April Cameron. My beautiful children, Ray and Josie. I would like to thankmy parents for letting me practice drums in theirhouse for probably a decade or so. I really appreciate that. My brother and sister for takingme to my first concert, David Bowie, Station to Station, 1977. I would like to thank my brothers in Pearl Jam for inviting me into theirincredible [band]. We so appreciate the fans and the life’s blood thatyou give to our art form of rock and roll. Thank you. 

Mike McCready: Woo! That feels good. We’re in pivoting moments of the changingforever. I’ve had nine of these. But the first was in 1976. I was a boy scout. One day, ateleven years old, when my friends Danny and Rick told me about the rock band, Kiss. Iasked my parents for a guitar that night. I want to thank my mom, Louise McCready, for herlove and support for teaching me about Warhol, the Rolling Stones and dying my hair. Mydad, Roy McCready, thank you for giving me love and guidance and teaching me to trainmy mind, body and spirit. Thank you to my first band Shadow and for letting me practice five days a week for six years in their house. Thank you somuch.To my second band, Pearl Jam, you’re my brothers. I love you. I love you guys. I love yourfamily. You guys did it right, but we’reonly as good as the people that are around us. Our manager, Kelly Curtis, MichelleAnthony, Michael Goldstone, Nicole Vandenberg, George Well, Johnny, ChrisAdams, Brennan O’Brien and everyone at our offices. Our fan club, our road crew, andevery person that holds us up. 

I want to thank the Red Hot ChiliPeppers for taking us out with the band and to the manybands that inspired me. Many that inspired me. Cheap Trick, Queen, Bowie, Hendrix, theStones, Beatles, UFO, Kraftwork, Ramones, Brandi Carlile, the Kills, SocialDistortion, Muddy Waters, Sex Pistols, the Clash, and my new favorite band, ThunderPussy. My friends and family, a lot ofyou are here tonight. You bring me laughter and teach me how to live. I loveall of you. All my friends and family are here tonight. All of our fans, thank you for hangingout with us before we go. Thank you to my amazing wife, Ashley, for keeping it all together, keeps my work together. Ilove you. 143. And our kids, Kaya, Jackson, and Henry, you inspire me to be a better parent. Alright. Thank you. 

Jeff Ament: When I was 13, my uncle Pat gave me some singles, which was, the key to a well-respected man. This coincided with reading Death of a Salesman, in 7th grade class. After that I was put in a course never to be Willy Loman, which somehow correlated to a lifetime of playing bands, so if I seem a little bit nervous, blame Arthur Miller as I’ve never been very comfortable in a roomfull of seats. In 1983, I moved to Seattle, looking for my tribe. Other artists, musicians, individuals, hardworkers, skateboarders. I found a lot of these folks – many are still my friends. Imet Stone a month after moving to Seattle. At those first Seattle punk rock shows, I metStone almost thirty-five years ago, which ultimately led me to our band community. 

Beinghere with the band, who have become some of my best friends in the process, makingmusic and art, traveling the world, supporting causes and programs together, making smalldifferences, meeting great artists and creative minds all over the world. That’s a pretty greatfucking life. It’s an honor 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. So many important bands that made us want topick up our guitars and right songs. But the very best part about tonight is that mymom, who gave me the keys to the piano and my dad, who taught me abouthard work and community, they’re here with my family. So this is for everysmall town kid who has a dream. Thanks to everybody who supports us and inspires us.You’re great fans. Everybody who works with us with the band.Kelly, George have been with us for 27 years, 26 years. Thank you. Love you. 

Eddie Vedder: You’re kind. Thank you so much. I guess I’d like to start by thankingall those who came before us. The tetrapods, the primates, thehomo erectus. [Laughter.] Without them, we would be so much less evolved. And here weare on our modern technology, advanced technology age and we’ve got a lot of evolving todo. It’s evolution, baby. Climate change is real. That is not fake news. And we cannot,cannot be the generation the history of the world will look back on and wonder why theydidn’t do anything humanly possible to solve the biggest crisis in our time. Anythingcan be obtainable. The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. This is proof. And I usethat analogy because, in regards to climate change, because it can be done, but here’sthe thing, we don’t have 108 years to wait. 

I’m lucky and grateful – two things I am every day. And I’m just grateful to be alive. And Ialso … I want to publicly apologize, you know, all of the, making our bandmates, making mybandmates suffer. For the singer who was flapping down the rafters and hanging off ofbikes and jumping off of balconies. They really didn’t deserve that. But, you know, they didn’t know that the person that they gave the job to, that their singer was reallyan Evil Knievel. But it was also about music. I swear, I used to be able to hold my wholebody up with one finger. But if the music wasn’t playing, I couldn’t do it with both hands. 

When I think about high altitudes, I think about my wife, Jill. Honey, I thought youwere sitting down in front. But, it’s so important, you know, especially if that kitegets way higher in the air, you really have to trust the person holding the line. And thatperson has to be loyal and believe in you and have to have the strength to reel you back, somy wife, Jill, I thank you. And … I’m looking forward to all our beautiful days on groundtogether. And I’m glad I get to hold the chord for you and you get to soar as you do.My two daughters, I’m trying to teach them everything I know, andthey teach me the rest. Which is more of than what I do know. And ifsomehow, some way, Chance the Rapper ever sees or hears this, I just want to tell him, mydaughter really loves you. And I also, Chance, want to thank you for all the great workyou’re doing in Chicago. That gives us all hope. 

I just love them more than anything, and that’s a lot, itsays a lot because I really love the Who! And the Ramones and the Band and Guided By Voices, and the list goes on because I listen to music every day of my life.And … a lot of that was in small apartments, when I grew up, we lived in some tight spaceswith my family, my mom and my brothers. My mom, she did really good parenting. Shewouldn’t tell us to turn it down, she would just kind of end up being fans of the bands thatwe were playing really loudly. And my brothers who I grew up listening to music withtogether, I always will try to play our songs and our new songs to them first. They’re suchgood brothers. They’ve known me long enough. They know when I’m pulling some kind ofbullshit. So they keep me honest and keep the records true.

You know, how lucky I was to meet Jack Irons. I’mworking as a crew guy in San Diego before my night shift,and I get to meet Jack, and it was the original drummer in the Chili Peppers. He also was amember of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame already. He’s here tonight. Without meeting him,none of this would’ve happened. I’m not in this building. I’m probably not evenon the planet. Jack, thanks so much. Thanks foryour friendship. Somehow when you’re so fortunate, you know, when you have a few drinks,and you’re taking that seat in the jump school or at the throne, is they’re all kings. We’reso fortunate. Every one of them is great. Matt Cameron’s really been the one. At a time when we didn’t know if – we weren’t sure what wasgoing to happen –  he had been able not just to survive, but to thrive.

I mean, he’s been one of my brothers. And he was going to end up receiving this happily with us orhis other group. So he’ll be back. He’s a great drummer.You are a great drummer! And Matt Chamberlain, Jack, who we got to play with this week for the first time in 25 years. It was great tosee him. He’s a great person. I really want to thank Dave Letterman for being partof our honor tonight. He doesn’t know, but when I used to work the midnight shift, fouryears of midnight shift – I used to get there 11 to 7 and there’s a small red TV on the securitycard, a small red TV and Dave was my copilot. Every weekday, every night at work for fouryears. And also, he’d have so many great bands on his show thatthey – I saw so many bands that Letterman influences. 

The first time on the Letterman show,and I’m just going to tell you my side of that quick story when I came into his studio and tookthe mic and sang, “Black.” He was doing it, “do-do-do do-do do.” He was doing that everynight for about three months. And I was always watching the show and it was starting tomake me fucking crazy. And then it started getting weird. I remember I smoked a little something. I’m sitting there,end of the night, kind of relaxing, and he kept asking, “Paul, when is this band going to beon the show?” “I don’t know. I haven–” “Did you call?” “I haven’t.” And he starts looking inthe TV. And I’m stoned. And Dave Letterman who was my copilotwith the security thing, he just looks into the camera like he’s looking into my bedroom …”Eddie? Eddie? Come here, Eddie.” It was fucked up. I thought the TV was talking to me. Ilost my mind.  Serious thought, you know, you might have to go to rehab. You’retripping balls right now. 

So last thing, we’ve been through a lot, this group, and if it weren’t for everybody outhearing about our music, if it weren’t for everybody out here who came to the shows … Those are the things that really kept us together when we felt theresponsibility to the music was bigger than ourselves or our own personal needs. We knew we were better together than apart. It was you. I love these people so much. I feel like maybe we’re about halfway there to deserving something,immaculate of this statue, maybe halfway there. But this is very encouraging. And we’revery grateful. Thank you. 

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Read Journey, Steve Perry's Heartfelt Rock Hall of Fame Speeches

The most anticipated moment of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony came when former Journey vocalist Steve Perry appeared alongside his ex-bandmates for the first time since a 2005 Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. 

Although he didn’t sing with them (and hasn’t since a one-off event in 1991), Perry did stand with them at the podium to deliver an induction speech. If this moment didn’t lead to an actual reunion performance, it’s hard to imagine that anything will. But even without Perry, Journey is still able to pack arenas all over the world, largely due to their current singer, Arnel Pineda. Read the band’s speech below, including Steve Perry’s warm words for replacement vocalist Pineda.

Neal Schon: Everyone did such a good job. Incredible work. So proud of you. This is all about you, fans. … I love all you guys. Steve Perry [Applause] Thank you for reviving my art, for finding me.

Wow, what a terrific, long ride it’s been. It’s been a beautiful one. I want to thank my beautiful wife, Michaele. … I just, I feel great. It’s been seven years. She’s been out on tour with me the whole time. No records. … I love you. I love my children, Miles! He’s here. An aspiring young guitar player. I love you, Miles. Sarah, Sophie and Aja. Thank you so much! Dunbar! Thank you, you guys.

Aynsley Dunbar: Good evening. Well, I hope I can be sort of funny as Chris Wyatt, but I don’t think so. This is going to be straightforward. This is an awesome honor to be here with my own bandmates, Journey. I would like to thank my family, my friends, my managers, my ex-wives … And of course, a big thank you to all our fans for your support throughout the years. A very humble thank you.

Gregg Rolie: What a great night this is for waiting. This is my second trip here. And what a trip this has been. First Santana, Journey, Ringo Starr and back here with Journey. I want to thank Herbie Herbert, my manager and longtime friend through Journey. And Neal Schon, for calling me while I was up in Seattle and saving me from the restaurant business. Don’t ever do it. Just start Journey. And you know, it’s been an incredible trip for my life. I want to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for inducting this band kindly. But also, for me, this is really about the fans. All of you. Without music fans, this place is empty. There’s nobody here! This is really, for me, this is really about all you guys, especially Journey fans for me. This is your award, but it will be proudly displayed in my home in Austin, Texas.

Steve Smith: As the diversity of the class of 2017 clearly illustrates, I’ve started out in 1963 at nine years old as a jazz drummer. I thank my parents for … supporting my musical passion. Back then, my favorite bands were the Count Basie Big Band, and it wasn’t until 1969 that I discovered rock & roll with my friend, [who] showed me his brother Dave’s record collection. He played me Jimi Hendrix, Queen and Led Zeppelin. What I heard was Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker and John Bonham. I could relate to rock drumming and rock music. As disc jockey Alan Freed, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee once said, “Rock & roll is really swing with a modern aim. It began in the levies and in the plantations, and featured blues and rhythm.” He said this in the 1950s.

Now that we live in a global community, more influences have been added to and will be added to the definition of what is rock & roll. For me, one of the most explosive ships in musical production came in 1971 with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, and Rick Laird … In many ways, that punk rock, jazz music, drumming concert was my template for my work with Journey. I’m grateful for my touring with Ronnie Montrose, where we were the support act of Journey in ’78 and talent scout Neal Schon noticed what I was bringing to rock & roll. Later that year, Neil, Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory and Herbie Herbert invited me to become a Journey band member, and it’s been an educational award in the process.

Thanks to my children, Ian and Elizabeth for keeping me in their hearts while I was away on long tours. And very special thanks to my wife, Diane. We’ve been sharing our lives for the last 24 years. I love you. Thanks to Jonathan Green for the gift of songwriting and for keeping the legacy sound of Journey rock alive. And most important thanks to our fans from around the world that kept Journey in their hearts and on their stereos.

Ross Valory: One thing that you may not know is that this microphone is robotic. It’s supposed to come up and meet me where I am. Hello, microphone! Don’t make me come down there! Well, I know you’re really helpful, but you’re really not because there’s a big red clock that says I have three minutes, right? But then it says I only have 37 seconds. I also must say that Steve Smith did very well with his prepared speech. He worked the Teleprompter very well. I’m not going to even bother. I didn’t like mine. But I’ll start from the top and say that there’s a few things that were said earlier that I will repeat because their names deserve to be repeated. My life has been full of music from the very beginning. From the time I could hear. From the time they swabbed my ears out in the maternity ward, there was music everywhere. A large family, two talented parents who shared music with us, we learned from piano, ukulele, guitar. We all sang. As soon as I could, I was in a church choir, the school choir.

As soon as it was allowed, I could play an instrumental in symphonic band and so that continued all the way through high school. The family had a great variety of music to hear and be exposed to – anywhere from Miles Davis to Mozart, from Handel to Fats Domino, from Glenn Miller to Dave Brubeck.

So somewhere in there, I thought, “That’s where my world was,” until a new kid came into town when I was a sophomore in high school. He goes, “Hey, I know who you are. I know you play in the symphonic band, whatever you play, guitar at home. And we need a bass player. I’m starting to deal with a bunch of your friends, and since you’re a guitarist, you can learn these parts very easily. Why don’t you get your mom to go down to the local music store, grab a bass, get an amplifier, we’ll make some change and have some fun?” I said, “OK.”

So, from that point, the life of music for me changed entirely, and here we are tonight. If that’s one booking, this could be the other one. If nothing else happens for me in music, this could be the best that it gets. There are many other people who I believe deserve this, and I’ll start by talking about someone I met in high school within one year of starting rock & roll. His name is Herbie Herbert. He is our former creator/partner/manager. And within five years of meeting him, we had created the beginnings of Journey with Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon. And we all know, or maybe need to know, that he put the blood, sweat and tears and all his energy into seeing this band succeed, and we are here to thank Herbie Herbert for that. 

But that, you know, we’re still here! What is happening? How have we continued? For the last 20 years, our current manager, John Baruck, and took a band out of exile and put them back on the map. We have him to thank. And then there’s all the fans, the hundreds of thousands of fans that have supported us for years. Thank you for this. All of you who have founded us, encouraged us, pushed us. They, our friends, deserve a piece of this award. And last but not least, out family members who maybe have suffered in our absence and given us hope, given us encouragement. Our family members. Yes. Our parents. My parents. And last but not least, the family who, and the love of my wife, Mary, who has understood and accepted this guy who goes away with the circus every year. Thank you so much.

Jonathan Cain: I just want to thank the Cubs for winning the World Series! I’d like begin by thanking my father and mother for believing in me. … from the time that I was eight years old and after, he later said to me, “Son, don’t stop believing.” On a life-changing phone call, as I started with my career back in the Seventies. He’s gone now. I miss you, dad and love you. Thanks to … Ralph Dodds, from the conservatory of Chicago, Jerry Milo … and to the late Buddy Killen, who gave me my first break in Nashville in 1969.

To my brother Tom who played drums with me in countless bands while we learned lessons together in rock & roll. To my brother Hal who always believed in my music. To the late Wolfman Jack and Don Kelly organization for opening doors and getting us started on the right path. To all the members of the Babies. To my brothers in Journey, for believing and trusting I could be part of it, or shifting and sustaining signature sound. To former band mates Steve Augeri and Deen Castronovo. To our music business family behind the scenes who work tirelessly, the record promotion people … The DJs who gave us millions of spins. To the record distributors, who made sure our music made it to stores and on the shelves.

To Live Nation and the local promoters and most of all, our faithful fans who stood by us through the years. During the ups and downs. To our wise managers, Herbie Herbert and John Baruck, for keeping us on track during the tough times. We shared over 40 years having blessed relationships with all of you. And I believe relationships are the key to building a ramp and maintaining a presence in our music business. Thanks to the members of the Hall who voted to honor us tonight. Finally, I thank my three children, Madison, Weston and Liza for their understanding and accepting their dad had to hit the road all those years. And to my wife, Paula, who stands beside me with love and respect. I love you all. And thanks to you, Lord, for keeping your guiding hand on us all those years. This honor was truly worth the wait. God bless.

Steve Perry: Hello, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! … I’m going to keep my cheat sheet because I’ve got a lot to say. I’m going to start with, when I was living in Los Angeles, I was looking to get a record deal, trying my very best. It was tough to get signed at those times. And I would always go to see Journey perform cause these guys have the most amazing musical ability. I’ve never seen a band like that in my life. So every time they’d go [perform], I had to go watch with amazement. Though their musicianship was absolutely par to none, there was one instrument that was flying about the entire city of Los Angeles. That was the magic fingers of Neal Schon’s guitar! Somehow, one of my piano tapes fell into the hands of Herbie Herbert. I would not be here tonight if it were not for Herbie Herbert. Because he did not have to call. He gets tapes all the time. But there’s something about the demo tape, and he called me. And the next thing I knew, because of Herbie, I was writing music for Neal Schon. And the very first song we wrote together was “Patiently,” you remember that? So, I absolutely must tell you, I must thank Herbie Herbert for believing in me. Thank you.

Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Steve Smith, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory. Are you fucking shitting me? Any singer would give his ass for that shit. … So, I want to thank them for all the music we’ve written. Thank you, Gregg for letting me into your house to write that Infinity record. For letting me into your house, Schon. Thank you so much, Jon, for all the songs that we all write together. Steve Smith for the raging drums. Alright, guys, thank you so much for all the music we’ve written and recorded together. Forever and ever.

I must give a complete shoutout to someone who sings his heart out every night, and it’s Arnel Pineda. Where are you, Arnel? Arnel, I love you. Hi, Arnel! Thank you! I’d like to thank my longtime attorney, Lee Philips. I also would like to thank my old, high school R&B band. It’s kind of where it all started for me. I would like to thank them. Thanks to Rob and the team at Columbia Records. The Journey road crew for the original Journey road crew. You busted your ass every night, every day. Load in, load out. Tirelessly. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. Herbie knows that’s true. We would not be here today if it wasn’t for them, too. And also… I want to say my condolences to the families – I’d like to say my condolences to the families of the members… Herbie and Tim McClain got together and said you’re going to be on fan club, this is going to be great. That’s what happened. Tim McClain [and others] made it all happen for us.

Now, speaking of fans [applause], speaking of fans! You’re the ones who put us here! You’re the one who put us here! You are the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! You put us here! We would not be here had it not been for you and the tireless love and consistent devotion. We never would’ve stopped. And from my heart, I must tell you, I’ve been gone a long time, I understand that. But I want you to know, you’ve never not been in my heart. I want you to know that. And I love every single one of you. Thank you so very much! 

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Pearl Jam, Rush, Journey Members Cover Neil Young at Rock Hall All-Star Jam

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony ended with a raucous, enthralling all-star jam on Friday night, as a group of musicians that included Yes’ Trevor Rabin, Rush’s Geddy Lee and Journey’s Neal Schon joined Pearl Jam onstage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to cover Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Young, who was originally slated to induct Pearl Jam but pulled out due to illness, was absent. “The truth of it is, the poor guy can’t stay up that late,” David Letterman quipped before inducting Pearl Jam earlier in the night. “It’s either that, or he swallowed a harmonica.”

Young’s absence didn’t hamper the performance, which featured enough guitars to equip a small army battalion. The all-star ensemble kept solos to a minimum, choosing to focus mostly on the central riff that gives Young’s track its rugged power. As all the guitarists slammed through the chugging progression again and again, “Rockin’ in the Free World” began to acquire the sludgy charm of primal garage rock. It’s a testament to Vedder’s singing abilities that he wasn’t drowned out by all the players around him.

Young released “Rockin’ in the Free World,” a critique of the first George Bush administration, on the Freedom album in 1989. A live acoustic version of the track opened the record, and a tougher electric rendition brought the album to a close. 

The song proved to be durable, popping up on Young’s feedback-slathered live Weld album in 1991 and playing during the close credits of Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. The track also earned Young a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal performance in 1991.

Pearl Jam have a longstanding connection to “Rockin’ in the Free World” – the band joined Young to perform the song together in 1993 at MTV’s VMA awards. Members of Pearl Jam later contributed to Young’s 1995 album Mirror Ball.

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Yes Give Hilarious, Profane Rock Hall of Fame Speech

After emotional induction speeches by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, the surviving members of Yes took the stage for the first time since the conclusion of the Union tour in early 1992. They’ve spent the last year touring in two competing camps and relations are more than a little strained, but at least for one night they were willing to put the bitterness behind them and celebrate their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Whether it marks the beginning of a new Union chapter or merely a one night detente remains to be seen, but the group, especially Rick Wakeman, delivered one of the Hall’s most hysterical, profane speeches. Read the entire thing below.

Jon Anderson: Truly, this is for the Yes fans everywhere! [Applause] It’s kind of interesting, I went to the Hall of Fame about three years ago with my beautiful wife, Janey. There she is. And I walked around the Hall of Fame and all my heroes were there. Every one of them. From … Little Richard … I can’t believe you guys. You’re so beautiful. Look at you! You’re all so beautiful! Wow! Bill Haley! Bill Haley and the Comets. Stevie Wonder. Look at those great people … we’re going to join. I can’t believe it. It’s truly amazing. I was very lucky, you know. It’s actually 49 years ago tonight that I met Chris Squire at a bar. And so in April 1968. It was a magic moment when I met Chris. I remember going to him and saying, “Hi, Chris. How are yah? He was so tall! I can’t believe it!”

Anyway, we got the band going. We had a guitar player called Peter Banks. We had a drummer called Bill Bruford. He’s there! Mr. Bill Bruford. He’s behind me. [Laughter] But Chris is in heaven now. And Peter Banks is in heaven and in spirit. They’re here with us tonight. That’s for sure.

I don’t know what to say anymore. I just love being here. You guys are beautiful! Wow! Beautiful! Let’s hear a big shout for my son, Damien and Deborah and Jade! The Kid and Bowie and my grandchildren. I can’t believe I’ve got grandchildren. It’s amazing. [Laughter.] Life is passing me by so fast. I can’t believe it. I’m so glad we’re in Yes. Yes means rock to me. Here’s Mr. Trevor Rabin!

“Nothing can take away the response we’ve gotten from our fans who obviously have a different ear from the general music lovers.” – Steve Howe

Trevor Rabin: Hi there. Bruford said to me, “Make sure your fly’s up when you go up.” I got to thank you so much. This is an incredible honor. And it’s great to be inducted with my friends out there and Neil and Jonathan and everyone. And along with everyone that’s being inducted, I want to thank you all and my beautiful wife, Shelley, and my extremely talented son, Ryan. Brian Lane, Larry Magid. Thank you so much for everything, and I’ll pass it on to Rick Wakeman. Sorry, Alan White.

Alan White: Hi, everyone. Thank you. It’s great to see you all here. This has been a long journey. I’d like to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this induction. Secondly, I’d like to really thank my wife and family for being here tonight with me. And also, all of our great fans from all over the world. And thirdly, I’d like to acknowledge Chris SquireI’ve been working with them for 43 years, and he was one of my best friends ever. And we had a relationship like no one. And… thank you all for this award. Thank you.

Steve Howe: Okay, I’m Steve Howe. I’m only going to take a minute now, but of course we’d love to thank all of our fans for believing all these years that we deserve and need to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [Applause] Fame is fickle many people, and some may long for bask in its glory. Others merely attempt to gain notoriety for their musical endeavors. Well since music speaks long after its creation, this service has a payment for those with the respect for those who are no longer with us today. Allowing those to remain, to shine a light on all those who contributed to those such great ideas and melodies and lyrics and arrangements and direction with this Yes music.

Nothing can take away the response we’ve gotten from our fans who obviously have a different ear from the general music lovers, fortunately, for us. They’re able to distinguish the textures and the harmonies and the discords and the dynamics of the dramatic and the humble or the soft and the love of the choir. And as Bill used to say when asked, “What is Yes music?” Bill would say simply, “Some of it’s fast and some of it’s slow.”

I’d just like to take a minute now just to thank my wonderful wife and our wonderful family who’s been behind us through the highs and the lows. We love you all very, very much. We look forward to continuing, to unearth more great works of Yes. Thank you very much! [applause.]

Rick Wakeman: Does this thing go up? [Points to mic] Story of my life. [Laughter] Ah, forget it. I’m very happy here for a couple of reasons, to be inducted. One is the fact, obviously to be a part of Yes and getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the other is something I really probably shouldn’t tell you is that, less than half a mile away from this very building is where I had my very first meaningful sexual experience. [Applause] No. No. No. Please. It wasn’t very good. [Laughter] Anyway, as Steve said a thank you to his wife, I will say a thank you to mine. Unfortunately, she’s not here tonight. When I left her this morning, I think she was in a coma actually.

I’d like to thank, apart from all the guys in Yes that I work with, my father, who played a massive part in my career. Like my family, we were all in the entertainment business. We generally were very, very poor. My father was an Elvis impersonator. But there wasn’t much call for that in 1947. [Laughter] He taught me a lot. I remember he sat me down once, he said, “Son,” he said, “Don’t go to any of those really cheap, dirty, nasty, sleazy strip clubs because if you do, you’ll see something you shouldn’t.” So, of course I went. And I saw my dad. [Laughter]

I’d like to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame very much for inducting Yes. The only thing I would say, I’m glad that we’re actually out third because as you get older, the old things like the prostate start acting up a bit. What I would like to say quite seriously is how important it is to have the odd examination, which I had indeed on Monday. You ladies, you don’t know, it’s really tough. You have to get in the old fetal position, you hear the old plastic glove go off or the rubber glove. And then it’s like the gopher going on holiday inside. Whilst I was having my examination, the doctor said to me, he said, “Mr. Wakeman, there’s no need to be embarrassed. It’s not unusual to get an erection with this kind of procedure.” I said, “I haven’t got an erection.” He said, “I know, but I have.”

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Read David Letterman's Eloquent Rock Hall Induction Speech for Pearl Jam

David Letterman showed his fondness for Pearl Jam when he inducted the grunge rockers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band had been a staple on his CBS Late Show since 1996, when they made their debut performing the No Code tune “Hail, Hail.” They went on to make six more appearances on the program. In 2006, they played a special 10-song set for Letterman’s audience. The talk-show host agreed to induct the band after Neil Young dropped out, citing an undisclosed illness.

Letterman, who called the band’s “Hail, Hail” performance a “big thrill” on his show in 1996, delivered a speech that was typically witty, wry and heartfelt. Here’s what the retired late-night host had to say about the long-running band.

David Letterman: Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is to be out of the house. I know Neil Young was supposed to be here. People are looking at me like I had something to do with it. Why isn’t Neil Young here? The truth of it is the poor guy just can’t stay up this late. That’s what it is. Either that or he swallowed a harmonica. I’m not sure.

I’m so excited and you people know this but for 33 years every night I got to experience the blessing of live music. For 33 years. From the people in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and people who will be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and then for two years that went away. CBS caught me using a copier and fired me.

#PearlJam 💙 #rockhall2017 #rrhof2017 #PJRockHall #rockandrollhalloffame #barclayscenter ⚡️

A post shared by (((d[-_-]b))) (@jnathancox) on Apr 7, 2017 at 8:04pm PDT

When I came here to rehearsal and heard live music again I was reminded, oh my God what a gift live music is. I know all of these people and my band and Paul Shaffer were tremendous. Never take the opportunity for live music for granted and that’s the message I can bring you folks tonight. It’s a delight to be back here for this. By the way I’ve known Neil Young for many, many years. We met a long time ago on farmersonly.com. In 1988 is when I first met most of the people involved in Pearl Jam who were all in a band called Mother Love Bone. [Applause]

Then, in 1991 things in the world of musical culture changed with an album entitled Ten. It was like a chinook coming out of the Pacific Northwest. It had an anger to it and it appealed to twenty-something people who felt displaced and unemployed and left out. I was almost 50 and even I was pissed off and it was also easy to dance to but that’s another deal.

Then, it turned out that these guys in Pearl Jam were something more than a band. They’re true living cultural organisms. They would recognize injustice and they would stand up for it. Whether it was human rights or the environment. Whether it was poverty. They didn’t let it wash over them. They would stand up and react.

In 1994, these young men risked their careers by going after those beady-eyed, blood-thirsty weasels. I’m just enjoying saying that. And because they did, because they stood up to the corporations I’m happy to say, ladies and gentleman, today every concert ticket in the United States of America is free. As I’ve got to know these gentlemen, they are very generous in spirit. As a matter of fact, listen to this, tonight the entire balcony is full of former Pearl Jam drummers. Stand up.

I wanted to say a couple of things about the music of this group. 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.

Now, I’m going to start reading a list of the songs and you’re going to start applauding and we won’t get out of here until Sunday so: “Jeremy,” “Corduroy.” Now, here’s one I like, the song, “Yellow Ledbetter.” It doesn’t make Ten because they have too much good material, they decide we don’t want to put this song on there with all of this other really good material. So, later it’s released, as like, a B-side. Twenty-five years, it’s an anthem. It’s a musical icon. For a lot of people, that song would be a career. “Sirens,” “Given to Fly,” “Kung Fu Fighting.”

These guys, I used to have a television show, they were on my show 10 different times over the years. Every time they were there, they would blow the roof off the place 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.

You know the song “Black.” There was a period in my life when I couldn’t stop doing this *mimics song* Great. Now we owe them a lot of money. Honest to God that’s all I could hear running through my head. I kept wondering how many times does this refrain occur in the song. I finally had to go to my hypnotist to get it to stop *mimics song again.* One night on the show I’m doing it and the stage door bursts open, in walks Eddie Vedder, he sings the song with Paul and the band. Then he comes over to me and looks me right in the eye and he says, “Stop doing that.” And I was cured, ladies and gentlemen.

I want to tell you a story that I’m very fond of. It’s about friendship with a guy who has done something for me that I’ll remember my entire life. I had three shows left to go and Eddie Vedder was on that show and he sang “Better Man.” I like to tell myself it’s because it rhymed with Letterman. There was something emotional in the air because as the show wound down the realization that we were saying goodbye, as I said before the experience that I miss most is the experience of live music every night. But that was in the air. It was palpable.

At the end of the show, Eddie Vedder came up to me, he handed me this, and I don’t know if you can see that but that’s the name of my son. He gave me this letter and said, “This letter, it’s for your son I want you to give it to Harry.” I think we have a picture of my son, Harry. [Shows picture of young boy smoking a cigarette from his old show.] Look at that, we’ve had him at all the best clinics taking a gap year in middle school.

So, if you’re in show business it’s likely there’s a good strong streak of cynicism in you, and I would be the president of that club except for things like this. This letter to my son from Eddie Vedder made me keep 2015, three shows left. I’ll read you this letter now if you don’t mind.

“Hi, Harry. My name is Eddie Vedder and I’m a friend of your dad’s. I wanted you to have this small guitar to start with. Try it out, make a little noise, I’ll make you a deal. If you learn even one song on this guitar I’ll get you a nicer, bigger one for your birthday. Maybe an electric one. You let me know.” And my son loves to fish, Eddie adds here, “Playing guitar is kind of like fishing. Fishing for songs. Good luck, Harry, in all things. Yours truly.”

It turns out that my son does play a string instrument, but it’s the violin – close enough. There are quite a few reasons why these people are in the Hall of Fame, but forgive me if this personally is the most important reason. 

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Read Snoop Dogg's Emotional Acceptance Speech on Behalf of Tupac Shakur

Snoop Dogg inducted fellow West Coast legend Tupac Shakur at Friday night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Both artists were on Dr. Dre and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records, and Snoop Dogg had appeared on one of Tupac’s final releases before his death, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone before the speech, Snoop noted that, “The Hall of Fame has come a long way and we appreciate them for appreciating us for what we do. And hopefully there will be many more to come, because there’s a lot of greats in hip-hop that deserve to be here.” But for now, the rapper reminisced about his history with Shakur. Read his full speech below.

Snoop Dogg: I can’t believe it’s been 21 years since we actually got to hear Tupac, not the oneclip on YouTube, not the hologram, Tupac Amaru Shakur the human being. Twenty-oneyears ago, Tupac Shakur was taken from all of us. He was only twenty-fiveyears old, too. Dare me to say that he was gone too soon.When I sat down to gather my thoughts about my late and great, my homie and my brotherthere’s one thought that kept coming back: Tupac was actually really good. While manyremember him now as some kind of thugged out superhero, Tupac really was only goodand he represented through his music like no one before. It’s the fact that he never shiedaway from it. He wore it like a badge of honor. With an unapologetic voice, Pac embracedthose contradictions that proved we ain’t just a character out of someone else’s story book.To be human is to be many things at once. Strong and bold. Hard headed and intellectual.Courageous and afraid. Loving and vengeful. Revolutionary and – oh, yeah I’m gettingfucked up. 

So, while we may be here to celebrate one of music’s most prolific and outspoken artists ashe’s rightfully enshrined as one of the greatest musicians to ever do it, I’m here to makesure that Pac is remembered the way he would have wanted to be: a strong black man whostood up. Not somebody who acted like a rapper, but as a human. That’s what made Tupac an amazingactor on the big screen in movies like, “Above the Rim” and “Juice.” That’s what made him so engaged with everything he ever did. Bothbefore and after his death. That’s what made Tupac the greatest rapper of all time. 

“He’s rightfully enshrined as one of the greatest musicians to ever do it.”

But to me, Tupac was first and foremost a homeboy. We shared a whole lot in common.The way our journey started together. We were both born in the same [neighborhood in] ’71. Hereleased his first single track from his scorcher first album “2pacalypse Now” in late 1991.Not even a year later I would make my debut alongside Dr. Dre on the song, “G Thang.”I finally got a chance to meet Pac in 1993 at a wrap party in L.A. And on thatnight, Pac passed me my first blunt. That’s right, Tupac is the one that got Snoop Doggsmoking weed. I was a zig-zag man before that shit. We became very good friends quicklythereafter. 

Then, in 1995, I told Suge Knight, I said, “Suge get Pac out of prison and have him come join our team at Death Row Records.” He never had a team before. It was always just him.Now, with us it was like he joined the Lakers. Dre was the coach and me and Pac were the stars on the court making history every which side.We were young, rich, and rock stars but we were also young men black men with targets onour back. We were catching cases simultaneously. That’s why when we got together we reallywere two of America’s most wanted.He had just gotten out of jail. I had just beat my case. I get a white Rolls Royce with thatcreamy white interior and Pac, he went out and bought a black one with the same thing.

He put me up on a lot of brand shit like Gucci and Versace and shit I can’teven pronounce. I got that penthouse suite on Wilshire, then two weeks later Pac got theone right across the hall from me. Neighbors, you dig?We had no peers besides one another. Just two black boys struggling to become men. Inever shared this story before but it really speaks to our journey. I had just beat my caseand Suge had taken us to South America to get away from all the drama and me and Pacwas parasailing. You heard right. Snoop Dogg and Tupac parasailing together. You got to remember I had just beat my case and Pac had just got out of prison. Does anybody know what parasailing is?Because we damn sure didn’t.Me and Pac were sitting on the edge of the boat with all this gear and shit on and all ofsudden the boat pulls away and we start floating and slammed up into the water likeboom. I don’t know what was in there. Sharks, or octopus or whatever, I’m like, man. 

“He saw more potential in me than I saw in myself.” 

It wascrazy because not only did we think we’re on top of the world at that time we actually wereon top of the world. Floating around in style then all of sudden Pac started telling me aboutsome movie idea he had about me being the main star. He was saying some shit. I wasn’tpaying attention because I was like, ‘we’re too high.’ I mean the shit he was saying to me at that moment was different, though. He saw me asan actor. He saw more potential in me than I saw in myself and it’s funny because after hepassed away I started getting a lot of movie roles and all this stuff. Pac was looking outfor us even after he was gone. 

That’s the thing with Pac. When he loves, he loves hard. Whether that was him loving blackpeople, him loving his homies, him loving his record label, and of course him loving hisbeautiful and incredibly strong mother the late Afeni Shakur. Memories of Ms. Shakur are embedded in m mind. Right after I heard Tupac got shot Iimmediately flew to Vegas. Iwas so weak I damn near fell over and his mom came over to me and she grabbed me andshe held up and she said, “Baby, you to to be strong.” I went and sat next to him and Iwhispered to him telling him I love him and to hold on and he was going to be OK and evenin that moment his mom was thinking more about me than herself and showed me how tolove strongly. I mean it was amazing that his momma was so strong and loved so hard.

I realized that Pac was taught how to love at a very early age and through his music heshared the love with all of us and that’s ultimately why we’re here tonight. Pac’s apart ofhistory for a reason because he made history. He’s hip hop history. He’s American historyand just like in school the more research you do on history the more information that youhave. So do your research. I’m not talking about Pac the rapper, I’mnot talking about Tupac the actor, I’m talking about Tupac the human being.So with that said, we’d all like to officially welcome Tupac Shakur to the Rock and Roll Hallof Fame. 

You will always be the best. You will live on forever. Legends always do. They can’t takethis away from you, homie.I love you, Tupac. Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

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Pearl Jam Deliver Searing Rock Hall of Fame Induction Performance

Pearl Jam played scorched-earth versions of three hits from the 1990s during their set at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday night.

The band opened with “Alive,” which gave Dave Krusen, the drummer from the group’s debut album Ten, a chance to sit in behind the kit. Guitars flared on both sides of Eddie Vedder as he rumbled and rasped through the song’s life-affirming chorus. Mike McCready got the final word though, hurtling through a virtuosic, head-turning solo and unfurling long streams of notes at remarkable speed as Krusen bashed away at the drums behind him. 

Pearl Jam’s current drummer, Matt Cameron, returned for the next two songs, “Given to Fly” and “Better Man.” “Given to Fly” built around a sturdy, martial beat. But for a band that loves to blast off and has the tools to do so with style, Vedder was singing with a full-throated roar while his bandmates kicked up a highly organized ruckus. 

The group finished their set with “Better Man,” a song about a dead-end relationship that became a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. The crowd began to sing along, unprompted, as soon as Pearl Jam started playing. After the song’s stately first half, the band ended their performance charging forward, as Vedder and the audience traded lines while McCready made space for another impressive solo.

Pearl Jam were originally slated to be inducted by Neil Young, but Young bowed out due to an undisclosed illness. On Wednesday, Rock Hall organizers announced that David Letterman would replace Young. Pearl Jam have a longstanding relationship with Letterman: during his tenure as host of The Late Show, the band performed on the program multiple times. “Every time they were there, they would blow the roof off the place,” Letterman said during his induction speech. “For two years I did a show without a roof on the damn theater,” he added. 

This is the first year that Pearl Jam are eligible for the Rock Hall. Along with Tupac, also inducted (posthumously) on Friday, Pearl Jam are the first members of the Hall who began their recording careers in the 1990s.

However, not all members of Pearl Jam made it into the Rock Hall. Vedder, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard and McCready were inducted, but that core unit has played with multiple drummers since the band’s inception, and only two of those percussionists were inducted: Cameron, former drummer of Soundgarden, who joined Pearl Jam in 1998, and Krusen, who played on the group’s debut album.

Dave Abbruzzese, who drummed on Vs. and Vitalogy, objected to his snub in a post on Facebook. “I have always thought that every award given to a band that celebrates the band’s lifetime achievements should be awarded to every person that was ever a debt-incurring, life-sacrificing, blood-spilling member of that band,” he wrote.

“Maybe the Hall should reevaluate the need to put all the monkeys in the same cage in order to boost revenue, and instead let the history of the band be fully and completely represented as they were and as they are,” he added.

Krusen, for his part, did not expect to be inducted into the Rock Hall. “I never gave it a lot of thought,” he told Rolling Stone after it was announced that he would join his bandmates from two decades ago when they were honored at the Barclays Center. “I don’t play in the band, so why would I? But I was quite surprised and very excited. I’m very proud to have been a part of that thing.”

He did not address Abbruzzese’s concerns. “The whole drummer controversy with the band, obviously Matt Cameron should be there,” he said. “Beyond that, I guess I’ll just stay out of it.”

Last month, Pearl Jam announced on Twitter that they would invite all five men who had drummed in the band to the Rock Hall induction ceremony. “We’re so fortunate, every one of [our drummers] was great,” Vedder said during his acceptance speech. “But Matt Cameron was really the one who kept us alive these last 15, 16, 17 years when we weren’t sure what was going to happen. He enabled us not just to survive, but to thrive.” 

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Read Pharrell's Reverent Nile Rodgers Tribute at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

As a pioneer of disco, guitarist Nile Rodgers and his band Chic helped pave the way for pop and hip-hop producers and musicians like Pharrell Williams. To celebrate his contributions to the world of music, Williams helped present Rodgers with the Award for Musical Excellence at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Rodgers and Williams worked together on Daft Punk’s disco-inspired album Random Access Memories and won two Grammy Awards alongside the French duo for their hit song “Get Lucky.” On the same album, they also appeared alongside each other on the song “Lose Yourself to Dance.”

Here is what Williams offered as his tribute to Rodgers’ lengthy, ever-evolving career and legacy.

Pharrell Williams: Y’know, about five years ago I met up with the robots in Daft Punk to discuss recording a song together. They asked me what I was working on and I told them that I was “kind of in this Nile Rodgers place.” And I remember they paused and kinda looked at each other and said, “This is what we want you to write to.” And they played me the demo to the song that became “Get Lucky.” And then there was Nile and his trusted Hitmaker Stratocaster laying down the signature rhythmic riffs.

I remember listening to “Get Lucky” for the first time and it reminded me of a party on an exotic island on another planet. It was like musical MDMA; an adrenaline shot for whoever wanted to leave this Earth and travel to a different universe and dimension. It was freedom. It was exuberance. It was unity. It was a throwback to another era. But it was also right now.

It was also the first time I worked with Nile physically, but spiritually he’s been in the studio with me for more than 25 years.

Whether it was his landmark work with Chic or production for Madonna, David Bowie, Duran Duran and countless others, Nile Rodgers never needed to be the flashy showman trying to upstage anyone. His ethos has always been putting the artist first, placing himself in the background and happily ceding the spotlight.

But not tonight, Nile.

Nile has taught me the value of being one part of a bigger whole; the value of humanity and humility; the value of sacrificing yourself for the song.

You can hear it immediately in his chucking guitar on Chic’s first single, whose title might as well be Nile’s commandment to all of us for the past 40 years: Dance. Dance. Dance.

Tonight, we honor you for more than four decades of staying true to that mantra.

He’s used that same guitar on nearly every single track he’s worked on and I read that the total value of his music has come to about $2 billion. Two billion dollars. But I bet even greater than that is the number of people who have danced around the world to a Nile Rodgers song; who won contests at a club while “Le Freak” was playing; who hugged a family member while “We Are Family” was blasting in the background; who discovered hip-hop through a “Good Times” sample; who jumped around in their bedroom to “Like a Virgin,” or “Let’s Dance” or “Notorious”; who felt empowered and more confident after hearing “I’m Coming Out” or who had a fun night to “Get Lucky.”

Carl Sagan once said, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” And that’s exactly what Nile and his music have brought to people over the years: Love. From touring with the Sesame Street road show in the early 1970s to now, Nile has dedicated his life to making people happy and expressing love through music. I just want to say thank you for your tremendous, tremendous genius contribution that’s moved and rocked so many generations.

For more than 40 years, Nile, you’ve always been the coolest dude in the room and I’m honored to present you … we’re honored, the whole entire room is honored to present you the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Award for Musical Excellence. Sorry, it’s such a mouthful. You’ve done so much! I challenge anybody to read all of this man’s accomplishments easily. It’s just so much that you’ve done. Congratulations, man and this award goes to you.

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Read Nile Rodgers' Justifiably Boastful Rock Hall of Fame Speech

Nile Rodgers and his disco group Chic have been on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ballot 11 times. While both Rodgers and Chic have yet to be officially inducted, the guitarist is being honored at this year’s ceremony with Award for Musical Excellence, which is not selected by the voters. Pharrell Williams presented him with the prestigious honor.

Back in December, Rodgers felt “bittersweet” about being presented with the award separate from Chic and not as an official Rock Hall inductee. “I’m a little perplexed because even though I’m quite flattered that they believed that I was worthy, my band Chic didn’t win,” he told Rolling Stone. “The only reason why I met Bowie and Madonna and Duran Duran and INXS is because they all loved Chic.”

Read Rodgers’ full speech at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center below.

So I’m a New Yorker. I was born not very far away from where we’re standing now. It’s funny, I was saying to Pharrell almost everybody on this stage, as a matter of fact almost everybody who’s been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’ve worked with. [Applause]

I started out; I was just a little kid on the side of my bed just playing guitar hoping to get one hit record. Yo, it’s 3 billion dollars now. [Applause] Yeah, they just told me a couple of months ago that I’ve sold over 300 million albums and 75 million singles. I just wanted to have one hit record.

My life has been so amazing. When I met this gentleman named Bernard Edwards, a bass player who started out as a guitar player who had this interesting style of playing and he told me about chucking and he just said, “Man, you need to change your shit up. You got all this jazz knowledge but if you learn how to play this thing, we could change music.” I didn’t believe him until this young kid plugged into my amp that was our opening act and he sounded 10 times better than me but I knew that harmonically I had more knowledge than he did.

All of a sudden, I said OK, cool. I went and I traded my guitar, my expensive big, fat jazz guitar for this little Fender Stratocaster that was like a hundred and seventy-something bucks and it was ugly because I hate solid body sunburst guitars. So, I adored Hendrix; so I went home and I painted it white myself. That same white paint job is the same paint job I did 40 years ago when we were the opening act for the Jackson 5.

From that journey from just being a backup guy I have [pauses; applause] When people work with me, they think that I’m the boss. But believe me, every record I do I join the band. I try and make every artist believe that all I have is their best interest at heart. I remember saying to Madonna, when we finish this record it’s going to say MADONNA [whispers] produced by Nile Rodgers. My name doesn’t mean shit; it’s going to be this big.

This award, which is amazing to me, is really because of all the people that have allowed me to come into their lives and just join their band. Be it Mick Jagger, be it Madonna, be it Duran Duran, be it Daft Punk, be it Pharrell Williams, be it Diana Ross, be it Sister Sledge. I mean it just goes on and on and on. Thank you all.

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Snoop Dogg Talks Tupac's Historic Rock Hall of Fame Induction

Tupac Shakur is the first solo rapper to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His longtime friend and collaborator, Snoop Dogg, introed the late rapper during Friday’s ceremony. Before the show, Snoop caught up with Rolling Stone to talk about Tupac’s continuing influence on hip-hop and the significance of letting rappers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

You’ve said that Tupac is the greatest rapper of all time. Why? 
His influence, his inspiration, his delivery, the songs that he wrote. He changed hip-hop while he was here and even after the fact. 

What was your first impression when you met him in 1993?
[We were] just on the same page, at the same level. And to be able to meet somebody that gets down and does [things] the way you do it, that’s fly. To know you can respect someone who does it in their own way and build a friendship. 

What was it like recording “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” together? 
That was spontaneous. We were making records and it was just a moment. You really had to be there to capture that moment. 

Tupac is the first solo rap artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. What does that say?
The Hall of Fame has come a long way and we appreciate them for appreciating us for what we do. And hopefully there will be many more to come, because there’s a lot of greats in hip-hop that deserve to be here. 

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