The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place in April in Brooklyn, New York, and saw Journey, Yes, Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez and late rapper Tupac Shakur welcomed into the hallowed institution in the Performers category. Chic guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers also was inducted, receiving the Rock Hall’s Award for Musical Excellence.
Yes, ELO, Journey and Baez all waited a long time for the honor: Yes and ELO had been eligible for more than 20 years, Journey was first eligible in 2000, and Baez had been eligible since the Rock Hall was founded in 1986. In contrast, Pearl Jam and Tupac both were chosen for induction in their first year of eligibility.
The evening featured a number of dramatic moments, including some emotional reunions. Topping the latter list was ex-Journey singer Steve Perry reuniting with his former band mates to accept his induction. Perry warmly embraced his band mates, all of whom thanked their loyal fans for standing by them. “I’ve been gone a long time, I understand that, but I want you to know that you’ve never not been in my heart,” Perry told the fans. “I love each and every one of you.”
The singer didn’t take part in the band’s Rock Hall performance, which featured current frontman Arnel Pineda — a non-inductee — handling lead vocals. Founding Journey singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie and early drummer Aynsley Dunbar did rejoin their old band mates to perform.
Yes was inducted by Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Feuding by some of the former and current members was put aside, and all of the group’s surviving classic lineup — singer John Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White — along with 90125-era guitarist Trevor Rabin, took the stage together to perform. Lee filled in for late founding bassist Chris Squire.
Huge Pearl Jam fan David Letterman inducted the grunge greats, filling in for an ailing Neil Young. The band’s entire current lineup was inducted as well as drummer Dave Krusen, who played on the group’s classic debut album, Ten. During Pearl Jam’s performance, Krusen played drums on a rendition of “Alive,” marking the first time in 25 years that he’d manned the kit behind the group.
Electric Light Orchestra’s current incarnation, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, opened the ceremony with a cover of Chuck Berry‘s “Roll Over Beethoven,” as a tribute to the late rock ‘n’ roll pioneer. Inducting ELO was the late George Harrison‘s son, Dhani. After speeches from Lynne and founding singer/multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood, Jeff and his current version of the band performed “Evil Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky.”
Other highlights from the 2017 ceremony:
—Jackson Browne inducted Baez, who was joined during her performance by the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter for a rendition of The Band‘s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”
–Shakur was inducted by Snoop Dogg, who then took the stage for a tribute medley with Alicia Keys and rappers Treach, T.I. and YG
–Rodgers was presented his award by Pharrell Williams
–To close out the ceremony, Pearl Jam was joined by members of Yes and Journey, plus Rush’s Lee and Lifeson, for a raucous extended cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
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Source: Oldies News