Pearl Jam Inducted Into Rock Hall Of Fame By David Letterman

David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night, filling in for Canada’s Neil Young, who backed out citing an illness.

“The truth of it is the poor guy just can't stay up this late,” Letterman joked of Young. “That’s what it is. Either that or he swallowed a harmonica. I'm not sure.

“By the way I've known Neil Young for many, many years. We met a long time ago on"

In a speech infused with his brand of humour, Letterman paid tribute to Pearl Jam’s career.

“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,” he recalled. “It had an anger to it and it appealed to twenty-something people who felt displaced and unemployed and left out.

“And it was also easy to dance to but that's another deal.”

Letterman also applauded the social activism of Eddie Vedder and his bandmates.

“They're true living cultural organisms. They would recognize injustice and they would stand up for it,” he said. “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.”

The former talk show host poked fun at Pearl Jam’s very public battle with Ticketmaster, calling the company “beady-eyed, blood-thirsty weasels.”

He added: “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.”

Later in the ceremony, Vedder singled out Canadian actor Michael J. Fox, who was in the audience.

“It’s an honour to play for you tonight,” he said.