Dave Letterman made a rare post-retirement public appearance last night, taking the stage at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in honor of his old friends in Pearl Jam. The ceremony will be broadcast later this month on HBO, but some industrious camera person managed to wade through the crowd of rambunctious fans screaming “Eddie!” every 30 seconds to capture Letterman’s performance, and uploaded the whole thing to YouTube.
The result is a mix of typically Letterman joking and sincerity, with the former TV host mocking the issue of whether the band’s drummers would be allowed to attend the ceremony, and praising Pearl Jam’s members for their music, their friendship, and their long-running war with the “beady-eyed, bloodthirsty weasels” at Ticketmaster.
Letterman was filling in for Neil Young, who was too sick to appear. (He’s apparently fine, according to a representative.) As a tribute to Young, a number of artists in attendance last night—including Pearl Jam, Rush, and Journey—got together to supergroup out a performance of Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.”