Salute to Chuck Berry opens Rock Hall ceremony

Jeff KravitzYesterday, it was announced that Neil Young would no longer be inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 2017 induction ceremony tomorrow in Brooklyn due to an undisclosed illness.

Fans of Neil Young can breathe easy because the singer is going to be just fine.

Electric Light Orchestra, known for its marriage of rock and classical, brought strings into a cover of Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" before going into the band's most recognizable hit, "Evil Woman". Steve Perry, Journey's most recognizable vocalist, praised his former bandmates in a rare appearance but then did not perform, letting current frontman Arnel Pineda lead tunes including "Don't Stop Believin'". The 71-year-old was scheduled to induct Pearl Jam before falling ill.

"Climate change is real, " Vedder said.

"Shoot, honey, I thought you were sitting down in the front", Vedder said to laughs.

Taking up her guitar, Baez sang "Deportees", folk great Woody Guthrie's ode to Mexican laborers, with Americana artists the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter backing her up.

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Cain told them that "I think he's [Pineda] certainly one of the reasons why we're [in the Rock Hall]". He's American history", Snoop said.

Harrison said that the Electric Light Orchestra was the first concert he attended as a child and it felt "more like witnessing a 21st-century exterrestrial spaceman wielding weird instruments".

Joan Baez was the sharpest of the Rock Hall inductees, singing about deportees and talking social activism as well as joking about her age and the likelihood that a good portion of the Barclays Center - mainly there for Pearl Jam and Journey by the sound of applause each band received - didn't know who she was.

"My granddaughter had no clue who I was until I took her backstage to a Taylor Swift concert", said Baez, who added that her granddaughter took a selfie with Swift and now had "newfound respect for her grandmother".

The dinner and induction ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with highlights of the evening anchoring an HBO special that will air on April 29. Inductees will eventually be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland.

To be eligible, all of the nominees had to have released their first recording no later than 1991.

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