The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony aired on Saturday (April 28th) on HBO. The April 7th event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center featured Journey frontman Steve Perry on hand to stand along his former bandmates and lovingly salute them and what they accomplished during their years together — yet the band did not perform with him, and longtime frontman Arnel Pineda was center stage during their live segment. Other highlights included Rush’s Geddy Lee sitting in with Yes during “Roundabout,” and Lenny Kravitz performing a tribute to Prince with a one-two punch of “When Doves Cry” and the Sign O’ The Times classic, “The Cross.” Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra opened the show with a tribute to the late-Chuck Berry with the group’s classic remake of “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Inducting the new members were George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison for the Electric Light Orchestra; Pat Monahan of Train for Journey; Snoop Dog, Alecia Keys, YG, and T.I. inducting and performing for Tupac Shakur, and Pharrell who presented Chic’s Nile Rodgers with the Award for Musical Excellence. David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam, with Jackson Browne doing the honors for Joan Baez, and Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson saluting Yes.
In his induction speech for ELO, Dhani Harrison touched upon Jeff Lynne’s golden era in the ’80s as one of rock’s top record producers: “Jeff was soon a permanent fixture at our house. He and my dad drove the same car, they flew off to Formula One races, we did family vacations — we were a traveling family — and I got to see Jeff work in his secretive ways, often late at night. This was an incredible blast of creativity from Jeff; he worked with dad on Cloud Nine, he produced Roy Orbison’s Mystery Girl (applause), right? He co-wrote and co-produced Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever (applause) — and then there was the Traveling Wilburys (applause).”