Tag Archives: Eddie Vedder

Rock Hall 2017 class includes Pearl Jam, Tupac, Yes, Journey

Seattle rockers Pearl Jam, the late rapper Tupac Shakur and 1970s hit-making band Journey were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night.

Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Yes were also part of the 2017 class inducted at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, which kicked off with a tribute to Chuck Berry.

The new inductees closed the multi-hour event with a group performance, and before that Pearl Jam electrified with a performance of its well-known songs.

David Letterman inducted the band, and brought a small guitar and letter onstage that he said Vedder gave to his son days before his late-night show ended in 2015.

Letterman wasn’t the only fan in the room: As Vedder thanked his wife during his speech, one male fan from a seat up high screamed, “I love you, Eddie!”

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

His wife, Jill, was teary-eyed in the audience as fans continued to cheer.

Vedder also used his speech to discuss climate change, saying “climate change is real, that’s not fake news.” He also said his daughter Olivia was a big fan of Chance the Rapper, and thanked the Grammy-winning hip-hop star for his charitable contributions to Chicago.

Speaking of rappers, Shakur —who died in 1996 — was remembered by Snoop Dogg with a touching and playful speech.

Dogg, a former label mate and friend of Shakur, says he attended the event to make sure the rapper, actor and poet is remembered as a “strong black man that stood for his.”

Dogg, a marijuana enthusiast, also says it was Shakur who first gave him weed. “That’s right — Tupac got Snoop Dogg smoking blunts,” he said to laughs from the audience. Later, Alicia Keys performed a medley of Shakur’s songs on piano, including “Dear Mama” and “Changes.”

One of the night’s most anticipated performances was Journey’s. But despite earlier reports, Steve Perry did not perform with the current Journey members. Instead, Arnel Pineda sang lead as the band performed their hits, including “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Perry, estranged from the band for many years, did embrace guitarist and co-founder Neal Schon onstage.

“You’re the one who put us here,” Perry said to the Journey fans, earning one of the night’s loudest applauses. “I’ve been gone a long time but you’ve never not been in my heart.”

Like Shakur and Pearl Jam, Baez and ELO were all elected in their first year as nominees.

Baez, one of folk’s most iconic voices, said it felt “cool” to be inducted. She also said earning the Rock Hall honor would help young people learn who she is, and what she’s accomplished.

“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.”

She was inducted by Jackson Browne, who said the first album he bought with his own money was Baez’s second album.

ELO — who kicked off the show with Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” — and progressive British rockers Yes were also inducted Friday.

“It was 49 years ago tonight I met Chris Squire at a bar,” singer Jon Anderson said of the band’s founding bass player who died in 2015. “Magic moment.”

Berry wasn’t the only late legend who was honored: Lenny Kravitz paid tribute to Prince after the “In Memoriam” section with an explosive performance of “When Doves Cry,” backed by a choir and beaming purple lights.

Pharrell said kind words about Nile Rodgers, who received a special honor at the event, which will air April 29 as a special on HBO.

To be eligible, all of the nominees had to have released their first recording no later than 1991. Inductees will eventually be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland.

Celebrities among loyal, long-suffering Cubs fans

The Chicago Cubs are trying to do something that hasn’t happened in the lifetime of anyone born in the last 108 years: win a World Series.

So naturally, the chance to be part of that history has prompted people who live in Chicago, once lived in Chicago or just rooted for the Cubs from miles away to descend on Wrigley Field or tune in on television.

If you didn’t know Chicago was once home to scores of celebrities, you do after tuning into the game.

Broadcasts have shown actor Bill Murray, delirious with joy, in the middle of a throng of fans that included John Cusack, an actor who has long rooted for the Cubs, and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who turned his love for the Cubs into a song, “Someday We’ll Go All The Way.”

Here, then, are some Cubs fans who are better known for what they do for a living than who they root for.

 

BOB NEWHART

Chicago native Bob Newhart has been posing with the team’s signature “W” for win flag in pictures on his Twitter account during the playoffs.

The 87-year-old comedian said his first memory of going to a Cubs game was with his mother at age 6 or 7. He was 16 when he went to Chicago’s LaSalle Street to cheer the Cubs as they were welcomed home after winning the National League pennant in 1945. The Cubs went on to lose the World Series to the Detroit Tigers and haven’t been back since.

So why remain a Cubs fan?

“I guess I’m not easily dissuaded,” Newhart said. “I used to say I’m a Cub fan in my stand up because it kind of prepared you for life, you knew you were ahead and you knew you were going to blow it somehow. That’s a lesson all Cub fans shared until this year.”

Newhart went to Game 3 of the NLCS with his grandson on Tuesday. He said he hopes his Cubs fandom continues in his family.

“I’m deathly afraid that it’s going to die with me because my grandchildren are Dodger fans,” he said. “I’ve got to leave it to somebody to continue the fight.”

 

GEORGE WILL

Political commentator George Will can’t explain why he started rooting for the Cubs as a little boy.

“I grew up in Champaign, midway between Chicago and St. Louis,” he said. “My friends became Cardinals fans and grew up cheerful and liberal and I, for reasons I don’t understand, became a Cubs fan.”

Today, Will is certainly in a little better mood than Cardinals fans, whose team didn’t even make the playoffs. But not by much.

“I was at the Bartman game,” he said of the 2003 playoff game where a fan named Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball that seemed destined for Cubs’ outfielder Moises Alou’s glove just before the team _ and its chances to reach the World Series for the first time since 1945 _ disintegrated. “So I am always nervous.”

Will is known best for writing about politics. But he has also written extensively about baseball, including a book about the home of the Cubs, “A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley at One Hundred,” which is a long way of saying he’s seen a lot of baseball and a lot of Cubs baseball.

All of which is to say he knows two things: That the Cubs are the best team in baseball and that the best team in baseball does not always win in the playoffs.

He also knows that even if the Cubs do survive this series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and reach the World Series, it might just delay the agony of the fans of a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.

“If the baseball gods are as diabolical as I think they are, they’ve set it up for the Cubs to lose to Cleveland,” he said. “How vicious can they be?”

 

JOE MANTEGNA

Actor Joe Mantegna, 68, is hoping his 101-year-old mother can see a Cubs win this year.

“It would be nice to see her celebrate a victory,” he said. “She was born in 1915 so the Cubs hadn’t won for six years when she was born.”

Mantegna, known for roles in “The Godfather: Part III” and on the TV series “Criminal Minds,” grew up in Chicago going to Cubs games. There’s even a black-and-white picture of him sitting in front of a television watching a Cubs game, he said.

“One summer I went to 10 games and they lost all 10,” he said. “I really thought I was the reason they were losing. That’s what Cub fever will do to you.”

 

NICK OFFERMAN and STEPHEN COLBERT

“Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman , a Cubs fan born in Joliet, Illinois, appeared on “The Late Show” on Tuesday with host Stephen Colbert — also a Cubs fan.

The banter:

Colbert: “I’m a Cubs fan, you’re a Cubs fan … how are you handling the stress?”

Offerman: ‘I have a compartmentalization system. When I auditioned for the role of ‘Ron Swanson’ (on Parks and Recreation) it took five months to get the job so for that five months I had to put that information in this drawer that’s not attached to emotion. So I know that something might happen in the coming weeks that would be very good for my baseball team, but I’m not attaching emotion to it.”

Colbert: “When do you attach the emotion to it? You’ve loved and lost is what you’re saying and now you’re afraid to feel?”

Offerman: “I suppose so. I’ve become inured to feeling.”

 

SARA PARETSKY

Novelist Sara Paretsky traces her devotion to the Cubs to the day she heard about a young man who had shoveled the sidewalk in front of the home of a woman and her mother — a man who turned out to be the Cubs first baseman at the time, Bill Buckner. The way Paretsky, a casual Cubs fan at the time, figured it, any team that had a player who helped a couple of women for no other reason than to be neighborly deserved her devotion.

Now as the team that won more games than any other in the majors is in a position to reach the World Series for the first time since Harry Truman was president, Paretsky is, of course, distraught.

“I thought I had protected myself emotionally, but I realized this morning I am already in mourning,” she said Wednesday, the day after the Cubs were shut out for the second straight game in the NL Championship Series.

Cover to cover


Madeleine Peyroux

With a distinctive voice that recalls none other than Billie Holiday, Madeleine Peyroux made an indelible impression with her 1996 debut album. Then she virtually disappeared. Fortunately, when she returned in 2004, she sounded just the way her fans remembered her. On her third album “Standing On The Rooftop,” Peyroux interweaves originals, including the remarkable title cut, with her lovely renditions of tunes by the Beatles (“Martha My Dear”), Bob Dylan (“I Threw it All Away”) and Robert Johnson (a thorough reinvention of “Love in Vain”). Poetry plays a delightful role on this disc. Peyroux teamed up with Andy Scott Rosen on “Don’t Pick a Fight With a Poet,” and the Auden poem “Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love” is set to music by Marc Ribot.

Lea Salonga

Theater queens far and wide are sure to recognize Lea Salonga as the actress who originated the role of Kim in the Broadway production of “Miss Saigon.” On “The Journey so Far,” recorded live at Café Carlyle, Salonga opens singing and then speaking in Tagalog before breaking into a medley of “My Romance/Let’s Fall in Love” in English. Born to perform for the cabaret crowd, Salonga sticks with interpretations of show tunes, including “On My Own” (from “Les Miserables”), “Too Much for One Heart” (a song cut from “Miss Saigon”) and even a pair from “They’re Playing Our Song” (“Fallin’” and “I Still Believe in Love”).

Pat Metheny

Jazz guitar god Pat Metheny is better known for his original compositions than for his renditions of songs by others. That’s what makes “What’s it All About” such a treat. Mainly playing solo baritone-guitar, Metheny applies his hands (and fingers) to several songs from the 1960s, including “Sounds of Silence,” “Cherish,” “Alfie” and “And I Love Her,” as well as selections from the early ’70s, including “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Betcha by Golly Wow.” Metheny’s reinterpretation of these classics tunes is pure listening pleasure.

Eddie Vedder

When Eddie Vedder titled his non-soundtrack major-label solo effort “Ukulele Songs,” he wasn’t fooling. Vedder utilizes the hipster instrument of choice over the course of 16 tracks, which includes his cover versions of a pair of Billy Rose numbers (“More Than You Know” and “Tonight You Belong to Me”), as well as “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Sleepless Nights” (a duet with Glen Hansard). Vedder’s own compositions, including the exceptional “Sleeping by Myself,” “Goodbye,” and “You’re True,” reveal a romantic side that he has managed to keep hidden all these years.

Terri Lyne Carrington

Out jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s new album “The Mosaic Project” certainly lives up to its name. The 14 songs aren’t just a smooth and multi-hued blend of cover tunes and originals, but also a patchwork quilt of stellar guest musicians and vocalists. The disc begins with a jazzy version of “Transformation,” co-written and reinterpreted by queer icon Nona Hendryx. With the aid of vocalist Gretchen Parlato, Carrington invites listeners to get lost in Irving Berlin’s “I Got Lost in His Arms.” Angela Davis provides the powerful commentary that precedes Dianne Reeves’ vocals on Bernice Johnson Reagon’s (Sweet Honey in the Rock) “Echo.” And Carrington and Cassandra Wilson are reunited on Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful.” The disc ends as it begins, with another new reading of “Transformation,” this time titled “Sisters On The Rise (A Transformation).”

2 Cellos

While it probably helps that Croation cellists Luka Sulic & Stjepan Hauser of 2 Cellos are hot, it’s their combined talents as musicians on their self-titled “2 Cellos” disc that makes this disc so enjoyable. The dudes have great taste in music, as they display in their renditions of songs by U2 (“Where The Streets Have No Name,” “With Or Without You”), Michael Jackson (“Smooth Criminal,” “Human Nature”), Kings of Leon (the much-covered “Use Somebody”), Muses (“Resistance”), Nine Inch Nails (“Hurt”), Coldplay (“Viva La Vida”) and Nirvana (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”).

Red Hot + Rio 2

The Red Hot Organization has been incorporating music in its fight against AIDS for more than 20 years, ever since the release of the groundbreaking benefit disc “Red Hot + Blue.” More than a dozen albums later, we have the double-disc set “Red Hot + Rio 2/Nova Tropicalia 2,” a sequel o 1996’s popular “Red Hot + Rio.” If you didn’t think it would be possible to equal the marvel of the first “Rio” album, this collection does just that. It offers brilliant pairings (including Alice Smith + Aloe Blacc, Mia Doi Todd + Jose Gonzalez and David Byrne + Caetano Veloso) along with sensational solos and terrific trios, performing songs from the 1960s and ‘70s. “Red Hot + Rio 2” is one of the best party-for-a-cause albums of 2011.