Watch David Letterman Induct Pearl Jam into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame

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David Letterman and his beard took a momentary break from retirement to honor Pearl Jam at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony this past weekend.

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The legendary band was originally planned to be introduced by Neil Young. Letterman explained why Young had to miss the ceremony at the top of his speech.

“I can’t begin to tell you what an honor and a privilege it is for me to be out of the house, honest to God,” he said. “I know Neil Young was supposed to be here and people are saying … I had something to do with it. And the truth with it is, the poor guy just can’t stay up this late. It’s either that or the guy swallowed a harmonica.”

Pearl Jam performed on Letterman’s show 10 times over the years. He told the audience “Every time they were there, they would blow the roof off the place, and I’m not talking figuratively. They actually blew the roof off the place.”

David spoke passionately about the band, lauding them for being “something more than a band.” He called the group a “true living cultural organisms” who recognized injustice and stood up for it.

During his speech, he made it clear that one of his greatest joys hosting late night television over the years was the fact that “…for 33 years every night I got to experience the blessing of live music.” He went on to tell the crowd not to take the night for granted.

“Never take the opportunity for live music for granted, and that’s the message I can bring you folks tonight.”

Watch the full speech in the clip above, or check out the transcript at Rolling Stone.

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