Rare Performances: Neil Young Live in 1995

Wednesday, June 27: 2:14 p.m.
Neil Young performed "Act of Love" and "F*!#in' Up" at the 1995 Hall of Fame induction ceremony

On January 12, 1995, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held its 10th annual induction ceremony in New York City. Among the inductees that year, along with Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa and others, was Neil Young, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Pearl Jam lead singer, Eddie Vedder. Young’s performances that night included the epic “Act of Love” from his album Mirror Ball, which would be released in June 1995. After performing “Act of Love” with members of his touring band, Young was joined onstage by Pearl Jam to perform "F*!#in' Up,” from his 1990 album Ragged Glory. It was especially fitting that Young, who has been called “the Godfather of Grunge,” would invite the Seattle band to perform with him at his induction.

Pearl Jam and Neil Young had been collaborating since 1992, when the grunge band  and “the Godfather” played separately at a Bob Dylan tribute at Madison Square Garden. Pearl Jam was invited to play at Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit concert in November of that year. Pearl Jam had long been Neil Young fans, frequently using Young’s “Rockin In the Free World” to close their shows.  In September 1993, Young was introduced to the MTV generation when he performed an incendiary “Rockin in the Free World” with Pearl Jam on the MTV Music Awards Show. Eddie Vedder said of Young in his induction speech: "He's taught us a lot as a band about dignity and commitment and playing in the moment. And when I hear, you know, the speeches and inducting Janis Joplin and Frank Zappa, I get… I'm just really glad he's still here. And I think I'm gonna have to say that I don't know if there's been another artist that has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to commemorate a career that is still as vital as he is today. Some of his best songs were on his last record."

Neil Young would go on to record ”Act of Love" and the rest of his Mirror Ball album with Pearl Jam at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle. New Musical Express said of their collaboration, "Young sees in Pearl Jam a genuine attempt to discover a new set of values. Pearl Jam see in Neil Young a man who has, at worst, survived and, at best, positively thrived on sticking to his guns.”

WATCH: Neil Young Performs "Act of Love" and "F*!#in' Up" at the 1995 Inductions


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