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Pearl Jam Issues Statement on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Drummer Controversy

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Ending a controversy that began almost as soon as their nomination was announced, Pearl Jam have invited all of their former drummers to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Seattle grunge band made the announcement today.

They did so by posting picture of a handwritten letter to their Facebook page. “With the date of the Hall of Fame event coming up it is just now sinking in what it means to us,” it began. “While awards and accolades are understandably subjective and a countless number of our peers have yet to be honored, we do feel fortunate to be recognized and provided the opportunity to reunite with everyone who has been part of the group. Specifically the drummers who all left their distinctive mark on our band in the pre-Matt Cameron years. Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons are each individually great players who gave their all to the early recordings and live gigs.”

When the nominations were announced back in October, it was revealed that, of all of their drummers, only current drummer Cameron and Krusen, who played on their debut, Ten, would be inducted should they be elected. Then, Dave Abbruzzese, who was in the group from 1991-94, during which time they released Vs. and Vitalogy, took exception to being excluded, saying, “Let’s see if they do the right thing. … That band and its management have never been ones to shy away when an injustice is done.”

After the band was voted into the Hall, Abbruzzese questioned the band’s integrity, saying, “I am personally at a loss for words for how [the band] and [manager] Kelly Curtis are accepting of such an injustice.”

The decision of which members are to be deemed worthy of induction is made by the Hall, not the band. So while it doesn’t look like Abbruzzese will get his wish, Pearl Jam have opened the door to him — as well as Chamberlain and Irons — attending the ceremony and having his accomplishments be recognized. And they’re hoping they all oblige.

“Looking forward to seeing them and all the other musicians on the bill,” the letter concludes. “Have to say wish [Bad Brains frontman] H.R. and Perry Farrell [of Jane’s Addiction] were gonna be there too. If nothing else it makes us feel lucky and appreciative of the nod.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Pearl Jam’s old friend Neil Young will induct them.

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