Ex-Pearl Jam Drummer Bashes Rock Hall Snub: 'They Can't Justify Ignoring My Contributions'

Paul Bergen/Redferns
David Abbruzzese (center) with Pearl Jam on Feb. 14, 1992.

Back in 1994, Pearl Jam dismissed David Abbruzzese as its drummer. Reports were conflicted, though the difference in tone between the band and its former member indicated all parties were not on the same page regarding the split. History can bury and heal old wounds, but certain things can come along and rip the scab off -- like Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations.

On Tuesday, Pearl Jam was revealed among the 2017 Rock Hall nominees, and that means naming the names of which members would be part of the enshrinement. For bands like Pearl Jam that have experienced lineup turnover, this can spark debate.

Well, Abbruzzese wasn’t named on the Rock Hall’s Pearl Jam profile, and he’s taken to Facebook to protest. “The members of Pearl Jam have got to know what's the right thing to do,” he wrote on his personal Facebook page. “They can't justify ignoring my contributions. Like me or not.” In a previous post he wrote, “If there is still a part of that band that remembers how hard we worked, how much blood and how much sweat… They will do the right thing.”

Compared to the core lineup, Abbruzzese wasn’t in Pearl Jam for long, but he was on hand for two highly successful albums during the band’s '90s stardom: 1993’s Vs. and 1994’s Vitalogy. He joined in 1991, following the departure of Matt Chamberlin, who’d replaced original drummer Dave Krusen.

Krusen is included in the Rock Hall’s profile, along with the rest of the current Pearl Jam lineup, while Abbruzzese, Chamberlin and Jack Irons -- the drummer who replaced Abbruzzese -- are not.

Pearl Jam has not responded to Abbruzzese, though Billboard has reached out to a representative for comment. 

Wondering who actually will get in to the Rock Hall? We think Pearl Jam’s chances are pretty good; read about the rest in Billboard’s scouting report on the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees


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