Also inducted were country rock star Linda Ronstadt, who
suffers from Parkinson's disease and did not attend, and Cat
Stevens, the British musician known as Yusuf Islam after
converting to Islam and shunning the stage for decades.
The E Street Band, the group behind Bruce Springsteen, was
inducted by the rocker through the Award for Musical Excellence.
Two prominent band managers — Brian Epstein for The Beatles
until his death in 1967 and the Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog
Oldham — rounded out the 2014 roster, each receiving the Ahmet
Ertegun Awards for lifetime achievement.
The annual ceremony, to be aired May 31 on HBO, is centered on
live performances but the 1970s shock-rockers KISS, known for
their outrageous costumes and makeup and hits such as "Rock and
Roll All Nite", stayed true to their vow not to perform.
The four inductees did not all comment on the Hall of Fame's
decision to honor only the band's original lineup, leaving out
current band members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
Founding member Gene Simmons said "We are humbled to stand up on
this stage" after induction by guitarist Tom Morello, but did
mention by name other KISS members who were not honored.
Paul Stanley, who has also been critical of the Hall's induction
process, said "for our fans, this is vindication," echoing
Morello's remark that "KISS was never a critics' band, KISS was
a people's band."
Morello also observed that the over-the-top theatrical band was
noteworthy for influencing acts ranging from Lady Gaga to Garth
Brooks and Slipknot.
Gabriel, lead vocalist for the progressive rock band Genesis who
later had solo hits such as "Sledgehammer," was inducted by
Chris Martin and sang "Digging in the Dirt" with him, followed
by his hit "In Your Eyes," from the 1980s youth romance "Say
He paid tribute to the power of music, which he said "can make
you feel so alive ... and think that the world would, could and
should be a much better place — and occasionally make you very,
While Ronstadt was absent, a roster of top female stars paid
musical tribute to her oeuvre with Carrie Underwood, Emmylou
Harris, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks bringing the audience at a
Brooklyn arena to its feet with rousing renditions of "You're No
Good," "Different Drum" and "When Will I Be Loved".
Nicks said when she saw Ronstadt perform, she was inspired to
become a singer, thinking, "That's what I'm gonna do. She was the
heart of the matter, she really was."
[to top of second column]
COURTNEY LOVE JOINS SURVIVING NIRVANA MEMBERS
Stevens, inducted by Art Garfunkel, kicked off his remarks quipping
"I never thought I'd be on the same stage as KISS."
The induction could signal a return to the spotlight after decades
of not performing for Stevens, who sang old favorites like "Wild
World" and "Peace Train" live on Thursday night.
After the E Street Band held the stage for over an hour, with each
member speaking and several songs including "The E Street Shuffle"
and "Kitty's Back," Hall and Oates garnered applause with Daryl
Hall's quip: "Lucky for all of you there are only two of us."
The duo, one of the most successful in rock history, performed "I
Can't Go For That," "You Make My Dreams Come True" and "She's Gone,"
which Hall halted due to feedback.
"It happens to us, right?" he joked before starting anew.
Nirvana's ceremony-capping induction, in its first year of
eligibility, was made by REM's Michael Stipe, who noted "Nirvana
captured lightning in a bottle". It was accepted by Krist Novoselic
and Dave Grohl.
Founder Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994 aged 27, but his
widow, Courtney Love, made a surprise appearance and declared: "I
have a big speech, but I'm not going to say it."
Instead she thanked the band's "family" and said simply "I wish that
Kurt was here," adding "I want to give this (award) to Frances, our
The group's surviving members took to the stage at the evening's end
fronted by Joan Jett for a raucous rendition of "Smells Like Teen
Spirit." Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon then joined the Nirvana members
Oldham, who did not attend, said on Twitter: "Like Brian Epstein, I
was not consulted as regards this matter, & like dear Brian I will
not be going."
The inductees, who will join the Hall of Fame's 719 other musicians
and executives as members, were chosen by more than 700 voters from
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
Fans were allowed to cast votes online for the artists they believe
were the most deserving of induction, with three of their top five
choices making the cut this year.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Patricia Reaney, Sofina
Mirza-Reid, Mohammad Zargham and Tom Heneghan)
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