NEW YORK (AP) – English progressive rockers turned 1980s pop stars Genesis and the harmony-driven Hollies were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, joined by ABBA, another act that thrived in a second life.
Genesis was inducted by Trey Anastasio of Phish, whose band paid tribute to both incarnations of Genesis by performing “Watcher of the Skies” and “No Reply at All.” The new inductees were missing Peter Gabriel, the theatrical lead singer whose departure was the dividing line between the band’s two styles.
Former bandmate Mike Rutherford said Gabriel wanted to send his apologies for missing the event.
“He has a very legitimate and genuine excuse,” Rutherford said. “He’s actually starting a tour.”
Anastasio recalled buying Genesis albums as a teenager. He called the band “rebellious, restless and constantly striving for something more.”
“Every musical rule and boundary was questioned and broken,” he said. “It’s impossible to overstate what impact this band and musical philosophy had on me as a young musician. I’m forever in their debt.”
Steve Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist, paid tribute to The Hollies and the spirit of rock and roll in an eloquent induction speech. Allan Clarke and Graham Nash’s “exquisite English harmonies were second, or shared only by the Beatles.”
Their British Invasion hits included “Bus Stop” and “Carrie-Anne,” both of which the band performed on Monday.
Clarke recalled telling his father he was going to become a professional musician. His father told him that bands only last three or four years, so bank as much money as you can.
“Well, Dad, I’m being inducted into a museum,” Clarke said. “How’s that for longevity?”
Nash jokingly thanked his colleagues for having “the audacity, the gall” to have three No. 1 hits after he left the band in 1968. Those 1970s standards were “The Air That I Breathe,” ”He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress).”
ABBA was never as big in the United States as in Europe. But 6 million of the 26 million copies of ABBA’s greatest hits collection were sold in the U.S., and the stage and film productions of “Mamma Mia!” kept their songs alive for a new generation and those who might have missed them in the first place.
Other inductees at the annual ceremony at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel were reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff and the raucous Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Music executive David Geffen and songwriters whose work sold hundreds of millions of copies were to join as non-performers.
The four-member Swedish hit machine ABBA quit in 1982 soon after the band’s two couples split. They left behind a string of catchy pop songs such as “Dancing Queen,” ”Waterloo” and “Knowing Me Knowing You.”
Jamaica’s Cliff was among the first to export reggae. His best-known songs include “You Can Get It if You Really Want,” ”The Harder They Come” and “Many Rivers to Cross.”
The Michigan-based Stooges never sold many records. But the brutal force of their 1973 album “Raw Power” influenced the punk movement to come, and the rubber-limbed Pop was an electric frontman.
Pop delivered middle-finger salutes to his audience and, at the black-tie affair, had his shirt off even before performing “Search and Destroy.” He prowled through the audience for “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and the Stooges were joined onstage by inductor Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
“Roll over Woodstock,” Pop said. “We won!”
For all their toughness, the Stooges seemed genuinely touched by the honor. Scott Asheton paid tribute to his brother and bandmate Ron Asheton, who died last year. Pop choked back tears in thanking his colleagues for getting back together and working.
“Here we are in the belly of the beast – a lot of power and money in this room,” he said. “It’s a big industry. If it makes the right decisions, it will stay an industry. Music is life, and life is not a business.”
Songwriter Carole King was inducting old colleagues from an era (the 1950s and early 1960s) when performers largely left songwriting to others. They included Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” ”On Broadway”), Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry (“Leader of the Pack,” ”Be My Baby”), Otis Blackwell (“All Shook Up,” ”Don’t Be Cruel”), Mort Shuman (“Save the Last Dance for Me,” ”This Magic Moment” with Doc Pomus) and Jesse Stone (“Sh-Boom,” ”Money Honey”).
Geffen, before he spread his influence to other parts of the entertainment business, started the Asylum and Geffen record labels.
Other scheduled performers included Faith Hill, Chris Isaak and Wyclef Jean. The ceremony was being telecast live on the Fuse music network.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is in Cleveland.