NEW YORK — English progressive rockers turned 1980s pop stars Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, joined by two other acts that thrived in second lives — ABBA and The Hollies.
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.”
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.“
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.
The Hollies, led by the harmonies of singers Allan Clarke and Graham Nash, produced British invasion hits including “Bus Stop” and “Carrie-Anne.” After Nash left, The Hollies kept up with 1970s standards “The Air That I Breathe,” ”He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother“ and ”Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress).“
Of those three bands, only The Hollies were scheduled to reunite for a performance Monday.
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.
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.