Kiss, thumbing their noses at critics who disdained them, entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday in a class that included Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
The original four members of Kiss didn’t perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center due to a dispute between active original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and retired members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. But the original four made peace and saluted each other in their induction speeches.
“Critics be damned,” Simmons said.
Gabriel was inducted by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who later sang with him on Gabriel’s “Washing of the Water.”
Cat Stevens, the 1970s-era singer of “Morning Has Broken” and “Wild World,” was inducted by Art Garfunkel, who said his breakup with Paul Simon helped pave the way for Stevens’ entry into the charts.
Nirvana was inducted in its first year of eligibility. The trio’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit like a thunderclap upon its 1991 release, briefly making the Pacific Northwest rock’s hottest scene before the band ended abruptly with singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994.
The Philadelphia-bred duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates is known for a string of blue-eyed soul hits including “Sara Smile,” “Rich Girl,” “Private Eyes” and “Maneater.” Linda Ronstadt, the sexy siren of the Los Angeles rock scene in the 1970s, did not attend her induction because her Parkinson’s disease makes travel difficult. Glenn Frey, who performed in her backup band with Don Henley before they formed the Eagles, inducted her.
Springsteen’s 1999 entrance into the Rock Hall without the E Street Band was a sore point for some of its members. Thursday they got their due in the sidemen category, although it will be a posthumous honor for saxman Clarence Clemons and keyboard player Danny Federici.
The induction ceremony was being taped by HBO to air in May.
The first two artist managers were inducted into the Hall: the late Brian Epstein, of the Beatles, and Andrew Loog Oldham, of the Rolling Stones, who boycotted the ceremony because he felt disrespected for being inducted with Epstein.
The birthday bunch
Ethel Kennedy is 86. Actor Joel Grey is 82. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is 73. Singer Joss Stone is 27. Actress-dancer Kaitlyn Jenkins (TV: “Bunheads”) is 22.