Jackson 5, Bee Gees, P. Funk Get Their Due At Rock Hall Of Fame

May 7 [7:55 EST] — The 90s felt like the 70s Tuesday night as the Jackson 5, the Bee Gees, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic ["We Got The Funk" Live, 800k QuickTime] joined the influential 60s act Buffalo Springfield as the latest artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The ceremony, staged for the first time at the Hall itself in Cleveland, brought the celebrated artists together with their best known admirers, as Shawn Colvin turned up for Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty did the honors for Buffalo Springfield, James Taylor introduced Crosby, Stills and Nash, Diana Ross announced the Jackson 5, and Prince turned out to induct funk pioneer Clinton and the crew of the Mothership.

“I’m here to testify about Parliament Funkadelic tonight,” Prince said in introducing the act.

Colvin had gushing words for Mitchell in her introduction, saying, “Hearing her was like a new world…
I’m so deep into the Joni Mitchell school of songwriting, I can’t see the forest for the trees.” Colvin also paid tribute to Mitchell with an acoustic performance of Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris.”

The evening also brought together all five members of the Jackson 5 on the same stage for the first time in years, yet the group chose not to perform, citing a lack of rehearsal time.

Notable in their absence Tuesday night were inductees Joni Mitchell and Neil Young (who was inducted as a member of Buffalo Springfield). Young, who was already inducted into the Hall as a solo artist, reportedly fired off a letter to the Hall saying that he was boycotting the ceremony because it would be televised.

“Although I accept the honor, in the name of Rock and Roll, I decline to take part in this TV presentation and be trotted out like some cheap awards show,” Young wrote. “There are already too many of these.”

While the ceremony was not broadcast live, it will be carried
on VH-1 this weekend.

Meanwhile, Graham Nash, accepting for Mitchell, said the Canadian singer/songwriter could not attend because she was spending time with the long-lost daughter she was recently reunited with. “She’s been in heaven ever since,” Nash said of the reunion.

We’ll have more from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony throughout the day on MTV, and right here at MTV News Online.