Cleveland, OH -- With one notable guest a no-show, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony has started.
The decision by Guns N' Roses' frontman Axl Rose to skip the event may provide a dramatic backdrop. But his absence isn't stopping 6,000 fans and 1,400 guests from partying with his former bandmates and the 2012 class: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk-singer Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and the Small Faces and Faces.
Green Day kicked off Saturday night's show with a rousing performance.
The ceremony was held at Cleveland's Public Hall, a building that once hosted the Beatles and oozes history from every wall. With fans in the balcony, the event was much more of a rock show than when it's held at New York's posh Waldorf-Astoria.
This years class included:
Donovan, a folksy British singer-songwriter, who was overlooked by voters in previous years. Donovan blended poetry into folk songs and scored a string of hits in the 1960s with "Sunshine Superman", "Mellow Yellow" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man". The 65-year old singer was inducted by fellow Hall of Famer John Mellencamp.
Songstress Laura Nyro was inducted posthumously. The piano-playing songstress died 15 years ago. Nyro was best know for smoothly incorporating gospel, jazz and other styles into her music. Artists like Blood , Sweat & Tears and Three Dog Night all had hits with songs written by Nyro. Bette Midler inducted Nyro into the Hall. Nyro's son, hip-hop artist Gil Bianchini accepted the inducting on his mother's behalf.
The Beastie Boys have become only the third hip-hop group to be inducted into the Rock Hall. Bursting onto the music scene in the 1980s, the group embraced its beer-drinking frat boy image with songs like "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)!" The Beastie Boys were inducted by LL Cool J and Chuck D.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers has been rocking fans with their unique combination of punk, funk and rock music since the 1980s. Longtime friend, comedian Chris Rock inducted the group saying they were "hard-core happiness" with a combination of rock, reggae and rap.
Some rock royalty was also inducted, British bands The Small Faces and The Faces. Members of the two bands include Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and Kenney Jones who played drums for The Who. The two bands had hist like "Itchycoo Park" and "Stay With Me" in the 1960s and 70s. Stevie Van Zandt inducted the groups, calling them profoundly influential and say they produced some of the most soulful music ever.
Hard rockers Guns N' Roses were inducted despite lead singer Axl Rose skipping the ceremony and declining induction. GNR shot to the top of the charts with their debut album " Appetite for Destruction" in the mid 1980s. Green Day inducted the band as fans cheered.
The more than five hour ceremony ended with a some of rocks biggest names taking the stage for a stirring performance of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground".