NEW YORK -- Aerosmith may have sold millions of records and played in front of thousands of people, but the band was far from jaded after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their three decade-long career.
"It's totally overwhelming, because when you see all these people up there that you cut your teeth on, and listened to and heard, to think that you've got a room next to Elvis Presley now, is like, wow!" Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler said as he held his induction trophy backstage.
Aerosmith joined Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Queen and Steely Dan in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday. Also inducted were the doo-wop group The Flamingos, "La Bamba" singer Ritchie Valens, soul singer Solomon Burke, sidemen Johnnie Johnson and James Burton, and Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.
For Jackson and Simon, it was their second trip to the hall -- both were previously inducted for their legendary beginnings with The Jackson Five and Simon and Garfunkel.
Simon said the past honor did not lessen the night's achievement.
"One recognizes a certain part of my work, and this recognizes the period that followed it. They're both equally gratifying," he said.
Onstage, Simon was effusive in his thanks: He delivered a rambling acceptance speech that ran 10 minutes long. Among those who got thanks were Quincy Jones and his bandleader father.
But he got his biggest reaction when he mentioned his former partner, Art Garfunkel. Simon said, "I regret the ending of our friendship, and I hope that one day before I die we will make peace with each other."
After the audience applauded warmly, Simon deadpanned, "No rush."
Jackson, who broke his foot recently at his ranch, hobbled on stage after a tribute by boy band 'N Sync.
"As you can see, there's not going to be any moonwalking tonight," said Jackson.
In a typically short speech, Jackson thanked Motown founder Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, whom he called his "second mother." He also paid tribute to his parents for blessing him with his talent.
"To me, the gift of music has been a great blessing, from the time I was a child," Jackson said.
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