"This is a very unlikely occasion for me," VH1.com quoted Canadian singer-songwriter Cohen as saying as he accepted the honor. "It is not a distinction that I coveted or even dared dream about. So, I'm reminded of a prophetic statement of (music critic and Bruce Springsteen manager) Jon Landau in the early 1970s. He said, 'I have seen the future of rock and roll and it is not Leonard Cohen.'"
New inductee Mellencamp said, "I'm lucky to be standing here for any number of reasons," explaining how he had surgery as an infant and doctors feared he would be paralyzed from the neck down.
The evening was a bittersweet one for the British band Dave Clark Five whose singer Mike Smith died last month of pneumonia.
"We wanted it to be the five of us here, but we know he's smiling down on us, knowing he's a Hall of Famer," Clark said.