A massive earthquake in Los Angeles days before the 1994 induction ceremony prevented Rod Stewart from attending the ceremony. Another artist who didn't make it was Jerry Garcia, for the simple reason that he didn't care for the idea of rock & roll institutions. Unfortunately, he didn't talk to Eric Clapton, who had said the previous year, "I don't believe in institutions. It seemed to me that rock & roll shouldn't be respectable. [But] a friend of mine, Robbie Robertson, pointed out to me that minor and major miracles take place here."
Animals vocalist Eric Burdon also didn't show, reportedly honoring a gig in Dusseldorf, Germany, and begging the question -- quipped Jancee Dunn in Rolling Stone -- "Artist of principle or crazy man?" Minus the absent Levon Helm and the late Richard Manuel, the Band played together with Robbie Robertson for the first time since The Last Waltz and were joined by their presenter and biggest fan, Eric Clapton.
Elton John showed up to collect his Hall of Fame statue, but called his songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin to the stage and gave it to him, along with a heartfelt embrace. "Without Bernie, there wouldn't have been any Elton John at all," he said. The most moving induction, though, came when Paul McCartney, making his first Hall of Fame appearance, read an emotional "letter" to John Lennon, which had McCartney's wife, Linda, a nearly everyone else weeping.