The 2006 class of inductees also included jazz legend Miles Davis and new wave group Blondie, who made little secret of the antagonism between current and past members of the band at a ceremony marked by controversy, awkwardness and no-shows.
Musicians become eligible for consideration 25 years after their first recording and for several of those honoured, the induction came too late for them to enjoy it.
Davis died of a stroke in 1991, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious died of a drug overdose in 1979 and several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a 1977 plane crash.
Living up to their reputation for thumbing their nose at the establishment, the Sex Pistols snubbed the ceremony.
Still remembered for outraging British society with such nihilistic anthems as Anarchy in the UK, the punk rockers faxed a letter to organisers saying: “We’re not your monkey. Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain,” said the letter, which was read out by Hall of Fame vice president Jann Wenner.
The original crew of Blondie were inducted into the Hall of Fame but it was the band’s current line-up, led by a red-haired Deborah Harry, who performed three of their hits, including Call Me. There was an awkward moment when the original band members said they wanted to join in but were turned down.
Guitarist Chris Stein said backstage lawsuits over royalties had soured relations.