"I was pissed off about it at first because I saw how it was going down and who was going in and who wasn't," Jones said with a deep laugh. "But I'm used to it, man. I've been around a long time, and I know how it works, you know. It's still an honor, man."
The 2013 class also continues the process of opening the hall of fame's doors a little bit wider.
In many cases, the delayed entry of this year's inductees had to do with a debate among its membership over the hall of fame's direction. The rock 'n' roll family sits under a big tent, but just how big it should be has been a matter of debate for the Cleveland, Ohio, institution.
The class may signal a new direction.
"That is an eclectic group," Newman said. "Well that's nice. It seems like they're broadening what they think rock 'n' roll is. That's good. There's no point being doctrinaire about music. ... People get awful strict. It's a hell of a thing to get strict about, isn't it?"
There was clearly no debate among the hall's membership about Public Enemy, which gained membership on its 25th anniversary.
The openly militant, always angry group helped elevate and define nascent rap in the 1980s and '90s. MC Chuck D said the group's induction is about more than simple membership.
"It's a great piece of news for the genre and our intention was to spread the light that our music is as legitimate as any other music," Chuck D said as the group traveled through Wyoming on tour Monday. " ... So this is significant to be alongside Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys and just to be able to say this accomplishment, we don't think it's solely due to us."
Lifeson hopes the hall's membership keeps up with the trend.
"Maybe it should be the Music Hall of Fame and not so much the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Lifeson said. "But maybe it all is rock 'n' roll. It started as a little seed and grew into this great big tree with a lot of branches. That's why it's so sad the whole progressive movement, bands like Yes and King Crimson, are not included in this. ... I hope there comes a time when these other artists and bands are included because they were equally as influential as any of the ones that are being inducted today."
Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.