- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Alice Cooper came into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a friend _ a boa constrictor.

The theatrical rock band with a lead singer who takes the same name was inducted Monday into the Hall of Fame. His class includes New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love and Leon Russell.

Cooper wore a blood-splattered shirt and also brought schoolkids along to sing “School’s Out.” It all seemed appropriate for a band that inductor Rob Zombie said invented the rock show.

Says Cooper: “We’ve always been a hard rock band. We just wanted to decorate it a little differently.”

The work by the inducted artists will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.




THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tom Waits went for laughs, Alice Cooper for shock value, Leon Russell was quietly humble and Neil Diamond may still be talking following their induction Monday into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The acts were joined New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John and “Wall of Sound” singer Darlene Love at the annual black-tie dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel. A tape of the ceremony is to air March 20 on Fuse.

Diamond appeared jet-lagged for his induction: He said he flew 25 hours from Australia and is due to fly back there Tuesday to resume a concert tour. He took pictures of the audience and promised to “tweet this and tell everybody out there that they really do love me in the Hall of Fame.”

He criticized Paul Simon, who inducted him, for giving his upcoming album a hard-to-remember title (“So Beautiful or So What”). He then called it a great album and jokingly asked Simon for money for the plug. Simon handed over a bill.

The Brooklyn-born Diamond wrote pop-rock hits for himself (“Solitary Man”) and others (The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer”). Presidential daughter Caroline Kennedy was the inspiration for “Sweet Caroline,” now a Boston Red Sox anthem. Diamond settled into a comfortable career as a middle-of-the-road concert favorite, although he made some challenging recordings in recent years with producer Rick Rubin.

Simon noted that Diamond was first eligible for the rock hall in 1991.

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