Continued from page 1

“This has been 20 years,” he said. “My question is, What took so long?”

Then he provided his own answer: “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” Diamond’s duet with the un-rock ‘n’ roll Barbra Streisand.

Alice Cooper is the stage name for singer Vincent Furnier and his band, known for 1970s era hard rock songs “Eighteen,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “School’s Out.” Their concerts were steeped in horror movie theatrics, and singer Rob Zombie, in his induction speech, said they had invented the rock show.

Cooper, the singer, wrapped a huge snake around his neck for his induction and performed a trio of the band’s hits in a shirt spattered with fake blood. A chorus of schoolchildren in gruesome black makeup joined them for “School’s Out.”

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

Zombie recalled how he painted a portrait of Cooper with dripping blood when he was in the fourth grade and asked to do an art assignment, drawing him some special attention.

Songwriter Waits is well-versed in blues, poetry and ballads, with songs rough and romantic. Several of his Hall of Fame predecessors have recorded his work, including Bruce Springsteen (“Jersey Girl”), the Ramones (“I Don’t Want to Grow Up”), Rod Stewart (“Downtown Train”) and Johnny Cash (“Down There By the Train”). Neil Young said Waits is “undescribable and I’m here to describe him.”

Waits noted that his rock hall trophy was heavy and wondered if he could have a key-chain version “that I can keep with me in case I hear somebody say, ‘Pete, take the cuffs off him. He’s a Hall of Famer.’”

He described songs as “just very interesting things to be doing with the air.

“They say that I have no hits and that I’m difficult to work with,” he said, “and they say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Russell composed “A Song for You” and “Delta Lady,” but said he was in “a ditch beside the highway of life” when Elton John called a year ago and suggested they record an album together. The result was nominated for a Grammy.

Russell, with a shock of long white hair and beard, walked haltingly onstage with the help of a cane and met John for a warm embrace.

“Thank you very much,” he said. “I appreciate it and Hallelujah.”

Love, whose voice cut through Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” called her induction into the hall her best 70th birthday present. She fought back tears in her acceptance speech, saying she had faith that the gift God gave her would sustain her for the rest of her life.

Love lent her powerful voice to several of Spector’s hits, in acts such as the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Her “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is a holiday standard: She sang on U2’s cover and performs it every December on David Letterman’s show.

Story Continues →