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Dr John, Love inducted into Rock Hall at NYC fete
NEW YORK (AP) - New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John wore a bright purple suit for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, leading a class with Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper and Tom Waits.
Dr. John said he felt “like I’m blessed to be singing, to be breathing.”
He was inducted by singer John Legend, who recalled meeting him at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. Legend said the new Hall of Fame member has been a leading global ambassador for New Orleans and its special musical gumbo.
“He has never stopped flying the flag of funk,” Legend said. “Tonight, he is definitely in the right place at the right time.”
Love 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.
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.
He said before the ceremony that he had flown in from a concert tour in Australia for his induction and was flying back when it was done.
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 “Schools Out.” Their concerts were steeped in horror movie theatrics, and singer Rob Zombie was to salute them Monday.
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”). Another California-based songwriter, Neil Young, was to pay tribute to Waits on Monday.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
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