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NEW YORK — The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony is the only place you’d find Bruce Springsteen as just one member of a 21-piece backup band.
The rock hall’s latest class brought together Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and Leon Russell, and after all the speeches were done the musicians kept playing until the wee hours.
Springsteen brought his guitar to back Love, who created a modern-day “Wall of Sound” and dueted with Bette Midler on “He’s a Rebel” after her induction Monday night. Guitarist John Mayer supported Russell in his ballad “A Song for You.” Diamond had the crowd in the glittery ballroom of The Waldorf-Astoria hotel dancing to the 1960s era “Cherry Cherry.”
Diamond had seemed a bit loopy in his acceptance speech, after traveling 25 hours from Australia for the ceremony and looking ahead to another trip Down Under to resume a concert tour. He criticized Paul Simon, who inducted him, for giving Simon’s upcoming album a difficult-to-remember title (“So Beautiful or So What”), then tried to recover by saying “I dare anybody in this room to make a better album.”
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