The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees were announced this morning: Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John. It's a mix of musicians reflecting a Hall that has become increasingly eclectic over the years as the definition of what constitutes "rock and roll" continues to broaden (something we wrote about back when the nominees were announced in September).
The acts that were passed over this year include LL Cool J, Donna Summer, the Beastie Boys, J. Geils Band, Chuck Willis, and Chic. With the exception of Waits, this is the first time any of the inductees have appeared on the ballot—something that didn't go unnoticed with Cooper:
It did get to be kind of a joke, not being nominated. I got to the point where I was saying, 'OK, I'm the Pete Rose of rock 'n' roll!' So now that it's a reality, it's a different take on it. Now I sit there and go, 'Wow. Wow! We've got to really get up and play, and assume the position of being in the Hall of Fame.' It'll be great.
Neil Diamond's reaction is typically Diamond-esque, as he whimsically explains how he fits along side The Beatles and Elvis in the Hall:
I've always looked at it like rock & roll was a circus. We're just clowns in that circus. We're doing our bid to entertain and make people smile...I feel a sense of camaraderie with all those people anyway. We've shared the same life and been through the same bumpy roads and beautiful clear skies.
While Darlene Love's screams of joy were apparently as impressive as her soulful belt:
Then I started screaming, and I thought, 'I sure hope the driver don't think my husband's back here tryin' to kill me.' I was laughing and crying at the same time. I'm still on cloud nine.
And just for good measure, here's Darlene Love performing her holiday classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," which she has played every Christmas season on Dave Letterman's show since 1986: