Accepting this highly rated honor, which basically makes him rock royalty, Neil Diamond went on to deliver a rambling speech, punctuated by expletives and his randomly snapping photos of the crowd with his camera phone.
The ceremony took place at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York and also honoured stars such as Alice Cooper, Tom Waits and Dr. John. But it was a possibly jet-lagged Neil Diamond who stole the show. His bizarre behavior started the moment he stepped up on the podium, having been introduced by his friend and fellow singer, Paul Simon. He immediately started taking pictures of the audience giving him a standing ovation. Yeah, milk your moment, Diamond!
He did try to explain, saying:
“Here I am. I’m sorry I didn’t write a speech. I just got off tour from Australia; I did a show two days ago. I got on a plane, commercial, yesterday. I’ve been flying my a** off for 45 hours, got in this morning. I have no idea where we are… What are we doing here? What the heck is going on right here?”
Good question, Neil! But he didn’t seem to grasp the plot. He continued to ramble on the mutual love between him and the audience. They love him in Australia too, apparently.
“I’m flying back tomorrow to Sydney f-ing Australia because they love me there! And I’m gonna keep going back ’til they stop loving me!”
OK! Calm down, Neil. Go get some rest. Diamond finished up his acceptance speech by taking more pictures of the audience to Tweet, before bizarrely asking,
“What time is it? What day is it? And what the f__ is this country?!”
However, Neil Diamond did later wow the audience in the right way, returning to the stage to sing hit, “Sweet Caroline”, with a guest star performance on one line by Bruce Springsteen.
Diamond received another standing ovation from the audience which included Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael J. Fox and retired tennis star, John McEnroe. Other Hall of Fame inductees Alice Cooper Tom Waits and Dr. John all performed duets too.