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Alice Cooper inducted... with snake

Alice Cooper was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the US and brought along a friend - a boa constrictor.

The theatrical singer and his band were inducted into the Cleveland-based Hall alongside other music stars, including Tom Waits and Neil Diamond.

Alice wore a blood-splattered shirt and also brought school children along to sing School's Out. He said: "We've always been a hard rock band. We just wanted to decorate it a little differently."

Neil Diamond appeared jet-lagged - he said he flew 25 hours from Australia and was due to fly back there to resume a concert tour. He took pictures of the audience and promised to "tweet this and tell everybody out there that they really do love me in the Hall of Fame".

He criticised Paul Simon, who inducted him, for giving his upcoming album a hard-to-remember title (So Beautiful Or So What). He then called it a great album and jokingly asked Paul for money for the plug, and was handed a banknote.

Simon noted that Diamond was first eligible for the rock hall in 1991. "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.

Songwriter Tom 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'."

© Press Association