This Monday, Neil Young took a couple moments from grooming his sideburns to induct his old friend Tom Waits into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame at the Historic Waldorf Astoria. Upon his induction, Waits had only this to say:

"Thanks, everybody, this is very encouraging. Songs are really just interesting things to do with the air.

I was fifteen when I snuck in to a club to see Lightning Hopkins. I wore an overcoat, put white-out in my hair, drew on a mustache and said in a deep voice, “One ticket please.” I saw Lightning walk through a door in the back room that said, ‘Keep Out!! This Room for ENTERTAINERS ONLY.’ At the moment, I realized I wanted to get into show business as soon as possible.


I am grateful to my wife and my collaborator Kathleen Brennan. She is the light that helps me find my way and to my kids who have taught me everything I know.

Some day, I hope to hear, 'Hey Mack, take the cuffs off him, I think he’s a Hall of Famer!' ”

After receiving his award, Waits and his band played for the celebrities gathered. Elton John commented “If Jackson Pollock could sing, he’d be Tom Waits.”