Veteran pop star Neil Diamond stunned the audience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday by delivering a rambling speech as he accepted the prestigious honour.
Speaking before the big bash, Diamond revealed he had made a dash from Australia to the U.S. to accept the honor in person, and it appeared the jet lag had caught up with him as he stepped onto the podium after being introduced by Paul Simon.
An excited Diamond began snapping photos with his camera phone of the crowd giving him a standing ovation, before telling the audience: "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?"
As fans screamed from the ballroom balcony, he marveled at the admiration and then jokingly took aim at the audience, saying, "They love me! They're crazy. But I love them, and I love you too, even though you didn't vote for me. I don't give a s***!"
An unfocused Diamond continued, "I'm flying back tomorrow to Sydney f---ing Australia because they love me there! And I'm gonna keep going back till they stop loving me!"
Diamond ended his acceptance speech by taking a few more pictures of the audience to post on his Twitter.com blog, before bizarrely declaring, "What time is it? What day is it? And what the f--- is this country?!"
The singer continued to entertain attendees later on in the show when he returned to the stage for the finale. He performed an encore of his hit "Sweet Caroline," even inviting Bruce Springsteen to sing a line of the track for him.
The performances by the other inductees were all about collaborations: Alice Cooper received a little help on "School's Out" from the Ronald McDonald House Choir, Tom Waits duetted with Neil Young and funk icon Dr. John played piano with John Legend.
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