Neil Diamond, perhaps best known for some of his slightly up-tempo ballads and sugar coated lyrics has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to the muffled and often toothless cheers of his 90 year old female fan base.
While nobody disputes the commercial success of Diamond's single releases throughout the years or his career longevity, purists from the Rock world wonder what criteria is being used to consider inductees. "It can't be limited to ground breakers, trend starters, or genre leaders", says Thor Steeson, former bassist for the Iggy Pop band. "Some of the people getting in these days were just, for lack of a better word, popular".
Fans disagree with the criticism. 92 year old Edna Waternoose says, "Songs like Rock me Gently and Sweet Caroline, moved me". The interview with Ms. Waternoose ended after experiencing another form of movement, but other fans shared similar stories of how Diamond's music was "snappy", and "played well at weddings".
Even Steeson admits that some of the lyrics are so memorable that most people could easily sing along. "I mean, if you had the properly aged crowd, you couldn't sing the words 'Sweet Caroline' without the crowd yelling 'Bom Bom Bom' in response, yeah? But is it rock?"
Bus loads of the elderly were on hand to witness the induction event and whooped up the best cheer they could offer after turning up the knobs on their oxygen bottles. One female fan in a walker attempted to rip off her oversized panties with the intention of tossing them on stage, but security stopped the woman saying only, "Lady, please God, no".