By Neil Young...

Tom Waits has been inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame by Neil Young.

A truly legendary songwriter, Tom Waits has led a singular career. Beginning as a jazz influenced crooner, his early albums reached a tiny cult audience. Cover versions by The Eagles and more helped raise his profile, before the singer decided to make a break with his past.

Released in 1983, 'Swordfishtrombones' remains one of rock's most unique texts. Taking influence from Delta blues, vaudeville, early jazz and more it remains a powerful, inspiring piece of music.

Since then, Tom Waits has become synonymous with his harsh, gravelled voice. Releasing a stream of idiosyncratic albums, the singer has reached a level of worldwide fame without ever scoring a hit single.

Now the songwriter has been inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. Tom Waits accepted the honour from Neil Young during a ceremony in New York, and was typically gracious.

“Thanks, everybody, this is very encouraging" he told the crowd. "Songs are really just interesting things to do with the air. I was fifteen when I snuck into a club to see Lightning Hopkins. I wore an overcoat, put white-out in my hair, drew on a moustache 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 that moment, I realised 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!”

Playing a short set at the Waldorf Astoria Tom Waits performed 'Make It Rain,' 'Rain Dogs,' a piano version of 'House Where Nobody Lives,' and 'Get Behind The Mule' (with Neil Young).
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