Tom Waits and Neil Young were entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York on Monday.

Accepting his award at the ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, Waits said: “They say I have no hits and I’m difficult to work with – and they say it like this is a bad thing.”

Waits compared his entry into the Hall of Fame to receiving a key to the city of El Paso.

“They told me there was only one but I found out there were a whole bunch of them, and they didn’t open anything. So I hope there are some fringe benefits to this baby.”

Other honoured artists included Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper.

Cooper thanked his fans with a live snake around his neck.

He said: “I don’t think you can shock an audience any more.”

Neil Young and Tom Waits later performed together.

The first artists to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 included James Brown, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.