Monday, April 5, 2010

Neil Diamond News: Red Sox/Yankees Season Opener

If Queen is my favorite band (which they are) then Neil Diamond is my favorite solo artist. I absolutely adore Neil Diamond and have for nearly a decade. I've seen him perform live twice...well actually three times. I saw him in concert at Madison Square Garden in 2001 and then I saw him again in 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston.

I also saw him once on the NYU campus. You see, readers, Neil Diamond, like myself, attended New York University. He left before graduating in order to pursue songwriting (probably a good decision), but maintained a relationship with the school, particularily with its former president L.Jay Oliva, who was a huge fan. In 2001, President Oliva decided to host an on-campus event for students. It was originally dubbed Autum Fest and was supposed to be a day of fall foliage fun, but after September 11, the day took on a more serious turn (see story here at the truly inept Washington Square News. This story obviously was not published on January 1, 1997, but such is the incompetence of my former college's official newspaper). Neil Diamond was in town for two shows at Madison Square Garden and he agreed to perform at the event.

I arrived at Autumn Fest early and shoved past approximately 500 grandmothers to get to the front of the crowd. Once there, I stood maybe 15 feet from Neil Diamond, too terrified to lift my camera and take a picture. He noticed me (how could he not - me being literally the only person on the plaza under the age of 60) and kept looking at me and smiling, inviting me to take photo after glorious photo of him! But my fear prevented me from taking advantage of this amazing opportunity. I did get several good photos of him which I've since lost track of (through no fault of my own. My then-boyfriend posted the pictures on my NYU student website which NYU arbitrarily deleted without warning a few years ago) - one photo from the day remains. It's framed and in my guest bathroom for everyone who enters my home to enjoy. Aren't I a wonderful hostess?

Ah so the news! Anyone who is a Red Sox fan knows that at every home game before the Red Sox come to bat in the 8th inning, they play Sweet Caroline. Everyone sings along (inserting the extra parts of "Ba ba ba" and "So good, so good, so good" throughout the chorus. When I saw Neil Diamond at Fenway in 2008, he played Sweet Caroline three times and was selling a special concert t-shirt specific to Fenway Park (which I, of course, purchased).

Last night at the season opener between the Red Sox and the Yankees, Neil Diamond appeared live to sing Sweet Caroline! You can watch his performance here. Now Neil Diamond is getting up there in years - he's pretty close to 70 right now, but I think he sounds amazing, especially at the chorus when he really gets into his stride. You can tell he's having a good time too!

Neil Diamond is still going strong - writing, recording and touring. If you ever get a chance to see him in concert, even if you aren't a fan, go! Seriously! Husband isn't a Neil Diamond "fan" and even he had to admit that the concert at Fenway was pretty freakin' incredible.


  1. i don't know *HOW* I missed his performance! We watched the game into the 8th inning, but I must have been dozing off or maybe in the kitchen... Boo!

  2. I can't get that video to play all the way through right now, but I love Neil Diamond. No one can get a song stuck in your head the way he can.

  3. We watched the game on the YES network so, of course, they only showed one line of the song- Yankee network wouldn't want to give the Red Sox any extra encouragement!