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Neil Diamond one of the worlds biggest selling pop stars, he’s more commonly known as a superstar, he is despite his world renown a person we know very little about the reason for this is simple.
Neil Diamond has never given a TV interview except at occasional press conferences, never has Neil Diamond actually talked about himself.
I’ve been given the privilege of conducting this exclusive interview with a man who is making show business history, a man who gave up singing for three years because he wanted to find himself , he wanted to be more than a complete song writer or a complete performer, he wanted to a complete person and a complete father, 35years old, he’s a multi millionaire , one record album of his “Hot August Night” made record selling history in Australia you’ll find a copy of it in one out of four Australian homes .
Tonight let’s meet Neil Diamond the song writer the artist, the superstar, the Solitary Man
Neil: sure looks like me
Michael : Neil Diamond welcome and thank you for being here
Neil thank you Michael
Michael are you a solitary man?
Neil: I suppose that I am, but probably no more than most other people, when you are exposed to the public, when you’re put in the public’s eye, you’re confronted with pressures and situations that the average person doesn’t really experience, and so like just every other person around the world, I seek out my time for myself and for the things that I consider important above and beyond what I do, the work that I do
Michael: do you like making friends?
Neil: I like friends, but friends are rare I think if ever over a lifetime if I have 3 or 4 friends I’d be very happy
Michael you don’t have many close friends in other words?
Neil: I have many friends, I have a few close friends
Michael when you meet people do you want to keep contact with them , or do you say hello nice to meet you, and that’s it
Neil there are people that you want to have contact with, that you want to have continuing relationships with , because they’re either interesting or there is something compatible about them that makes you feel good for many reasons.
Michael you’ve had three years now to find yourself, what did you achieve during those three years
Neil: I think the most important thing I achieved was I developed an ability to remove myself from the arena, before then I was always in the arena whether I was on stage or not. I was always in the arena psychologically , my mind was there and being away for this period of time having the chance to learn to develop a taste for relaxation and to remove myself, was one of the high points of the last three years the ability to relax and remove myself from the extraordinary situation that I got into the first pace which was the public arena
Michael was it a hard decision for you to make to say right I’m going to risk leaving everything for a couple of years and hope that I can be accepted back again?
Neil it wasn’t very hard at all, I’d wanted to do it for about two years prior to the time that I’d done it. The year before I did my final tour, I had decided that this would be my last tour for a while . I felt there were important things that I had to do, and it was a very easy decision to make and I looked forward to it
Michael will you need to do this again, periodically?
Neil oh, yes I think it’s important, I think it’s important not only for me but for anybody who finds themselves in the kind of work that puts you under extraordinary pressure. I think it’s important to remove yourself, to find yourself again , to replenish all of those juices that make people go and make them function and make them productive……..yes I want to take sabbaticals periodically I think it’s important
Michael you’ve said that you need to be a complete person and this is why you’re doing this, can you be a complete person while you are a superstar?
Neil superstar is an invention, that word is an invention and it doesn’t really relate to me it may relate to the press or the record companies it doesn’t relate to me, what I am as a person
Michael you don’t think because you’ve reached this and because other people are calling you that , that it has an effect on you
Neil it doesn’t have very much of an effect on me , I’m motivated and I get my joys from the work that I do frankly I can’t deal with the enormity of this, the success and the acceptance and so I don’t deal with it, I deal with my work and whatever happens beyond that is , the fates
Michael so when people react the way they do towards you, and what you read about yourself and see about yourself you try to disconnect that from the real you
Neil that’s right , I do that, I have to do that
Michael do you care about what the people think about you ?
Neil yes of course, absolutely, but, I care more what they think of my work than what they think of me, well, I want them to like me anybody who puts their self in front of the public wants to be liked and accepted, but I would hope that at some point, I’d hope to be accepted and liked just on the nature of my work, and the quality of my work
Michael we talked to a few people at one of your shows, to get some reaction of what they really think of you and I think we might just have a look at what they say and let you hear it
Q what does Neil Diamond mean to you?
A terrific, terrific, great this is the best show I’ve ever seen on earth
Q do you think of him as a superstar or as a person himself?
A as a person more than anything, just as a good songwriter
Q but as a person what sort of person is he?
A moody, very deep, a lot of meaning behind what he writes and that brings out his personality… he’s a good entertainer that’s all
Q what do you think of his music, do you think of him as a person or just as a superstar
A probably a superstar I suppose
Q do you ever stop to think of him as a person in his own right
A no, not really
Q what do you think of him as a man
A beautiful man, no different from any other man, he’s got a good voice, he’s more of a personality I think than a man
Q what sort of a man is he, what makes him tick
A I don’t know, just his music I think
Q do you care about him as a man
A I don’t think of him in those terms
Q what sort of terms do you think of him
A just his music, I enjoy his music
Q you don’t care about him s a personality at all
A no, I don’t think that at all
Michael was that the sort of reaction you would have expected or hoped for?
Neil I’m not sure, it’s very interesting, because I’ve never really seen people who’ve reacted after a show or during a show, it’s very rare that you have a chance to sit down with people, it’s embarrassing to ask someone what they think I can’t do it, but that’s interesting……. yes I would differ with one of the girls, really think of me as a person just his music the reality is if they’re familiar with my music then they are familiar with me , because the music is a direct reflection of what I am as a person, and I like some of the reaction with the respect that some of these people relate to or didn’t want to relate to me as a superstar or celebrity I think it is very important to defuse the myth because in reality I’m just a man like any other man I happen to write music and songs and I’ve been lucky enough to have a great deal of acceptance but I’m not talking about anything in my music that any other human being on this earth has not felt or cannot feel
Michael are you moody?
Neil I used to be very moody, I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve come out of myself a great deal in the last three and a half years, I like myself better and I’m not nearly as moody as I was
Michael Neil Diamond why did you decide to give this interview, when you haven’t done so before?
Neil well at first, I felt that it was very important, after seeing the kind of press that was coming when I got here that the Australian audience get a chance to see beyond that celebrity kind of a thing, front page of the newspapers all the time, realize that there was actually a human being behind that, I don’t think it’s productive to represent a person purely on the basis of superstar celebrity it’s not real, you’re not seeing a person, and I felt there was another side and that it might be good if people got some insight into the other side of the Neil Diamond.
Michael why don’t you do it more frequently, why haven’t you done it before?
Neil well I don’t do it for many reasons, first of all because primarily it’s not what I do I’m a writer, I’m a performer if you wanted to if you permitted it I could do interviews from morning until night everyday of the year it takes your energy it’s not the primary thing I’m fond of a saying my father told me when I was a boy he said, Neil I want you to always remember this, keep your eye on the donut and not on the hole , and the stage, and the writing, and the performing, and the recordings, that’s the donut …I don’t want to take the analogy any further this is not the hole but it’s less important so I don’t do it.
Michael you like to communicate with people though don’t you
Michael in fact even with an audience of 20 or 30 thousand , do you try to communicate with them almost individually?
Neil I see an audience more as an individual I don’t see it in numbers it doesn’t matter once you get past 1000 people you cannot deal with them in terms of numbers it’s one person , whether it’s 40,000 people or 5,000 people it’s one person that I’m relating to
“Song Sung Blue” plays
Michael I watched you communicating during a song ” Song Sung Blue”…… do you enjoy performing that?
Neil that song gives me the opportunity to put myself in a very scary position because it’s one of the exciting things about doing a concert is the unpredictability of any given moment that to me is the great fear and the great excitement it’s the charge that I get out of performing the audience gets the music and I get the spaces in between the music which are unpredictable and I like to let things happen so this song in particular.. It gives me the opportunity to not only relate to that particular audience but also to let things happen that would not happen anywhere else but at that moment in that audience and for that reason for the fear of it, it’s the man who climbs Mt Everest and looks down but also enormously exhilarating and exciting, especially when something exciting happens
Michael what’s the inspiration behind that particular song?
Neil inspiration is a large word when I think of it I see it with a capitol I and I’ve only had inspirations in my life maybe 3 or 4 times, the kind off inspiration that your heart pounding and life rushing through your veins, that song I remember listening to a Mozart piano piece recording and was very attracted by a part of the melody it stuck in my mind and I found myself writing a song the next day where the first two melodic phases were very similar I took it my own direction and took it my own way after that but I suppose that Mozart’s piano piece Piano Concerto No 21 was the starting spark for that song
Michael where and when do you write best?
Neil writing happens when it needs to happen wring comes at the least predictable moments I’ve written some of my best songs in the back of cars, in buses, in hotel rooms, it’s really quite unpredictable
Michael if you are told to write something can you?
Michael is that difficult?
Neil when it doesn’t want to come it’s very difficult, I can write something when I have to write something but it’s not always that very special thing. I much prefer to write when it comes and to leave myself open and leave my schedule open so that when I feel like writing everything else ceases because writing is first for me all my appointments are cancelled I lock the doors and it’s a good feeling too it’s an up feeling, so when I feel like writing everything else stops, I write!
Michael you work hard to perform, do you have to keep fit for that?
Neil you do have to keep fit for performing but I find the best way to get fit is to actually go out and perform and it’s very difficult the first few times that you do it …I remember we did some concerts in Sacramento and California when we first started in preparation for this tour and when I got off the stage the first day I hadn’t been on stage for 31/2 years my body hurt, I felt that I’d been in a prize fight for ten rounds against Cassius Clay, my kidneys, my stomach muscle everything hurt, I’d used muscles that I hadn’t used in years but now I’m accustomed to it and I feel as though I’m getting stronger each time I do it.
Michael do you do much else , do you play sport?
Neil not really I’m not very much of a sportsman I prefer to sit read or think or write, I was lucky in Sydney because the Hotel sent up a ping pong table in my room just anyone who happened to pass through we played, which is fantastic exercise you know
Michael Neil are you nervous before a show
Neil I’m a little nervous I have butterflies and doubts and all those things , yes!
Michael have any of those doubts come true, have you ever had problems?
Neil the potential when your performing for an audience of course the show is so complicated and intricate the lighting, the sounds, the music and everything has to work smoothly for it to work smoothly there are many places for things to go wrong and so I just expect things to go wrong it doesn’t bother me when they do
Michael you haven’t always had it easy have you?
Neil no, I don’t think I have it easy now
Michael at the times that you don’t have it easy are you concerned about the future
Neil when you say easy do you mean my shows not going well, my writing not coming, is that what you mean?
Michael I meant you and your upbringing wealth and the things that go with going through hard times not just one particular show
Neil are you talking about financially.
Michael yeah, use that as an example
Neil the most difficult times that I have are when my work isn’t coming when I’m not writing when I’m not being productive I don’t feel as though I’m functioning as a person because when I’m not writing I have nothing to do and those are the most difficult times and I find the money and the financial thing is fine but at best what it can give you privacy, it can buy your privacy to a degree which most people get for nothing it can do that , it can buy material things, I’ve never developed a taste for material things so no, the most productive and fulfilling times are when I’m working and working well
Michael I believe there was a time when you liked your fists more than your voice, that’s something I would like to talk about in a moment
Michael Neil Diamond I believe you were quick to throw a punch in your youth?
Neil actually I was much quicker to duck from a punch, we lived in a number of sections of Brooklyn that were poor sections and when you have poor kids running around, not very much to do, they tend to get into all kinds of trouble. I really wasn’t part of that thing, I just past through a number of neighbourhoods where the prevailing sentiment was the gang thing and I became a member and I was the youngest member of one gang and being the youngest and most fragile member I didn’t really get involved in anything with the rest of the guys although I did in a number of gang fights, I did end up carrying weapons and things like that, they didn’t trust me, I was much to thin and fragile so I was the gopher for the group
Michael what role has your childhood played in later life?
Neil childhood shapes you, you are like soft clay when you are a child in every respect and there were many positive things that I got out of it I started working when I was 9years old with my father, I worked every day after school and I worked every weekend in the farmers markets around New York I developed a great very close relationship with my father because of it and I also developed a love for work and participating very early in my life I came to derive a satisfaction from it
Michael at what stage did you realize that this was going to be your work?
Neil this work, I suppose it was in the back of my mind for quite a while, I remember when I was ten or 11 years old we’d just moved back from Cheyenne Wyoming we moved out there and we lived out west for 3 or 4 years and I was exposed to cowboys, guitars and singing cowboys which were my first heroes the cowboy who would sit on his beautiful white stallion with his guitar and win the girl because of this beautiful song and so I became afflicted with that thing while I was in Wyoming we came back to New York .. I remember even as a child they had these advertisements in the back of comic books and I’d read them so if you sold so many Christmas cards you’d win a pair of skates or a guitar, the thing I always wanted was the guitar
Michael you like writing poetry don’t you?
Neil I did write poetry if you could call it poetry when I was a teenager but I found that writing songs I found it to be much more satisfying because the music adds a dimension the purely words cannot and even begin to touch, you know, music goes directly to the soul
Michael do you try though to get a message across with your music, with the songs
Neil you are talking about something with every song that you write emotional state or relationship or some fantasy and of course the message is whatever that song is about
Michael do you try though and get a message across or do you think really in terms of a best seller?
Neil no, I’ve never really thought about the best sellers until the thing was finished I could sit and listen to it…that seems to have potential as far as the public is concerned but while you are doing it no I tried that for a long time when I first started writing songs I came into New York City and started to knock on doors and try to get what I was writing at the time heard they didn’t like it obviously I was a new writer there was always suggestions we don’t like this we don’t like that change this change that and I tried for a number of years, 7 or 8 years actually to write what other people thought was what I should be writing and I was very unsuccessful at it wasn’t satisfying to me and those songs fade from memory very quickly
Michael would it be fair to say you put your message forward in an unusual sort of manner, because sometimes the words are quite unusual for example. “.I am…I said”
“I am… I Said ” plays
Michael do you feel confident that you got your message across in that song?
Neil see, I’m not really aiming to so much get a message across as I am to express some particular emotion or feeling I think there was a message in that song it’s just a story of someone who is experiencing the kind of intense aloneness that most of us have experienced at one point or other in their life
Michael on the subject of loneliness apparently you receive quite a bit of mail from people who have aloneness communicate with you, how do you react to that ?
Neil obviously I identify with it and I sympathize with it , but I also understand at this point that as you mature as you grow older you if you are fortunate and if you’re looking into yourself and examining yourself that you can eventually come to terms, I was alone because I wanted to be alone, I was afraid to have people come too close to me for fear they may find out what I really was and I didn’t think very much of myself
Michael you’re a thinker aren’t you?
Neil probably too much of a thinker I’m getting out of that , I’m learning not to think as much
Michael you’re responsible
Neil responsible… well, I try to be
Michael because combining the two you have I supposed you’ve considered this too quite enormous power, you can reach a lot of people and get your message across to them
Neil yes I can reach a lot of people, not so much a message you see, I don’t like messages, messages go by railway express, or American telephone and telegraph
Michael but you can communicate your thoughts
Neil my feelings, my music is mostly emotional, mostly on an emotional level
Michael let say that you wanted to introduce that into political thinking, you could do it
Neil the emotional aspect into political area?
Michael take it one step further, I know you don’t like the word message but if you wanted to communicate your thoughts, your feelings, you can into political areas
Neil I suppose I could but frankly I never really been that interested in politics. I find most of it certainly in the United States, very trivial and very temporary and I find very few real thinkers in American politics so people who really have an understanding of the future beyond when they next time they come up for election
Michael you wouldn’t say get behind a political candidate and try and help him win
Neil oh, yes I have done that
Michael for Teddy Kennedy
Neil not so much Teddy Kennedy although it’s possible he’s asked me if I would do some things for him this year very selective people that I’ve felt that yes the public should know about those people they might have been underdogs of just felt that these were substantial people sensitive people who really cared about what they were doing
Michael but this is where your thoughts , your emotions, your feelings, can do a lot more
Neil there is that potential although the reality of it is the public really comes to their own conclusions based on many things, based on what they read in the papers, see on television, based on their own instincts , I don’t think there is anyone with enough power to motivate or to shape the thinking of a public in a direction other than the public’s prepared to think in
Michael and you wouldn’t try, say you decided to back Ted Kennedy, would you try to mould their thoughts
Neil no, I don’t think, that’s not what I do I could express my own feelings and I suppose it would be up to the people then to reach there own conclusions
Michael there’s another vulgar subject I’d like to talk about in a moment
Michael Neil Diamond how important is money to you
Neil money’s reasonably important for a number of reasons first of all I suppose that my background had something to do with it I never had much exposure to money when I was a kid I never really missed it but it was just something that really didn’t enter into my life very much or very often.. But I find that money has two main real functions that are productive , first for privacy which is important especially for a writer and secondly because…
Michael interrupts here
Michael what do you mean by that?
Neil you must buy your privacy when you are a public person you must live in areas that are exclusive simply because you want to go back to your everyday life like everyone else if your too much in front of the public then you can’t do that everybody wants their 2 minutes or their 10 seconds which seems very small from the individuals point of view but of course when you realize there are thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands of people who want that time you must protect that. first comes my work and my family
Michael what else does money mean?
Neil money in a sense means freedom, the freedom to stop performing for 3years, the freedom to study and read and get to know myself also it’s being in the public favour is extraordinarily exhilarating but it’s not one of those things that you can count on for the rest of your life, so you hope that you are able to put enough in the bank so that when the public finally does say we no longer like you we like that person that you don’t have to go around and work at jobs that you don’t want to work at that you can live your life and still maintain you live with some semblance of self respect
Michael do you know how much money now that you really have, do you keep a check on what you have
Neil I don’t really know it gets very complicated after a while it gets complicated, it’s a business really and I’m one of the employees of the business I receive a salary but I haven’t really concerned myself with money It’s my understanding that I have enough to do to live the way I live now and that’s right where I want it.
Michael do you spend easily?
Neil yes, I spend very easily
Michael on yourself
Neil not so much on myself but when I want something I get it
Michael like what
Neil anything, a new pair of shoes as many record albums as I want the best hi fi systems, the best guitars, whatever it is that I want
Michael what about your kids
Neil my kids…. I have to have that under much more control you see I’m much more experienced at having no money than at having money so I’m just really learning to deal with it as far as my children are concerned I try to give them what they need irrespective of money and of course children with there limitless vision want everything that they see and of course you can’t do that
Michael but you think you virtually can give them what they want
Neil whatever they need not whatever they want because they want everything , whatever I think they need whatever I think is important to their life
Michael have you talked to your kids while you’ve been away
Neil yes I spoke to my son just about an hour ago before the show
Michael what sort of conversation did you have with him
Neil we had a good conversation , he’s anxious for me to come home and I spoke to him for a little while and I told him about a gift that I got him
Michael can you tell us what that was
Neil yes, I got him a little pencil box with a secret compartment in it to keep his pencils, then I spoke to his mother for a little while and I wanted to talk to him again but he was very emotional about it, he was very tearful and crying and he wouldn’t go back on the phone and so I told my wife I’d call him back tomorrow and try to talk to him again
Michael why can’t your wife travel with you
Neil she can and she does occasionally it’s very difficult and while I’m touring it’s work, it’s work it’s very difficult work it’s very intense and I find it difficult to be a husband and a worker at the same time I think the two have to be separate so that when I come I can be a father and a husband again without any distractions
Michael women play quite a role in your life, in terms of songs anyway I want to talk about perhaps one individual woman, one of your best sellers so we’ll tune in a moment to Sweet Caroline
“Sweet Caroline” plays
Michael who was Caroline
Neil Caroline’s probably I guess every women that I’ve ever met, I don’t if there was a Caroline it’s a story about a relationship between a man and a woman and you can use any name you care to use it just so happens Caroline worked beautifully in the song
Michael so there was no particular reason, there was no Caroline that you thought of at the time
Neil although sub consciously it’s very difficult for me to analyze the songs they come I try to let them come as freely as possible without intellectualizing on them I did not ask myself when I wrote that song who is Caroline it was a name that came to mind and so that was a good enough reason
Michael now a few years later do you get sick of Caroline
Neil no, I don’t it’s one of those songs that has sustained for me that’s one of the beautiful things about songs that they do , when you do them well they can sustain you and give something to you for many years where as a concert a performance it’s a thing of the moment it will last for a period of time it’s exhilarating like no other experience that I experience in my life but when it’s over it’s over a piece of music a song yes ten years later, a hundred years later, still
Michael Neil Diamond might have some vices that’s something I want to talk about shortly….
Michael does Neil Diamond have any vices?
Neil yes of course, I have more vices than we have time to talk about here
Michael name a couple
Neil I’m addicted to cigarette smoking, I tend to over work those two are really fit for extended discussion
Michael does cigarette smoking cause damage to you though?
Neil yes it does I’ve been warned by my doctors that my singing career will be shortened considerably by it I’ve tried just about everything hypnotism, self discipline, stopping work, try other brands of cigarettes, but I’m addicted to them without any question
Michael show business personalities and drugs are often connected
Neil yes that’s right
Michael in your life
Neil they were for a while to a very limited degree, I don’t like to take any kind of drugs into my body I prefer not to an even aspirin I don’t drink I’ve hardly have any alcohol in my life so there hasn’t been very much of a problem in that regard I don’t like taking manufactured things so I don’t know what they do and frankly I don’t think anyone else, even the manufacturers know really what they do so the drug thing hasn’t been very much of a problem, I think cigarettes have been more of a problem
Michael do you have any major dislikes
Neil dislikes of course, insensitive people, I dislike rude people… I could go on forever
Michael are you a patient person?
Neil when my energy is there I can be very patient but when my energy goes and I’ve been able to predict it fairly well, I have no patience at all I become a whole different personality
Michael I believe one of you likes is flowers (Michael hands Neil a beautiful pink rose)
From a special fan for Neil Diamond, someone who especially sent it in for you
Neil this is really a perfect creation , I look at a rose and I see…God if I could create a song that was that beautiful I would never have to have any doubts in my whole life , but this is a perfect creation
Michael is that why you have a beautiful bouquet or a huge set up of flowers on your stage
Michael it’s unusual for a person like you
Neil it puts me and what I do in perspective the tendency is very often when you stand in front of an audience 20 or 30 or 40 thousand people to think, gee, your really terrific but then you turn round and look at a rose it puts you in perspective
Michael is life a bore
Neil oh no, life is ever changing ever interesting, ever expanding, ever incomprehensible and ever wondrous
Michael after the first million, two million or so what are the goals
Neil after the first million or two million ( Neil laughs) the goals have always been the same self perfection self analysis really perfection of myself and to understand what it is that I could contribute and to make that contribution that has always been the goal and I suspect that it always will be
Michael are you an emotional person
Neil I am, but in very specific times, I’m mostly emotional when I’m writing music I tend to let my emotions going freely when I’m writing and to keep them very much in containment when I’m doing other things
Michael apparently for a while you needed even medical attention , was that because of the emotions within you
Neil medical attention in what way?
Michael in terms of you needed, I believe you needed some help at one stage
Neil do mean psychologically
Neil I spent the last three years with an analyst who really helped me change my life because it was an opportunity really for me to begin to speak I never really did talk very much I always saved the speaking for when I was writing the music, what I had to say come out in my music and merely sitting and talking with a man 3, 4, 5, days a week for years gave me the experience and the ability to verbalize and to talk and not to have a fear of it either
Michael how did you have the right confidence in that particular person, do you model yourself on anyone in particular
Neil I suppose that there are a number of people that I aspire to model myself after
Michael anyone that we would know or someone that you’ve met privately
Neil people that I’ve met privately, I meet people all the time, there are things about people whether it’s a driver I’ve met in this city, a man that I met in a pub in that city, the man who does the construction work on my home in LA whose 85years old and has accrued the wisdom that I have not nearly come to know I learn and model myself after people that I respect and that I like
Michael are you basically happy or sad
Neil now I’m basically happy because I’m content and fulfilled in my work I wasn’t always happy there was always that conflict between what you were and what you wanted to be what you aspire too what other people thought you should be, I’ve come to terms with hat to a large degree and I know pretty well what I want out of my life so I’m pretty happy now
Michael clothes are important to you……
Neil clothes, I’d would hardly go anywhere without them ( Michael laughs)
Michael on stage your selection of clothes
Neil yes absolutely, you want to feel very special when you go out on stage before an audience in the same way when you go out to dinner with friends you want to feel good but especially on stage, where you have so many people colour the kind of clothing that you wear has to reflect your mood that evening I never decide what I’m going to wear until before the show yes it is very important and has reflected my emotional state also when I first started to perform I wore pure black, black boots, black pants, black shirt, black guitar in a sense it was a way of hiding behind that solid black front of mystery
Michael Neil Diamond are you a religious person
Michael doesn’t it mean anything to you
Neil it means a great deal to me but I’m not religious, I tend to be a very spiritual person but religion, organized religion is created by people who are fallible
Michael do you believe in God
Michael your children do you your children is that what you are teaching them
Neil well they’ll have to reach their own conclusions it’s to an important a subject for me to inflict on them I think they’ll reach their own conclusions about life as they’re older they’re too young now
Michael do you fear what is around the corner for you
Neil I did, I did fear it, I’m not afraid of it now I’m willing to accept whatever it is, I don’t expect to, it’s funny I’ve had this vision for most of my life that I would not live a very long life and so I understand that I’m willing to accept that and to do what I can within that period and that was my main fear death
Michael will you know when your time has come in show business
Neil I think I’ll know it long before anyone else does
Michael will you try to hang on or will you get the message
Neil I’ll get the message
Michael and depart or will you get the message and go or will you try to go on with it?
Neil there are many other things that can satisfy people one of my dreams that I’ve had for many years was to be able to subsidize and to open up a camp for children when I was a child I was fortunate to be accepted into a camp it was a charity camp I went and it exposed me to all kinds of new things it one of the things I want to do now with my success just I’ve been saving money now from my concerts now for the past 5years , I have a substantial sum put away and next year my goal is to start buying a piece of land and to build my camp
Michael have you ever thought of being a factory worker or a bus driver
Neil seriously of actually doing it ….no…I worked with my father when I was young in a shop and I learned very quickly the limitations of that I spent most of my youth looking out of the shop window at the rest of the world and wondering what was happening I don’t want to do that any more
Michael Neil Diamond is that the real name
Neil that’s the real name, yeah
Michael no change?
Neil no change
Michael I think now our time has come I’d like to ask you now how you’ve felt during the last hour in this sort of interview
Neil I thought it was relatively painless but then again I expected it to be I’d heard you are quite bright and that you did have a brain to go along with the personality and the looks really the purpose of it was to give some insight beyond the myth so that people only didn’t think of me as someone they saw on front page dashing from the airplane to the limousine to the hotel
Michael do you think you’ve achieved that now to a certain extent
Neil I think probably people know me a little better now than they did before
Michael thank you very much for coming in ,it’s been tremendous talking to you
Neil thank you Michael
Michael thank You