Nashville Interview (9-72)
Interviewer: September 25th 1972 Volume 1 Issue 5
The country boy from Hackensack comes on like ?? P.D. talks with Neil Diamond at the Opry. We tune in the most listened to man in Chicago ?? around the country George McGovern staff campaigns in Jacksonville, Larry Ryan has a run in with a truck, the Time Machine presents Bill Grey with ?? Super Chan shares his music philosophy and Tom Showban builds a ??. If you’re ready…
Plays: Piece of “Holly Holy”
Interviewer: Neil Diamond is one of the most talented and creative recording and performing acts in the business today. His music is contemporary and he recently played two nights of packed houses in the home of country music: The Grand Old Opry. P.D asked Neil, Why the Opry?
Neil: I just asked that I could play here because it’s you know the Grand Old Opry and they’re tearing it down and you know I wanted to play here before they did.
Interviewer: And that a group of entertainers are attempting to save the Opry House from Impending destruction.
Neil: I haven’t but I’m for it I think that too many of these places that have so much history are torn down you know, there must be something that they can use it for it represents a very important part of Nashville’s life it’ll be a shame to just tear it down, but I guess they’ll do it anyway.
Interviewer: On his move to Columbia Records he said…
Neil: I just went to Columbia because it was right for me to go to Columbia, so I went.
Interviewer: By all standards Neil Diamond material is considered pop but was asked if he felt that he had any country overtones.
Neil: Yea I have a lot of country overtones; it’s the basis of my music. It was my first love it will probably be my last, I think the music is exposed all over the world, I was exposed to country music for a lot of my life and I loved it, grew up on it.
Interviewer: On radio his thoughts are contrary to many of the music industry he feels radio is far more open musically than in the past.
Neil: Well I think the difference that I notice is that radio people are more open to new forms of music. When I first started writing when I was 16 when I was 17 there was one type of music that was played generally on the radio and I think the world was ready for some people like “The Beatles” to break that whole thing open and now they are open for just about anything as long as they like it, which to me is of tremendous importance.
Interviewer: How long did it take before his was accepted by our industry?
Neil: Well I had to work at it a long time before anyone would accept my music but once it happened it happened pretty fast.
Interviewer: A great deal of his music is considered to be autobiographical.
Neil: Some of it is yeah most songs reflect where the writer is at you know, not all of it is auto-biographical but enough of it so that the audience can come into a concert and know me pretty well before I walk out on stage and I like that.
Interviewer: Neil’s quitting the road for a two year sabbatical. Is the intent to search for creative new directions?
Neil: Yeah but really what I’m planning on doing is getting a chance to contemplate my navel and you know change my guitar strings…
Neil: … and go from there. I want to also explore and find new directions and understand myself a little better and you know hopefully grow a little bit, get away from it, see it better by getting away from it and also the road is very very difficult and you can’t survive on it for too long. I took one of these things about four years ago and it was very good for me I started to write new special kind of things. When I was away I wrote “Holly Holy, Brother Love” and “Sweet Caroline” and I felt it was good for me I think this hopefully will do the same.
Interviewer: He was asked about his music and specifically the last two LP’s; “Moods” and “Stones”. Do they signify a definite trend in his work?
Neil: I don’t know, you know the music takes me I don’t really take the music it’s not as though I can plan it out that easily so what ever I write is what I record, but I think that… no “Moods” is a one of a kind album I don’t think that I’ll ever write that kind of an album again. I don’t know what my next original album will be like but I know it won’t be anything like “Moods”.
Interviewer: His first hit “Solitary Man” was the beginning.
Neil: “Solitary Man” broke in San Francisco first, yes the next to break quickly, Los Angeles and died.
Neil and Interviewer: Laughs
Interviewer: Which station in San Francisco?
Neil: I don’t remember if I had to guess I’d say it was KFRC.
Interviewer: And Neil Diamond a giant in our industry continues his growth as a creative colossus.
Plays: Part of “Holly Holy”