Neil Diamond fans paying a higher price
to see him in Stockton

Neil Diamond fans paying a higher price to see him in Stockton

Ian Hill
Published Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005

Neil Diamond fans who attended the singer-songwriter’s Northern California shows in September may get sticker shock when they buy tickets for his Jan. 15 concert at the new Stockton Arena.

Tickets for the Stockton show cost $67.75 to $152.75 without fees, about twice the $42.50 to $75 ticket prices for Diamond’s San Jose and Sacramento concerts, as well as his shows this month in Denver and San Diego.

The cost of a ticket for the Stockton show is comparable with the $52.50 to $183.75 fans will have to pay for Diamond’s show Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Tim Higgins, the arena’s associate general manager for booking at the arena, noted that Diamond is not on tour in January and won’t be able to easily transport the equipment needed for his stage show to Stockton. The higher ticket price covers the cost of bringing Diamond and his equipment to Stockton for a “one time only” show.

“The city is giving Stockton the night to remember,” Higgins said.

Diamond’s Stockton show is the inaugural concert at the new arena; officials expect it to be a sellout. Diamond fan Norbert Huston of Stockton noted in an e-mail that because of the ticket price, he won’t be in the crowd. He wrote that when he tried to buy tickets Saturday, he found that two of the “best available” seats cost a total of $329.50, including fees.

“It’s too rich for my blood,” Huston wrote. “And I thought the arena … would be for (all) citizens of Stockton. Even the ‘middle class’ has a hard time swallowing the cost.”

Ticket prices for the Stockton show don’t include seats on the floor, which is reserved for those who attend the city’s preconcert benefit gala. Those tickets are $5,000 to $10,000 for a table of 10.

Urban: Carlos Talamantes is bringing some well-known Bay Area rappers to Stockton to help him promote the newly opened C4 Records store on Market Street near Sutter Street.

E-40, Mr. F.A.B. and Tizznation will be at the store at 1 p.m. Friday to sign autographs. Talamantes, 31, said he expects to have more well-known rappers make appearances at C4 in the future, and that he is working on building a recording studio in the back of the store.

“My plan is to make a big impact here,” said Talamantes, a DJ who started C4 Records in Manteca nine years ago. The Stockton store, which is co-owned by Talamantes’ brother Mike Perez, 26, carries primarily rap, R&B and old-school LPs and CDs.

Talamantes decided to move C4 to his hometown of Stockton when the store’s lease in Manteca expired earlier this year. The move may sound like a bad idea to local rap fans, as many in the area hip-hop community believe the Stockton establishment is hostile to their music, their culture and their lifestyle.

But Talamantes said he is up to the challenge of running an urban record store downtown. “It’s like building a house in the desert,” he said. “It’s a challenge, but I’m going to overcome it.”

For more information, call (209) 430-3037.

Rap: After getting an autograph from E-40, local rap fans can head to the American Legion hall on West Lane on Friday for a benefit concert featuring Bay Area rapper Spice 1. The concert, which starts at 6 p.m., is the second benefit show for Hurricane Katrina victims organized by Stockton rapper Jonathan “Mackalot” Davis, 23.

There are 25 urban artists on the bill for Friday’s show, including Lil’ Mondo, L’ Jay, Breed Nation, Samraw and Trell Mix. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door; for more information, call (209) 271-2087, (209) 271-7788 or (916) 519-5062.

Davis emphasized that security will be strict, and he said the goal of the benefit concerts is to raise enough money to rent a house for a hurricane victim for several months. The previous benefit concert, held Oct. 23 in Oak Grove Regional Park, raised about $1,800. Davis also will celebrate his 24th birthday at the show.

The show also will give local rap fans an opportunity to vote in the first-ever Stockton Hip-Hop Awards, which are being organized by Davis and are set for Jan. 21. Davis will be distributing ballots at the show.

Femmes: Alt-rock legends the Violent Femmes are set to play a Feb. 4 show at the Bob Hope Theatre. Ticket cost and sale date have yet to be determined.

Broadcast: Stockton jazz group The Cradle of Sound Band performed on KXTV’s “Sacramento & Co” on Thursday morning. The group plays at 9 p.m. every Saturday at the Drycreek Golf Course and Country Club in Galt, and the shows are open to the public.

Released: Elizabeth Pha, a 2005 “American Idol” contestant who grew up in Stockton, has released an album under her birth name, Chandara. The CD, “The Moon and the Stars,” is available at Tower Records on Pacific Avenue. For more, go to

Contact reporter Ian Hill at (209) 943-8571 or

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