I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest Neil Diamond fan, and any suggestion he should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is met with a shrug of indifference (you know, in the same way a suggestion that any band should be inducted into something as ridiculous as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
But over the weekend I was shaking my bits to the disco hits down at Videodrome, and then it happened – Mr. Diamond hovered over the crowd on the giant projector screen, his 1986 semi-hit ”Headed For the Future” synced up perfectly from the DJ booth to the big screen above, and in unison everyone at the bar joined in for a little Neil-worship. I gave in, but partly because I knew my request for Bertie Higgins would soon follow… but it was a moment. Many glasses were raised. Some even dropped to their knees (not out of the ordinary for a Saturday night in Allston, but I digress.)
So it’s a bit timely this note comes streaking across the Hotline desk. Jon Bream has authored a new book, ‘Neil Diamond Is Forever: The Illustrated History of The Man and His Music,’ and it helps make a case for Diamond’s induction to the RnR Hall. Bream will be signing copies – and certainly educating us all – at the Borders Back Bay on Boylston Street this Monday at 5 p.m. Here’s the presser, with some of Bream’s thoughts on immortalizing the man, the myth, the legend – Neil Diamond:
JON BREAM WILL BE IN BOSTON!
BORDERS BACK BAY
511 Boylston St Boston, MA
(with Neil Diamond memorabilia!)
Monday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m.
From Bream: ‘The elitist club that runs the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t think Neil Diamond is hip enough to even be considered for induction. I say put him on the ballot and let the voters decide.
”His credentials are more impressive and compelling than those of many inductees. He has written hits for the Monkees, Smash Mouth and many others as well as for himself. He’s scored 12 top 10 singles in the ’60s ’70s and ’80s. In this decade, he has worked with the hippest producer around, Rick Rubin, for two albums with a third in the works. His music has been widely influential, and he?s beloved by two generations of music lovers.
”Look at the stars that turned out to honor him at the Grammys gala in February ? Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Adele, Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Cornell and even Kid Rock. At age 68, Neil satisfies his crowd better than Bob Dylan, Elton John or Rod Stewart do theirs. And they’d be envious of his 3.6 million tickets sold since 2001. Neil has been the uncrowned king of pop for five decades.
”The snobs on the Hall of Fame nominating committee finally put Kiss on the ballot this fall. I say put Neil Diamond on the ballot. I’ll vote for him and I’m sure many, many other voters will, too. See you at Neil’s induction ceremony to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Have at it, Hotliners.
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COMMENTS (10) ?
1.The joke that has become the R&RHOF is letting everyone in these days so why not Neil Diamond?
Comment by Rich – November 11, 2009 @ 12:17 pm
2.Why is it that Neil Fans go on and on about what snobs there are in the RRHOF, yet cant deal with the fact that he is never inducted?it is one way or the other, is important, or it isnt important?which is it?.then I guess if he becomes part of the RRHOF, it is fine that it is a ?bunch of snobs??.he is not a rocker in any sense of the term?..you continue to whine about it, yet put it down at every opportunity
Comment by Gorfed – November 11, 2009 @ 2:49 pm
3.PS?personally the fan base is part of why he is probably being turned down?.your continual comments about how crappy the foundation is most likely not helping your cause any?.they come on the internet continually?.and also, you post you tubes of yourself, I cannot imagine the fanbase either doing him any good either?the tone is ?grandma and grandpa??there is no Rock image there at all
Comment by Gorfed – November 11, 2009 @ 2:52 pm
4.I believe he is a rocker ? remember Cherry Cherry, I?m a Believer, Cracklin Rosie, Desiree, Brother Loves Travelin Salvation Show, Sweet Caroline, At the Movies, Baby Let?s Drive, A Mission of Love, Forgotten, and a plethora of other songs! Seems like everybody knows these songs, like Headed for the Future, but doesn?t feel that any of these would entitle him to a spot in the Rock Hall. Maybe Neil?s fans go on and on about the snobs At the Rock Hall Of Fame, probably because they are snobs. Have you ever met some of these people? Probably deserves better ? especially if you take a look at some of the one-hit wonders who were inducted. Glad we could chat about this without recriminations. Love to all?
Comment by Hal Dixon – November 11, 2009 @ 4:09 pm
5.I?m as loyal a Neil Diamond fan as there is out here in fandom, but Neil Diamond?s career and overall success will NOT be determined by him being in the RRHOF or not being in it.
Would it be a pleasantry for him to be inducted? I?m sure it would be. Is it essential in the grand scheme of his career?s success – of course not.
Debates will continue whether he?s ?rock? or not. But, again, to millions of us who have been fans for many, many years, it really doesn?t matter. There is a brigade of Diamond fans who believe the RRHOF is the ?end all? and ?be all? – but, there are millions just like me who couldn?t care less.
Neil Diamond is who he is and has delivered first class music and performances for as long as we?ve been fans. That?s all that really matters.
Comment by Jane in Virginia – November 11, 2009 @ 5:58 pm
6.Whether or not Neil Diamond is inducted into RRHOF is about as irrelevant as the Hall of Fame itself.
The most important thing is his fans know he is the best. We are not all Grandma and Grandpa?s either. Take a look at the HAN/NYC dvd, his fan base is all ages and from all walks of life. And a nicer bunch you could not meet.
Neil Diamond does not need THe RRHOF to prove he is the best, we already know he is.
Comment by Leanne Cork – November 11, 2009 @ 6:44 pm
7.It seems to me the RRHOF is forgetting their own name and origins. One would think someone like Neil Diamond who has been in the business for 40 years would qualify, especially since he still keeps selling out concerts and still keeps turning out top selling albums. Where, today, are some of the other?s that have been inducted, playing much smaller venues. At least the Songwriter?s Hall of Fame know what they are doing, Neil has been honoured twice!
I agree let the voting begin!
Comment by Joni Pitzel, Canada – November 11, 2009 @ 7:33 pm
8.I feel the same way, Jane from VA, Leanne and Joni P. feel. Have you ever listened to ?Walk on Water?? If NOT you should?it?s a rockin? song?released 37 yrs ago TODAY!!! Those who THINK they know Neil?s music, need to take a long, hard look again?we know Neil?s music and it?s the best there is. I have been a fan since 1967?at age 11!!! Let the voting begin!!!
Comment by Donna Sheraden – November 11, 2009 @ 7:44 pm
9.Neil Diamond is the best songwriter, lyricits, music arranger, singer of our time. He is also a poet with words so wonderful and easy to remeber and sing along and enjoy. I am a very proud fan of Neil. Most importantly, I appreciate his very rough voice, his baratone, gravelized voice. His music could not be sung without that voice that is strong and going stronger.
I adore Neil Diamond and he has the best website, and has the fan base to prove it. I wish he couuld be bestowed all the awards of a great musician and entertainer, and he has most awards, and yes he should be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, because he personally needs to feel that he belongs there, but as his fan, I don?t care. If an organization that acknowledges most of the musicians who have been around for awhile dropping such wonderful music along the way, then they are dopes. Neil doesn?t need to be around stupid people
Comment by Estela Schultz – November 11, 2009 @ 10:52 pm
10.Neil Diamond is a essentially a rock artist. Sure, he has never limited is style to rock, but the majority of his songs would be considered rock. Diamond is rock, like Elton John, Phil Collins, Sting, Paul McCartney, and other ?like? artists. He is not in easy listening like Barry Manilow or Barbara Streisand. He has more rock songs than some of the RRHOF inductees have songs. It is pure politics that Neil has not already been inducted. He deserves it, his songs deserve it. How many rock artists from the mid-60?s are still recording, topping the sales charts around the world, touring to sold out crowds around the world? Yes, there are a just a few, and Neil is one of the few. Vote Neil Diamond into the RRHOF, or is your Love On The Rocks?
Comment by Eric Laranjo – November 12, 2009 @ 3:07 am
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Michael Marotta writes about music, lifestyle and pop culture for the Boston Herald. His daily Hotline section reports on nightlife news around Boston.
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