Neil’s backstage requests remain simple

SUPERSTAR Neil Diamond has smashed the myth of extravagant backstage demands.
Diamond, 69, touring Australia in March, has the same humble request as always – a clean dressing room and takeaway Chinese food transferred to a china plate.

“That’s if I’m lucky,” Diamond says, chuckling. “Usually, it’s a cold ham sandwich with cheese.”

Diamond says his backstage rider has stayed the same throughout the years. It includes water, soft drinks, tea, coffee and paper cups.

After the show, he eats takeaway noodles or lo-mein.

“We will need your assistance transferring this to a china plate,” his rider says.

It is a far cry from the lavish demands detailed in Little Red Rider, a book about excessive backstage requests.

It claims Jennifer Lopez wants white couches, white flowers, white drapes and her coffee to be strirred counter-clockwise.

It further claims P. Diddy expects 204 clean towels, Jamie Cullum needs 20 bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne and Barbra Streisand wants rose petals in the toilet.

Diamond’s no-fuss ways date back to his humble beginnings growing up in Brooklyn.

Before fame and fortune, he was paid $50 a week to write songs.

“You never change,” he says. “I’m very much the same person I was back then.

“It’s part of my life. There is no way I’ll ever be disconnected from it.”

Asked about his basic rider, Diamond says: “I’m not really a flashy person. That’s the nature of who I am.”

Diamond, who trained in swordfighting at college, often does sabre drills as a pre-show warm up.

“There is, occasionally, a sabre backstage for warm ups,” Diamond says.

“It’s good for me. I’ve done it since I was at high school, and I still enjoy it.”

Diamond will perform at Rod Laver Arena on March 11 and 13. Tickets will go on sale on November 9.

He releases a new album, Dreams, on November 2.

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