Many of you are aware of my deep love for all things Neil Diamond.
I believe it began as a young girl. My parents were fans. Mostly my Dad. I remember watching “The Jazz Singer” at quite a young age. (probably younger than I should have been) and I totally didn’t understand 3/4 of it. Particularly the part when the Dad tears his shirt. I mean…..why would that Dad tear his shirt? Weird.
Mostly, I just couldn’t get over how COMPLETELY awesome every single song was. I mean “America”….yes. Duh. But like, “Love on the Rocks”, “You Baby”, “Robert E. Lee”? Every single song became better than the next.
Since my Dad was such a fan…he let us listen to it whenever we asked. We fell asleep to it. I loved it.
I was only seven when my Dad passed away, and somehow that Jazz Singer soundtrack (and a Collection of Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits) became two of the things that reminded me of him most. In fact, we listened to them so much….that you could hear the other side through the cassette tape.
I guess when I finally got old enough to realize that he didn’t JUST sing the America Song, I was even more excited.
And when “What about Bob?” shed light on the fact that
“there are only two kinds of people in this world…
People who like Neil Diamond, and people who don’t”
What??? There are people who DON’T like Neil Diamond?
People who don’t want to know Sweet Caroline or Cracklin’ Rosie? People who won’t be Forever in Blue Jeans? People who aren’t spiritually moved by Brother Love?
I don’t want to know these people.
Gratefully, last winter, when it was announced that Neil would be coming to the great Salt Lake City…..I was able to find some more girls who wanted to turn on their heartlight with me. And the 4 of us bought our awesome tickets.
Not so awesomely….I got sick. And sicker, and sicker, and sicker. I was ready to sell my ticket. But it was breaking my heart.
I already had to give up the opportunity to attend “Wicked” with my ENTIRE family. (THAT WAS HEART WRENCHING) I have given up outings, projects, business partners, friends, parties. Giving up my Neil ticket was almost more than my bed-bound heart could bare. Particularly on days where I was losing all strength to be positive.
I know it sounds dramatic. And I admit, I have a flare for the dramatic. But after 6 months pretty much home bound and 2 months without leaving my home…I am entitled to a titch of drama. (say “yes” here. Otherwise, I’ll cry.)
A few weeks ago, I went to see one of my doctors. We were trying to craft a pain plan to get me from here to AZ on a plane. When I can only sit for about 5 minute increments, 3 hours on a plane seemed an impossibility. She came up with some ideas. And said, “I need you to try these out before you go so we know where we stand. Go on a short shopping trip. And then try one other outing and see how you fare.”
I, mostly kidding, said, “like go to the Neil Diamond concert?”
And she proceeded to listen to me sob about how I might actually die without it. And she agreed to help me get there. (on a totally unrelated note…..can I POSSIBLY stress enough the importance it is to seek a caring medical professional? I’m not kidding. We have been blessed beyond words with those caring for me.)
On the way home from the appointment, I called my fellow Neil buddy, Char, and told her the AMAZING news. I could barely believe that it might be true. And….I told her that we’d BETTER be making those matching Tee-Shirts we’d been talking about….to celebrate.
So of course the uber-talented Char came up with a shirt that rocked. Like, people were asking us left and right where we got them. (Char has a more in-depth shirt tutorial and a download available for the Neil Silhouette….HERE)
Okay. Let it be said. I do not hold back my love while at a concert. So, yes….there was screaming. Loud singing. And embarrassing dancing. I’m sorry but there’s nothing better than the feeling of hearing the first 4 notes of a song and KNOWING what’s coming next.
I mean, it was ALL oldies. The greatest thing of all time. Even though I try to keep up on all the new stuff, there’s nothing like hearing all your faves.
PS….wanna know what my fave is?….here’s a hint:
I should have left after about an hour and a half. Probably. But I was surviving on pure adrenaline. Plus, if I had. I would have missed America. And that would have been devastating. It was also ALMOST devastating when I was battling passing out on the way out of the stadium. But I had girls there ready to catch me. Gratefully it didn’t come to that.
Overall it was amazing.
It would have been awesome regardless. But the fact that it is the one and only thing I have done this summer, and probably for a while to come, made it even more special.
Who’s a huge Neil fan?
I Am, I said!