August 14, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:28 pm

Did I mention that on Tuesday I (along with Mrs. Parkway and four of the Usual Suspects) saw Neil Diamond in concert at Madison Square Garden?

I figure there are two kinds of peeps in the world – those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t.

No, wait! I figure there are three kinds of peeps in the world – those who like Neil Diamond, those who don’t and those who know who he is, but who have no opinion about him.

No, wait! I figure there are four kinds of peeps in the world – those who like Neil Diamond, those who don’t, those who know who he is, but who have no opinion of him and those who never heard of him.

I cast my lot with those who like Neil Diamond – have for years. (Obviously, so does my Wiseass Jooette pal.) This is the second time I’ve seen him in concert at the Garden. He was great both times. The guy is older than I am, and, whether you like him or not, there is no denying that he still sings his ass off.

Here are some good things about Neil Diamond in concert:

1. His band (some members of which have been with him for three decades) kicks some serious ass. They are all players. Special kudos to the brass section.

2. He sings the songs people want him to sing. He sang one or two from his new album, but the rest are songs that everyone in the place knows the lyrics to.

3. Whatever his politics are (I believe he is a liberal weenie), he leaves them in the dressing room.

4. The audience is comprised overwhelmingly of grownups, although there were a surprising number of younger peeps there. Maybe they were dragged there by their parents, but the ones near us seemed to like it and knew all the tunes.

5. The audience does not stand up for the entire concert. Yes!

6. No long lines at the beer sellers.

7. No puke in the men’s room.

8. No danger of being tossed into a mosh pit.

Alas, there are a few things that are not so great about attending a Neil Diamond Concert:

1. Spend too much time convincing yourself that the other people in the audience are way older than you. No way I look as old as them!

2. Busy men’s room, even during the show. I know, because I was there during one of the songs from his album. I couldn’t help but think that Neil could have called this the “Enlarged Prostate Tour.”

3. The audience gets cranky when the show doesn’t start promptly at 8:00. Probably has to do with pee planning.

4. Neil gets a lot of mileage in the Garden out of the “born and raised in Brooklyn” thing, causing me to wonder when was the last time he hung out there.

5. At the end of the show, the Garden turns off the escalators, requiring everyone to walk down the shut-down escalators or stairwells. We were seated high enough up so we had to do lots of stairs to get to the street level. I realized that if the Garden didn’t do this, the escalators would be dumping people into landings clogged with peeps and causing havoc on the still-moving escalators. Bad design.

Neil — Coming soon to a city near you.

Bottom Line: Next time he’s in New York, I’ll be there.


  1. I used to complain about the stopped escalators too, until I realized stopping the darn things doubled the number of down stairways. (Besides preventing all that crashing into people you mentioned.)

    Comment by joated — August 14, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  2. You have me laughing out loud at this one. I’m a Neil fan and know exactly what you mean about concerts not starting on time and no puke in the bathrooms and looking at how you compare to the other attendees age-wise. You hit the nail on the head!

    Comment by Shamrock — August 14, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

  3. You nailed it bud……I am a Neil Diamond fan. We saw him about 25 years ago in Sacramento and in 1999 in Bakersfield. Both concerts were outstanding. That dog still has a way with the ladies………..

    Comment by Brian, "Proud Air Force Vet" — August 15, 2008 @ 1:21 am

  4. Saw him many, many moons ago with Donovan. Fantastic.

    Comment by gregor — August 15, 2008 @ 7:43 am

  5. Wow, I saw him at the Summit in Houston in about ’85. What a great show! He had complete control of that crowd. I remember my parents listening to him in the 60s and 70s. I think you should add another type of peep – those who didn’t really know they liked Neil until they went to one of his shows. I’m glad to hear he’s still bringing down the house.

    Comment by Dash — August 15, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  6. I saw him in Charleston last year. He must have had a bad night, I left early and listened to the CD’s instead.

    Comment by james old guy — August 15, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

  7. I’m the second type, like you care, but glad you had a great time, and “The Enlarged Prostate Tour” cracked me the hell up.

    People love to stand around at the dump-off points of escalators to CHAT and RECONNOITER. It coulda been real ugly.

    Comment by dogette — August 15, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  8. I like him too. Great entertainer. I’ll have to check out his concert.

    Comment by hammer — August 15, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  9. Neil who?

    Comment by LeeAnn — August 15, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

  10. I’ve never seen him in concert. One of the guys I knew in college had all of Neil’s records (yes records – I’m old so sue me) therefore I knew all the songs he had out up til then. I rather lost track of him in all the raising kids, putting food on the table years, so I don’t know if I’d like him or not. LOL.

    Glad you had a good time. Oh yeah… and stairs are good exercise. 🙂

    Comment by Teresa — August 15, 2008 @ 11:26 pm

  11. Yep. I remember when Playboy used to list him as the Jazz singer of the year..yeah, I just bought it to read the articles…

    I didn’t know who he was then..but got hooked on his stuff some years later..

    Comment by GUYK — August 16, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  12. I’m a life long Neil Diamond fan. My mom got me into his music, and now I chuckle when my 8 y/o son asks “Who’s that guy with the growly voice?” as “I am… I said” plays on the van’s stereo. Loudly.

    But you forgot one thing that’s not so great about attending a Neil Diamond concert… all of those damn shiny shirts.

    Comment by Venomous Kate — August 18, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

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