I am really too tired to post much more right now other than Neil Diamond is AWESOME. I know I use that word too often, and it is dated, but it really does describe exactly the word I am going for, so I will keep using it until I find a better one.
Michael purchased Neil Diamond concert tickets for my birthday last May. They were for Neil's Portland stop on his World Tour, scheduled last September. Unfortunately, Neil had to cancel a few dates on his tour due to illness--Portland was one of them. Thankfully, the concert was rescheduled for tonight. I am here to say, no one has a voice like Neil Diamond. The guy is 67 years old and unbelievable. His old stuff, his new stuff, even songs I don't really care that much for were fantastic in front of a Rose Garden full of Neil Diamond fanatics. I am thinking the average age in there was 50, but that did not matter. Who would have thought that much excitement could come from a nearly geriatric to downright geriatric crowd. Arms were waving, feet were stomping, women were screaming, gray hair was bobbing everywhere. I think everyone left their shirt on, thank goodness.
Well, I guess I'm not that tired. For as long as I can remember, my parents have been listening to Neil Diamond. When I was in high school (and there was no such thing as computers) I had fun "business" classes like typing and shorthand. Shorthand actually can come in quite handy and weirdly enough, sometimes I still think in shorthand (stay with me here, I promise I have a point). Anyway, one day in class the teacher decided to combine learning with fun and so she brought in some albums (yes, real vinyl albums) and said she was going to test our skills by playing part of a song and seeing how many words we could get of the song (in shorthand, of course). Well, she thought she was so clever and the first song she picked was Neil Diamond's Done Too Soon which goes something like this:
Jesus Christ, Fanny Brice,
Wolfie Mozart, Humphrey Bogart,
Genghis Khan and on to H.G. Wells
Ho Chi Minh, Gunga Din
Henry Luce and John Wilkes Booth
and Alexanders King and Graham Bell.
I particularly love the part that goes:
They have sweated beneath the same sun,
Looked up in wonder at the same moon,
And wept when it was all done
For bein' done too soon
Anyway, back to class, so she puts on Done Too Soon (which is pretty fast) thinking no one's going to get past the first couple names... little did she know, I had this song memorized. I had listened to it dozens and dozens of times. Its one of my favorites. Anyway, she stopped the song about half way in and every one else was just looking around and I was still writing... not only had I written the part she had played, but I finished writing the entire song in shorthand. The teacher just stood there. Anyway, I know I was pretty much cheating (and quite the nerd), but it was fun anyway.
A while back we rented a movie named Keeping up with the Steins or something like that. It had a pretty good cast, but it was a crazy movie about rich Jewish families trying to one up their friends with these over the top themed Bar Mitzvah parties. The movie wasn't very good, however, a bit of dignity was redeemed at the very end when the kid decided to have his party in his own backyard and Neil Diamond showed up to play Hava Nagilah. It was.... AWESOME.
Anyway, I gotta get to bed, but I'll end with a couple of really hokey Neil Diamond lyrics and a couple of my all time favorite Neil Diamond lyrics:
Money's sweet but it ain't nothin' next to baby's treat
(Forever in Blue Jeans)
Singing So Good, So Good, So Good, three times
after Good times never seemed so good when Singing Sweet Caroline at the Neil Diamond Concert (they even had it printed on a t-shirt for sale)
So if they ask you when I'm gone
Was it everything he wanted?
When he had to travel on
Did he know he'd be missed?
You can tell them this... Hell yeah he did!
Because of you, I get home before dark
(hey, I might even have to go out and buy the old guy's new album... well, I don't really have to "go" anywhere, I can probably sit right here at my computer and buy it on iTunes because we have computers these days :-)