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Posts Tagged ‘Neil Diamond’

This month I’m doing a 30-day song challenge following the prompts given by Donna from MyOBT, one of my favorite blogs. It sounded like so much fun I couldn’t resist. Feel free to join in on your social media platform, add your picks in the comments below, or simply enjoy (hopefully) the music I’ve chosen.

It was the summer between 4th and 5th grade. I was in the yard playing by myself with the radio on. (Thanks to my friend who introduced me to everything awesome.) Neil Diamond sang through the tinny sounds of the transistor, and I hearkened back to Miss Magnuson’s 4th grade art class. She’d always play music (Neil Diamond was one of her favorites) while we created. Miss Magnuson was totally cool. Red hair, clogs, mod Rhoda clothes…hardly a “teacher” at all (especially in a Catholic school with nuns as those other teachers). She was the fun auntie everyone wanted.

Anyway, I listened in the yard and at once became a life-long fan of Neil, and have forever remembered Miss Magnuson and that pinnacle childhood moment with this song.

 

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Fifty Years

I spent a total of thirty-six years and eight months at my day job when I decided I’d had enough.  It had nothing to do with money; if it did I would have stayed another thirty-six years.  But when enough is enough, it’s enough and life goes on the best it can.

There’s someone out there who just celebrated his fiftieth year at the day job.  The difference between him and me is that he’s been doing something he loves.  He’s rich enough to have retired at least two decades ago so money has nothing to do with his decision to keep going.  He’s got a passion for what he does, and his passion has been a part of my life since the summer of 1970.

I was playing in the yard with the transistor radio singing beside me.  A song came on which brought me to tears.  It was the first song I ever cried to. I was nine years old.  The song was Holly Holy.  I reminded me of art class with Miss Magnuson where she’d play music while we created.

Neil Diamond has been touring the United States this year since April and forges on through July and will continue on to Europe in honor of fifty years in the music business.  Charlotte invited me to spend an evening with Neil at the Excel Center in St. Paul, MN.  It was absolutely fabulous.  Neil’s voice is as strong as ever at the age of seventy-six and he’s still got some sexy moves to boot.  Sexy at seventy-six?  Oh yeah.  Plus he’s got some cute facial hair going on now.

Neil filled the arena.  Some of the thrill of being at the concert was being there with thousands of people who love him and his music as much as I do.

Pre show. So, so many people. You’d think Brother Love was in town.

I wonder what it’s like to be adored by thousands, nay, millions.  To create works that touch people’s souls.  To perform those works and have the cheers filling your ears.

Who knows, maybe this is old hat for Neil Diamond.  Does he have expectations regarding concert and recording sales?  Does he get disappointed if he doesn’t meet his own expectations?  Does he get tired of his “customers” as I did after a mere thirty-six years in public service?  What’s he after?  Adoration?  Money?  Fulfilling a dream?

In the spotlight backed up by a loyal band. How could this ever feel “normal?”

You hear all the time about how you should live your dreams and pursue your passions.  I don’t know if passions are on a scale (motherhood?  international fame?) or if most of us don’t even actualize our dreams.  Seems to me most of us are just getting along and feeding off the wonderment of exceptional art, music, and literature of others.  Most of us have regular lives, but there’s a little part of me who wants to know how it feels to have scores of people admire my accomplishments.

Alas, I’ve not felt millions feeling my passions, but my fans remain true.  I’m spending time doing what I like, maybe even love, and I feel joy for the kudos I get for doing what I do.  I’m satisfied, but still wonder what it would be like to be so talented, so likeable, so admired as to bring tears to others, to inspire others to exclaim in cheers with what I’ve done.

Encore with the spotlights on the fans on their feet singing along with the music they grew up with.

Neil Diamond, you’ve been in my life for over forty years.  I turn to you to return to my past, to gain solace in the present, and to remind me how I have to express myself and spew out what make me me.  Thanks for the many decades of enjoyment and inspiration you’ve given me and millions of others.  You’ve made a huge difference in the world.

 

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Merry Christmas everyone!

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