Saturday, August 29, 2009

Diamond Is A Girl’s Best Friend


I’m not talking about the kind of diamond you wear on your ring. If I may be so blunt, I’m talking about one that many adoring ladies (myself included) would like to wear between their legs. Doh!

I’m talking about the one and only sexy sequened daddy that is Neil Diamond. That’s right...I am, I said (you just knew I had to throw that in here somewhere) a Neil Diamond fan. And yes, despite the fact that his career spans nearly 45 years now, I’ve only just recently become a convert and discovered his inherent sexiness. You may be thinking by now how pathetically late I am coming to the party (or just plain pathetic.) I admit that it’s the longest foreplay to musical fandom that I’ve ever experienced. Let me explain why…

Even though Diamond has been around since the mid-60s, my first real exposure to him was when I was in high school in the late 80s. In music class, our teacher made us sing “Hello Again” – over and over and over again. While I can appreciate the song now, it was not exactly a hit with teens who were into Bon Jovi and Duran Duran. We all thought it was the lamest song ever. (We also had to sing the Beatles’ “Here, There, and Everywhere” which we liked much better.)



But the main reason it was considered so uncool to like Neil Diamond at my high school is because of one socially awkward fellow who was our official class nerd. He idolized both Diamond and Barry Manilow, and sang their songs out loud in front of us every chance he got. I’ll never forget the day in drama class where he sang in a wavering, puberty saturated voice, something of Diamond’s – I don’t remember what – maybe “Heartlight” (which I consider his worst song because it’s a sappy tribute to E.T. and his friend Elliot) or maybe “Play Me” (which I do love.) I just know that everyone, including our teacher, was so tired of this kid’s shenanigans that no one even laughed; I think they all just felt sorry for him. The silent reaction was even louder than his singing.

But I’m not in high school anymore, and now, I really think the nerd was onto something. I’ve slowly gotten to appreciate Diamond starting with the hits that everyone knows such as “Cherry Cherry”, “Sweet Caroline”, and Cracklin’ Rosie” and uncovered more and more songs in my research that haven’t received strong radio play in years. What can I say? Our Diamond boy is a genius, and a triple threat who writes music, plays the guitar, and has a very distinctive singing voice. A dying breed, as we say, although I certainly hope not soon: Diamond is a living legend who – at age 68 - has outlived many others of his generation. His recent string of NYC performances (one of which was recently broadcast on CBS) were all sold out.

Besides, all that, he’s sexy. If you still don’t believe me then I dare you to watch the following YouTube clip and tell me that you don’t even get the slightest twinge in your nether regions. Here, Diamond sings “Play Me” with the incredible Shirley Bassey on her BBC program in 1974. These two singers together in each other's faces – plus an orange sequened jumpsuit – such a thing of beauty.

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