Sunday, November 23, 2008

You Got to Me.

When my friend, Anna, called Saturday afternoon asking if I wanted to go to Neil Diamond later that night I actually considered saying no. I was feeling lazy and not excited at the prospect of spending even $55.00 to see him (the cheapest ticket price)... that's still a bit pricey in today's lean times. Then she mentioned that she had FREE tickets... And that clinched it. I mean, who passes up a chance to see Neil perform for free? He's just good happy clappy tambourine shaking fun and his concert didn't disappoint. He did perform some songs I didn't know, but he has a new album so that explains that. It's been 35 years since her performed in Grand Forks... not since 1973 (what a good year!). One has to admire a musician who has been in the music biz for 40 years, singing and songwriting.

I was pleased that he performed my favorite song of his... "Solitary Man." It wasn't the crowd favorite that "Forever in Blue Jeans" and "Sweet Caroline" were, but that's just fine. He has so many hits that it's got to be difficult to decide which ones to perform. According to my calculations he did 24 songs, give or take a couple, and the only ones I really missed were "I Thank the Lord for the Night Time" and the title of this post. Oh well.

I didn't grow up listening to and loving Neil Diamond (at least not his versions of his songs), but I'm pleased to say he makes my top five list of musical artists I underestimated in my youth. The rest are as follows:

1. Neil Diamond
2. Dwight Yoakam
3. Stevie Wonder
4. Michael Jackson
5. Elvis Presley

There are far more to add to such a list now, but I recall being on a big "top five" list making kick after reading the book and then seeing the movie High Fidelity. These five artists were all ones I didn't particularly care for when I was a teen. If you'd asked me then my opinion would have been one of apathy or disdain. Now, I see each of them for the musical wonders that they are. And now I've seen one of them in concert and that's pretty cool!

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