Neil Diamond Talks 50th Anniversary Tour, New Christmas LP
It's been a weird couple of days for Neil Diamond. Two nights before speaking with Rolling Stone, he teamed up with Jimmy Fallon to take on Natalie Portman and J.J. Abrams in a game of Password, but got completely crushed in a clip already viewed more than a million times. (Diamond didn't help his team much when Fallon's hints of "mamba" and "guacamole" elicited a response of "salad" and not the correct answer of "salsa.") Then the following night he performed a medley of Christmas songs from his new LP Acoustic Christmas in pelting rain during Rockefeller Center's Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. "It was a little pandemonious and slippery," he says. "I had fun once I got onstage and stopped worrying about falling off the stage."
Right now, Diamond is warm, dry and ready to eat some lunch in the lobby restaurant of a luxury hotel on the Upper East Side. It's the sort of place that offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $48, but Diamond can't find a single thing he wants and asks for the bar menu, ultimately just telling his wife/manager Katie McNeil, seated a nearby table, to just pick something she thinks he'll like. She goes with chicken noodle soup and a Caesar salad, but once it comes he notices the salad has anchovies, which he meticulously picks out one-by-one and places on a side plate during our interview.
There's a lot to talk about. Not only is Acoustic Christmas the fourth Christmas album for a singer known as the "Jewish Elvis," but the 75-year-old just announced dates for a massive 50th anniversary tour in 2017. Diamond spoke with RS about what fans can expect from the tour, what compels him to spend so much time on the road at this point in his life, and his memories of performing at the Last Waltz, which took place just over 40 years ago.
I'm only posting the 1st three paragraphs. I'd love to know what some of you think of the some of the possible set list songs. One song in particular thrills me, and would be worth the price of admission to see him sing it.