You might not have known it from watching him on stage for the last 50 years, but Neil Diamond is an introvert. The man on stage electrifying sellout crowds was just one side of the coin; the other keeping to himself, holding his sadness close to his vest.
Now, at the age of 73, Diamond has moved passed that, telling Scott Shannon this morning, “I’m getting older and I just figured, ‘Hey, it’s time for me to get happy.'”
“Enough down in the heart kind of stuff,” Diamond added. “Get with it and have some fun. That’s what I’m about nowadays.”
Diamond’s fresh outlook couldn’t prevent a few tears from rolling down his face on September 29, 2014. That Monday afternoon, Diamond arrived at his old school, Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, for the first time in decades. The tears that accompanied his return after such a prolonged absence were a welcome addition.
“I was just overwhelmed because I became 15 years old again. That was the last time I was on that stage,” Diamond told Shannon of the event, held in front of a small crowd in Erasmus Hall. “Everything just came back to me. It was like in a movie, everything goes blurry… suddenly I was being punished. I was in detention because I didn’t get to school in time.”
Diamond would explain that night that the room he performed in was the very same room students were held for detention. Also, in that same room, he discovered his love for piano, changing his life forever.
“It was an experience you don’t have very often in your life, to be transported back there for a couple hours,” said Diamond of an experience that truly brought him full circle.
Diamond’s 32nd studio album Melody Road was released today, October 21st, and features the first single “Something Blue.” Diamond has shows coming up at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 13th and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 26th. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Listen to Scott Shannon’s interview with Neil Diamond below.
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