Saturday, March 12, 2005

I'm not going to preface this with a defensive disclaimer designed to preserve my hip quotient at its usual high level. I like Neil Diamond. Deal with it, or skip this post altogether. (And yes I know about Bob's apocryphal smackdown at The Last Waltz but Bobby ain't the boss of me.) I count Neil as an important station on the way. In retrospect Done Too Soon may not be the deepest of philosophy but at one time it boggled with its profundity. I have always loved his voice, his long and wide streak of kitschy melodrama (and after this week I'm all for some focused melacholy), his ability to laugh at himeself. That Geeky Semitic look is always quite irresistable too.

When I am god emperor, I'd ban the underwritten-and-overproduced light romantic thing and make him record a solo acoustic record. If he was very good he could have some organ or a harmoniser or two. But that's it. No Bob Gaudio allowed.

So, the Sydney Superdome last night. The stage was initially bare, save for a single guitar which had me wondering where everyone was. All was revealed when the lights went down and the band emerged up through the stage floor. Kinda cool, I don't get to many gigs where the full rawk showbiz schtick is pulled out. And then:

Arise Neil, bespangled.

Crunchy Granola Suite gets up off to an approriate classic Neil start. The second song Desiree, not so much. I have never liked this song. I dunno, there is something about the losing-your-virginity theme which creeps me out. The whole "went in a boy, came out a man" thing has a high ick factor. But did I sing along? Why yes, I did. The setlist was the same as in Wellington the other night. Over two hours, lots of lovin' from the stage. It was a whole mess of fun.

Happy to hear Play Me. The more A List and high brow corners of the ozblogosphere have recently been all aflutter with the controversial issue of exposing children to the Facts of Life at a too early age. Well, let me just say if you want your children to remain pure of thought and untroubled by strange and confusing feelings, don't let them lie in their room listening to Neil Diamond sing Play Me over and over again.

That's all I'm sayin'.

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