I hope everyone had good holidays and 2018 has launched successfully.
Well, that was January. It’s hard to account for the time anymore, it speeds by so quickly, like one of those black and white movies where they depict the passing of it by pages flying off a calendar and sailing through the air.
Here in Nashville it’s been an unusual mix of sub-freezing arctic blasts careening to the mid-60s. Weather whiplash. Last night it was steak-on-the-Weber-in-shirt-sleeves temps.
I’ve just returned from a couple of weeks recording in London with Mark & Co. It’s the first time we’ve been all together since wrapping up the 2015 tour. We had a great time laughing our heads off, drinking gallons of tea, barrels of ale, eating like there’s no tomorrow and in between managed to get over a dozen songs recorded. Good times and too much fun with great friends and massively talented people.
I’d only been home less than 24 hours when I received the news that Neil Diamond had cancelled the remainder of his 50th Anniversary Tour on the advice of his doc due to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. I’m letting this news sink in in small drips, taking it on board all at once is too much. I met Neil way back in 1970 and began touring and recording with him the following year. I was 19, he was 29. My career really began taking shape then and the education I got was like kindergarten through finishing school. After 30 years MIA, I returned to the Diamond camp last year to celebrate his 50th year of touring and it was a real gift being with my old family again. To do that with my son riding shot gun was a dream come true. We were all looking forward to getting back together again for a few days of brush up rehearsals in February then heading to Australia and New Zealand for a month of great gigs and officially wrapping the tour. Clearly that’s not to be and things are left in a final mid-air suspension. It may be better this way, nobody likes goodbyes, least of all me. In many ways I still think of Neil and I being 29 and 19 and this turn of events impossible. Still, those calendar pages have been quietly, steadily flying off in the winds for a long time now. My love and gratitude is endless to Neil. Happily, I have no doubt there’ll be more songs written and albums recorded by him. Three cheers to ND.