Neil Diamond has been touring the UK as well as appearing on television over here. I managed to catch his Audience with Neil Diamond on ITV 1. As well as his fantastic songs (and I had forgotten how much I like them), he answered a few questions.
I will admit to not knowing that much about the man. Neil Diamond is his real name, for example. But what interested me most was his take on song writing. He spoke to Tim Rice about it, and I think his words could be applied to most writing. He was asked if it had become more difficult and replied as time went on, he had become technically more proficient, but you should never underestimate the passion one has when one first begins to write. In other words, he spoke about writing from the heart.
Without passion, it does not matter how technically perfect or clever you are, you will lack something. With passion, you can speak to lots of people, even if you might make a few mistakes.
My dh was then very kind and went out and bought the Best of Neil Diamond for me. Oh the childhood memories! And he is as good as I remembered.
Anyway, it took him five long years of trying to be a songwriter before he became a hit. Those years have held him in good stead. He learnt his craft and his trade, but he never lost his passion for song writing.
It is easy to see only the hits and not the strength that lies behind.
In other words, he has desire, determination, dedication, discipline and perseverance.
Oh and he has a new album out which sounds very good. Particularly Pretty Amazing Grace.