Even if I hadn’t grown up on his music – courtesy of my mother’s boundless enthusiasm for Red, Red Wine, Cracklin’ Rosie, Sweet Caroline, I Am…
I Said, Song Sung Blue, Hello Again – this would be quite a thrill.
At his shopkeeper parents’ urging, he was studying medicine at New York University.
He was a keen amateur fencer, too, but his heart lay with music.
The producer had worked similar magic with Johnny Cash at the twilight of his career.
And even as he approaches his 70th birthday in January, Diamond is already thinking about his next album, a set of songs written with different collaborators.
It’s called Taxi Driver.” I guess he saw me as strong, silent and crazy.’ He was the dance partner of choice for Princess Diana (at a Reagan-era White House ball in 1985).
His beloved mother visits every Sunday, having moved from the east coast to be near her son (his father died in 1985).
'I loved Let It Be Me,’ Diamond says of Don and Phil’s 1960 hit. He and the Frenchman would go on to write a handful of songs together, including Love on the Rocks and September Morn, both from the soundtrack of The Jazz Singer.
Fifty years on, Neil Diamond sings Let It Be Me on Dreams.
I can’t tell you what we’re paying him, but it’s very little money. And last week he was the closing star of this year’s BBC Electric Proms concerts (held last night at the Roundhouse in Camden, London, and broadcast on BBC Two on Saturday, November 13).
In his late sixties Diamond enjoyed a career rebirth via two beautiful, startlingly stripped-back albums he made with Rick Rubin, 12 Songs (2005) and Home Before Dark (2008).