I gained a lot of new friends in Denver when Neil played there for the Millennium show.
The night before the concert, there was a fan dinner at a downtown Denver restaurant, which I attended. Seems like there were about 30-40 folks who also attended. A few more came to the restaurant after dinner to visit and socialize with those fans who attended the dinner itself. I remember several of the attendees combining efforts to make sure that there were plenty of posters, decorations, music, food, and, most of all, fans, at the party. Even my sister and her husband, who lived in the Denver area, attended this dinner. And we had a wonderful, celebratory evening.
I particularly remember Vince Charles attending this dinner and signing autographs for fans on his CDs. He was such a gracious special guest at this dinner. It was easy to tell that he enjoyed being amidst a group of diehard Neil Diamond fans. It seems Vince always had something profound to say when he was in a group. I remember Vince saying something that night that was quoted when he passed away. “I live what I love and I love what I live.” One thing about Vince, he was true to himself! It was such an honor to have known him during his brief stay on this earth.
With all the fun of the party and getting together with friends, what I remember most from that evening is the NEW friendships that were formed, friends that I will keep in my heart forever, many of whom I had known up to that time only through the IAIS internet connection before meeting them face to face at that party. I honestly didn’t want to leave that place, I enjoyed this get-together so much! Neilfriends support each other through a lot, much of it not even related at all with Neil Diamond.
Even though the next night, Neil played his heart out for us, as he always does, and got us started on the right track for the 21st century, it was connecting with those fans that night before that is as memorable and meaningful as anything else that happened on that trip. I’d do it all over again if I could!
If you ever get a chance to attend a fan get-together before a show, I highly recommend it. Neil Diamond fans are some of the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. You might even find some life-long friendships there!