NEIL DIAMOND @ BATON ROUGE – 1982


MY FIRST TIME TO SEE NEIL DIAMOND IN CONCERT WAS IN MEMPHIS IN 1976 JUST BEFORE THE BEAUTIFUL NOISE ALBUM WAS RELEASED. IN SEPTEMER OF THAT YEAR FOR SOME REASON I CHOSE TO TAKE MY FIRST PLANE RIDE TO MIAMI,FLORIDA RATHER THAN FLY TO LA TO SEE NEIL AT THE GREEK.

SIX YEARS WENT BY AND NEIL HAD NOT RETURNED TO MEMPHIS AND HE HAD RELEASED ABOUT 6 ALBUMS WITH AT LEAST ONE OR TWO HIT SONGS ON EACH ALBUM. SINCE ELVIS HAD
DIED AT THE EARLY AGE OF 42 IN 1977, I TOLD MY WIFE I JUST HAD TO SEE NEIL AT LEAST ONE MORE TIME BEFORE HE OR I DIED.

ABOUT TWO WEEKS BEFORE HIS TWO SHOWS IN
BATON ROUGE I DECIDED TO GET TICKETS AND
DRIVE ALMOST 500 MILES FROM MY HOME IN ARKANSAS. HIS FIRST SHOW WAS ON A SATURDAY NIGHT STARTING AT APPROXIMATELY 10:30PM FOLLOWING THE LSU-TULANE FOOTBALL GAME.

THIS CONCERT STARTED SHORTLY AFTER 10:30 AND OPENED AND CLOSED WITH ” AMERICA ” AND THE CANNONS BOOMING TOWARD THE END OF THE SONG. FROM APRIL,1976 TO NOVEMBER,1982 IT WAS AMAZING HOW MUCH
MORE NEIL HAD BECOME AS A LIVE PERFORMER.
HE WAS ALREADY AMAZING AS FAR BACK AS 1970, BUT I THINK AFTER MAKING THE JAZZ SINGER MOVIE, HIS FANS AND HIS SHOW WAS REALLY SOMETHING TO SEE.

NEIL DID 3 ENCORES THAT NIGHT AND DID NOT LEAVE THE STAGE UNTIL 12:55 SUNDAY MORNING. HIS SHOW LASTED ALMOST 2 1/2 HOURS AND HIS SET LIST INCLUDED 33 SONGS COUNTING ” AMERICA ” THE SECOND TIME AS THE FINALE.

NOW 27 YEARS LATER I HAVE SEEN NEIL AT THE GREEK, IN NYC, AND HIS TV SPECIAL TAPED IN NASHVILLE IN 1996 AND ALSO HIS
SHOW AT FENWAY PARK. MY WIFE AND I HAVE
SEEN NEIL 23 TIMES IN CONCERT IN 10 STATES. HE TRULY IS AN AMAZING PERFORMER AND SHOWS NO SIGN OF SLOWING DOWN.

BOBBY TROTTER
MCCRORY,AR 72101

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