Vegas to Australia (7-4-76)
Neil: I’m very happy with the album and interestingly enough when we did the Australian tour, I had not recorded neither vocals on the album. When I came back from the tour I had that enthusiasm from the performances there and so I had to feel that at least part of those performances on the album were due to the Australian performances and the tour there. So it’s …I’m happy to have it out. We’ve spent about a year working on it and I just hope it’s enjoyed out there.
Bob: Well, I’m glad to hear there’s an Australian ingredient in the album…that Australia made a contribution because everyone still talks about the tour down here and in fact, the radio awards on Saturday night here in Australia. For concert promotion, Paradine-Paterson won the award, but there’s only one reason, I’m sure, that they won the award which was the enormous success of the Neil Diamond tour, which was the enormous success of you.
Neil: Well, it was one of the most exciting tours I’ve ever been on and thanks to you and your people there, Pat Condin and Robert Patterson, it was an extraordinary experience.
Bob: It was an extraordinary experience for everybody. That was Neil Diamond talking there from Los Angeles earlier this week…the beginning of a week, of course, in which he is also appearing in Las Vegas and on the line from Las Vegas…Neil Diamond! Hello, Neil.
Neil: Hello, Bob, How are you?
Bob: Very well, thank you. Bob Eubanks. You played Vegas last night…
Bob: And the start of what…three nights?
Neil: Well, it will be four nights, five shows. They’ve added two more shows. We’ll be doing two tomorrow night.
Bob: Sounds like the old story…sold out for every performance, huh?
Neil: Well, it seems like that. Opened up the place last night. It’s really kind of a novel idea for Las Vegas. They’ve never had a theatre in town and …so everybody was down. Security was wondering about how a theatre would work for the audience here in Las Vegas. It came off extraordinarily well. Everybody is happy about it. The audience was fantastic and so onward and upward.
Bob: Yes, indeed and I think that’s the story for Neil Diamond. Now there are people who saw it and think your long layoff that perhaps you had lost your confidence, but I think you got that back, certainly without any doubt in Australia that you probably knew you still loved what you were doing. I would like to think that that was in a popular spot for both ??? for a comeback for what you’re doing for the first time in Vegas in how long?
Neil: Well, you know, the Australian tour was an experience beyond our expectations and beyond being just merely a tour. My first time in Australia…really uncertain about how the public would react, but it was quite an adventure for all of us and it was a tremendous pick-me-up, and there’s no question that it added to my confidence and made me feel that my decision to come back and start performing again was the right one.
Bob: Neil, I’ll tell you something about Australia that intrigues me. When we found you at your hotel there somebody says Neil Diamond down under.
Neil: A huh.
Bob: Are you aware of that?
Neil: In Australia?
Bob: No, there in Vegas. On the phone they said Neil Diamond down under.
Neil: Well, I don’t know. Maybe there’s someone thinking about Australia also.
Bob: Well, Australia’s certainly still thinking about you. At long last we have your new album, “Beautiful Noise.”
Neil: Yes, we spent about a year working on it. I’m very pleased with the way it came out and it seems the public is also getting enthused about it. They expect it to be platinum in the next week or two.
Bob: You should explain, if you would, what platinum means.
Neil: Well, in the United States, if you’ve sold more than one million copies of an album they consider it a platinum album and you get a platinum record and I’m very excited about that. It’s one of my fastest selling albums ever.
Bob: Well, there’s a very hungry market waiting for your return. Now it was produced by Robbie Robertson of the band?
Bob: And I recall your comment about growing up in the streets of New York.
Neil: Well, actually, it’s a series of recollections of mine and experiences I had while working, trying to make my entry into Tin Pan Alley, which is the music section in New York City. I spent a number of years knocking around Tin Pan Alley and trying to get my songs heard. And this album is a series of recollections of people that I’ve met, experiences that I had and it really takes place in the early nineteen sixties which was kind of a transitionary period in not only music, but in society here in the United States. We’d just elected John Kennedy president. New people were coming into music…Bob Dylan, then the Beatles and I found myself in the heart of Tin Pan Alley at that particular time. This album is really an attempt to reflect those times as well as my own experiences in Tin Pan Alley.
Bob: I think I recall that you said you had in mind that it could be made into…what was it… a Broadway show or a ballet?
Neil: Well, I am hoping to …it was written from a visual point of view and I’m hoping that we can expand it and do it on Broadway.
Bob: Has there been any move towards that direction?
Neil: Well, the original concept of the album as well as the writing of all of the songs was focused in on that goal. And we’ve already had a number of pop promoters and entrepreneurs here in the United States that have been willing to give us backing to present it on Broadway. So it looks very good.
Bob: Neil, What’s after Las Vegas for you?
Neil: Well, I’m going to take a rest for a week or so and then get together with my band and work on some new material, work on some new ideas for the show, and we’ll begin a medium-sized tour in the United States in August…do eight to ten concerts. Then in September we’ll do a number of other concerts, probably through October. There’s a possibility that I may go over to Europe some time in September. After the October dates I’m going to take a couple of weeks off ??? and then begin preparation for a television special which I’ll be doing here in the States.
Bob: So, it can be said without doubt that Neil Diamond is back bigger than ever.
Neil: Well, I hope so. I certainly hope so, Bob. It’s been very exciting and there are many things that I’m looking forward to and it’s been very, very exciting. I can hardly find the words for it. It’s been an extraordinary return and all of my doubts and fears regarding coming back and performing again really have been dissolved, and I think that Australia and the Australian people have played a very strong part in that.
Bob: Neil, I’m going to play your latest single from your album and I think a lot of people probably reacted in the way I did the first time I heard it I thought, yes, it’s very good, but very Neil Diamond. And it takes quite a few hearings until you realize just what a powerful song it is.
Neil: Well, I think any good song or any song of substance requires more than one hearing to really get into and digest it. It’s hopefully a meal in itself and you can’t just absorb it and digest it in one gulp.
Bob: I think we shall ??? Thank you for talking to me and the best of luck with the remaining season in Las Vegas.
Neil: Bob, thanks very much. It was nice talking to you and we’ll talk again soon.
Bob: Yes, you might like to say bye bye. We’re listening right throughout the east coast of Australia live on a Sunday morning, July the fourth.
Neil: Fantastic! Please send my best to everybody and to all of our Australian fans out there…love to you all and I’m hoping to see you all again real soon.
Bob: Thank you, Neil.
Neil: Thank you, Bob.
Bob: Bye bye.
Neil: Bye bye.
Bob: Neil Diamond and here it is…
Play: “I’ve Been This Way Before.”