Murray The K

Murray The K (9-72)

Neil interview with Murray the K
(September 1972)
US
Transcribed by ToniB

Murray:
1965 – It was, I think, it was La Guardia airport, and I was going, I was with two K-Girls on my way to do the Mike Douglas Show which was a publicity appearance for “It’s What’s Happening Baby”, the television show. And at the airport, I bumped into an old friend, you! And I think, and I wanna tell ya, my memory must be fantastic, ’cause I think I’m right. You were going to Pittsburgh.

Neil:
You’re right! (both men laugh).

Murray:
I don’t know why…

Neil:
Fantastic

Murray:
And you were….

Neil:
It was Pittsburgh

Murray:
And you were alone and you had your guitar case with you.

Neil:
Yeah

Murray:
:
You paid your dues.

Neil:
Well it was an interesting way of happening. I started writing when I was about sixteen years old, really as a means of expression. I was a very introverted, quiet kind of a kid and, wow, suddenly I started to take guitar lessons and my guitar teacher taught me how to play a chord progression.

Play parts of “Brooklyn Roads”

Neil:
And uh, and the day that I learned to play that chord progression, I wrote a song and I’d never thought of writing a song before that thought came to mind and a song came out, and it was a stunning experience for me because I had a voice, I had wings, I had something that I could do at that point. And from that point on, I stopped studying music, I stopped studying guitar and piano because I threw myself compulsively and completely into song writing.

After about a year of that, writing by myself, I said maybe somebody is going to listen to these songs and say their okay. I played my song for a man named Bruce Dolman, who was then a successful writer in New York and he was beautiful. He was as nice as can be and he said come over, we’ll play the song, and I did, and he gave me some encouragement and that was really the start of it.

I started knocking around the publishing houses with other writers about trying to get the music played and listened to. That went on for about eight years until I was twenty-five. It was a very difficult period for me because I had signed, over that period of years, with five different publishing houses and was fired from all five publishing houses. I’d never had a successful record. The largest royalty check that I had received was from BMI that was for 73 cents which I still have. It was difficult. It was exciting and yet it was very hard because it was difficult to accept failure for such a long period of time.

Then something happened to me and I felt that no, I could not work under the restrictions and under the direction of publishing people, I had to, at least, if I was gonna fail, I had to fail doing what I was gonna do. And so I took a little storage room above “Birdland” and I got an old, upright piano from a warehouse and I put in a pay phone and I lived in that room for a year. And I began then, for the first time, to write songs that I wanted to write, that I felt, that moved me, that I cared about. And for the first time, I felt just the inklings of a little blossoming of, “oooh yes, I like that melody now”, “oh yes, that lyric says what I feel”. And it became exciting again to me and I felt that there was no necessity for me to fail anymore and that I could do what I wanted.

About a year after doing that I bumped into Ellie Greenwich and I played her a few of my songs. And Ellie said, “WOW, you gotta meet my husband”, who was Jeff Barry at that time. They were the most successful writing, you know, producing combo in the country then and Jeff said, “WOW”. They signed me to Leiber and Stoller records and as a writer. Three months later, Leiber and Stoller became disenchanted and they fired me.

Jeff and Ellie and I said wait a minute, we can’t let this happen. We formed a publishing company and Jeff took me up to Bang records. We did a contract with Bang, did the first session which was “Solitary Man”, “I Got the Feeling” and “Cherry, Cherry” and we were off an running. Those first three songs were hit records and I haven’t looked back since.

Plays small part of “Solitary Man”, “I Got the Feeling” and “Cherry, Cherry”.

Murray:
Are you comfortable? I want you to lie down on the couch because the kind of office that I have here, it’s…I’m not a passive type of analyst, I’m really very aggressive so I want you to feel free and just associate. I’m gonna play some things for you, and I know you’ve been working hard, but I just want whatever comes into your mind when you hear this. I want you to just free associate.

Neil:
Okay, and I’m gonna be able to tell all my friends that, when they ask me who my analyst is, I’ll just tell ’em Murray the K.

Murray:
And that’ll freak ’em out

Neil:
That’ll blow their minds

Murray:
Murray the K, Murray the K is my analyst

Neil:
Right

Murray:
Resident analyst

Neil:
Yeah

Murray:
Okay, are you ready?

Neil:
I’m ready Murr.

Murray:
And I’ll just, you know, I’ll sit behind you so you don’t even have to see me. Okay?

Neil:
(whispers) okay.

Murray:
Alright

Plays “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon”

Neil:
“Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon” is the first recording that I ever did with strings. Up until when Jeff and Ellie and I were a trio, the basic rhythm section was five pieces. We just went…I wrote the song and it was very melodic and we figured, what the heck, we’ll go out and do it with strings. Not many people were doing it with strings and we went out and did it and it was beautiful. I’ve always loved strings because violins can break your heart when they’re used right, when they create the right ???????? . This is the first piece that I’ve ever done with strings. I love it for that and many other reasons. But the one thing is that I won’t forget about it.

Play “You Got To Me”

Neil:
“You Got To Me”…Huey McCracken is probably the greatest studio musician that I have ever worked with here in New York. He’s a great harmonica player, great guitarist and he brought his harmonica that day and we said, “Hey, Wow, we’ve never done a record with harmonica, can you play somethin’ to kind of add into it?” And he said out a sight, whatever you want. That was the first, and I think the only record that I’ve ever done with harmonica and nobody can top Huey on that.

Play “Kentucky Woman”

Neil:
I wrote “Kentucky Woman” in the back seat of a car outside of Paducah, Kentucky. I was touring and I was just dead tired and I probably needed some kind of companionship and that’s what I thought about, Kentucky women and unfortunately there weren’t any around or available at that time. Probably wouldn’t have written the song if there were. But I wrote it in the back seat of a car and we had just pulled into Kentucky and my organist was driving and I said, “Hey Max, you gotta dig this” and I played him the song and he said, “Outta sight”. And there was “Kentucky Woman”. She shines with her own kind of light.

Play “Shilo”

Neil:
“Shilo” is a very meaningful song in my career and in my life ??????? After about a year and a half with Bang records, which was my first record company, I felt that I wanted to write more free form things, things that were even closer to my feelings than songs like “Solitary Man” and although I had experimented with different rhythm structures in “Cherry, Cherry”, and “Solitary Man” was really a personal expression.

“Shilo” was more of a fantasy, more of a dream sequence, a very sad story of a boy who invents a friend out of loneliness.

I love this song because it moved me. It was me. It was the story of my life as a child, but it was not commercial so we argued about it for six months and they refused to release it. I wanted it out and I finally felt that I could not work under those conditions and so I left Bang. My contract was up at the end of the two years and I left because of “Shilo”.

Murray:
We are listening to an intimate portrait of Neil Diamond, and for those of us who know Neil intimately, here is a man who is so full of love for his family, his wife, his child and for his friends and his own mother and father and people who are intimately connected with him. Those of us think of Neil Diamond, we really think of the word love.

So now I turn to you Neil, you’ve written a song. A song called “Brother Love”. What about that?

Neil:
Well, the original concept of “Brother Love” was an album. I wanted to do an entire album about a revival preacher. I was incensed with some…when I was touring down south, I went to a number of revival meetings and I was incensed with the feeling that it was a rip off. That these people were being taken and they were being lied to and I thought about it for a year or two years, I let it roll around in my mind. Of course, I was moved by the spectacle of a revival meeting, by that whole thing, the emotion involved. And so I wanted to write that. But I did feel that it was a rip off that these people were being taken, these old people, and these poor people and desperate people.

Play some revival music and a revival preacher selling his ridiculous record package.

The preacher screams, “It’s the right reverend doctor Billy Sol Hargis here on behalf of the First Church of the ?????????? and discount house of worship, coming to you from holy land U.S.A., America’s first truly religious amusement park. Not another pilgrim trap, not another religious rip off. Yes, we’re located right here in Del Rio, Texas. Friends, you’ve heard it, it’s true, for a limited time and a limited time only, you may purchase Billy Sol Hargis’ holy land record package. That’s right, hallelujah, you may now purchase for your very own home these original hits made famous by the original artists. Hear Him and his disciples sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” recorded live at the Last Supper. Hear Mary on acoustic guitar with “Rock A Bye Your Baby to a Dixie Melody”. Hear Joseph and the original Belmonts sing “I Should Have Phoned Ahead”. Yes friends, unbelievable but true. Say hallelujah. Each of these original hits by the original artists can now be yours for your very own home. Due to today’s modern recording techniques, you may play these hits with true stereo reproduction sound. Say hallelujah. If you’ll send now for Billy Saul’s holy land record package, you’ll also receive the comedy album of the year, featuring the way-out, freaky Mr. Moses with his ????????? godly predictions. Plus for any hip ??????? teenagers in the house a free record set of Grand Funk’s “The ?????????? along with the option to buy any further original hits by the original artists should they ever become available. So order the holy land record package. Say hallelujah. Simply sent $3.98 cash, check or money order to the right reverend doctor Billy Sol Hargis, in care of the first church of the ????????? and discount house of worship right here in Del Rio, Texas. There’s an extra bonus if you send now, Billy Sol Hargis will send to you information on how you can become the owner and operator of a Billy Sol Hargis drive-in church and baptismal car wash. Say hallelujah. Say amen.”

Neil:
That’s for people, people who go to revival meetings ’cause they have, they cannot find their answers in other places. They cannot find a way to cope in other ways and the go and that last resort is to a revival preacher or a healing preacher.

But then I went up to Harlem to 125th Street, to a church there and I sat in on a church meeting there one Sunday and it blew my mind because I realized, I think, for the first time that no, this was not a rip off. These people were getting what they came for. They were finding answers. That there is truth in what these people say. That there is a way to
guide your life through the religious thing. For some people, not for everybody, but for these people it were. And I started to think of it more positively. Well that settled my mind and about four years later I was heading on a plane down to Memphis to do my first recording session down there and I had written a melody that I was very strong about and I wanted to record but I hadn’t written a lyric and I sat on the airplane and it all came to me. The whole revival meeting thing. The whole Harlem church meeting. I wrote the lyric on the plane. The entire lyric on the way down to Memphis…went in and recorded it the next day as a smaller piece which was suitable for a single. The whole song came about through that mostly because I was inspired by the excitement of the revival meeting. I was turned into a positive approach because of this Harlem church meeting that I went to. And so “Brother Love” moral is not a rip off. “Brother Love” is a good man. “Brother Love” is a man who gives to people who need.

Play “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”.

Play “Sweet Caroline”

Murray:
“Sweet Caroline”. Is there one?

Neil:
No, a lot of the names, I’ve used two or three girls names in songs over a period of years. No there’s never been any real direct relationship except one song that I wrote with UNI called “Juliet”. “Juliet” to me was always a fantasy. It was always the fantasy girl. The girl that I thought that I would fall in love with and I suppose it relates to Romeo and Juliet but there was never a “Sweet Caroline”.

Play “Cracklin’ Rosie”

Neil:
“Cracklin’ Rosie” is an interesting story. I did some concerts one winter up in Canada and during an interview I had with a little girl who was working for a newspaper up there, she told me that her parents were medical missionaries in Canada which is a strange thing to begin with. But they worked only on the Indian reservations in Northern Canada and she began to tell me what there lives were like and what experiences they had and she told me that on one of the reservations they had more men than there were women. So come the weekends or holidays, a lot of men were out of luck. There weren’t enough girls to go around so they would go down to their general store and they would buy a bottle of a very inexpensive wine called Crackling Rose. And the folk story was that this wine became their woman for the weekend and they called their woman Crackling Rosie and that’s what the song is about.

Murray:
Fantastic.

Play parts of “Holly Holy” and “Brooklyn Roads” and “I Am..I Said”

Neil:
?????? the record ?????? and also a different statement on my part for the first time in my life which said essentially “I am, I exist, recognize me, love me, accept me. It said all of the things that I needed as a child. It was all of the schools that I had been to when I was young that I was never accepted in. It all of the times that I spent alone at home. It was all the self-esteem that I never had that I wanted. It was songs that plea. It is a love song. It is what it says – I am.

Murray:
I think I interpret what you did in your song as Moses coming down – God saying I am that I am is that I am you. God is saying you and that I am God. There’s a part of all of us in it. We …

Neil:
I believe that too. But let me say this about Murray Kaufman okay? I don’t know if you are gonna put this on the air or not but I just want to say it between you and me.

I grew up listening to you on the radio when you were first with ?????? and then I think you were then with WMCA, but Murray Kaufman’s enthusiasm and passion for his music rubbed off on everybody that listened to him, with me especially. I was very unhappy when you left New York I must tell you. You did good things for me. You excited me. You showed me that music was love, that there were good things, that you could become passionate about it. I owe you that Murray Kaufman. You don’t owe me anything. On top or bottom, you have left an imprint on me and I won’t forget that. That’s all I want to say.

Murray:
Thank you.

Play “African Trilogy”.

Neil:
“African Trilogy” was the first extended piece that I attempted. I reached a point of writing with UNI records that I felt kind of limited by the most commonly used form of song presentation which is you write a song that runs between two and a half and four minutes. It is one particular form. It is a lyric that people can understand immediately. I wanted to extend myself and grow. And because I didn’t feel any restrictions or limitations at UNI, I decided to express a love that I had had for African tribal music and folk music – express it in my own way. And so the “African Trilogy” was built. It started with a piece called “Soolaimon” which is a French bastardization of the word Salaman. The entire trilogy was built around that. I always wanted to work with children and children’s chorus’ and so I wrote a piece called “Child Song” in which I sat down with fifteen, eight year old kids and it was the most fun and also the most difficult recording session I’ve ever done.

You can’t control eight year old kids. They go crazy. They were fighting and beating each other up. And I had to sic their mothers – all their parents were in the control room while they were out there singing. And I had to threaten them with – if you don’t stop fighting with him I’m gonna get your mother out here and his mother would be glaring through the window and giving him dirty looks and it was fantastic. But they ran me ragged. They made me crazy. But I finally got it. I finally got what I wanted. I got the “Child Song” and they sang it and they loved it and they said what I wanted them to say. I wanted to do an orchestral piece, a wider piece and so I wrote the “African Suite”. I always wanted to write an a cappella piece. I sang in the chorus at Erasmus Hall High School and I sang at the mixed chorus at Lincoln High School. One of the greatest experiences in the world is to sing in a large chorus and especially both of those chorus’ were the top. The Erasmus Hall chorus was, I think, the finest in the city. It was a beautiful experience. I remember singing in a Christmas concert at Erasmus, we sang the “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah”. The audience stood up and I wept.

Play “Missa”.

I stood there on stage and I wept. I got such goose bumps that I wept. And from that point on I suppose the feeling of the choral structure and form stuck with me and so I wrote the “Missa”. I wrote it in Swahili because I felt that it had to be said in Swahili. It speaks about God and it speaks about love it just speaks about it in a different language.
It is, to me, one of the most exciting pieces that I’ve ever written. But it really came out of those first experiences at Erasmus and at Lincoln. And so I got a chance to do that. I got a chance to use sound effects in that record. I got a chance to speak in languages other than English and in forms other than the forms I had been using. It was a joyful experience. The size…the “African Trilogy” took fourteen months of work to do and cost over $100,000 to make. But it was one of my most crowning delights for myself. It was just pure personal satisfaction.

Play “Soolaimon”.

Murray:
Your work was fantastic. But just think of all the work you put into that and for the past eighteen years I’ve been getting by with just one line of a foreign language, “Ah bey kuizawazawa”.

Neil:
Tell me what that means?

Murray:
All these years Neil, you don’t know?

Neil:
I don’t know! I thought it was that double-talk you used to talk on the radio. Yeah…the mia sire.

Murray:
Actually comes out as “well I’ll be kuizawazawa” but it’s harambe(phonetically spelled by transcriber) and it started out as a work chant in Africa and then the country of Kenya is now, used it whenever like President Kenyetta would come into a village, he would say harambe and they’d go umpf, harambe, umpf.

Neil:
Oh

Murray:
It means, let’s all work together, let’s pull together, all for one, one for all.

Neil:
Yes

Murray:
And even though I never really explained that upfront too much on my radio show, when I would walk out on stage and say it I guess the audience felt it because it was a togetherness, it was like, my way anyway, it was like touching the audience and the audience touching me. So I guess you did that in your way in your music. Yours was a little more musical I’ll say and it’s certainly more creative.

What is your…give me your favorite song of all your works. I mean, I know the “African Trilogy”, I don’t know how your gonna top that because it’s accomplished. But is there one song that….

Neil:
I can’t honestly say that there is one favorite. Most times if you ask a writer about their favorite song it will depend upon their mood. You know, if you’re feeling introspective then you might say, well my favorite song is “I Am…I Said” or “Morningside” or even “Cante Libre”. But, no I don’t have a favorite. They’re all children. They’re all things that I’ve loved at one time or another and spent time on. They’ve expressed my feelings at one point or another in my life. The favorite songs…of all my favorites that I have are the songs that I perform on stage. It’s the only yardstick I use for performance.

Play Neil being announced onto the stage

Play “Lordy”

Murray:
The program when we are featuring the music and the thoughts of Neil Diamond. I would like to call the attention of our audience to the fact that Neil will be in concert at the Winter Garden Theater which is going back to the beginning I think that’s where they showed for the first time “The Jazz Singer” with Al Jolsen so it has quite a history. And “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand and the Ziegfield Follies and the biggest shows of all time and it still is a legitimate theater. And so when an artist goes into concert at the Winter Garden, not only is it Broadway, but it is saying hey this man has arrived. I don’t know if you’re going to get tickets, they’re on sale. There are 20 performances only of Neil Diamond and it starts on October the 3rd through October the 21st and there will be 20 performances during those 18 or 19 days and I would suggest that you get over there and try to get the tickets and I don’t tell you that because Neil is here with me on the show. But all the words that I have gotten from all of my friends that it is probably the most dynamite performance to come along, in this town, in many a day. So try to get your tickets.

I would like to ask you now, the difference in your performance from the day that I saw you in the airport at LaGuardia alone with your guitar traveling to Pittsburgh going to sing a couple of your hit records to your Winter Garden performance.

Neil:
Well that’s light years away. One of the most fantastic things in the world Murray about the success and the acceptance that I’ve had is that it’s given me a chance first of all to travel all over the world. To meet, I mean, the most interesting people in the world. I look back on the last six years in a way that I’ve lived two lifetimes in that period. I started out as a writer. It wasn’t an ambition to be a great writer or to be a famous writer. I wrote because I had a need to write. It was the only way that I had found to express myself. After a while, when I started to record, I started to make demos of my songs, and people started saying you should record, your voice is not bad. I wasn’t against it because I loved singing. I’d been singing all my life. Who doesn’t love to sing? And so I got involved in the recording. Then Bang records put out the first couple of records and I got a call from a friend of mine, Saul Sappian, who was an agent and he said hey Neil listen there’s some guy in Florida who wants to book you down in Florida and he will pay you $750 to get on stage and perform. I said well tell me about it. He said well you’ll do four performances in four different cities in two days and he’ll give you 750 and I said WOW 750, wow that’s more money than I had ever….great, take it. I went down to the village, I bought myself a new jacket, I bought a new guitar strap, I bought a new set of strings and I went down to Florida and of course I didn’t realize that between the airfare and everything involved that I would only come back with $30 but it was fantastic. That was really the first performance.

It didn’t strike me strange because my father had always been an amateur performer. Ever since I was a little kid I’d seen my father perform to audiences and I was not afraid of it, I liked it, he liked it and the people he performed to liked him and it was always a good impression in my mind about it. So I took to it relatively easily.

The next booking that I got, there was…they had these…at that time, they had these large rock n roll shows where they had fifteen acts. You know very well, you started that stuff. This was at the Hollywood Bowl and the Cow Palace and he said hey come out and play the Hollywood Bowl. I said, my god the Hollywood Bowl, I just got on stage the first time two weeks ago. He said, come out, we don’t care. I went out there, got on the Hollywood Bowl. At that time I was a very introverted kind of a …I was afraid, I was…you know…I wasn’t as open as I am now. I still have a long way to go but I’ve learned a few things the last six years. And I always wore black, everything black…black boots, black pants, black shirt, black guitar…bought myself a black cowboy hat and I walked out on the stage at the Hollywood Bowl with my cowboy hat cocked over the side, and my guitar on my back and the whole audience went “ooooohhhh” and it blew my mind. I couldn’t follow it because I didn’t know how to sing or anything I mean I just knew three songs altogether but it was fantastic. That was really the beginning of the pace, the performance, and stage and I suppose I took to it because it gave me a platform to kind of be accepted. To be recognized. It never the kind of thing that I had before. Here, for the first time, people were watching me, and of course, I had to do the best that I could do, you know, and have them love me and after a number of years playing on all kinds of stages…at the beginning it was bowling alleys and rock n rolls shows and ski lodges. Then it started to colleges. Colleges started to accept me and I started to do more and started with little colleges and larger and larger colleges and then open promotions which are coliseums and arenas. I began to really develop a love for the stage and of course it was ???????? but it presented the best that it could ever be presented. The difference between that first time that we met on that plane to Pittsburgh and now is two lifetimes. That’s the difference. The last two years I’ve been almost obsessed because I know that I want to stop after Broadway. I want to stop concerts for a couple of years. I’ve been obsessed with the feeling that I want to play all the great concert stages in the world. And so the bookings took on a different character. We started to play concert halls in Germany and in Europe that Mozart had written his music on. Played Royal Albert Hall which is the…I couldn’t even begin to describe it. Suffice to say that the Queen of England comes to listen to music there, the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall and of course the ultimate for any artist, for any performer who walks on stage, the ultimate is Broadway, right here, right here at home in New York, Broadway and it’s…there’s no better way for me to close out my concert career than to do it on Broadway.

There was two places that I had not played at the end of all of this, the Grand Old Opry and Broadway. And so I will do two concerts at the Grand Old Opry at the end of this month, the first non-country act to play there before they tear it down, and then Broadway and then I’m gonna hang it up.

Play quick part of “New York Boy”

Murray:
Now you can dig that fact, he’s one of our own, man. That’s Neil Diamond, a New York boy. He used to hang around the neighborhoods, went to Lincoln High School, singing at Erasmus Hall and we’re doing an intimate portrait of what I call a sort of no man’s land of music now. I go with the number nine 1936 – Goodman, nine years later, 1945 – Sinatra, the superstars made the changes in music. Nine years after them Presley and Haley, nine years exactly after them, the Beatles. We’re entering the ninth year. And so there’s no new phenomenon. There never was a fad of music that a phenomenon started and then the music. I’m not going to ask you a silly question because if you had the answers, you know, you’d have already be there or you’d be starting it.

Do you ever think….Do you have any feelings or directions of the kind of attitudes that this next phenomenon or next music fad we’re gonna to go through. We’re going through a revival period now where the gold is. Do you feel anything, do you have any vibes about it?

Neil:
Well, I think that one of the strengths to popular music today, and I have to give credit to the Beatles for this, one of the tremendous, tremendous strengths of pop music today is that it is open for any form to come in. The Beatles broke through because up until that point, radio was very limited. It was limited and as talented as they were and as nice as they were to listen to, it was very limited to the…you know the format Murray. It was Rosemary Clooney and all of those records, that basic kind of thing. Radio people were not open to new forms of music, to new groups, to new forms of expression. It was very, very formalized. A group comes from England and they call themselves the Beatle and they break the music business wide open. They did two tremendously important things. First of all, they opened up radio’s mind and they said, wait a minute, we can play anything. The Beatles were not only doing Rock n Roll, they were doing “Yesterday” and “Michelle”. They were not only doing “Yesterday” and “Michelle”, they were doing Indian music. They were not only doing Indian music, but they were doing “Sgt. Pepper” and they just expanded it through and with that radio grew and began to say, wait a minute we can accept many things. That, to me, opened tremendously, the whole forum of radio. I think what we have today is – people keep looking for fads. But to me the strength in popular music today is the fact that it is open to accept anything. It will accept Latin rock, it will accept classical music, it will accept folk, it will accept gospel and rhythm n blues and plain old top 40 and bubble gum. It will accept all of these forms whereas, ten years ago, when the Beatles came about, that wasn’t the situation. The world was ready for a Beatles, people were bored with the old forms. I don’t think people will get as bored as quickly. Yes, there will be changes. Yes, there will be new people coming in. I think the strength and vitality of popular music today is based on the fact that radio people will play just about anything. The only standard they use is “do I like it”. That’s all. They don’t say is it a pop song done by a girl with a positive lyric – do I like it. That to me is the tremendous, tremendous contributions that the Beatles made.

Play briefly “Play Me” and “I’m a Believer”.

Murray:
Neil you have paid your dues with me in more ways than one and so many times.

Neil:
I don’t think I’ve paid my dues any more than anyone else, you know, because yes, I went through New York and I knocked around those streets for seven years, I was fired from five publishing companies, my average income was like $300 a year. That’s what I did. But I never thought of it as paying dues. It was always passionate, it was always something I loved. I woke up in the morning and I went out and I wanted people to hear my music. I wrote until the wee hours of the morning because that’s what I did and I loved it. I never thought I was paying dues. I would have done it for nothing. When I got my first offer to write for a publishing company I thought they were crazy because they offered me $50 a week.

Murray:
That’s what your getting’ for this show, nothing.

Neil:
That’s okay, I do it because I love you.

Murray:
Listen, I love you as a performer and as a person. I’m going to be there opening night. You’ve been a dynamite guest. I know our audience is gonna be turned on and we’ve gotta do this again and I wish you god’s speed and continued great success and just whatever you want.

Neil:
Murray, I owe you more than you will ever know what I owe you for the passion and enthusiasm that you presented music and being a kid from New York who listens to that.
Anything you want, anytime, I’ll be there.

Murray:
God bless.

Neil:
Thank you Mur.

Play “Brooklyn Roads”

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