Talk In

Talk In (5-72)

Part 3: Continuation of interview in 5/72 on Talk-In, Radio One, in UK

Neil:
Uh — …

Anne: Marilyn Panai has a better idea, I think…

Neil:
Well – I — I am not sure I want to hear it.

Anne: Yeah…

Neil:
No, I’m — it is very difficult to explain, but people tend to think, “Gee, you know, wow!” You really, you think that — uh, uh — you think you’re the biggest thing around and great and that kind of thing but – uh — no, I do essentially what I’ve done for a long time, which is write songs and record music and perform, and of course everything is on a different level. But – uhm —

Johnny:
What particular level is –ah — High Rolling Man on, another cut from the album?

ND:
There is really not much to say, it’s just a fun – ah — rhythm song. I couldn’t really go into what it means because it would be embarrassing. It’s a — it’s just a — a — nice rhythm song.

High Rolling Man is played.

Johnny:
High Rolling Man from Neil’s album, “Moods”. Roger, you wanted to say something
about —

Roger:
Yes, I would like to go back to it, you know, to the question of the image thing and –uhm — and – uhm — the fact that Neil said that he is not totally aware of his image. I think if a performer, if and when a performer starts to really believe in the image of him that the fan has got, which has been built up and stated by publicists and then an aura created from — uhm — not being touchable by the fact, I would think that – uhm — once he gets into the area of really believing his own publicity shall we say, that’s a danger point for any performer.

Neil:
Yeah, I agree with that and – uh –, but I tell you honestly, I felt that – uhm — that you have to have a special attitude if you’re going to, especially perform, not so much recording because you’re, you’re, you’re not in contact with the au — with these people, you don’t have to face them, you don’t have to look them in the eye, they don’t look you in the eye. But in performing I find that I have to think of myself as a different person when I go out and perform for myself, somewhat above what I really think I am, because it takes – uh — for me it takes that kind of an attitude for me to assume that I can go out in front of 6,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall and entertain them for an hour and a half — uh — it, I cannot consider, I cannot go out – uh — looking at myself the way that I ordinarily look at myself.

Roger:
Yeah —

Neil:
I have to think of myself as something special at that point in order just to go out … to walk out on the stage.

Marilyn:
What, when you working with an audience, obviously your way of expressing yourself is through yourself, do, do you find it easy to communicate with an audience other than that, other than talking in between and uh —

Neil:
Yes I do. I find it very easy. When I first started to perform – uh — this is an abstract idea and it’s very difficult to — to grasp unless you’ve actually gone on stage, but in order for you to step on the stage and present yourself, it’s important to understand who you are or what you want to project, one of those two, and when I first began to perform the stage wasn’t strange, it wasn’t difficult, it was rather enjoyable – uh — I didn’t know who I was and what I was to do and what I was to project to those people. Uh — and I went through a year or two of kind of floundering around and imitating other people – uh — or at least trying to understand what they were projecting. And I didn’t do it well. I did it very poorly. Uh — I finally reached a point where I felt that if I was going to continue to perform I had to forget about who I wanted to be or what I thought I wanted to project. I just had to let it be as natural as it possibly could, I just had to be as much myself, and if the audience liked me – great – and if they didn’t like me I would stop performing. It was that simple. And from that point on – uh — the stage became even more enjoyable because whatever I said it was natural, you know, even if you make a fool of yourself on stage and be open about it I think an audience can accept that, you know. Uh — fortunately I had songs that were strong enough that when, when I did make a fool of myself I would go into a song, you know, and that would kind of bring them back.

Roger:
Neil, I think we’re just about to put the album back on the turntable and uh — in fact, there is one song which you have written in, in Spanish, “Canta Libre” .

Neil:
Right — yeah.

Roger:
What was the motivation behind Spanish?

Neil:
Ah — because the, the melody suggested it. The melody said to me, “This must be written in Spanish,” and as I wrote it in Spanish strange things began to happen and it started to come out in English again. And I love the thought of writing a song (clears voice), introducing a song, and doing it in Spanish, in a foreign language and then going back to English with no – uh — with no explanation. Why go back to English. But I love the feeling of going back into English and then into Spanish and then into this speaking thing, which at at the end which reminds me of a religious chant – uhm — it was just – uh – uh — there was really no preconceived id — uh — thoughts about this song, but it just happened, it happened as it was being written and –uh — in the studio.

Canta Libre played.

Tony:
Canta Libre – ah — which means, I guess, “Sing Free”, does it?

Neil:
Well, the literal translation is, “It Sings Free”. But and, and, it doesn’t get to the point of what it is until the second verse, and it is, “My Heart, Canta Mi Corozon”.

Anne:
One of the songs on Moods ______ — uhm — struck me anyway, as being __________ of great emotional – uhm — strength almost,of most other things you have done, _____, I noticed _____________________, but is it, do you think that that’s — uhm — a, a, true reflection of it _________ an album ________ so emotional?

Neil:
(Sighs.) Ooooh. I, I, I had a great difficulty in giving a title to this album because – uhm — there was nothing I could really hang my hat on. There was no concept that I could hang my hat on other than this is, this album is comprised of many different moods that a person can feel, many different approaches. Uhm — I, I think that there are things on this album that I haven’t done before – uh — some highlights, some high points in my writing. I think that – uhm — maybe four, five of, of the better songs that I’ve ever written are on this album. Uhm — emotional density – aah — I’m not, I don’t know what density means ….

Anne:
Well, I was struggling for a word …

Neil:
Yeah.

Anne:
but I just _____ or, or maybe, just a heightened emotion _____

Neil:
Well, I’m – yeah — I, I, if that’s the way you feel, then that is what it is. It, it is obviously that to me because I spent a long time working on it and writing it and – uh — it has great feeling for me. It – ah — it is one of the few albums that I’ve done that I am able to listen to over and over again. _____ I, don’t know if that is a good sign or a bad sign, but generally I am very critical of my – uh — work and my voice and –uh — there are always little things that you would change and I’ve always let them get in my way of enjoying the music. But either I’ve overcome that or this is a special album – one or the other.

Tony:
The song called “Walk on The Water” is one that __________ and we are all very impressed with.

Neil:
Aah — yes, Walk on Water is – aah — is interesting in the sense that it is also – ah – ah — a kind of a rhythmic exercise. It’s one song written in three different forms and it is the form that is the primary thing. Aah — rather than any other factor in it, it is the form of, of, the way that this recording and song is structured that I find interesting and exciting.

Tony:
Good, let’s hear it. Good.

Walk on Water played.

Johnny:
“Walk on Water”.

Anne:
Neil, when and ________

Neil:
Aah, generally all over. I like to have a guitar with me wherever I go. Well – not wherever I go. There are a few places that are excluded (everyone laughts). But – uhm – generally any place that I happen to be in, hotel rooms or at home or – ah — I’ve written some of my better songs in the backs of cars. Not really written but started them. You know, for me songs are – aah — all evolutionary and _____ _____ and most of them are written over a period of a year or so. Uhm – I like to write part of it and then leave it for a while, think about it, and add to it, and grow with it, and let it grow with me. Uh – but any place is – uh – when I have a need to, to write or when I want to write it doesn’t matter where ___ anywhere. Dressing rooms –

_____:
While you are performing or ___ one of the reasons that you wanted

Neil:
Oh yeah,

________
was ________

Neil:
No, sure, you can’t write while you’re performing. Uh — it’s – as a matter of fact, one of the things that uh gets you up, that gets your adrenaline going are performances which, you know, helps you write and, you know, keeps you excited, and of course you imagine certain songs being done in front of an audience and – uh — you can imagine whether they work or _____ but uhm — no, if anything, the performing is a help.

Roger:
Going back into the album Neil, one of my favorite cuts, I suppose because I am also a part-time songwriter, you know, is uh — Morningside” —

Neil:
You’re doing very well, I understand — (laughter).

Roger:
Uhm — I like “Morningside” ________ what __________ you know, what was the influence there?

Neil:
Interestingly enough, when I was in London last year I passed an antique shop and I looked in the window and saw the most beautiful, magestic table that I have ever seen in my life and I looked at it and god, it was beautiful and I went in the store and I touched it and felt it and I asked the man how much it was and he said it was 7,000 pounds. And I thought, “Well okay, at least I have good taste.” But I was really quite impressed by it and it stuck in my mind that this was, this would, this type of table is a table that would be a legacy for somebody. Uhm – it was that table that – uh – that inspired the idea for a table. But Morningside is really a song about dying alone more than anything else. It’s a man who dies alone – uh–without ever having a gift that he had made for his children reach his children. He dies alone. That’s what it’s about.

Marilyn:
You often mention your childhood and being alone. Do you have a fear, a phobia, of being alone, for being left alone?

Neil:
Uh – why do you ask hard questions, Marilyn? Why can’t you ask easy ones? Uhm — I did at one time, aah – I, I suppose it’s — when I was young my mother worked — aah — I, I came home from school all the time to an empty house. Aah – it is one of the things that left a mark on me. I didn’t like it then and it – aah — left a very important imprint somewhere in my head. A, a lot of the alone – aah — aloneness in the songs comes from that.

Roger:
All right. Well, at this point let’s have a listen to “Morningside”.

Morningside is played.

(Roger:
And I think that’s my favorite song from Moods as well. “Morningside”. Marilyn, you had some more to – to — ask Neil.

Marilyn:
Yes. I’d like to know what your childhood ambition is.

Neil:
Marilyn, why do you always ask hard questions? (Laughter from everyone.) Aah —

Marilyn:
____________

Neil: I don’t know. I’d like to, I’d like to really get my head together and find some kind of peace and be happy and enjoy what I have. I think if I can do that ______ and I can accept anything else if I can get that together. I can even accept failure.

Roger:
Do you think you could be happier, Neil, than – uhm – aah — I mean – even more content than you are now?

Neil:
Sure.

Roger:
Yah?

Neil:
Sure. Because I’ve – uh– really spent the last — uh — well, since I was 16, the last 14 years of my life – aah – devoting myself to the music and — aah — I think it’s important for me now to devote some of that time to myself, getting that together. If, if I can succeed as well at that as – as – apparently I have done with the music, then I’ll be very happy.

Johnny:
Oh. Marilyn and Roger, Neil, thanks, and let’s wind up with – uh– the one recently that’s been a hit for you, “Song Sung Blue”.

“Song Sung Blue” is played.

Johnny:
Neil Diamond’s Talk-In has been produced by Johnny Bailey.

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