Neil Diamond’s cross-generation army of fans, from the teens initiated through their parents’ obsession to those who have been with the one-man hit machine from the start, are legendary for their loyalty.
Now you can also add philanthropic, big-hearted, selfless – you get the picture – to the qualities it takes to call yourself a true Diamond Head.
After Neil, now 77, announced he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – cancelling concerts in Australia and New Zealand – fans responded by overwhelmingly donating the refunded money to Parkinson’s research and other charities.
“This makes me smile. Thank you. Thank to you everyone for your outpouring of love and support. It makes a difference,” Neil writes on Twitter.
This makes me smile. Thank you. Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of love and support. It makes a difference. https://t.co/TLZAa69q1B
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) January 23, 2018
His wife, Katie, also writes, “I’ve received a bunch of messages from people in Aus & NZ who are donating their ticket refunds to good causes: Parkinson’s research, animal rescue groups, fire victim funds, etc.,” she tweeted. “My heart is so full of joy to see this silver lining. Faith in humanity = restored. Thank you!”
Wow, I’ve received a bunch of messages from people in Aus & NZ who are donating their ticket refunds to good causes: Parkinson’s research, animal rescue groups, fire victim funds, etc. My heart is so full of joy to see this silver lining. Faith in humanity = restored. Thank you!
— Katie Diamond (@KatieMcDiamond) January 23, 2018
Citing his doctor’s advice, the legendary songwriter reluctantly canned the remaining legs of his 50th Anniversary world tour, which was due to start with a series of stadium shows in Townsville and the Sunshine Coast in March.
Despite his plan to retire from live performance, he emphasised he aims to “remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” Neil also says.
“You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
The Recording Academy recently honoured Neil with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Throughout his extraordinary career, he has had 11 singles reach the top of the charts, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. More recently, his star was officially recognised on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2016 he performed to a crowd of more than 100,000 at the Glastonbury Festival, where most of the audience weren’t even twinkles in their parents’ eyes when his biggest hits like Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good) and Cracklin’ Rosie were storming the charts.
Luckily for us, there is also a phenomenal legacy of YouTube footage to enjoy still, from the slick two hour coverage of a Madison Square Garden show in 2017, to earlier footage in the 1960s and 70s.
Here is one of our favourites, Cracklin’ Rosie from The Greek Theatre in LA in 1976 – enjoy!