I tried to get an interview with Neil Diamond in support of tonight’s show at the Qwest Center. Omaha being a songwriters’ town, and Diamond now releasing two albums of stripped-down singer/songwriter fare produced by Rick Rubin, the interview would have been a natural. It would have been a chance for Diamond to talk about the thought-process behind his new album and why he’s decided to go in a more subtle, less bombastic direction. But there was no convincing his publicist. Neil isn’t doing interviews, he said. And think about it, why should he? He certainly doesn’t need a story in an Omaha alt-weekly (or one of indie music’s most-read online resources) to sell tickets to the great unwashed masses, who could give two shits about how he and Rick worked through the arrangements on, say, acoustic waltz “Act Like a Man” off the new album. In fact, those ticket buyers don’t even want to hear “Act Like a Man” or any of the new material. No, they want the Big Stuff. They want “Cherry Cherry” and “Forever in Blue Jeans” and, by God, “Sweet friggin’ Caroline.” And something tells me that’s exactly what they’re going to get. But they’re going to have to sit through some of the new stuff whether they like it or not, or at least wait until the new stuff comes on before they grab a smoke or a hot dog or return that phone call. Once you’ve gone Vegas, Neil, there’s no turning back. Still, Home Before Dark did chart at No. 1 on Billboard…
I’m not going to Neil. Instead, I’ve got an interview tonight at eight. And maybe afterward, I might drop by O’Leaver’s, where The Copyrights, The Fonzarellies and The Killigans will be kickin’ it for just $5 (starting at 9:30 p.m.). Also tonight, Chairlift and Talkin’ Mountain are opening for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti at Slowdown Jr. $8, 9 p.m.
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