October 18, 1999

Chuck's Survey


Some of my favourite journallers have taken to composing and answering surveys. Ever one to jump on a bandwagon, especially if it involves a topic for the journal, I herein submit my responses for Chuck's Survey:

1. The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. What kind of person are you?

Well, that's a tough one. I haven't listened to Neil in some years, but I do own several of his albums. (Vinyl! remember vinyl??) I USED to like him, and have him classified in my mind with some other previous favourites who I think sold out to the mass market, like Elton John and even Eric Clapton, except when he's playing the blues. Then again, if Neil has released anything lately, I'm not aware of it.

I have to admit I saw Neil Diamond in concert TWICE. First time was in 1967 when he was the opening act for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I'm not making this up, he really did open for them.

It was at Expo 67, the Montreal World's Fair, and I was 16 years old. It was probably the first concert I attended without a parent, and I went with my best friend Judy (who has since married, moved to Ohio, and forgotten she knows me, but that's another story..) I remember going to the ticket window as soon as tickets went on sale, and asking for the best they had. We sat FRONT ROW CENTER!! It was awesome. As was the World's Fair. It was the late Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau's crowning achievement, and put Montreal on the map, however briefly. Parts of it still remain as the "La Ronde" amusement park, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where Formula 1 races are held, and Parc des Iles where outdoor concerts and fireworks fesivals go on in the summer.


Me at Expo 67


That's me in 1967, standing in front of the "minirail" ride. Behind that is the mighty St. Lawrence River, and on the other side, some of the "Theme" Pavillions.

The next time I saw Neil was in 1981 or 82.. it must have been then because Older Son was just a baby. I went with some friends and we sat way up in the balcony of the Montreal Forum. Neil was well into his 40's at least by then, but still wore those tight leather pants admirably. The show had light and smoke effects, and was heavy on the sound track from the Jazz Singer movie, but the crowd (including me) loved it.

Soon after that my tastes turned more to blues and harder rock, leaving ol' Neil behind. The thing is, though, if I hear a song I USED to like, I usually still like it, even though if I heard it for the first time NOW, I probably wouldn't. Like it, I mean. So to answer the question, I guess I sort of like Neil Diamond but I might be reluctant to admit it, as it might put me into the category of people that like Celine Dion and Michael Bolton. Not to mention Kenny G. and Yanni. So Chuck, if you're keeping score, put NO just to keep me on the right side of the tracks.

OH and I almost forgot to mention my friend and bowling team-mate Esther's Neil Diamond shirt, which she got at a 1996 concert. It's her lucky shirt, and one year she wore it EVERY week. (Yes I think she washed it inbetween.) At one point Younger Son, who was dropping by the lanes after school, asked if she was "poor" because she was always wearing the same shirt! Esther is very level-headed and down to earth, so I can forgive her this mild lapse of musical taste. Besides, she's a better bowler than I am.

I guess that about does it for tonight..

What!? I only answered ONE question? Chuck, you made the survey too long!!

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