One of the most common question e-mailed to my site is "when are you going to do the Neil Diamond show again?' The popularity of that phenomenon still astounds me.
A little background: The Neil Diamond show was originally conceived and executed as an Andy Kaufman type performance art piece. Our friends in the band Soul Asylum had gamely agreed to let a group of us (Nick being the only other original participant) open for them at a New Years Eve show at the Hyatt doing only Neil Diamond covers. This was many years back, and Soul Asylum drew a crowd that leaned toward loud, fast, hard-edged music. We fully expected to be greeted as objects of scorn, anticipating a 45 minute barrage of beer bottles and profanity. It would have been a great evening of self-amusement had it not gone over so well. I guess it was just strange enough to come off as oddly hip. Not one beer bottle or gob of spit made it's way to the stage. Imagine our disappointment.
One gig turned into two, and eventually a weekly Sunday night show at the 400 Club that became wildly popular (relative to our modest standards) Fast forward a couple of years and the thing had taken on a life of it's own. It was a lot of fun to do and it didn't induce the anxiety that performing my own music did (it was hard to take it personally if no one showed up to see a Neil Diamond cover band) and it didn't require a lot of emotional energy on my part. It just went on too long. After a while, I was becoming known more as the Neil Diamond cover guy than a singer and songwriter. Though it was far more profitable doing the Neil show, in the end it was an easy decision to give it up. I really needed to get back to doing my own music to stay sane.
Never say never. Maybe we'll resurrect it down the road for a show or two. I really do miss the money and the crowds...