After reading the message board for so long, it may be a good time to write for a change. My wife and 2 year old are still sound a sleep and Shilo, the blue eyed Husky, is still curled up on her chair. Anticipating the Memphis Concert still holds the same hard to describe feeling. The same one waiting to purchase my first "Love at the Greek" album after hearing it advertised on the radio listening to a Miami Dolphin home game in 1977. I was Just 13 yrs. old at the time and I new from that moment I was hooked. Not easy at that age, for all my friends were really into the group "Kiss", but I didn't care or really understand some of the crazy music at the time. All I knew is that Neil Diamond would be coming to the Hollywood Sportatorium in S. Fla.. I insisted that my entire family, my friends and their friends would all caravan to that old, rickidy out of the way arena. Talk about anticipation. No one really knew what to expect and it was like pulling teeth to get my older sister and her boy and girl friends to go. What ever the effort had to be, everyone was going to go. There was a two laned road and traffic for miles but managed to get there for "Longfello Seranade" probably the 3rd. song into the set. The old building shook and swayed from the powerfull music as Neil danced on the piano for "Dancing in the Streets" and the fireworks from "America" and to the tearfull farewell 3rd encore of "He ain't Heavy". I still remember to this day the looks in everyones eyes after the show and knowing they were truly moved from what they had just experienced. When we were all leaving we all felt as though we were leaving someone very special behind. My friends, sister and friends and parents and parents friends all were moved in a speachless magical,dreamlike way and after a few days to reflect there stood one thing in common.. When can we go again? That hard to describe feeling of anticipation still remains to this day som 20 yrs. later. I guess everyone on this board vividly remembers there first N.D. experience.
this is a great post. Yep you right we can all remember our Neil experience. And you are lucky you got your family to go to experience it with you. Will they be going again to Memphis with you?
thanks for sharing your early morning memories with us.
For Memphis it will be myself and my wife Gretchen and her younger brother and his girlfriend. We picked them up some months ago in W.V. and took them to the Columbus concert. I believe it was the first concert of his tour and it was also the first for Gretchen's younger brother and girlfriend both in early 20's who now love Mr. Neil. The feeling of seeing someone else understand the magic for the first few times really makes the whole experience that much better. My parents won't be going, my mom had polio when she was 19 and has to use crutches but she still managed to make the Fla. and Greek Theater in the 80's. My sister has two kids starting school so there out. But who knows they may all find a way, it is certainly worth it for our friend Neil Diamond. It was nice may I add meeting Eydie,lisa, and Kirk at the Nashville concert. We even brought our doggy 'Shilo' for, the Loew's Hotel loves dogs and linda Press pet the pup on the way out. Also haven't seen Scott Kelly since California and Orlando. It seems as though everyone is going to Memphis. That is pretty awesome.
when you know you are the one who has introduced someone to Neil's music. Well it sounds like you are going to have a great time. Am sorry to hear about your mother but hey who knows like you say they may find a way to get to Neil. ( I always believe there's a way always!) anyway I think you are right there are lots from here going to Memphis and also the Manchester one those two I am sorry to say I will miss. Sounds like a great party to meet everyone. I am going to Albany so I will meet a few from here also.
Have a great time with Neil and everybody in Memphis. Will be thinking of all you guys.
great memories. And I'm so glad you remembered the
August 23 2002, 7:38 AM
fireworks during America. Everytime I tell people he had fireworks in a closed arena they tell me I must be remembering wrong. Could never find anyone who could remember it too until you came along. Thnaks!
I was at The Sportatorium that very night .... and it was something to ‘behold’, wasn’t it? And you are so right ... that ‘barn’ was in the middle of ‘nowhere’ ... all the way out west on Highway 27, wasn’t it? Luckily, my group and I got there in time for the opening number, and I can vividly remember the place literally ‘shaking’ when Neil got on the piano and started dancing to “Dancin’ in the Streets” ... you are absolutely right ... that old ‘barn’ did shake ... the rafters were shaking, the walls were shaking and the floors were trembling from everyone stomping their feet.
The concert was looooooooooong, too ... I remember it being very close to 3 hours in length, but I could have stayed Alllllllll Night, and “He Ain’t Heavy” was awesome. And “America” was sung back then with all the patriotism that Neil sings it today ... and the smoke, pyrotechnics, flags, etc. It was all there back then.
Thank you for rekindling such a warm and terrific memory for me today ... just sorry that I didn’t know you then ...
Yes Linda V. that was a place in time we all will never forget. Probably over 3 hours of music that night in the old barn. I wonder if we will ever feel a building vibrate like that again? We all still remember in living detail. It was as though Neil did not want to leave that night. He kept coming back for encores, actually it may have been 4 including "I've Been This Way Before" I have heard later on that he had family in attendance that night just as he did for the recent Miami Concert a few months ago, and I must say after seeing him about 5 times on this tour that Columbus and Miami were pretty special.Was that your first concert Linda?
Hello, Again Shilohusky .....................................................
August 23 2002, 6:11 PM
Sorry to be responding to late, but I was out for most of the day.
Yes, I recall that day so very well .... and you are right, it was more than 3 hours of Neil and many, many encores.
But, that wasn’t my first concert ... my first concert was when Neil played the Miami/Dade Convention Center ... (I don’t remember the year, but it was definitely before The Sportatorium where I saw Neil perform there several times; in fact, every time he played the ‘barn’, I was there.)
My first Neil experience at Miami/Dade was much different than The Sportatorium .... Neil was dressed very simply that night at Miami/Dade ... black jeans and white billowy-sleeved shirt ... no spangles, no stone-studded belt .... just simple Neil and that long, wild mane of hair. I sat in the sixth row and I don’t remember if I ever took a breath once the concert started. There was an opening act then ... a comedian ... but don’t ask me who it was or what jokes he told. To me, he was an ‘annoyance’ (sorry!!) because the longer he was onstage, the longer I had to wait for Neil. But when Neil finally appeared, my heart palpitated and left my body. His music was so simple then with no flourishing orchestral music ... just Neil, his guitar and his small band. But what an enormous sound filled the auditorium that evening ... I can’t remember now which was louder ... the sound of the music or the pounding of my heart.
That was an evening to behold ... my first Neil concert and the forerunner of the wonder that was still to come ... for many, many more years and thunderous heartbeats.