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Neil Diamond's offer called 'unprecedented'
Columbus Dispatch [OH] ^ | 8/27/08 | Aaron Beck

Posted on 08/28/2008 6:39:50 AM PDT by Huntress

After a subpar performance Monday night in Value City Arena, Neil Diamond yesterday apologized and offered refunds to the 11,000 people who attended the concert.

"Dear Fans in Columbus," the singer said in a statement, "I haven't let you down before, and I won't let you down now. Until you hear from me again remember, You are the sun. I am the moon. You are the words. I am the tune. Forgive me. I love you. Neil."

Diamond, whose voice was extremely hoarse throughout the show, said yesterday that he is suffering from acute laryngitis. Ordered by doctors to rest his voice, he canceled his two other shows this week -- today in Green Bay, Wis., and Friday in St. Louis.

Some industry veterans said they'd never heard of a performer offering refunds because of the quality of the show.

Tracy Tucker, former executive director of Germain Amphitheater, couldn't recall giving a refund for such a reason in the 14 years of the amphitheater.

"The only time we issued refunds was when an advertised act did not play, for some reason," she said.

A throat ailment for a singer isn't unusual, especially for someone such as Diamond, who is 67 and performing three times a week on a lengthy tour.

Still, some fans, who paid $19.50 to $120 per ticket, wondered why he went on with the show if he could barely talk, let alone sing.

When Diamond took the stage, it became immediately apparent that his voice had been reduced to a harsh rasp.

"The first five minutes were very painful," said Sharon Moitis, 66, of Galena. "It was just very sad. I got tears in my eyes when he was struggling on Solitary Man. It was a poignant song to be singing because he was indeed a solitary man."

Many fans left the show early, some demanding their money back. Value City offered some departing fans tickets for Celine Dion's Sept. 22 show in exchange for their Diamond seats.

Marci Stitzlein, who attended the show with a friend, left after the fourth song. She said issuing a refund was the least Diamond could do.

"I sing, myself, on the side, so I understand the whole thing of wanting to not let the fans down," said Stitzlein, 44. "But this was a bigger disappointment for him to have tried to do the show, knowing how sick he was."

Janene Bushey, who is 53 and has seen Diamond 14 times, said, "I about fainted when he came out and said, 'Hello, Columbus,' because I knew something was wrong."

"It was painful," Bushey added. "My heart ached for him. It was painful for him and me both."

The refund, she said, "is fine, but I would have been thrilled to have another concert."

PromoWest Productions President Scott Stienecker, who books shows in Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, also said he's never heard of a performer offering refunds for a poor performance.

"It's unfortunate, but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. I've sat through Vince Neil falling-down drunk before. I've sat through Bob Dylan not even acknowledging that there was a crowd.

"It's unfortunate, but (Diamond) made it, he was here ready, willing and able."

That's slight consolation for fans such as Roger Moody, of Westerville.

Moody, 65, bought eight tickets with a face value of $120 each to take his wife, children and grandchildren.

"If it had just been me and my wife, I'd have gotten up and left," said Moody, who stayed for the duration of the show.

"I didn't know whether to feel sorry for the guy or appreciate that he gave it a try, but he should have known that that was so far off-base."

Like many of the more than 100 people who called The Dispatch and left comments at Dispatch.com, Moody left the show wondering why Diamond didn't acknowledge his ailing voice during the concert.

Diamond issuing refunds, however, left Moody "utterly flabbergasted."

"In all due respect," he said, "if anybody was going to do it, I would think that this gentleman would."

Others said they enjoyed the show and admired Diamond for going on with it.

"I loved it," said Carolyn Wilkins, 64, of Clintonville. "I recognized that his voice was a little raspy, but it was a gift to be there. In my book, he did great, especially knowing that he was not feeling well. He's my inspiration."

Will she take the Jazz Singer up on his refund offer?

"I don't think so," Wilkins said before pausing.

"Well, I'll mull it tonight."

abeck@dispatch.com


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: neildiamond
I find this to be quite a classy gesture by Mr. Diamond.
1 posted on 08/28/2008 6:39:50 AM PDT by Huntress
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To: Huntress

Yeah; I don’t think much of Diamond, but this is a classy move. Integrity.


2 posted on 08/28/2008 6:41:18 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: BibChr

I loved his music back in the day but thought him a bit of a sleaze. Nice he gave back customers’ money.


3 posted on 08/28/2008 6:44:07 AM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: Huntress

Also not a Diamond ‘fan’ but one has to respect his skills as a writer. This demonstrates that the gentlemen has a high level of integrety, one rarely scene in a ‘superstar’.


4 posted on 08/28/2008 6:44:18 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: Huntress

I’ve never much liked his music, but this is an act that demonstrates real integrity, and character.


5 posted on 08/28/2008 6:44:39 AM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: Huntress
Also not a Diamond ‘fan’ but one has to respect his skills as a writer. This demonstrates that the gentlemen has a high level of integrity, one rarely scene in a ‘superstar’.
6 posted on 08/28/2008 6:45:19 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: Huntress
Class act. Good for Neil.

(Now, can I get a refund for "The Jazz Singer"?) :-)

7 posted on 08/28/2008 6:49:45 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: BibChr; Huntress

He is a class guy. His album ‘Hot August Night’ is one of the best ever recorded...whether you’re a ‘Neil Diamond’ fan or not. It ranks among the best. If I remember correctly, its a live album recorded at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles...outside...on a hot August night. Yes, recorded in 1972. Classic album.


8 posted on 08/28/2008 6:50:22 AM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: Huntress

I saw him on some morning show when he first kicked off this come back tour of his and he sounded HORRIBLE! I don’t know if he looked worse or sounded worse. He looked and sounded exactly like what he was, an old man trying to recapture his youth. If I’d have been inclined to buy a ticket before that “performance” I would have quickly changed my mind (and I’ve never been a fan so I wouldn’t have gone anyway). My point is, that I’m surprized he actually went through with it, that his handlers didn’t talk him out of it; it was embarrassing.


9 posted on 08/28/2008 6:52:05 AM PDT by FrdmLvr
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To: Huntress
I see. So, what you're saying is that even though you are an almost-paralyzed, multiphobic personality who is in a constant state of panic, your wife did not leave you, you left her because she... liked Neil Diamond?
"What About Bob?" (1991)

Good move, BTW, on Neil's part.

10 posted on 08/28/2008 6:54:20 AM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: Huntress

Mr. Diamond is a gem.


11 posted on 08/28/2008 6:55:52 AM PDT by numberonepal (Don't Even Think About Treading On Me)
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To: Huntress

Anyone who bought tickets to see this creep who admitted to fantasizing about Caroline Kennedy when she was 5 years old, deserves a bad show. He has always has too much “bravado” in his singing voice to be taken seriously by anyone but himself. If you look up conceit in the dictionary, his picture should be there to clarify the definition.


12 posted on 08/28/2008 6:56:53 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Huntress

Laryngitis or not-—time to retire.

Senior rockers look and sound ridiculous.


13 posted on 08/28/2008 7:00:53 AM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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To: Dixie Yooper

When I think of Neil Diamond I think of that movie “The Jazz Singer”. Jazz singer, yea right. Cheese ball goof more like it. Anyway, good for him to return the money.


14 posted on 08/28/2008 7:02:23 AM PDT by stevio (Crunchy Con - God, guns, guts, and organically grown crunchy nuts.)
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To: numberonepal

WE enjoyed the NYC show.


15 posted on 08/28/2008 7:12:23 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus (( commander of the simian host))
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To: Veto!
I loved his music back in the day but thought him a bit of a sleaze.

Why do you think he's a sleaze? Really curious.

16 posted on 08/28/2008 7:28:57 AM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
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To: Larry Lucido
Class act. Good for Neil

If I recall correctly, real class.

When his wife divorced him, he directed his attorney to give her 50%. It was his bad that caused the split.

His demand? That the family still spends holidays together.

No time to locate the source I read it on...off to work.

17 posted on 08/28/2008 7:45:43 AM PDT by wanderin
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To: Dixie Yooper

hahahaha, it’s so true. What a weirdo for his infatuation for a child. Sick!


18 posted on 08/28/2008 7:46:14 AM PDT by Reagan79 (Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys)
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To: stevio

Cool name too. I am a Southerner who now lives in Grand Rapids.


19 posted on 08/28/2008 7:47:45 AM PDT by Reagan79 (Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys)
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To: eleni121
Senior rockers look and sound ridiculous.

Neil Diamond a "rocker"? Who knew?

20 posted on 08/28/2008 7:47:46 AM PDT by dfwgator (Thank God Football is Back! Go Gators!)
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To: Huntress

Some entertainers are impervious to the stains of their politics and lifestyle. Neil Diamond, IMO, is one of them.

True class and respect always shine through. With this act of self contrition, his star shines even brighter.


21 posted on 08/28/2008 7:54:34 AM PDT by papasmurf (This space left blank intentionly.)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Anyone who bought tickets to see this creep who admitted to fantasizing about Caroline Kennedy when she was 5 years old,

That's not what he said. You're reading way too much into his comments about Caroline.

22 posted on 08/28/2008 7:54:38 AM PDT by ConfusedAndLovingIt
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To: Huntress

Diamond has a new song out that I love! Here are the lyrics.

Pretty amazing grace is what you showed me
Pretty amazing grace is who you are
I was an empty vessel
You filled me up inside
And with amazing grace
Restored my pride.

Pretty amazing grace is how you saved me
And with amazing grace, reclaimed my heart
Love in the midst of chaos
Calm in the heat of war
Showed with amazing grace
What love was for.

You forgave my insensitivity
And my attempt to then mislead you
You stood beside a wretch like me
And pretty amazing grace was all I needed.

Stumbled inside the doorway of your chapel
Humbled and awed by everything I found
Beauty and love surround me
Freed me from what I feared
Asked for amazing grace
And you appeared.

You overcame my loss of hope and faith
Gave me a truth I could believe in
You led me to a higher place
Showed your amazing grace
When grace was what I needed.

Look in a mirror I see your refection
Open a book you live on every page
I fall and you’re there to lift me
You share every road I climb
And with amazing grace
You ease my mind.

I came to you with empty pockets first
When I returned I was a rich man
Didn’t believe love could quench my thirst
But with amazing grace, you showed me that it can.

In your amazing grace I had a vision
From that amazing place, I came to be
Into the night I wandered, wandering aimlessly
Found your amazing grace to comfort me.

Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing
Pretty amazing

You overcame my loss of hope and faith
Gave me a truth I could believe in
You led me to that higher place
Showed me that love, and truth, and hope, and grace
Were all I needed.


23 posted on 08/28/2008 7:59:49 AM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Anyone who bought tickets to see this creep who admitted to fantasizing about Caroline Kennedy when she was 5 years old,...

Only a person with a filthy mindset and an evil stripe in their heart would come up with something like that.

This is his exact quote:"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Disgusting.
24 posted on 08/28/2008 8:04:00 AM PDT by papasmurf (This space left blank intentionly.)
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To: Huntress

Neal Diamond has been sounding raspy lately. Hope he’s ok...


25 posted on 08/28/2008 8:08:34 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Reagan79

You may have meant your reply for someone else.


26 posted on 08/28/2008 8:11:09 AM PDT by stevio (Crunchy Con - God, guns, guts, and organically grown crunchy nuts.)
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To: eleni121
"retire"

If people want to go listen to these performers, why should you care? What do you think the people who constitute Neil Diamond's audience (and it wouldn't be me) should do? Go see Nine Inch Snails or Ludicrap?

27 posted on 08/28/2008 8:22:19 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: raybbr

I saw a video of a concert in which he pulled a very pretty girl up to the stage, got down on the floor, and started kissing her “passionately” on the mouth. She pulled away, aghast.

Here comes the really sleazy part: He looked surprised, and said “Don’t you know how great my kisses are? I’m the greatest. You should be honored” Not an exact quote. Something like that, actually even worse.

Is that not creepy?


28 posted on 08/28/2008 8:38:25 AM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: ConfusedAndLovingIt
That's not what he said. You're reading way too much into his comments about Caroline

What he said is that the song was about Caroline Kennedy. The lyrics to the song tell what he was thinking. I realize he was just trying to ingratiate himself in her presence when he said that, but to forget what his biggest hit song was about and say something that stupid is so Neil Diamond or schmuck'ish.

29 posted on 08/28/2008 8:42:45 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Dixie Yooper
... but to forget what his biggest hit song was about and say something that stupid is so Neil Diamond or schmuck'ish.

I won't argue with you there. No matter what you think about Neil, he doesn't deserve to be labeled a pedophile from a single ambiguous comment.

30 posted on 08/28/2008 8:51:52 AM PDT by ConfusedAndLovingIt
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To: papasmurf
This is his exact quote:"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Lyrics to Sweet Caroline(5 years old) Where it began, I can't begin to know when

But then I know it's growing strong

Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo

And spring became the summer

Who'd believe you'd come along

Hands, touching hands, reaching out

Touching me, touching you

Oh, sweet Caroline

Good times never seem so good

I've been inclined to believe it never would

And now I, I look at the night, whooo

And it don't seem so lonely

We fill it up with only two, oh

And when I hurt

Hurting runs off my shoulder

How can I hurt when holding you

Oh, one, touching one, reaching out

Touching me, touching you

Oh, sweet Caroline

Good times never seem so good

Oh I've been inclined to believe it never would

31 posted on 08/28/2008 8:52:35 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Veto!

Ego out of control!! Sounds like something Barocker Obambo would do if that big goon of a wife wasn’t around to turn him into pusilanimous pudding.


32 posted on 08/28/2008 8:54:03 AM PDT by Dionysius
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To: Huntress
When Diamond took the stage, it became immediately apparent that his voice had been reduced to a harsh rasp.

I've always liked Diamond but he should have retired a number of years ago when he lost his singing voice and then stayed retired..........

33 posted on 08/28/2008 9:02:58 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco
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To: Dixie Yooper

Like I said, a filthy mind.

I feel like that when I think of holding my Daughters when they were young, what Father wouldn’t?

Take the filth and politics out of your mind for a minute.

Those were good times for our Country, and the image of the Kennedy’s, a beautiful young couple, in the White House, and of that sweet little girl frolicking on the lawn. It was a metaphor for all that is right and good and full of hope for our future.

How old are you, anyway?


34 posted on 08/28/2008 9:15:49 AM PDT by papasmurf (This space left blank intentionly.)
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To: papasmurf
How old are you, anyway?

51, and I have a 5 year old daughter.

35 posted on 08/28/2008 9:47:27 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Dixie Yooper

Amazing that you can be that age and still think in those terms.

I feel sorry for you.


36 posted on 08/28/2008 10:50:37 AM PDT by papasmurf (This space left blank intentionly.)
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To: BibChr
Hehehehehe...I'm giddy

A Neil News day is a good day to me!!!

37 posted on 08/28/2008 12:19:38 PM PDT by grellis (Neil Diamond rocks!!!)
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To: papasmurf
I'm not too old (39), I have young kids, and I totally understand what you are saying.

I do a lot of creative writing. The road between inspiration and product is very often long and full of twists and turns. Too much is being read into this.

38 posted on 08/28/2008 12:25:42 PM PDT by grellis (Neil Diamond rocks!!!)
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To: grellis

I just cannot keep that in my mind about you. I think too well of you.

Otherwise.


39 posted on 08/28/2008 12:42:16 PM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: colorcountry

Beautiful poem. Grace is what we all need.


40 posted on 08/28/2008 4:39:59 PM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: dfwgator

Well no kidding!

I was making a general point about the rand r generation (still alive) who won’t quit...Diamond is not R and R...but he’s a part of that silly generation.


41 posted on 08/28/2008 6:03:43 PM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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To: driftless2

If people want to go listen to these performers, why should you care?


Didn’t say I did...

You won’t get an argument from me.

There is one act I would love to have seen and that is Brian Wilson...but that is Brian Wilson FGS...not Diamond- the vegas wannabe act.

I know Wilson sounds horrible but it would a cultural experience...like going to a gallery to see a Renoir exhibit...


42 posted on 08/28/2008 6:10:07 PM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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To: Huntress
I grew up in Brooklyn as did Mr. Diamond, and where we come from this kind of behavior would earn him the descriptor Mensch (German/Yiddish for "human" or "man" but with the nuanced meaning of "decent" or "good man").
43 posted on 08/28/2008 6:14:04 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: BibChr
You know, oddly enough, it all goes back to when I was pregnant with Josh...I didn't have any weird food cravings, I had weird music cravings. Big deal for me. Music is a huge part of my life. During that pregnancy, I went out and bought cds by Diamond, Carly Simon, Carole King, et al--singer/songwriters, essentially, that I could never bear to listen to previously. I grew up detesting Neil Diamond, in fact.

Silly hormones!

Well, back to the veepstakes

44 posted on 08/29/2008 6:35:16 AM PDT by grellis (Neil Diamond rocks!!!)
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To: grellis

Well, thank God Valerie only craved pepperoni pizza and cheesecake for the last two babies.


45 posted on 08/29/2008 7:03:14 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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