Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Neil Diamond Fucking Rules. James Taylor Should've Stayed on Dope.

Watching the Kennedy Center Honors. The inimitable Neil Diamond is being honored tonight for his contributions as a singer/songwriter. Neil's a fucking American institution. A true original. A classic. He's aged well, sells out stadiums in minutes to this day, and has a catalog of hits that rivals that of any American songwriters and we're STILL talking about him, watching him live, and marveling in his Neilness after all these years. There's literally nobody my age that I know personally who doesn't categorically love Neil Diamond.

Two people on this planet love Neil Diamond more than anything on earth other than our children: me and Steven Drozd. We wear Neil t-shirts. We tweet to Neil on Twitter in the unlikely event Neil will tweet back to us. (Steven admittedly has a better chance of getting a tweet back since he's famous and I'm not.) Neil asks Twitter fans to submit jokes he can tell his grandchildren and we wrack our brains coming up with jokes to tweet to Neil. We obsessively talk about him like giddy schoolgirls.

About time he was honored properly by the Kennedy Center and inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Way overdue.

My Tatus can't understand how I can have such awesome taste in music and love Neil Diamond so much. To that I say, "It's Neil Fucking Diamond! He fucking rules!" which my Tatus doesn't understand at all. He knows I have an eclectic taste in music to put it mildly, but thinks that Neil just sucks. He cringes at Boston ball games when the whole crowd breaks out into "Sweet Caroline," though he did let us leave it on the radio the last time we rode together in the car, and I think he actually started singing along. (This was after I told him Caroline was my middle name and that my parents used to play this song for me all the time. Great, now every time he hears a baseball crowd go "Bum, Bum, Bum," he'll think of me. Just great!)

I found the following hauntingly beautiful version of Neil Diamond doing "Solitary Man," one of my favorite songs, on YouTube.


Tatus' missus loves James Taylor. He was also on the Kennedy Center Honors tonight, in an abomination of clashing vomitrotious, almost incandescent lightning rods of drivel. Taylor's performance was a cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," written by my favorite musician of all time, George Harrison. Taylor was the first American artist to be signed to The Beatles' Apple Records label in the late 60's, because McCartney thought he had promise as a songwriter, so I suppose he feels he has some right to perform "...Sun" on national television in 2011.

James Taylor, though, has no soul. Nothing stands out about him. He used to be just a hippie little fucking pansy guitar player/singer-songwriter writing lame tunes about lame things--he couldn't even evoke emotion about heroin addiction in "Fire and Rain." "You've Got a Friend" wasn't even written by him; it was written by Carole King (who's also equally lame). Neil Diamond gets up and dances and plays guitar and has groovy moves and woos the ladies. James Taylor can't even get off a fucking stool as the lighting crew attempts to cover up his enormous bald spot. The only song I can stand by him is a duet with JD Souther, "Her Town Too," about his divorce from Carly Simon (who's also pretty lame). He got clean eventually, dropping heroin and methadone, but in this writer's humble opinion, he might have a shot at having a soul if he had just stayed on smack, and you know that I don't advocate drug use for ANYONE, as both Drozd and I are recovering narcotics addicts ourselves. Except James Taylor. I think in this video, it's a smackdown of smack-ups, as both Taylor and Souther were still on H. Souther can barely sit up.



The best tribute to Neil Diamond was my friend Steven Drozd's project, "Hot Coffee and Mornin' Lovin'" by his Neil Diamond tribute duo, You in Me, with Allan Novey, karaoke sensation and Diamond imitator extraordinaire. It's an original composition, not a Neil Diamond cover. A pastiche. It's comical, dead-on, and plus Steven looks really awesome in the video:


Neil Diamond will stand the test of time. He will always be adored by sold-out crowds full of fans like me, Steven and my Ma, while James Taylor will be relegated to playing to wine-drinking, cheese-eating crowds of oldsters at Ravinia until he's on the cover of AARP magazine next to an article heading about Medicare donut holes.





2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice language. You have no clue what you're talking about. Go to a James Taylor concert and see all the GENERATIONS of fans he has- the fact that he tamed his addictions and continues to be popular says an awful lot about the man. Neil diamond attracts the Lawrence Welk crowd and that's it.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Well, thank the fucking hell out of you, asshole. My vernacular colloquialisms are seldom, if ever, criticized and if you are a regular reader, you'll find expletives intelligently iterated throughout, but oh my, your virgin ears! Refreshing, if nothing else.

"Popular" is not equal to "legendary." Taylor's not popular anymore, unless you're into like Peabo Bryson too.

Taylor barely squeezes enough into suburban Chicago's Ravinia. Neil outsells the mammoth United Center every time. Talk about generations!

As for the Lawrence Welk crowd, it takes a high appreciation for utter schmaltz, completely not taking it seriously and laughing uproariously. If you think you're insulting me, you missed the ball, muchacho/muchacha.

Especially if you're my love interest's missus.