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Diamond Defenders

July 09, 1989

So, while all the pundits are busy pondering the reasons behind the "phenomenon" of Neil Diamond's concert success ("The $30-Million Paradox" by Robert Hilburn, June 25), can this diehard fan offer an opinion? It's as simple as this: The man does what he does extremely well.

He keeps his promise to the people--he never plays down to his audience, he loves us, we love him, he works hard, he enjoys himself and seems real happy to share his considerable talent. He is as honest as his music. He sings about our feelings and we respond. He's never looked or sounded better and for those of us who have been with him through the years and are beginning to come to terms with the fact that we're growing older, Neil offers the hope that perhaps these are the best years of our lives.

Last night, I would swear I heard the sound of bones creaking as he brought an audience (the majority of whom hadn't gotten off their behinds at a concert in ages) to their feet time and again. We sang, we swayed, we clapped, we even stomped! And for two hours we were united in another time and place.

Maybe it was our mid-life Woodstock. Who knows, who cares. We all felt better and there isn't much going on these days that can make you feel that good for such a relatively small price. So give the guy a break. He writes great songs, He sings them beautifully. Relax, enjoy it.

CAROLE JOHNSON

Malibu

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