The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 118, Ed. 1 Sunday, February 29, 1976 Page: 32 of 38
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■ . i
human beings—rhythm. The lyrics
aren’t simple^ either. They’re extremely
difficult because I’m trying to say com-
plicated things in as few words as pos-
sible. “Song Sung Blue” took a lot of
compressing and refining, and it has
one of my favorite lyrics. It says some-
thing that’s true—about melancholy
being part of the human spirit—and it’s
concise. “I Am ... I Said” is a different
kind of lyric, and it was agonizing and
personal' to write. I spent four months
FW: A lot of people have commented
on the gospel sound in your songs.
DIAMOND: Well, I loved singing in the
chorus, and there was some connection
for me between gospel and choral
music. But I had one experience that
had quite an influence on me. I went up
to a church in Harlem and sat in for
the service to hear the singing. It was
extraordinary, raw and powerful; it
made my hair stand up.
FW: After those Broadway concerts,
you temporarily retired from live per-
forming to write a symphony. Did the
job of writing the “Jonathan Livingston
Seagull” score postpone that?
DIAMOND: I guess 1 satisfied the urge
I had by writing that score, at least
temporarily. It took a whole year of my
life and was very involving. After
doing it, I felt Td now like to do some-
thing simpler. 1
FW: I understand you did considerable
delving into religious tracts while you
were working on the "Seagull” score.
DIAMOND: That’s right. By chance a
Hare Krishna kid came knocking on
my door about then, wanting to give
me literature and such. I invited him in.
We talked for a while, and I asked him
to read the script and tell nje what he
thought of it, had him make notes on
I it. I wound up working with him about
six weeks—put him up in an apartment,
rented him a car—until I reached the
point where I had to work alone on it.
He wanted me to go off with him to
India and sit in a cave. I said that
sounded great and I’d love to, but now
1 had to write this thing. I gave him a
plane ticket, and be went while I settled
down to pull it all together.
FW: It doesn’t sound as if you miss
performing as much as you would miss
DIAMOND: Songwriting is what 1 do.
Perforating is the easiest part of what
1 do, and songwriting is the hairiest.
Songs are so all-encompassing; they’re
the joys and sorrows and pacing of life
Songwriting is the only real discipline
I've bad in my whole life—that’s why I
hate it so much; I don’t like imposing
that kind of discipline on myself, but it
has to be. Songs are life in
80 words or less.
What are you going to do
“Songwriting is the onl^
discipline I’ve had in r)ny
whole life—that’s why
I hate it so much.”
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Many people are against cigarettes. You’ve heard their arguments.
And even though were in the business of selling cigarettes, were not
going to advance arguments in favor of smoking.
We simply want to discuss one irrefutable fact.
A lot of people are still smoking cigarettes. In’all likelihood, they’ll
continue to smoke cigarettes and nothing anybody has said or is likely to say
is going to change their minds. - i
X 1 . /• . 1 i. -* 1 . it
is the kind of thing I might want to
turn into a film.
FW: Could that—the glamour of Broad-
way, die glitter of uptown—could that
be the other side of growing up in
DIAMOND: Well, subconsciously, who
knows? But as a kid, I never saw my-
self as a performer or star or anything.
I went to one Broadway show ha my
life. It was songwriting that I con-
' sciously wanted to do, always song-
writing—you got your jotiies if you
!, wrote one good line a day. I still iden-
i tify myself as a songwriter.
I FW: Do you view writing as a way of
j leaving your mark on the world, a way
; at achieving a kind of immortality?
DIAMOND: There may be some of that
subconsciously, but the way I think
about it is that I have three little kids
(two daughters, Marjorie, 9, and Eiyn,
7, by his firs* wife and his son Jesse, 5,
by Marsha, his second wife], and I may
be leaving something by which they
can know who their father was. I’m
' not sure Stephen Foster is any happier
in his casket now that he’s “immortal.”
He was poor and ragged when he died,
Now, if you’re one of these cigarette smokers, what are you going to do
about it? You may continue to smoke your present brand With all the enjoy-
ment and pleasure you get from smoking it. Or, if‘tar’ and nicotine has become
a concern to you, you may consider changing to a cigarette like Vantage.
(Of course, there is no other cigarette quite like Vantage.)
Vantage has a unique filter that allows rich flavor to j
come through it and yet substantially cuts down on ‘tar’
and nicotine. jUr
We want to be frank. Vantage is not the lowest ‘tar’ IbImV
and nicotine cigarette you can buy. But it may well be •
the lowest ‘tar’ and nicotine cigarette you will
enjoy smoking. ^ Q7i&ti
Vantage. Its the only cigarette that gives you
so much taste with so little ‘tar’ and nicotine. jg? / k
y We suggest you try a pack. *** fpl
Warning.- The Surgeon General Has Determined
That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health.
DO YOU WANT A DREAM FIGURE ?
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Brown, Leon. The Baytown Sun (Baytown, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 118, Ed. 1 Sunday, February 29, 1976, newspaper, February 29, 1976; Baytown, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1062076/m1/32/?q=Neil%20Diamond: accessed October 21, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Sterling Municipal Library.