The Neil Diamond Dream Interview – Love On The Rocks /”I don’t listen to music when I’m sad”

Generation Bewitched / harmonic-speed / Mathematical Psychology / The Speed Of Ritual / Timing

Last night I dreamed in an interview format.

I liked the interview, imaginary though it is, better than any discussion I could add to Neil Diamond’s classic LOVE ON THE ROCKS.

This is all a dream, transcribed:

Love On The Rocks

Love On The Rocks Matherton tempo diagram

Me- Neil, when you wrote the classic 1970s love ballad Love On The Rocks, tell us man, was that a true story, a play on a true story, or was it a song made especially for the movie the Jazz Singer”?

Neil- How about all three? [chuckles] Seriously, that was a song I wrote after a true break up. Many of my fans, as you know, ask me that question, and no, I will not say which actress I am talking about.  See, right there, yes, the song was about a breakup with an actress I had dated 10 years before.  My heart was broken at the time, dude.

Me- It does not sound like a down and out ‘Whoa is me’ ego-crushing love admission. 

Neil- Ah. Funny you should say that because after she had dumped me – like, this woman crushed me like a grape man.  And it’s not like I wasn’t still beating back women of all kinds with a proverbial baseball bat – guess that brings up scenes of domestic violence these days – but in modern parlance, when the woman who savagely destroyed my ego who I sing about in Rocks, well, you should have heard the stuff I was writing around the time.

love-on-the-rocks-neil-diamond-tempo-diagram-77459 copy.pdf

Me- Can you give me an example, or us, you don’t mind of I publish this, do you?

Neil- Publish away! Jesus, with this streaming, I need all the hype I can get! [laughs] I wrote Rocks only *after* getting into a pretty solid, well, solid for Neil D, and that’s pure monogamy of over a year.  I was finally happy and I wrote Rocks, which is a song I had to sing as though I were a little sad – when I was happy! [chuckles] Wrote that song for my nephew Morty Diamond after he got dumped by a woman and felt that pain: broken heartedness that is way more intense than any love stuff that may have been going on.

Me- Did it help your nephew?

Neil- Oh, not at all. That was a huge mistake on my part. There I am, Mr. Big, Mr. Diamond, telling him how to feel, just get over his woman and get a new one.

Me- What is wrong with that?

Neil D- Simple, and this is not bragging – my shows had 3, 4 hundred women back stage, and that was with my wife’s permission right through the 1993 tour. And I’m singing to Morty, Love On The Rocks was one of my most memorable ballads, sorta earned nothing but scorn from Morty who didn’t have thousands of woman to pick from on any night! [hard laughter]

Me- What is your favorite line from that song?

Neil- I dig that question. In this song we’re talking: Bridge.  I am truly proud of the section, “First they say they want you, plead how they really need you, suddenly you find you’re out there, walking in a storm! And when they really have you, then they really have you, nothing you can do or say, you’ve gotta leave just get away, we all know the song!” That is a lesson to me, really – my fans tell me: “Neil D, we listen to LOTR when we are happy, not sad.”

Me- What happens if you listen to this song when you’re sad?

Neil- I don’t believe in listening to music when you’re sad. Now that I’m over 40, I can admit that when I’m sad, I watch tv, call an old friend, whatever, then if I’m out of a sad mood, then music. On tour, of my rare moods of sadness on stage – and I’m blessed that way – I am one happy man on stage, always have been – ask any musician who tells you otherwise and they disagree?  You tell them to call Neil D! We musicians are musicians for that purpose! We are almost always happy on stage – even when our ‘loves on the rocks’, if you excuse the double use.

Me- Not at all.  Thank you, Neil. 

Neil- Thank you. And keep your love hot like coffee, heck, iced coffee is okay, but when you need good coffee like good love, it is always good when it’s hot.

Me- That sounds like a new song right there!

Neil – [grabs a guitar]

Then I woke up.

The Author

Attorney/musician. Recovering from a brain aneurysm.