Four Poor and One Good Decision Neil Diamond Made -- BankAtlantic June 1

You may not know his face or sweaty chest, but everyone knows the songs of Neil Diamond. This old crooner was quite the baja panti in his day. Hell, he remains a sex symbol for more women and men than the Biebs ever will. County Grind writer Lee Zimmerman claimed this singer and songwriter has a "polarizing effect" on fans. Perhaps that's true: You love him, you hate him, you're like, "Isn't he in the Beastie Boys?" Point is, his music is in no way actually polarizing. It's mostly middle-of-the-road pop greatness.

Come on, you've got "Forever in Blue Jeans," "Cracklin Rose," and "Solitary Man." These hits just kept coming over the years. Diamond also was a bit of a show pony in his day, with plunging necklines and sparkles galore, but seven decades on, he looks like the sleek, mature man he is. Still sexy at 71 -- quite a feat. He's on the road again, a 35-city tour that kicks off here in Fort Lauderdale. Bring the throat lozenges, ladies; you're gonna scream when you see this Diamond shine.

Sure, he's a great success, but there were about four poor decisions the singer made in his entire life and one really smart one in recent years. Take a look at what we think Diamond could have done better and what he smartly achieved.


5. Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

Oddly, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond went to Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School at the same time. They didn't know each other back then, but he probs shoulda gotten over there and hit on Barbra. It's Barbra Streisand -- nothing wrong with being her arm candy. Put a ring on it, Neil. Sure, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Anymore)" was a number-one hit in 1978, but wouldn't it have been so much more romantic if they'd been high school sweethearts?

4. Everyone Loves a Jewish Doctor

Diamond not only attended the pre-med program at NYU but he did so on a fencing scholarship. How hot is that? Yeah, yeah, he became a superfamous, wealthy musician known internationally for his creations, but we think he would have done just fine as a nice podiatrist in Brooklyn, living with Barbra, his glamorous wife.

3. Monkee Business

Is there a catchier tune than the Monkees "I'm a Believer"? It's one of the more memorable songs of all time. Turns out our boy Neil wrote it. Probably should have kept that one for himself.

2. Taxi!

Diamond almost scored the lead role as Travis Bickle in Scorsese's

Taxi Driver

. Now, certainly it wasn't his final decision to not be in the film, but as something so magnificent a possibility, wouldn't you think that he'd have bought Scorsese a bunch of roses or a nice bottle of champagne? Maybe that would have improved his chances to become one of the most iconic creeps of all time. 


1. The Sweetest Caroline
County Grind believes that Saving Silverman saved Diamond's career


Sure Bostonians have long cherished his "Sweet Caroline" song as the

Red Sox anthem, making Diamond well-loved by New Englanders. However, we

think this was the thang that kept the 71-year-old in the spotlight. Saving Silverman? Saving Neil Diamond.

Neil Diamond at BankAtlantic Center on Friday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Visit Ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $47 to $134.75 with fees.

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