I have a special fondness for Neil Diamond.  

I know that is uncommon for many girls my age.  It all dates back to my childhood when every summer and spring break my family would pack in the old gray van and journey to either Wichita Falls, Texas to Aunt Jo’s farm or Albuquerque, NM to see the grandparents.  We went a lot (which is the reason I didn’t see the ocean till a 5th grade field trip to Cumberland Island) and in the many hours that it takes to get from Kentucky or Georgia to Texas or New Mexico we had about five tapes that we played (this was way before ipods or even walkmans). 

Our rotation included:

Andy Williams

 Sandi Patti

the “Crusin’ Classics” oldies tapes you got from the Shell gas station (which I was thrilled to find a picture of and a song list of each one at this person’s blog)

and Neil Diamond. 

I have so many memories of riding in the van down the highway in the middle of nowhere Texas, watching the oil rigs go by with “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” and “Sweet Caroline” blasting from the stereo.  Thanks to those trips I know and love Neil Diamond. 

Then I read an article today saying he did this:

 Ailing singer pledges refunds

Neil Diamond’s offer called ‘unprecedented’

Wednesday,  August 27, 2008 3:24 AM

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

After a subpar performance Monday night in Value City Arena, Neil Diamond yesterday apologized and offered refunds to the 11,000 people who attended the concert.

 

Diamond, whose voice was extremely hoarse throughout the show, said yesterday that he is suffering from acute laryngitis. Ordered by doctors to rest his voice, he canceled his two other shows this week — today in Green Bay, Wis., and Friday in St. Louis.

Some industry veterans said they’d never heard of a performer offering refunds because of the quality of the show.

Tracy Tucker, former executive director of Germain Amphitheater, couldn’t recall giving a refund for such a reason in the 14 years of the amphitheater.

“The only time we issued refunds was when an advertised act did not play, for some reason,” she said.

A throat ailment for a singer isn’t unusual, especially for someone such as Diamond, who is 67 and performing three times a week on a lengthy tour.

 

How awesome is that?  He willingly refunded 11,000 tickets to his concert because he wasn’t happy with his performance.  The best part was what he wrote in a statement after his decision to do this:

Dear Fans in Columbus,” the singer said in a statement, “I haven’t let you down before, and I won’t let you down now. Until you hear from me again remember, You are the sun. I am the moon. You are the words. I am the tune. Forgive me. I love you. Neil.

I forgive you Neil.

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