Ethics Hero: Neil Diamond


Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox

The pop singer whose ear-worm of a 60’s hit, “Sweet Caroline,” inexplicably became a Fenway Park crowd sing-along tradition made a surprise appearance at the Red Sox-Royals game this afternoon, apparently voluntarily and at his own expense, to contribute to the festivities as Boston celebrated the end of a violent and frightening week. The song has been played at other ballparks in recent days, even at Yankee Stadium, in a show of solidarity with the besieged city and its residents.

Neil Diamond flew to Boston and contacted the Red Sox slightly before game time, saying he was eager to sing along with himself in the seventh inning. Surprised club officials assented. So he wandered out onto the field, looking paunchy, old and happy, and sang into a microphone while his ancient record played—since this was all impromptu, there was no other accompaniment available. And the crowd loved it: you can watch and listen here.

Unlike David Ortiz, Diamond didn’t have to resort to obscenity to give his appearance emphasis. He gave an unsolicited  gift to Boston and Red Sox fans, lending his talents to the celebration without compensation because it was a caring and classy thing to do. It didn’t matter that singing along with his 44 years younger self was hardly flattering, or that the sound was lousy, or even that “Sweet Caroline” is hardly Gershwin or even Billy Joel (I always preferred “Cracklin’ Rosie,” myself).  A big, wealthy recording star simply helped the city’s  healing along by a generous gesture when there was nothing in it for him.

Neil Diamond is a good guy.


15 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Neil Diamond

  1. I was involved in the construction of the Aladdin Hotel’s new performing arts center which Mr. Diamond opened as the top pf the bill and it was a last minute rush to get everything working. While he rehearsed the troops all toiled away on the last minute installations. Under a lot of pressure he was a gentleman then as well.

  2. “Sweet Caroline” is a very popular song with one segment of my family. I like that it’s kept popular at Fenway. I like many of Neil Diamond’s songs, but I don’t get the connection of his lyrics to a childhood photo of Caroline Kennedy; what was he thinking, with his allusions to all that “touching?” Despite liking the song, that thought always gives me an initial “Ick!” twitch.

    For the rest of my family – at least, the poor souls who root for the Houston Astros – I just don’t have the heart to recommend that the music meister at Minute Maid Park replace “Deep in the Heart of Texas” with the more fitting, Creedence Clearwater’s “Bad Moon Rising.” (I enjoy that song’s ironic major chords and Bojangles-dance rhythm – very Zydeco, actually.)

  3. Neil Diamond is just pure class and it would be nice if other entertainers were as classy as he is…just maybe the world’s music would be full of more “ahhh’s”….

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