Interview with Neil Diamond
Andrew Denton : I know Elvis covered 'Sweet Caroline' on stage.
Did you ever get the chance to see it?
Neil Diamond : I never saw Elvis perform 'Sweet Caroline'. I did see him perform live in Vegas, I had never seen him before. You know, he was Elvis Presley and I was awed. He was an amazing, amazing live performer.
He was electric and he was wonderful and halfway through his show, he introduced me. I was in the audience and he introduced me and it's like worshipping a god and that god is saying, 'Oh, stand up. I like this person. World, why don't you meet him?' My God. So I stood up and the audience started to cheer and they started to say, 'Get up on stage. You know, sing together'. No, I couldn't possibly. It's - and he saw I was uncomfortable with it. He said, 'Well, he's on holiday now, so leave him alone. Let him enjoy the show'. And they did.
Andrew Denton : Does a part of you regret that you didn't take that opportunity to hop up and sing with Elvis?
Neil Diamond : You know I thought about it over the years, what would I do, what songs would we do, and it's not a good idea to come up and sing with another performer when it's their show and it's their band, I do know that. And I'm glad I didn't, because I don't think it would have been a good idea to touch that, you know, the hem of the god. He was amazing. He was warm and very generous to me, and I think it's best left at that.
Elvis recorded two Neil Diamond songs, 'Sweet Caroline' live in concert - the recording was included on the 1970 'On Stage' album - as well as 'And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind' at American Sound Studios in 1969, [For which Neil's scheduled sessions were cancelled to fit Elvis in] the song was included on 'Back In Memphis'.
Interview with Neil Diamond by Andrew Denton : August 16, 2004.