I was just Neil and I did what I was supposed to do. I didn’t have a clue who I was.” Nor, it seems, did Marcia.
Rubin made Diamond sit down and re-listen to his melancholic Sixties hits – Solitary Man, Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, and Red Red Wine – and work out what was good about them.
Both albums became huge hits, taking Diamond to the top of both the US and British charts for the first time in decades.
He found the eventual divorce not only costly – a reported 0 million, one of the most expensive settlements in legal history – but bewildering.
“I need to be with a woman who understands my work ethic and is secure enough not to be threatened by it,” he said.
“Writing a song,” he says, “is like digging a ditch.
You constantly have to dig deeper, until you strike the vein, until you hit the nerve. It’s grunt work.” His partners, understandably, felt he might have his priorities mixed up.He appears to have been married – or in lengthy relationships – for almost all his adult life, and today enjoys the comforts of four children and four grandchildren.Surely it couldn’t be that he lays the ill-starred loner image on a bit for effect? Diamond says that he has always put the music first – touring ceaselessly, writing in isolation and working crazy hours in recording studios.He had written The Monkees’ monster hit I’m a Believer, and landed a lucrative recording contract with Atlantic Records. His songs – said by Rolling Stone critic David Wild to be rooted “in a deep sense of isolation and desire for connection” – brought up feelings that propelled him into a lifetime of therapy.“The cardinal rule for any performer is that they should know themselves,” he said recently, “and I didn’t. I did what my parents expected of me because I wanted to be a good son, but it was all about what other people wanted.whom he married in the same year that he divorced his first wife, Jayne Posner.