Neil Diamond Discusses His Passion for Touring with Rolling Stone

Fifty years.

That’s how long Neil Diamond has been in the music business.  

But despite his lengthy tenure in the spotlight, the legendary singer/songwriter is showing no signs of slowing down. To celebrate the milestone, Diamond is set to embark on another world tour that begins with visits to 39 different venues across North America.

What keeps Diamond motivated? The 75-year-old artist offered some insight in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

Switching gears here, you obviously have no real financial incentive to tour by now. A lot of people in your position would rather just sit by a beach all day with a drink in their hand. What drives you to go do this huge tour?

Well, I’m one of those people who would rather sit on the beach and do nothing, but I can’t. For some reason, I’m driven to get out and do my work and performing is one of the things that I do. It’s probably, at this point, as important as songwriting to me. I don’t know why, but it is. It gives me a chance to vent a certain aspect of my psyche. There’s absolutely no reason to do this tour or any of the tours that I’ve done for the past 20 or 30 years. But it is exciting. And I think the excitement is one of the things that I’m seeking out.

Are you addicted to it? What part of it?

To all of it. The good parts and the bad parts. I’m addicted to the packing and the unpacking. I’m addicted to the doing of the shows, but that’s obvious.

There’s never a night where you’re lying in the bed of some hotel thinking to yourself, “God, I’d rather be home right now. …”?

Oh, I think that every day. But, when you get to the venue, it’s like a transformation slowly takes shape over the next three or four hours and you become acclimated to the place and the stage and you get nervous and you get excited and you get all the things that you have to get to prepare yourself for the moment that you walk out. And the moment that you walk out, it’s a high. It’s a delirious high because you’re stepping a little bit into the unknown, even though you’ve done this before. You never know what’s gonna happen. It’s never the same. You’re carried along on the wings of adrenaline, endorphins.

Diamond’s 50th Anniversary Tour makes a stop in Sacramento at Golden 1 Center on Aug. 2, 2017.

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