‘I was impressed’ - Ryan Tubridy on the ‘no mess’ way Neil Diamond rehearses as he celebrates his 83rd birthday

Virgin Radio

24 Jan 2024, 15:47

Ryan Tubridy, Neil Diamond

Credit: Virgin Radio / Getty

Neil Diamond left Virgin Radio’s Ryan Tubridy stunned after he accidentally stumbled on the legendary singer rehearsing for a live performance. 

The Sweet Caroline singer turned 83 today (24th January) and our mid-mornings host used the celebrations to reminisce about the time he learnt the “no mess” way Neil would practise performing his tunes.

Discussing the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer turning the big eight-three, Ryan revealed: “I found myself interviewing Neil Diamond on The Late Late Show. I always liked to go and say hello to the guests before and just to show them that I'm a human. 

“I knocked on the door and I could hear he was playing an acoustic guitar. He's in his own little dressing room and he's playing. What is Neil Diamond doing? Warming up or what's he doing?”

Ryan went in and introduced himself to the Cracklin’ Rosie singer and described him as “a lovely man” and “a real gentleman,” but what happened next left our Irish host flabbergasted. 

“He continued: “[Neil] had a guitar app open on his phone and he was essentially tuning his guitar for Sweet Caroline.”

You might think that a seasoned pro like Neil would have a slew of people by his side to make sure his sound would come out perfectly, but it turns out the Grammy Award-winner went solo for his prep. 

“Even Neil Diamond has the old app out,” Ryan continued. “Just gearing up to get out. No roadie, nothing. Just straight in, no mess. I was impressed.”

Sweet Caroline is probably one of Diamond’s best known songs, but he’s also released 38 top 10 US hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. 

His career kicked off with his solo album, The Feel of Neil Diamond, in 1966 which included the songs Solitary Man and Cherry Cherry. 

As well as selling 130 million records worldwide, Neil has also appeared in a number of movies, including The Jazz Singer and Saving Silverman. 

Happy Birthday Neil!