Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Me and Neil Diamond


Noteworthy moments in my life related to Neil Diamond

1. Every year as our Iberia flight headed into New York airspace, my siblings would hold my hands and we’d all sing “America” together.

2. As a slightly older kid, my BFF and I would dance like crazy to “Kentucky Woman.”

3. During my Boston years, “Sweet Caroline” became the unofficial song for Red Sox Nation thanks to the New England fah-evah movie BEAUTIFUL GIRLS.

4. When ringing in Y2K with my siblings on a roof deck in DC (the better to see the potential end of the modern world) while the Di-Man was singing “America” at a concert in Denver on TV.

5. Finding a CD of his greatest hits in the jukebox at the neighborhood bar my best friend and I frequented and always playing “Forever in Blue Jeans.”

6. Going on a mini-European trip with said best friend and telling him about how my siblings and I would hold hands and sing “America” together when we’d come home from Spain and how I hadn’t realized for many years that their summer experiences weren’t as fun as mine and how they actually missed their friends and wished that we weren’t sequestered on a farm for three months. Then, putting a splitter on my iPod so we could both listen to the song while flying into Dulles.

7. When the same best friend met the actual Neil Diamond and told the real human Neil Diamond the story about me and my siblings and the physical person of Neil Diamond loved the story and signed an autograph to my whole family, writing that we are “wonderful” and I freaked the hell out because the genuine Neil Diamond knows my family’s story and it’s just too much for me to take.

Now, every time I come back to the US, I hold my own damn hand and sing “America” to myself while blasting it on the iPod (regulations be damned!) and I get choked up at the “My country ’tis of thee” part.

even though this is Long Island

Hello, Beautiful (,America the).

Honorable mention

Will Ferrell as Neil Diamond on SNL’s “Storytellers” and selling blue jeans for the Gap.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

8 thoughts on “Me and Neil Diamond

  1. I went on a 6 week long road trip with my grandparents when I was 13. The only cassette tapes available were Neil Diamond’s “The Jazz Singer” and an audio recording of The Book of Mormon. “America” and “Forever in Blue Jeans” hold special places in my heart.

    • Interesting combination of tapes. Presumably someone in the car was an LDSer, else that would have been an awkward ride.

      Glad that Neil ended up in your heart and not in a “oh, no! Not that again!” place. He’s the best.

      • I have exceptionally sweet, but exceptionally Mormon grandparents. Truth be told, I think the Book of Mormon box set melted on the dashboard the day we spent at Disneyworld.

      • I feel like there’s a joke somewhere to be made about Mormons, Disneyworld and melting hot heat but I don’t want to offend you so I’ll just work on it quietly in my head and see how it comes out. It’s definitely about a heathen, that much I’ve got figured out.

      • I’ve probably made more off-color remarks about Mormons than should be made in good taste. I grew up in Utah but am not Mormon. Suppose my grandparents might be offended, but the chances of them stumbling across a blog about an American of Spanish origin living in France are nil!

      • Well, the second part of the joke involves the Rapture but I need to get the wording right. I’m not sure what the verb is for being Rapture-d (saved? chosen?) but I’m making steady progress on this thing. Worst case scenario is that it’ll be hilarious to me which is still a win.

  2. Whenever “Coming to America” would come on the radio when we were kids, my brother and I would sing/chant “Tomorrow!” because we thought we were so freaking clever.

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