“I seriously never thought my career would take me into my 70s,” singer Neil Diamond, 71, tells David Browne for this Sunday’s issue of PARADE. “I’m very happy to be here at this point.” The pop icon, who recently married his co-manager, Katie McNeil, 42, opens up about life, love, and five decades in the music biz. “I’ve found the woman of my dreams,” Diamond says.
Here are some highlights. Read the full interview in this weekend’s issue of PARADE.
Divorced since 1995, Diamond admits to some regrets about his first two marriages.
“I had every possible chance to do it right. Both are spectacular women. I felt if I couldn’t make something wonderful and lifelong happen with them, then maybe I wasn’t capable of it. But I’m throwing myself back in because I like being married. I don’t want to end this whole fabulous journey alone. I want someone by my side who I love and who loves me. I’ve finally found somebody who’s up to the task of being my wife, because I’m very …”—he pauses—“… high maintenance.”
High maintenance in what way?
“Well, when I need my wife or when I need companionship or someone to talk to, I need it, like, now. So my wife will have to give up whatever she’s doing at that moment to tend to my needs. And in the same way, I would tend to hers. That’s not such an easy thing to do.”
Diamond’s new bride, Katie McNeil, admits she was hesitant to start a romance at first.
“Part of me said, ‘Don’t get involved; he’s a client.’ There are a lot of complications for a lot of reasons. But our chemistry grew into something that couldn’t be denied.”
As a performer, Diamond wasn’t initially thrilled with audience participation.
“It was very upsetting. I thought, ‘I’m supposed to be the singer. You listen and dance and don’t sing.’ I didn’t understand that it was part of their enthusiasm. But after a while, I welcomed it.”
On being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“It’s more fun to get it when you’re alive than when you’re dead.”
On not feeling his age.
“I definitely don’t feel like I’m 71. I feel like I did when I was between 30 and 40. The body ages. The mind doesn’t.”