Another artiste who remains unrepresented in my record collection. God, how old does that make me sound...record collection. Anyway, I have very fond memories linked to Neil Diamond's music and they stem from my first visit to Greece nearly 30 years ago.
Mrs C and I had gone to the island of Agistri in the Saronic Gulf. Very small, very quiet, very lovely. We got friendly with a Scottish couple also staying at our accommodation. Not sure, I think they might have been called Liz and Alan. They were a lovely couple, but they had a passion for Neil Diamond, which they felt the need to share.
Sometimes when we were sitting on the terrace having a drink served by the lovely Despina who ran our accommodation with her husband, Giorgos, Liz would produce a tape player (I told you it was the old days) and give us all an earful of Neil Diamond. All that lovely, atmospheric Greek music we could have had which would have placed us exactly where we were and we got Neil Diamond. No offence, Neil, and all of your fans, but your music ain't my cup of tea.
To further cement Neil Diamond's place in my musical memory bank we have to move on to Greek plumbing. It is a fact of life that in Greece, toilet paper does NOT go down the toilet, it goes in the little bin by the toilet. That's just the way it is. Liz, however, did not find this acceptable. She described the practice as "disgusting" and said she wasn't going to do it. Oh dear, not a good idea. The consequence was that we were quite often treated to the sight of Giorgos traipsing round to the back of the property with drain rods to clear another blockage in the pipes thanks to Liz's over-developed fastidiousness.
And somehow I have a vision of Giorgos doing that while a Neil Diamond song plays in the background. See if you can conjure up that mental picture while you have a listen.
With apologies to one very special person who I know really doesn't like this song. Despite that, the memories are good x.
Also-rans: Ian Dury and the Blockheads. A great bloke and a great band. He is much missed. One of the best gigs I ever went to was Ian Dury and the Blockheads at Canterbury Odeon, at the end of which the band threw bananas in to the audience. Indelibly printed on my memory.
For more on the A to Z Challenge go to: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/