On Saturday June 25 last Sean Hussey’s dream came true. The Longford musician met and spent time with the international performing legend Neil Diamond. As a singer of Neil Diamond’s songs, Sean has been a lifelong fan of the American artist.
“He’s an absolute gentleman, I can tell you that,” said Sean in speaking to the Leader following his meeting with Neil Diamond. “Myself and Mary (Sean’s wife) were invited to have dinner with him at the Aviva Stadium. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he entered the room. He came straight over to us and sat down.”
Sean and Mary won the opportunity of a life time following Sean’s performance of a Neil Diamond song ‘I am I said’ on John Murray’s RTE Radio One programme.
“We chatted about music, family, the band and so on. I asked him if he ever got nervous before performing and he said ‘no’, but that he always got excited,” said Sean. “What also impressed me was how up-to-date he is with Ireland and what’s happening here. He knew all about Obama’s connections.”
Determined that Neil Diamond should not be outshone by Obama, Sean took the opportunity to teach Neil a few well chosen Irish words that he could use during his gig.
“We wrote down ‘Cead Mile Failte’ and myself and Mary signed it. Then after his first song, he said it to the crowd. I told him that it would work and it did!” said Sean.
Overall, Sean was particularly impressed by how down to earth Diamond was in person.
“He was asking me about the competition and then he asked me to sing ‘I am I said’ which I did. All the others in the restaurant joined in,” said Sean. “He stayed with us for three quarters of an hour and had no problems with photos or anything. He was a gentleman and a star.”
For Sean, the icing on the cake was the concert which took place afterwards.
“I’ve been to all Neil Diamond’s concerts in Ireland over the years and it’s incredible to see him on stage. He’s absolutely fantastic and his singing is as good now as it was twenty years ago. He has it all off to a tee,” said Sean.
Sean Hussey plays PV’s in Longford each Sunday night and on Saturday July 2 he will play Foley’s Bar, Longford.