A LETTER FROM NEIL DIAMOND
The idea of a Broadway musical about my life has always been a daunting one. It wasn’t until the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease prematurely ended my touring career that I started to seriously consider the prospect.
I say “prematurely” because my heart and soul would tour until the day I die if only my body would cooperate. My friend and longtime producer Bob Gaudio had some success with his little show, Jersey Boys (perhaps you’ve heard of it?), so I went to him for some guidance on where to begin.
Bob brought in Ken Davenport and together they built the incredible creative team that became, A Beautiful Noise.When Anthony McCarten came on board, we spent hours talking. It was his idea to frame the show in the context of therapy sessions. I loved the idea and never shied away from talking about my years of psychoanalysis. There used to be a stigma around talking about mental health and thankfully through the years, it’s become an important and accepted topic of conversation.
Sitting in the theatre and watching the show has itself been therapeutic: reliving some joyful and some of the painful parts of my life, wishing perhaps that if I could only make a few edits in the script, it would change some of the reality of what I was seeing. But in the end, coming to terms with my life and accepting it has somehow come full circle.
I feel fortunate and full of gratitude for all the people in my life. It is each of them who have impacted and shaped me in their own way to get me to the place where I am now…a better man. A better father. A better husband. A better songwriter.
I’d like to thank Marcia and Jaye, this story wouldn’t be possible without you. My children and grandchildren for your most important supporting roles in my life. My wife, Katie, who encouraged me to keep going through this process and finally, to Dr. Lu Katzman, my long-time therapist who inspired this story. May she rest in peace.