Jack Black played a member of a Neil Diamond tribute band called “Diamonds in the Rough” in the movie Saving Silverman (2001). It is one of those mindless comedies that can be fun to watch on a rainy Saturday if you do not expect too much. At the end of the movie, Neil Diamond made a guest appearance. Recently, Jack Black returned the favor and joined Diamond on stage in Los Angeles on August 23. Reportedly, Black was enthusiastically enjoying the show from his seat before he took the stage. In the video below, the two engage in a little banter before ripping into the Neil Diamond classic, “Sweet Caroline.”
The inspiration for “Sweet Caroline” was Caroline Kennedy. When Neil Diamond was a struggling songwriter, he saw a magazine photo of President John F. Kennedy’s daughter wearing her riding outfit next to her pony. Diamond sat down in his Memphis, Tennessee motel room and wrote “Sweet Caroline” in an hour. Diamond recently concluded that the 1969 number one song was “probably is the biggest, most important song of my career.” The song has only become bigger, as it became a staple at sporting events, including Red Sox games.
But “Sweet Caroline” will no longer be played at Penn State games. This Monday, a few days after the Jack Black and Neil Diamond duet on the song, Penn State announced they were removing “Sweet Caroline” from the playlist at Beaver Stadium. Officials explained they decided to remove it because so many other sports stadiums already play it. But The New York Daily News reported another possible explanation: In light of the recent child abuse scandal at the school, maybe officials did not want fans singing along to the lines, “Hands/ Touching Hands/ Reaching out /Touching me, touching you.”
Whatever Penn State’s reason, Neil Diamond will survive and so will the song. If you would like a little bonus Jack Black and Neil Diamond, here is Diamond singing “Holly Holy” over the end credits of Saving Silverman with a little help from the movie’s cast. Maybe Penn State should consider playing this song at games.
What do you think of the Jack Black and Neil Diamond duet? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)