Aspen Art and Entertainment Weekly
You wouldn’t think Aspen would be the kind of towns to embrace a fake Diamond. Think again. One of the oddest do-not-miss acts in recent Aspen musical lore is “Super Diamond,” a sort of tribute/cover act with the descriptive subtitle “the Neil Diamond Experience.” Just to keep the hard-rock puns going, the Diamond tribute band is playing the Double Diamond (imagine the headline if Neil Diamond showed up to play…) on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 4 and 5). We know plenty who went to the group’s last show who pretty much went to poke some fun and have a few drinks who spent much of the next few days desperately sifting through consignment shops in sad hopes of finding some shirt with an acceptable collar size.
And even white kids from repressed backgrounds danced. Described as the “Surreal Neil,” lead singer Randy Cordero leads his six-member group through hours of Diamond songs. The guy even LOOKS like Neil Diamond, and we’ve always noted that some fans who demand DNA testing all around are at least partly joking. They’ve been at it four years now, with sold-out shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore, the House of Blues in L.A. and other cool-as-it-gets venues.
Cordero leads a six-piece band through about two hours of songs you know better than you think you do: “Song Sung Blue,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Cherry Cherry” and “Girl You Be A Woman Soon.” Okay, it ain’t “Graceland” but there’s no word Paul Simon is coming to Aspen. For those seeking intellectual justification, think of this as some kind of uber-kitsch with overtones of social parody.
This act started in the Bay Area club scene after Cordero installed some heavier parody into his regular act and found the crowds went wild. And he’s still noting what we all already know: Neil Diamond is vastly undervalued by the joke we call contemporary culture.
Listen to how Cordero phrased it to a paper in THE City: “He doesn’t get credit or respect in the music industry, and you never hear him on the radio. When Live 105 plays UB40s version of ‘Red Red Wine’ the DJ never says that it’s a Neil Diamond song. Until the mid-70s he was alternative, he didn’t fit the mainstream.” And, yes, the Diamond fad of tossing some female unmentionables onto the stage is sometimes part of the gig.