Neil Diamond announced in 2018 that he’d be retiring from performing live due to a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, but on this weekend’s episode of CBS Sunday Morning, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer admits he only recently came to terms with his medical condition.
Asked by Anthony Mason if there was a moment when he finally “accepted” his diagnosis, Diamond replies, “I think this has just been in the last few weeks.”
He adds, “Somehow, a calm has moved in and [in] the hurricane of my life … things have gotten very quiet … And, I like it. I find that I like myself better. I’m easier on people. I’m easier on myself. And the beat goes on, and it will go on long after I’m gone.”
Diamond, 82, also tells Mason that while he doesn’t “like” it, “This is me; this is what I have to accept. And I’m willing to do it … and OK, so this is the hand that God’s given me, and I have to make the best of it, and so I am. I am.”
However, Diamond says it’s difficult for him to sit back and watch his life performed in front of him in the current Broadway musical A Beautiful Noise, which tells his story and incorporates all his best-known songs.
“It was all pretty hard. I was a little embarrassed. I was flattered and I was scared,” Diamond says of seeing the show.
Asked what he was scared of, Diamond explains, “Being found out is the scariest thing you can hope, because we all have a façade. And the truth be known to all of ‘em: I’m not some big star. I’m just me.”
The full interview airs this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on CBS.
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