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What Quad Cities Song Inspired Neil Diamond?

Theo Wargo
Theo Wargo

Neil Diamond holds a special place in the heart of Quad Citians. His concert was the first event held at what was then The Mark of The Quad Cities, now the iWireless Center, on May 28, 1993.

But, the Quad Cities has also had an impact on Neil Diamond, in a manner of speaking. Catching up with Diamond on the road for his 50th anniversary tour, Rolling Stone magazine asked the artist what five songs most influenced him.

Among Diamond’s five most inspiring songs was Scottish singer Lonnie Donegan’s 1954 recording of ‘Rock Island Line‘, of which the 76 year-old singer-songwriter told Rolling Stone, “I first heard this when I started playing guitar. It was a combination of folk and rock & roll, and it angled me into the world of Woody Guthrie.”

The history of the song itself is an interesting, colorful one.

As for its influence on Neil Diamond, It’s fitting then, that his musical ties to the Quad Cities are as deep as ours are with him.

You can catch Neil Diamond’s 50th anniversary tour on May 21 in Des Moines, or May 28 in Chicago.

– Craig




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