Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Black Diamond

Okay, it's not Elvis, but they say Theron Denson sounds so much like Neil Diamond that if you close your eyes you'll swear it's the real thing. Open your eyes and things couldn't be more different.
Since this is America, darn it, this short, bald, black guy channeling the vocal stylings of a Jewish guy from Brooklyn with an impressive head of hair was embraced bythe fanatical Diamondheads, Neil's fan club. One elderly lady showed up at show after show, even fashioning a dress out of nine or 10 "Black Diamond" T-shirts...

Denson, 40, ended up going to college to be a preacher but that didn't work out. He kicked around, living like a nomad, he said. Working for a while as the personalassistant to June Pointer, of the Pointer Sisters, he eventually went on to work as a hotel clerk in Washington, D.C. His inner Diamond was starting to sparkle,though, so he'd sometimes sneak into the lounge and bust a few bars of Cherry, Cherry.

His employers were not amused. "They said, 'You've got to stop singing,'" Denson recalls. "'You're going to be terminated if you don't stop singing.'"

He thought to himself, "Neil Diamond, All I Really Need Is You."

Denson kept singing. He was fired.

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