Here’s What I Was Thinking At 5:30 Today When I Should Have Been Sleeping

Ever see Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer? No, of course you didn’t. Well, Mr. Diamond plays a Cantor who somehow ends up a songwriter for a major studio. This being a very with it 70’s movie, there’s a punk rocker who’s recording one of Neil’s songs. “It’s got to be faaaaster!” the mohawked rocker testily demands.“No,” says Neil, “It goes like this.”

He sits down at the piano and croons out “Love on the Rocks.” The punker hates it, but, get this, the engineer is taping it, and it turn into a big hit, propelling Neil Diamond’s character to stardom!

What I was thinking at 5:30 this morning was why did the Punk rocker select “Love on the Rocks”? Surely there was a demo that was not unlike Diamond’s slow ballad version. Maybe his whiny Prima Donna performance in the studio belies a more sensitive creature. Most Punk rockers of the time performed their own material, or ironic covers, yet this guy seems to have wanted to make a hard-driving sincere punk version of this tune. Was he mad? A genius?

I think there’s a movie to be made about this strange fellow. I’d call it Love On The Rocks. It would explore the Punk rocker’s fall from grace after a brief spin in the machinery of fame. As he watches Neil Diamond’s career arc into greatness, he lapses into obscurity, trying in vain to instill the works of Gordon Lightfoot, Engelbert Humperdinck, Dan Fogelberg and others with that Punk rock power he so loves. Unsuccessful and hard to love, this vain little man thrashes through the disappointments of his life, and turns on those closest to him, sinking no doubt into hard boozing and drug addiction. Love on the rocks indeed.

Finally, after crashing to the bottom, he befriends some kid or dog or prostitute or something and achieves the kind of small time redemption Hollywood loves to splatter on the big screen. Perhaps he gets to sing “Love on the Rocks” in some small (Still better than the dives he’s been reduced to) theatre, the way it was meant to be sung. Loud, caustic and fast as hell.It’s got to be faster.

–Dan Kilian

The Human Fly


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