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The Red Star Line Museum, Belgium's transatlantic landmark, charts the history of emigration to America

Neil Diamond: Has he finally become hip?

He wrote some of the Sixties' most memorable tunes, but was rarely in vogue. Now 67, Neil Diamond is at No 1 for the first time. Has he finally become hip? Nick Hasted reports

Album: Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia)

You know time has caught up with you when you are mentally preparing your review of Scroobius Pip when your editor tells you that, instead, you have been earmarked for the new Neil Diamond.

Last Night's TV: A gory story that failed to make a killing

Cold Blood, ITV1; First Cut: Allergic to the 21st Century? Channel 4

Talking Jazz

This has been a strange year for British jazz. In many ways, a good year - one in which forgotten glories from decades past were resurrected and brought to new audiences; some fine indigenous groups continued to build on their work so far; and at least one stunning new player emerged.

Pop: A night without sparkle

NEIL DIAMOND WEMBLEY ARENA LONDON

Media: Thanks a million, John

The critics hate it, but DJ John Peel has more than one million listeners for Home Truths. By Paul McCann

Pop: Like Eddie Izzard in a strop

BABY BIRD PEACOCK THEATRE

Arts: One wedding and, luckily, no one's funeral

Theatre de Complicite are Britain's leading `physical theatre' company. Who better to bring John Berger's novel `To the Wedding' to the airwaves? Roger Elsgood, producer of tomorrow night's Radio 3 version, kept a diary of their work in progress.

Review: Arab Strap The Garage, Islington, London

`Best band to be named after an instrument of sado-masochistic gratification'

fringe round-up: Poems to Read to Your Parents

It was when the woman in the multi-coloured waistcoat started dancing to Neil Diamond's "Mr Bojangles", strummed with severe melancholy by a grey-haired man in white shorts, that the flashbacks started. Pebble Mill at One, mid-Seventies. That childhood incomprehension, barely articulated at the time, at so much desultory and unfulfilled adult behaviour. John Dowie (tracksuit bottoms, Larry Grayson specs "as skinny as a man can be") had prepared the way for this tot-recall with a series of short poems that sounded funny on the outside, but were, more often than not, sombre reflections on mortality (lines on dead cats and ageing men). "If you can't depress them when they're six, then what's the point of being in Edinburgh?" he inquired, to much parental approval.

'None of their punches was ever likely to connect'

When Richard and Judy hit OJ with hard facts, he just denied them, writes Tom Sutcliffe

Birthdays 24th January 1996

Birthdays

Arts: Do it, puke and get out: 'The Last Waltz' made music and cinema history. The final concert by The Band, starring their famous friends, it became a Martin Scorsese film, rated the best rock movie of all. But behind the scenes, there was mayhem. Levon Helm of The Band tells the inside story

IN 1976 The Band was 'perhaps America's most respected rock group' ('New York Times'). It had gone from backing rock'n'roller Ronnie Hawkins, to backing Bob Dylan, to standing on its own as a folk-rock group which, despite being four-fifths Canadian, made a string of albums that showed a perfect grasp of the musical traditions of the Deep South. The odd man out was Levon Helm, from Arkansas, one of The Band's three singers and two drummers. He takes up the story:

Double bill: Pretending to be Roy Orbison, Elton John or Neil Diamond on a rainy Sunday evening in High Wycombe may not sound like very much of a job, but for some people it's true stardom

THE PEOPLE of Rhyl, in North Wales, will have the opportunity tonight to see six rock legends perform their greatest hits - for only pounds 10.50 for a front row seat. Elton John, wearing a pair of canary yellow trousers and a gold banana pendant, will get the show off to a rockin' start with a medley of 'Pinball Wizard', 'Daniel' and 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. He will be followed by Rod Stewart, dry ice, Neil Diamond, dry ice and Tina Turner.
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