His recent CD, Turnip, suggests that Diamond -- who records under his longtime nickname Moondy -- could certainly have been a contender. Moondy's keyboard-driven songs inhabit a world of timeless pop -- sometimes Beatlesque, sometimes new wavey, sometimes reminiscent of '70s AOR singer/songwriter fare -- as icy cool as his Nord synthesizer and as comfortably warm as his Fender Rhodes electric piano. For such an understated release -- which evolved through the informal jamming of friends, some local music scenesters, some complete non-musicians -- Turnip is a remarkably consistent, expertly arranged and sharply produced collection of first-rate material.
It's impossible to know whether Moondy could've become a household name -- whether he even could've been among the few musicians able to translate talent into a sustainable career. In one important way, however, Diamond does know exactly what would've been.
Had he ended up part of a professional recording act, his music would by definition have become a product, just like every piece of music heard on the radio, in clubs, on MTV or in the background of films, commercials and elevators. It would've been a byte in the endless stream that constitutes the way our culture tends to process music: As a commodity transmitted from the makers, via middlemen, to largely passive consumers, who continuously seek out music that reflects their personal needs and suits their tastes. It would've been another choice in the daily transaction that continues, unquestioned, as if the tools for making our own ideal musical expression are not readily accessible in the hands of each of us.
Though it sounds a lot like the pop music that gets bought and sold every day -- and, in fact, the CD is available commercially -- Turnip was not made to be put up for sale. The motivations that led to its creation have more in common with why humans initially created music, and the reason people around the world continue making folk music on very direct and intimate levels.
More than anything, Turnip is about music as a natural extension of community. It uses pop songs partly to tell about friends and emotions, but more as a way to make friends and communicate directly between friends. And it offers an important message, not only to fans who think of music as something you buy, but also to musicians focused on stardom as the ultimate ends of music-making.
"It's much more honest, more enjoyable, therapeutic -- whatever you want to call it -- to think about music in terms of a neighborhood rather than in terms of trying to conquer the world," Moondy says. "I think it's much better to think of it in terms of playing with friends, enjoying yourself, writing music, producing art that people enjoy and are able to put their two cents in."
On a weekday
Born and raised in Northwest Atlanta, Diamond grew up privileged enough to have received piano lessons since age 5, and to have attended the private Lovett School before shipping off to college at Boston's Berklee College of Music and later University of the Pacific in California.
"Then I got really sick," he says. "I had colon problems, I had to have surgery. I basically was in and out of the hospital during my 20s, about every other year for about three or four weeks. And I was sick for three or four months, not wanting to go to the hospital, and then recovering for the next two months. So it wasn't a good time."
As medical problems kept him either in bed or at work (to keep his health benefits), they stopped him from pursuing any long-term music project. He continued to play when he could -- first in Diamonds and Hearts in the mid-'80s, then in Ack Ack Adak, Zoo-A-Go-Go, Steel Blue Sky and most recently, Los Huertas . But by the time he'd returned to full health, Diamond was nearing 30. Considering his prime dues-paying years past him, he resigned himself to music as an avocation rather than a full-time occupation.
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?