Diamond Forever: A Celebration of Neil Diamond coming to Creston legion

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Jason Scott as Neil Diamond.

Jason Scott as Neil Diamond.

From a rockstar’s swagger to belting out tunes of an iconic crooner, former Penticton man Jason Scott — who presents Diamond Forever: A Celebration of Neil Diamond at Creston’s Royal Canadian Legion on July 26 — has found his brass ring.

“It is kind of like a gunslinger from the old days,” said Scott. “You are the lead singer in a rock band and life is at your beck and call. You get whatever you want and have people eating up your music. That is power. Then it all disappears. Now the brass ring isn’t getting the record contract.”

Getting down the look, the sound and moves of Neil Diamond became Scott’s new mission. And he jumped in with both feet, but it took a big slap in the face to get there. After signing a record contract with a label in Vancouver in 1989, Scott’s friend Brian MacLeod (of the Headpins and Chilliwack fame) began producing it. Six months in, MacLeod was diagnosed with cancer, and shortly after, Scott’s good friend died and so did the distribution deal.

One night he ended up at a karaoke bar with his sister and she asked him to sing a song for her, picking out Love On The Rocks.

“The Vancouver Canucks were playing on the TVs and the only screen for the lyrics was on the sport screen at the front so you sung with your back to the crowd. I started singing and all of sudden there was this big whoop in the crowd and I thought the Canucks had scored. I spin around and the crowd are all on their feet screaming about this Neil Diamond thing.”

Despite being completely disillusioned after McLeod died, everything started to fall in place for him to become a Neil Diamond tribute artist. That was 15 years ago. Since then, Scott was awarded the Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Tribute Artists award in 2010, second place in the Vegas Tribute Idol and an invitation to perform as the opening act for the headlining Country Superstars show at the Golden Nugget Showroom in Las Vegas. He was also nominated for a Reel Award, considered the Oscar of the tribute industry. Last year, Scott returned to Las Vegas to perform on the Fremont Street stage, breaking Tuesday night attendance records.

“When you pull something off like this you get tears in your eyes,” said Scott. “Diamond is very charismatic and when he swings his arms to the left everyone looks to the left. I have seen him live twice and it is electric and only a few people in the world have that presence.”

Tickets (which include snacks and appetizers) are $15, available at Black Bear Books and the legion. The doors open at 6 p.m.; the show starts at 7.

—BY KRISTI PATTON, Penticton Western News