Now, what kind of band would we be if we failed to provide our fans with a safe, wholesome, and legal outlet for their burning questions? (A damned smart one, most likely—but that's beside the point right now.) The bottom line is, you've got questions, we've got answers! Now, as you might imagine, we've been overrun with inquiries and comments—some of them printable—but feel free to zap a question our way and we'll do our best to answer it (or at least grunt appreciatively).

Posted 4-29-2003:

Q:"Hey Diamondbag! Just wanted to tell you guys how much fun I had the last time I saw you. You were all hammered by the end of the night, but you still kept playing and it rocked! I was wondering what your record is for biggest band bar tab-it has to be huge!"

— Lucy (Arlington, TX)          

A: Hi Lucy. Yes, it's true-we've rung up some extraordinary bar bills in our day. We've never resorted to having my brother Elwood write out an American Express travelers check on the glove compartment with the engine running, but it's been pretty close a few times. As for the exact amount of the tab, our lawyers have advised me not to comment on that question due to pending litigation. But thanks for asking.

Q: "Gary, I'm worried about your voice. It always seems to get so raspy by the end of the evening. You should drink tea with lemon and honey when you're on stage."

— Shannon (Fort Worth, TX)          

A: Tea with lemon and honey? Fuck that shit. Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Q: "I was listening to the Hardline on the Ticket, and they said you guys really suck during the concert calendar. I say we blow the motherfuckers up."

— Booger (Adams, CA)          

A: Yeah, Booger, we heard that too. As far as we're concerned, any publicity is good publicity so it really doesn't bother us very much. Besides, we got even by planting hidden cameras inside the Ticket studios. Now we can watch Corby and Danny undress any time we want to. We also managed to put some Liquid Heat inside Rhyner's Depends Undergarments-it was outrageous! U.N. Jefferson and all the other Tri-Lams are really proud of us. I can't wait until we win the Homecoming Carnival and take control of the Greek Council.

Q: "My mama used to torture me with Hot August Night when I got in trouble as a kid-she would lock me in the closet and play "Porcupine Pie" over and over and over again until I promised to be good. My doctors now tell me that's what finally sent me over the edge and made me kill all those nice people. Now I sit here in my cell all day, dreaming of the day that you'll come to my town and play "Porcupine Pie" in person for me and all my buddies. Be sure to wear that sparkly blue shirt-it's my favorite."

— Boggs (Huntsville, TX)          

A: So many social engagements, so little time.

Q: "I love you."

— Leah (Dallas, TX)          

A: I know.

Q: "Gary, I've heard a horrible rumor that Jay & Angela are planning on getting married on October 11th-the same day as the Texas-OU football game! Is this true, and if so, what will you do?"

— Alethea (Dallas, TX)          

A: Yes, it's true. What will I do? I guess I'll have to stop masturbating to pictures of Angela now.

Posted 1-17-2003:

Q: "I really love the new website!! Can you tell me who designed it? They did a great job. But please-get some new photos! Gary looks wasted in every single picture."

— Kyle (Dallas, TX)          

A: Glad you like the site. Our good buddy John Dietrich deserves most of the credit, although as always we owe a special thanks to the scrumptious Gwen Stefani. I'll thank her personally if I ever get the chance (if you know what I mean). As for the photos, I AM wasted in every one of them. Haven't you ever been to one of our shows?

Q: "Even in my native England, I have heard some awful rumours about Mike's medical condition. I've heard that the surgeons will soon be removing the inner lining from his testicles in order to re-attach his spinal cord-that certainly cannot be a pleasant experience. Please give him my best wishes on a mystical and magical recovery."

— Jon Anderson (London, England)          

Jon, Mike is indeed scheduled to go under the knife soon. We will be praying he can hold on, otherwise there will be many changes in store for Diamondbag. This procedure might take Mike very close to the edge, but we're confident our little starship trooper will awaken in good health. Everyone in this universe is constantly in perpetual change, and you and I will undoubtedly rejoice in the wondrous stories Mike will tell about his experience. As for the rumor about the involvement of Mike's testicles, I can assure you that his little shindleria praematurus will live to do the clap again. Don't kill the whale, dude.

Q: "Gary, how many times have you seen Neil live? 100? 200? Thanks-I'll hang up and listen."

— Chuck (Dallas, TX)          

Chuck, thanks for calling. Believe it or not, I've only experienced the greatness of Neil three times. Back in 1981, I saw him at Reunion Arena here in Dallas and it changed my life. It was only my second concert; the first was a Journey/Loverboy double-bill a month earlier. Quite simply, Steve Perry and Mike Reno are not qualified to sniff Neil's jock strap. The great one played "Forever In Blue Jeans" for twenty straight minutes that night, and I knew I had found my calling.

Fifteen years went by before I had the strength to see Neil again; after all, it is such an emotionally draining experience that mere mortals like myself can only take so much. I drove out to Fort Worth to see him at the Tarrant County Convention Center with my Mom and my girlfriend Suzanne. As always, Neil was stunning. I think it is a mere coincidence that Suzanne dumped me weeks later, but I will allow you to draw your own conclusions on that one.

My latest Neil experience took place last February in Austin, Texas. Never have I seen some many old people rock so hard-the blue hairs were in fine voice that night, I assure you. Neil managed to get the only girl under the age of 50 in the house on-stage so that he could sing "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon" to her-it was truly a touching moment. Picture William Shatner singing Pure Prairie League's "Let Me Love You Tonight" to one of the Olsen twins, and you'll understand what it felt like to be there. Neil is an absolute genius.

Q: "You guys rock. I've been to most of your shows here in the Dallas area, and I always scream out for "Hello Again." But you never play it. Can't you hear me?"

— Barbara (Dallas, TX)          

I hear ya, Barbara, I hear ya. I would love to play "Hello Again" for you, but there's just one little problem: we don't know it yet. And we will probably never will, because in order to learn songs, you have to have practice. And Diamondbag simply does not practice. We are fat, lazy, and old. We are content to coast on the 27 Neil songs we know until the day we die, so Neil gems like "Hello Again," "Soolaimon," "Brooklyn Roads," and "Crunchy Granola Suite" will likely never see the light of day. Ain't that a bitch?

Posted 7-24-2002:

Q: "You guys kick ass-I mean seriously. What inspired you to form this kick-ass band, and where did you get that kick-ass glitter shirt? Can't wait till your next kick-ass show!"

— Eric (San Dimas, CA)          

A: Thanks for the kick-ass compliments, Eric. I've actually been listening to Neil since I was a kid, and since I suck at singing anything else, Diamondbag was my only hope to be in a band so that I could bag hot chicks. But that's NOT where the name came from, by the way-that's a story for another time (ha ha ha). As for my kick-ass glitter shirt, it was made for me by Jon's kick-ass wife Nadine. Unfortunately, some teenage punks kicked my car window's ass and stole it recently. So now I'm stuck without a cool glitter shirt. And that definitely does not kick ass.

Q: "It seems to me that Jon is constantly drinking water the whole time he's on stage. At the last gig, I counted 23 glasses-he was downing one after every song! Does he have problems staying hydrated? I only ask because I care."

— Tina (Boulder, CO)          

A: Tina, thanks for your concern. Jon is just fine. He does indeed drink a lot of liquids when he's on stage, but it's necessary to get him through a set filled with three hours of Neil. If you happen to see him looking a little disoriented at one of our future shows, simply ask one of the bartenders for a "Jon special" and bring it on up to him. One sip and he'll back at full speed. Thanks again for caring.

Q: "When are you assholes going to fucking play something from Jonathan Livingston Seagull? That album defines the early '70s and you dildos act like it never happened. Wake the fuck up and play "Lonely Looking Sky" or "Skybird" or else I'm never coming to one of your piece of shit shows again."

— Ralph (Miami, FL)          

A: I'm sorry that we haven't been able to play anything from that album live in the past. Most of that record was recorded with full orchestral backing, and the cost of touring simply precludes us from bringing a 50-piece orchestra on the road with us. However, we have tentatively scheduled a gig in London at the Royal Albert Hall, and we are in talks with the Royal Philharmonic right now about providing orchestral backing for us. It will be a special night for everyone, and we will definitely capture the moment for a Special Edition DVD release. You can bet that some songs from Jonathan Livingston Seagull will find their way into the set that night! In the meantime, we currently take the stage to the pre-recorded majestic sounds of "Prologue," so hopefully you can get your Seagull fix that way.

Q: "I think Jay is just so absolutely adorable! He's always smiling and smoking and dancing and drinking and having so much fun on stage. And that cute little ass-I just can't stop staring at it. Do you think he'd maybe go out with me the next time you guys play in Oak Lawn?"

— Will (Dallas, TX)          

A: Will, Jay is currently involved in a monogamous relationship with a wonderful girl. But rest assured that I'll be sure to let you know the second that changes. Thanks for listening and we'll see you at J.R.'s this summer!

Q: "Is it true that Willie Nelson sometimes shows up and plays with you guys? I read that on the Internet and I just couldn't believe it. Why would a music legend like Willie play with your crappy cover band?"

— Mack (Austin, TX)          

A: Mack, Willie has been known to show up and jam with us on occasion. He really digs the tunes, and he gets tired of all that country crap sometimes. Besides, Willie is a Longhorn like me and because of that, we have a bond for life. He also needs the write-off for tax purposes. By the way, he told me that he'd bring his good buddy Kris Kristofferson with him next time-man, I can't wait to jam with Kris on "Watch Closely Now."

Q: "So what makes you guys different from other Neil tribute bands like Super Diamond and the Diamond Smugglers anyways? Neil sucks, they suck, and YOU SUCK. You SUCK SUCK SUCK."

— Onion Boy (Dallas, TX)          

A: Wow, that sounds familiar for some reason but I can't place it. Anyway, Onion Boy (if that is indeed your real name!), there are a lot of things that make us different from some of those other Neil cover bands. First of all, contrary to your expressed opinion, we do not suck. We take our jobs very seriously and practice at least sixty hours per week minimum. My voice also requires extensive vocal training to get that Neil sound just right. I spend hours every day with a vocal coach in a continuing effort to bring you the very best in facsimile Neil. As for the band, they spend almost all of their free time devouring the Neil Diamond CD catalog so that they can master all the complex subtleties in Neil's tunes. Diamondbag isn't just a job for us-it's an obsession. It is our goal not only to be the best Neil Diamond cover band in the world, but the best in all of Texas. And we're getting there.

Q: "Every time I see you guys live, you play a few songs that aren't really Neil Diamond songs but you act like they are. Why do you insult your fans' intelligence like that? You always play that crappy song from Shrek, and that Urge Overkill song bites when Uma isn't shaking her ass to the beat! I'm not stupid you know. By the way, thanks for adding "Rock Me Gently" to the set. That's my absolute favorite Neil tune!"

— Andy (Columbus, OH)          

A: Andy, I really don't know what you're talking about. We play only 100% Neil, 100% of the time. After all, the man has written over 400 songs in his legendary career-why would we ever play anything else? I'm glad you like "Rock Me Gently." We'll keep it in the set just for you. Go Buckeyes!

That's all we have time for this week, but keep checking back regularly and we'll keep answering those questions!