Simplicity of song, one instrument one voice. 1970.
It’s really early on a Saturday morning, the roar of the news is all about impeachment and because of the silly adherence to old ways it is so dark outside as we have entered “standard time.”
Time for something more reflective and quiet maybe at this early hour. So here is a suitably crappy dark picture for the hour of the day.
There is something refreshing about hearing After the Goldrush without the roar at the “I felt like getting high” line and Cinnamon Girl on piano on the archive release Live at the Cellar Door. The real standout for me though is Flying on the Ground is Wrong. This is Neil Young before the height of his fame that was to follow and the CSNY tours and the coke and the craziness.
It’s hard to explain what Neil Young as an artist has meant to me at times, it’s a little sad occasionally fandom. His music has helped me deal with the birth of my children, the aging process and death of friends and family. Yes frequently the songs are relatively meaningless when you start to dissect them but that in itself is meaningless if music is the intersection of emotion and memory.
When me and my friends really started to get serious about listening to music other than the music our parents, brothers, cousins made us listen to, around 1980 or so Neil Young had only been recording for about 14 years, his career was about as old as we were. That in itself is pretty mind boggling as he hit 50 years or so of career nowadays. My friends hated Neil Young, his voice was high and squeaky and his guitar playing was brutal and rudimentary and not filled with fast runs of notes and screaming dives of sound. They didn’t get it. They couldn’t get behind my obsession, preferring Whitesnake, UFO the Scorpions and Van Halen not the whiney Canadian, at least we knew his nationality.
Over the years we went back and forth and argued and I never won.
I did however have a sense of satisfaction watching my friend John’s band cover Eldorado from Freedom the other month. It only took thirty years or so but he gets it now too. One down three to go.