The Needle And The Damage Done

I've just watched Heart of Gold, the Jonathan Demme picture documenting Neil Young's performance at the Ryman Auditorium (the Grand Old Opry).

One more post like this and I'm Sophia from Golden Girls.

Picture it. Toronto, 1987.

I fluked into tickets for Neil Young at the CNE bandshell. I went not really knowing much or caring for Neil's work. Along with 20,999 other people, I was treated to a full on rock n roll blast of a night. One of the best shows I've seen.

Neil came out and did an acoustic set which was powerful. He did his new song at the time This Note's For You and changed the lyrics to point out the name of the beer company that was sponsoring the bandshell concerts that year.

For the second half of the show, Crazy Horse joined him and rocked the hell out of everyone. They did a bigger louder version of the same song just to punch the execs in the face one more time. The show was like a really satisfying summer storm. Thunder, lightning and that special crackle in the air afterward.

Back to the film, it's a really warm and satisfying quieter rumble of a storm but with no less intensity.

I still couldn't do a thesis on Mr. Young nor can I say I run out and buy his music. But I do admire his work and recommend the dvd.

The second disc I haven't watched yet but it has a performance on the Johnny Cash Show so I'm sure there's got to be some worth in that.


justacoolcat said...

" still couldn't do a thesis on Mr. Young nor can I say I run out and buy his music. But I do admire his work and recommend the dvd.

That's the boat I am in too. I can say from interviews I have seen he's thoughtful and well spoken and his music does have the ability to seriously rock. All my guitar guy friends worship his riffs, but requiring the total package from music I couldn't get into most of it. His singing voice never struck a chord with me.

Dale said...

He is one of those what's up with his voice kind of guys, but when you do see it all put together, it makes more sense somehow.

Dylan's another one. I'd rather listen to little lambs screaming than to hear him sing. I don't get the voice.

Beth said...

When Coldplay put out their first album, Chris Martin - who, whether you like him or are bored with him, has a beautiful voice - was being interviewed on our local radio station. When asked who his favorite singers were, he said Dylan, Neil Young, and Tom Waits. I guess the passion and honesty transcends the voice.

I've seen Neil Young several times - even the Bridge School Benefit once, with R.E.M. - he's amazing. I cannot listen to "Philadelphia," his contribution to the soundtrack, without bursting into tears.

Dale said...

Chris M. is fine by me apart from the bizarre naming conventions with the children.

I can listen to and love all sorts of beautiful noise making machines like Bjork, Tom Waits and a lot of other aliens but I've never warmed up to Dylan. Not sure why.

Beth, I trust your musical taste a lot though. I was checking out some Grant Lee Phillips after your post earlier and he's pretty damned good. Haven't heard the Killing Moon by him but am really curious about that and Under The Milky Way. I see So. Central Rain on his cd too and bite my lip.

Beth said...

I can't wait for the GLPhillips CD! I heard a snippet of his "Love My Way" on his MySpace page, and it's damn good. If I love it, I'll let you know.

I checked your profile the other day, and was very impressed with your list of favorite bands (movies and books, too, BTW). One question: Is your "every word means no" a Let's Active reference?

Dale said...

Mitch Easter made me do it Beth!

Originally my profile said "I'm just a guy who can't say no" and at some point I changed it.

I always loved the song.

Beth said...

YOu are BRILLIANT - and I am so impressed! I love Let's Active!!! I cannot sit still when listening to that or "Room With a View"!

Hey, is CFNY the alt station in Toronto? I was in Toronto for a week, maybe in 1988, and called in R.E.M./B-52's requests. They invited me to the station and gave me tickets, a mug, all sorts of stuff. Really cool folks.

Dale said...

Yes the Edge 102.1 (CFNY) is what you're thinking of. Nice of them wasn't it?

And thanks for the nice comments. Brilliant and modest, that's me!

Beth said...

What can I say? I'm a sucker for people with exceptional taste in music (the Keren Ann clinched it).

Dale said...

A friend at work told me about Keren Ann and I really like her (obviously). Fun discovering new music always.