Ramblin’ with Neil Young

I was listening to a podcast, today on my walk, of Marc Maron interviewing Neil Young. It was great hearing Neil again. Like an old friend you haven’t seen or heard from in years. And Neil is still Neil. Thank God. He continues to rail against corporate farming, Monsanto, and the pillaging and plundering of Mother Earth in general.

Give ’em hell, Neil!

Since I sat down here and began to write, I’ve been sweeping away at a dusty corner of my mind in an attempt to recall my first memory of Neil and/or his music. I’m pretty sure it would be from the CSN&Y album Deja Vu. That record came to me from the old Columbia Record Club, as did many other great records of that day.

Helpless was on Deja Vu and it remains near the top of my favorite tunes of Neil’s. A great song.

His After The Gold Rush album was back somewhere in that time frame, as well. Another good one. What lyrics on that title cut.

Please click here to read them.

Whew! Man! And the french horn on there!

Takes me back to 332 W. Glenn St. in Auburn and the fall of 1970. But I won’t bore you with  any nostalgic ramblings of my freshman year at Auburn again. Not right now at least.
It wasn’t until 2003 that I saw Neil in concert for the first time. I missed catching him in Tuscaloosa in 1973. Some friends of mine were going to make the trek over there from Auburn. I think this was the Harvest tour. I thought I had to study for mid-terms so I declined the invite. Dumb, as I flunked out anyway. And I didn’t do a whole lot of studying that week. For the most part I was amped up on speed and cannabis, and chain smoking cigarettes. I went from Tuesday to Friday without sleeping a wink.
I’ll leave it at that other than to say,  *WARNING! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!*
Back to the first time I saw Neil. 2003. Bonnaroo. Neil closed the festivities that opening evening. And that set, that he and Crazy Horse did, sits at the very top of Bonnaroo shows that I’ve seen. I mean they rocked! In the free world as a matter-of-fact.
The second time Me & Paul saw Neil was later that summer at a Willie Nelson Picnic.This was in Willie’s back yard, literally, about 30 minutes outside of Austin in Spicewood, TX . That was a wonderful two days of music. A few of the other acts beside Neil and Willie? The Dead, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green, Leon Russell (RIP), Billy Bob Thornton, and Los Lonely Boys.
That brings me to our last encounter with Neil in a live setting. It was at Radio City Music Hall in the spring of 2004. The day before Melodye’s birthday. March 18th. I think she turned 35 that year. Wink wink, nod nod, know what I mean?
Neil and Crazy Horse performed his Greendale album, all of it, as a stage play. They then did about another 1 1/2 hours of Crazy Horse music including Powderfinger (another favorite), Rockin’ In The Free World, Cortez the Killer, All Along The Watchtower, Cowgirl in the Sand, and a couple of others.
Yes ma’am!
The next night, on Mel’s birthday, and the following night we caught shows by the Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon Theater.
Friday morning followed the Thursday night Neil & Crazy Horse show. We were staying at the Hotel Le Parker Meridien about three blocks from Central Park, and about a five minute walk from the Museum of Modern Art. We did  them both.
The walk in Central Park was especially memorable as it began snowing before we departed our room and it evolved into one of those special moments. All of it was really. The entire three day trip. The time we spent at Strawberry Fields was a highlight. We miss you, John.
I better call it quits for today. Gotta shower, get the dogs, and our, dinner ready.
I am very, very fortunate. I feel the word blessed has become a bit cliche, but that is certainly the case with me and my dear running mate. Blessed beyond comprehension.  I cannot imagine any life other than the one we have spent together, thus far.
I say thus far, because we ain’t done yet. Not by a long shot.
Peace.
Advertisements

Ramblin’ 11/2/16

We are now at “exceptional drought” level here in north Georgia. I can hear Johnny Carson attempting to elicit a response from his Tonight Show audience. “It is so dry here in ____. How dry is it?” Feel free to create your own answer. But it’s not funny, is it? Pray for rain.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to end up doing a rain dance, but I will.

Which segues nicely into the old Guess Who song, Rain Dance.

I really love the Guess Who. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and it is yet another stunning omission from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not even nominated.

Play/download the long version of American Woman. That song rocks!

Undun, These Eyes, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature, Share The Land, No Time, Laughing, Hand Me Down World… Come on!

And, trust me, you don’t want to get me started on Jethro Tull having yet to be nominated.

I’m very curious to see where Auburn lands in the initial 2016 College Football Playoff poll tonight. My guess is nine or ten. WDE! Lotta football left to be played, though, and all fans from the great state of Alabama have much to be proud of. (I checked the grammar. It’s okay to end a sentence in a preposition in a note to friends.)

How was Halloween for everybody? We had very few ‘trick or treaters’ here in our neighborhood. Maybe a dozen. I gave them Dum-Dums which is what I give the kids at our church when it’s my turn to do the children’s sermon.

Children. I was a member of the Pied Pipers children’s theater group when I attended Troy State University. (Now Troy University). We did such stories as The Three Little Pigs, The Tar Baby, and Jack and the Beanstalk, among others.

My favorite role was that of Brer’ Fox from The Tar Baby. Never failed though. Brer’ Rabbit always “out-foxed” me and Brer’ Bear and we wound up throwing him, or her, as Brer’ Rabbit was most often played by a female, in the briar patch. EVERY single time.

Brer’ Bear was stump dumb. I would hit him and chastise him severely. Over the years I’ve thought about that story a good bit and created PG13  and R versions of it in my mind. I think that would be pretty darn funny.

Vanilla Fudge’s eponymous first album, from 1966, is now pounding away on Apple Music. Dang that’s good stuff! These guys aren’t given enough credit for their impact on hard rock, heavy metal, and prog rock.

Ah yes, those psychedelic days of yore.

The groups that truly catapulted me headlong into that arena were Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf.

There was a band from Tallassee that would occasionally play the National Guard Armory in my hometown of Camden, AL. The fist time I heard the song Fire, by Hendrix, it was done by by that group, The Fantastic Playboys. After a couple of set breaks, which resulted in subsequent trips to the car, I was primed and ready to bust a few moves to Fire, Proud Mary, and my favorite of their covers, Devil With The Blue Dress>Good Golly Miss Molly. That was a song popularized by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

Those were the days.

Please click below and try NOT to bust a move with me.

 

Love y’all! Peace out.

(Photo from December 1975. The last day of Pied Piper tour. Me in my Tutu.)