Classic & Current Contemporary Non-Schlock-Rock Metropolitan Music
Harvest (1972) - Neil Young
One of the great deficiencies of Deaconlight is exposed by my lack of space devoted to Neil Young. The root cause has to do with how Deaconlight developed after people started showing up. But that's another story.
Neil Young, more than most other artists, has always always been around. I was in seventh grade when Harvest came out. I still have my original copy. Although record is a bit scratchy, it's amazing how good of condition the cover is. Old timers will remember is has this fuzzy feel to it. I think later copies just prior the "CD age" had a slick cover.
It was shortly after I bought Harvest that I started cataloging my records. Actually I think I started doing this somewhere between 1973-74 but I don't have my old bound book at the moment. It is around somewhere.
Anyway, the little yellow sticker on the upper right corner of my Neil Young Harvest record says "ddt #44" so it obviously was among the first 100 records I bought.
There must have also been at least a hundred times over the past couple of years that I have told myself I need to have more about Neil Young on Deaconlight. He is so under-represented compared to the importance his music has had im my life.
Tonight I found myself alone in the living room with our cruddy little analog TV on a rare night of surfing and I stumbled across an old Neil Young concert on the Ovation channel. A few weeks ago Hubby and I watched Neil Young Heart of Gold, the new Jonathan Demme movie (Demme, you probably know, did the Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, another popular movie in our house). It was amazing in spite of the poor quality of our old analog TV. It was that good. Neil Young and Jonathan Demme are that good. Captivating. UnReal!!
I must have tuned in around the middle of the Ovation Network presentation because there was not a whole lot left. But as I watched Neil Young - I will have to check but I am guessing this was around 1972 - it occured to me how many years I have been connected to this man's music. Just a few weeks ago I was watching him with gray hair and here is in his 20s with that long brown hair. Just him and his guitar, harmonica, and piano.
He reminded me so much of my friend Jimmy Hall, who was my best friend in my early to mid teens. We had so much in common musically. And I have to thank Jimmy for giving me my first David Bowie record - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - for Christmas.
Neil Young, however, I felt was our biggest common bond. He knew all about the guitars Neil Young played - Jimmmy knew all about Martin guitars. And he had the same hair. And kept that same hair for decades. It wasn't until a few years ago that I ran into Jimmy and he had actually cut his long lucious locks, which had greyed years earlier but were still gorgeous.
Back to the present, I was watching Neil Young playing the piano and singing a song about "Journey Through the Past." I remember riding my bike to Misty Mountain Records and buying that record for Jimmy's birthday present one year. I think it was a double record. Jimmy must have made me a tape because I remember that album so well.
As I watched Neil Young play the piano and the guitar, something was oddly familiar in a new sort of way. What was it???
Then I realized - there is something here that reminds me of Jack White. It wasn't exactly how he played or sang or looked, but there was something there that just made me think of Jack White.
Then Avalon came barreling in the room past me to the kitchen where she was probably trolling for candy. I tried to get her to come into the room but at her age, she doesn't make a point of listening to her mom.
Both Avalon the Elder and Annecy the Younger know Neil Young's music. In fact it was Annecy who insisted that we watch Heart of Gold.
When Avalon was passing through the living room after her search for candy, she glanced at the TV and said "Is That Jack White?" She had not stopped long enough to really look and listen but even she got that Jack White aura from watching Neil Young.
I started explaining then looked up and she was gone, back to her room to listen to My Chemical Romance and anything she can find on their upcoming record The Black Parade.
So I finished watching this old Neil Young solo concert. Still awed even to this day of his talent, charimsa, and relevance. And realizing that I have always taken for granted that he is always there, in all his amazingly diverse representations. I saw him on the Live Rust tour, with the Stills-Young Band (I went with my friend Jimmy Hall), and I think the last time I saw him was in Chapel Hill when Sonic Youth was the opening act (the third or fourth time I saw them).
And now it has hit me that I must see him again. Not just for myself, but I want Avalon and Annecy to see him live. Everytime I have seen Neil Young live it has been magical. I love magic!
Neil Young - Harvest Original Album Tracks
More Neil Young Albums at Deaconlight.com