Saturday, June 27, 2009

Keep On Rocking In The Free World

My old Mackie Designs pal, Kevin Rupp, sent me this link the other day.  Great live Neil Young performance from SNL in 1989.  Man, I can't believe this was in '89 - I remember watching this on SNL.  I also have the album - on vinyl.  Yes, I'm old.

Give it a spin and tell me this isn't Rock with a capital "R".....

I've been a Neil Young fan for quite awhile - but not for all his material. That's partly what's cool about Neil, he takes risks and puts out material that's different - yet all Neil Young.  He's officially a rock icon now, Godfather of Grunge, or whatever you want to call him.  He's been around forever with an amazing collection of work to his credit. Truly impressive.  

One of the best concerts I've ever seen was Neil Young and Crazy Horse in '86 or so, at Madison Square Garden in NYC.  This was the Landing on Water album era.  Stage was set up as a garage - stacks of tires, etc.  Sort of a mini-play and show at once.  Jon Lovitz came on as the band manager, in the SNL liar character ("Yeah, that's the ticket").  At the end, actor cops closed down the garage and ended the show. Pretty funny.  At one point, Neil - front of the stage, blazing guitar during Like a Hurricane, with two giant remote control cockroaches at his side, antennas flopping around - wild stuff.

A less memorable concert, earlier in the '80s at the Garden State Art Center, in my home state of New Jersey - probably now named after a bank or something just as goofy - the Art Center, not the state, though that's probably not far off.  This was Neil Young and the International Harvesters.  A very country type gig, not really my thing, though Neil threw in a few classics as well.  The only memorable part of the show was fans sitting in open grass section, throwing chunks of sod down into the real seating area below.  Always fun to watch some tough guy get clocked in the head with a pound of dirt and grass, spin around ready to kill - to see about 4000 people with silly smiles on their faces. 

I attended that show with my Cousin Joey (not to be confused with My Cousin Vinny) and bike shop cohort and later Greenpeace guy, John Passacantando.

I have to give Joey and John some credit for me getting into Neil Young.  John for talking about Neil Young at the bike shop and for Joey - when we used to hang out in his basement listening to Neil Young albums, especially the wacky Trans album.  I think we were the only two humans on earth who liked that album.

If you're a Neil Young fan, check out Shakey, an official biography. Loads of info and detail on the man, his music and history.

Keep on rocking in the free world.....


  1. The guitarist in the muscle shirt and acid-wash jeans is definitely "rocK" with a capital "K."

  2. True - but then again, this was '89 - the year of muscle shirts and acid washed jeans. Look it up. Neil's patched up jeans are also quite the fashion item.

    Clothes aside, this rocks. Neil's jerky movements match his guitar lead style - always get a kick outta that. Even if you're not a Neil Young fan, gotta agree they're going for it. It's a great performance.

    Plus - admit it - you'll be rocking the muscle shirt and acid washed jeans at your next gig.

    I know I will - if I ever get a gig.....

  3. That clip is awesome and I would certainly like to get some of those Canadian Maple Leaf patches for my own jeans).