Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Young, Man’s Blues

I never really got Neil Young. I liked the record with Rockin’ in the Free World on it, and Tonight’s the Night; when that piano song about Mother Nature flying into the sun comes on the radio, I leave it on. That’s about it, honestly.

Others–and people whose musical tastes I respect–can’t get enough of the guy. Perhaps being obsessed with Dylan wasn’t white enough: who can understand the longings of the Rock Nerd’s heart?

So: if you dig the lanky Canadian, go check out this affectionate and funny article Tyler Wilcox wrote for Pitchfork about two of Neil’s movies.

Here’s your soundtrack:


  1. True story: I saw the Journey Through The Past movie in a theater, not many can say that. Not a good movie though.

    It was the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto. Later I saw Kingfish at the same theater

    • I saw Journey through the past in a theater, but it must have been 1978 or 1979 and it was a midnight movie thing, not a day time thing.

      I loved it, Midnight movies with a Rock and Roll theme was a lot of fun.

      Sympathy for the Devil, and Journey through the past were more than just concert films you walked out of both of them at 1:00 AM.. wondering what you just saw. Liked both of them.

      Before VHS tapes took off, that was how like minded folks got together.

      Saw Quadrophenia at the theatre, that was strange.

      • Seconded. It was how like-minded folks got together. I saw so many rock-n-roll themed movies at midnight. The Palo Alto theater (The Varsity, a few doors down from the site of St Michael’s Alley), used to run a double feature on Saturdays at midnight. So you’d see “Woodstock” at midnight, and then “O Lucky Man” at about 2:30am

        The very first midnight movie at this theater was 200 Motels. The place was packed, waiting in line was as fun as the movie. I have no recollection what the second feature was, although I’m sure I sat through it.

        • Indeed,

          Meeting with the “like minded folks” at midnight was a good time.

          Some memories, timeframe 1978-1982 or so

          The Song Remains the Same.

          Sold out, Serious jean jacket crowd with hand made artwork on the jackets back panel, Chain Wallets, boots, long hair, reefer, the sound of beer bottles rolling down the theater’s concrete floor. The police finally knew to be present at these showings.

          Genesis, In Concert.
          1977 concert movie, I got really high, and for decades I wondered if this was really good or if I was really high. I had yet to have listened to enough Genesis to know if it was good or not, all new to me. Carpet Crawlers blew my mind. Yes it is without Peter, but Phil Collins had not yet transmogrified into the Phil Collins he was to become. Find some late 70’s mexican weed and check it out.

          Sympathy for the Devil.
          As teenagers we pretended that we got “it”, that it made sense that black panthers in the junk yard passing out guns made sense, or that buying a book and slapping the kid tied to the chair was a statement we understood. It really is a good film though, and now I know there was both less and more to “get”, than I understood as a teenager.

          Journey through the Past.
          Neil Young, another film that we pretended to understand whatever it was trying to say. Now I know that Neil talking to his driverless truck doing circles on the beach is just that. He is not Godard, so whatever symbolism happens is conceived by the same mind that brought us “Got Mashed potatoes, ain’t got no T-Bone”

          Rust Never Sleeps.
          Defined the era, I stole the letters RUST of the marquee. Whatever happened to my RUST ?

          Emerson Lake and Palmer, Rock and Roll Your Eyes.

          OMG this seemed horrible at the time, I bet it still is. Like bad attempts at “Trippy” Images, that came off as lame. Keith Emerson however had some moments, he would clamp or wedge a chord down on his organ, and then Bounce the whole friggin organ around and shake it. If it was a B3 he was getting a workout.

          3D stewardesses.
          Not the X rated version, but the R rated version. To my teenage brain the trip scene where the naked stewardess makes out with a statue, was cool. Was it really cool. Who knows?

          Even as a kid, I expected more from Tommy than I got. Tina turner saves the day, but the rest seemed sort of campy.

    • Luther Von Baconson

      March 2, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      i like the part where he makes a good Canadian joke about smoking reefer and ending up like Gene Krupa (@ ~19 mins in The Youtube). everyone’s Dad or Uncle said that, while everyone’s Mom or Aunt would say, “oh he was so handsome”.

      give On The Beach a listen

  2. Neil is my second favourite lanky Canadian in this photo.

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