Neil Young: Eternal Hipster, or Doddering old guy?


Ok, I was watching Letterman tonight while doing chores. Jerry Lee Lewis was the musical guest, but I didn't care much. It's a shame, because the Killer pretty much invented rock and roll personally. However, he is super old and can't barely play the piano anymore. Plus, didn't he kill a wife (seriously)? That troubles me.


Anyhow, we have a surprise sit in with Jerry Lee - Neil Young. I was stoked! I am a big Neil Young fan, as I guess any good music lover is. Neil was pretty low key in an enormous jacket and a Les Paul on his lap. At the bridge, Jerry Lee throws it to Neil for a solo. It was terrible. I expected it though, because Neil Young plays the worst lead guitar of anyone on the planet. Don't believe me? Listen to the interminable 4 minute solo on 'Cinnamom Girl'. Long story short, Neil didn't contribute anything to the song. In fact, he just made Jerry Lee look old and sad. See, Jerry can't tear up the piano like he used to. He could barely muster a stride. While I was admiring the terrific and historic moment happening in front me, I couldn't help but wonder - is Neil Young just a crazy old dude in the way?


it hurts to say, because listening to the live acoustic of Sugar Mountain or the haunting studio cut 'Razor Love' reminds me why I am a musician and a human. Also, we know Neil has always done his own thing... always. Neil wouldn't even show up to receive his own nod to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because they wouldn't let him swear on stage since it was being filmed. Neil quit Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the plane flight to California for their huge debut on Carson. Last year, Neil put out a song called 'Let's Impeach the President'. While I agree with that though, where is the metaphor... the art... the delicate wordplay? What will his next single be called 'My eggs are too runny", or "It's Drafty in here"?


I love Neil. Neil Young is a great rock star and great songwriter and great American. In the answer to my initial question though (Eternal Hipster or Doddering Old Guy?) - I would have to say > both. Sorry Neil, eat a peach.

Comments

Thrasher said…
Eternal Hipster, obviously.
horsewifnoname said…
obviously.......... who's hipper than Neil?
by the way, that wasn't just "a Les Paul" on his lap, that Ol' Black, to equate that legendary ax to any other Les Paul is just wrong, eh?
Anonymous said…
the solo in cinnamon girl is fucken great is ragged, full of emotion and its not fucking boring like some other artist can be with "clean" solos
Anonymous said…
You spelt "draughty" incorrectly, and so I hereby pronounce you a Doddering Old Half-Wit, leaving Mr Neil Percival Young the sole Eternal Hipster on this page.
Anonymous said…
Only a doddering ol' fool would be up "cleaning" while Letterman was on.. what were you doing, rolling up your downy-fresh orthopedic socks?
carol snyder said…
It was great to see neil haveing a good time on Letterman.Annoying that you can't even hear 1 song out of the 3 that were SUPPOSED to be aired. Thanks to corperate sponsorship.To me it was well worth it just to see his :sweet "Hippie smile".So glad to see him alive and well.Some people just can't enjoy the gift of life.Keep on rockin in the free world Neil, YOU'R HOT, Lykahrkn
Lono said…
This is good spirited dialogue. Don't think for a minute that I don't love or worship Neil. Still, that performance sucked twelve kinds of major ass. I expect way more from Neil and the king of rock and roll.

They aren't that old, are they?
Anonymous said…
I really enjoyed this performance. The solo wasn't Neil's finest (what makes him one of the greats is his inconsistency that hinges on his passion), but since when has Neil really hit it out of the park on TV?
RITFW on SNL in 1989 is the only time I can think of. I don't know what you expect from Neil giving a TV performance.

Keith
Lono said…
I think he did really well on the first 9/11 concert (it was the Friday of the attacks). I have the DVD, he does John Lennon's Imagine on his pump organ and it is beautiful. He cries as he gets to the end and it is the real shit.
bud green said…
You did not see CSN&Y this summer, did you? Neil ROCKS completely.
Lono said…
Did I see CSNY at Red Rocks? Sadly, no. I can't afford $120 tickets, especially with the pace and gift I have of drinking those $5 beers.

I know this is rock blasphemy, but I have no interest in seeing Neil with CSN. I love them both deepy by themselves, and have seen them both by themselves.

However, Neil Young is the strangest addition to CSN. CSN is a harmony band, Neil does not have a pretty voice. Why not put Bob Dylan in the band if you just want songwriting cred.

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