Bob Dylan Visits Neil Young's Winnipeg Home
Neil Young and Bob Dylan - 1986
Somewhat surprisingly, the news that Bob Dylan stopped by Neil Young's childhood home in Winnipeg is big worldwide news.
Of course, for those of us who have followed the twists and turns of the Bob and Neil saga this isn't too big a surprise.
As Knappster summarizes:
"Bob and Neil have a history of friendly competition. They have, on occasion, shared a stage. Neil has covered Bob. Bob has covered Neil. Neil has name-checked Bob. Bob has name-checked Neil. Neil admires Bob. Bob visited Neil's childhood home."
When you live in the house where a world-famous musician grew up, it's expected to be a bit of a draw.
But John Kiernan, who occupies Neil Young’s former Winnipeg home on Grosvenor Avenue, never imagined another famous musician would show up at his door.
Kiernan told CBC News on Monday that he was looking out the window a week ago Sunday and saw his wife talking with two strangers on the front lawn.
“And I'm looking around, and I realize, this guy having a tuque on has really great boots on, these sort of cowboy, motorcycle boots. And he was wearing really nice leather pants. And I realize I'm staring face-to-face with Bob Dylan.”
After the music legend and his manager were invited into the house, Dylan asked a lot of thoughtful questions, including about Neil Young's old bedroom.
“OK, so this was his view, and this was where he listened to his music. It suddenly dawned on me, when you're looking at Bob Dylan standing in a hallway, that he had a very parallel experience 200 miles to the south, sitting in his room, listening to his music, looking out his window.”
Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minn., about 500 km southeast of Winnipeg, while Neil Young spent his formative high school years playing in Winnipeg rock band The Squires.
Kiernan said Dylan and his manager visited for a while before heading off to tour other areas of the city.
Dylan then played a concert at Winnipeg's MTS Centre later that night, Nov. 2.
Winnipeg Free Press:
"Kiernan asked if they wanted to see inside the house, and Dylan was eager.
“How long do you have for the tour?” Kiernan asked, meaning the tour of the house.
Dylan replied: “We’re touring for another two weeks.”
They showed him Young’s old bedroom, now painted bright pink and occupied by Kiernan’s 16-year-old daughter.
“So this is where Neil would have listened to his music,” Dylan mused. They took him into the old second-floor kitchen, now a laundry room. “I remember thinking I should have done the laundry before I went out,” Kiernan says.
Kiernan explained the whereabouts of the Earl Grey and Crescentwood community centres, where a teenaged Young and bandmates played their first concerts.
“He was introspective and thoughtful,” Kiernan said. “He had an interest in music beyond himself.”"
Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Eric Clapton
Madison Square Garden, New York City - 1992
Thanks Paul C., B.S.M., Roy, Katie B., Ross & Violet, and everyone else!
Neil Young on Bob Dylan - Charlie Rose Show, July 2008
More on Bob and Neil:
- Top 10 Reasons Why Neil Young is Better Than Bob Dylan
- Top 10 Reasons Not to Goof With Bob Dylan Fans
- Comments on Bob Dylan's Winnipeg concert by a Neil fan
Neil Young's Boyhood Home in Winnipeg, Canada
More on Neil Young's Winnipeg Hometown by Bill Laing.
Bob Dylan on Neil Young in interview from the 40th Anniversary Issue of Rolling Stone:
"Neil is very sincere, if nothing else. He's sincere, and he's got a God-given talent, with that voice of his, and the melodic strain that runs through absolutely everything he does. He could be at his most thrashy, but it's still going to be elevated by some melody. Neil's the only one who does that. There's nobody in his category."