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Monday, March 09, 2009

"Johnny Magic" Video Premiere

Neil Young recently shot two videos for the single "Johnny Magic" off his upcoming album, "Fork In The Road," and they're both premiering this week.

Here's the first version, which was shot entirely in Neil's Lincvolt (which you can check out at (Sorry, but commercial pre-roll).

The video is rather extraordinary. The four minute video was filmed as a single take while Neil drives LincVolt on the streets of Wichita, KS

Another amazing part of the video is that the filming was streamed live on while fans watched the stream and chatted real time. It was all pretty cool.

Great lyrics on the Motorhead Messiah "Johnny Magic". Maybe not Neil's most poetic but a heartfelt sincere paean to his new best friend. (Lyrics for "Johnny Magic" -- Neil's homage to his LincVolt mechanic Johnathan Goodwin.)

The video doesn't seem to pickup the background too well tho.
Then on Wednesday the 11th,, will premiere the second version of "Johnny Magic," which was shot in another car along with a very special travel companion.

Also, here are lyrics for "Johnny Magic" -- Neil's homage to his LincVolt mechanic Johnathan Goodwin.


At 3/09/2009 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rockin! Love it! Not his best work but I will still be buying the CD/DVD for these videos and the live video of "A Day In The Life!"

At 3/10/2009 12:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Great lyrics"??? You've got to be kidding don't you? I understand you not wanting to say anything negative about Neil, you never have, as far as I'm aware - but it's OK to say nothing isn't it? It's just blind adulation to post comments like that when they are clearly not 'great lyrics'.

At 3/10/2009 03:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be a bit off topic here but Neil has been confirmed as one of the headliners for this years Glastonbury!!

At 3/10/2009 03:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly old buzzard is lucky he didn't cause an accident driving around like that.

At 3/10/2009 04:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And he has also been confirmed for Hyde Park Calling!

He is supported by:
-The Fleet Foxes
-Ben Harper
-Seasick Steve
-The Pretenders

What an amazing lineup! Hope I get tickets!


Davie from Scotland

At 3/10/2009 05:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This vid is simply fuckin great.
It's a fucked up vid, just love it. Neil, you rock dude, thank you.

At 3/10/2009 05:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3/10/2009 05:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a great song man! What's the device he is using when guitar solo part comes???

At 3/10/2009 06:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a good old dumb arse rock n roll song..GREAT DVD..LOVE IT....the lyric s arent soooo bad, no worse than anyone else,s out there......LOVE NEILS WHOLE APPROACH ON THIS..sure it aint zuma etc..but its still fun seeing neil out there doin his thing..
.......but the reall issue i have is that NEIL AINT WEARING HIS SEATBELT....glenn?? peter m??WHERE ARE YOU??>>..

At 3/10/2009 06:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where am I? Not in a queue at the record store I can assure you! Glenn's right - at least with Neil hitting rock bottom, the only way is up!

Peter M

At 3/10/2009 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved it! can't wait for next vid.

Thanks Neil! & Johnny too.

- not too far from Wichita

At 3/10/2009 08:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the lo budget feel. Neil don't need no big video budget to get his music out there.

Looks like they bypassed Youtube?

Maybe WB and Yahoo made a deal?

At 3/10/2009 09:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyrics Uninspired. Do not want to listen to the song. Do not want to hear concrete pressed against my ears. Do not want "Johnnyyyyy Magggicccc". Worst Neil Young Song Ever.
- I Don't Believe You

At 3/10/2009 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Assination of Jesse James by...

Great song and a great video. Neil gets it done, no matter what people think. Even he's taken by surprise at hard he rocks, must be. He jumnped just a little when the song blasted out.

Look out! Up ahead! There's a...Fork In The Road!

db in Rochester

At 3/10/2009 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he's writing about vehicles, nothing to be shocked about there. He wrote about his hearse breaking down, fer chrissakes.

Straight ahead rock tune.

I like the "heavy metal Continental" alliteration. The lyrics lose flow when he's getting more detailed - no way can he make "Washington,
DC" easy to sing- too many syllables.
In performance he should just blur most of the verses, emphasise the refrain and turn up the instruments. Then, no problem.


At 3/10/2009 11:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one thing about Neil's "muse" is that it speaks differently to him at different times.

Sometimes the muse might give him a more or less complete song that he only needs to "transcribe." Other times the muse might just pass along a melody, riff or snatch of lyrics around which Neil must craft a song. Still other times, the muse seems just to tell him "go write about _____," leaving Neil to construct songs addressing the topic. (perhaps using a melody, riff or lyrical idea previously imparted or perhaps made from scratch)

I think it's fair to say when the muse gives Neil an assignment to write songs on a particular narrow topic the results might sound more labored and less inspired than when the muse does more of the actual musical and lyrical work.

---Not Above Suspicion


At 3/10/2009 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Like the video, hate the song. I'll never accuse Neil of not having a great sense of humor, these hand-shot look videos are hilarious.

But let's be real, the music is abysmal. Neil is reaching, you can tell the lyrics are being squeezed to fit into the chorus/bridge, and not vise versa.

Also, the guitar in all these songs so far feels exactly the same; like someone hammering out blues chords and riffs on a Blues Deluxe, it's pretty bush league stuff, especially for Neil.

Sad to say, Chrome Dreams II even leaves this album in the dust for creativity and musical inspiration.

I don't feel any "muse" here, I feel Neil forcing it.

My review of the song?
Music: 3/5
Lyrics: 1/5
Video: 5/5

At 3/10/2009 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since some of you think everything was so much better before - here are the really great lyrics to an "old song" nobody questions:

My my, hey hey
rock n' roll is here to stay
its better to burn out
than to fade away
my my, hey hey

Out of the blue and into the black
they give you this but you pay for that
and once your gone
you can never come back
when your out of the blue
and into the black

the king is gone but hes not forgotten
this is the story of a johnny rotten - johnny rotten, johnny rotten
its better to burn out
than it is to rust
the king is gone
but hes not forgotten - johnny rotten, johnny rotten.

Hey hey, my my
rock 'n roll can never die
theres more to the picture
than meets the eye
hey hey my my

johnny rotten, johnny magic - it's all one song.

By the way - the new songs rock. Good, funky, funny rock. Can't wait till April 7th.

Johnny Funky

At 3/10/2009 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Ford uninspired. Do not want to read his comment. Do not want to experience whining words pressed against my eyes. Do not want "Bobby, Bobby Foooooord". Worst Robert Ford Post Ever.
- I Believe In You


At 3/10/2009 12:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just out of curiousity, do Dylan fans criticize his new work as being sub-par with his 60's work?

Like Bob's new lyrics are lame and not like Subterranean Homesick Blues?

At 3/10/2009 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, they don't. And they don't complain that he doesn't play with The Band any more.

At 3/10/2009 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't really speak for Dylan fans, but Springsteen fans are giving the Boss a hard time about his latest release not being up to par.

Similar in that Magic isn't Born to run but that's a stooopid argument me thinks. but the Bruce backstreeetrs don't give as hard a time as Neil heads give Neil.

very strange

Down in jungleland

At 3/10/2009 12:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhhh, "extraordinary"?

I fail to find anything extraordinary in this video. Did I miss something? So what if it's one take while driving. It's probably been done before.

At 3/10/2009 01:01:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Not Above Suspicion,

It would seem that the muse said to Neil "write about LV" and left the driving up to him.

I wonder if there's a muse for blogging....

if so, maybe it'll stop by TW someday...

At 3/10/2009 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3/10/2009 11:58:00 AM: Yes, you did miss something. But maybe you should continue listening to Harvest instead. Don't worry, Harvest is quite OK, too.

At 3/10/2009 01:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This song ROCKS HARD!!:)GREAT!Still wish it was The Horse though.Neil what happened between you and the Horse?
The Mugwump

At 3/10/2009 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Pinto (or Flounder) said...

Random thoughts;
-re: Do Dylan/Springsteen fans complain like Neil fans - uh, hell yes. This Neil-angst all pales in comparison to the outrage during Dylan's "Born again" years, even though he wrote some decent songs during that stretch. You don't hear as much lately because he's in the middle of a pretty good creative roll. Springsteen has been well-reviewed since "The Rising" but for the most part the music doesn't come close to his peak years. Read the comments on about his Super Bowl appearance and it's clear that there is a large anti-Bruce contingent that's not buying the current version.

To the guy who compares "My, My Hey, Hey" with current Neil. You're kidding, right? Not only does" My, my" contain what is arguably Neil's greatest (certainly most quoted) line ever (Better to burn out...) it has a terrific melody; it works equally well acoustic or heavy electric; and its historical context, Neil confronting punk and coming down solidly on the "right" side as he leads off his greatest album, is pretty much worth the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame on its own. I've been attempting to be less combative lately, but this is a truly idiotic post.

At 3/10/2009 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is that when somebody criticizes one of these recent Neil songs, a chorus of commentators must start with the old refrain: "You just want Neil to sound like his old tunes. You want him to re-do Harvest. You don't want him to change. He's just following his muse. Blah, blah, blah." Actually, I just want Neil to put out quality music that is enjoyable to listen to. There seems to be quite a few people, including me, that would put this music firmly in the boring, lame, uninspired, lazy, crappy category.

At some point, all of this garbage erodes the man's legacy -- as well it should. And that's unfortunate.

-Big Old Rig

At 3/10/2009 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he was lip synching......

At 3/10/2009 02:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love most of Neils music over the years..... but this stuff is getting bad.I want to like it.I realy want to love it. but Johnny Magic is an aweful song.Aweful.Pure aweful. Sucks.Terrible.
Maybe Pegi needs to tell him some of the new stuff isnt worthy of releasing. I mean, sure he can write some crappy songs, but just dont release them.
Bad stuff Neil.

At 3/10/2009 02:25:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Pinto/Flounder for all of your restraint and support!

At 3/10/2009 02:40:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

When we said "extraordinary" we weren't referring to the music and lyrics so much as the production of the video itself.

Many fans watch live the creation of the video as if in the car itself.

That may not seem like much, but after all these years of Neil's creativity taking place behind studio doors, it was fun to see it all happen.

Even more exciting is how he's opening up the creative process.

Simply extraordinary.


At 3/10/2009 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Headin' for a loooong thread here!

Thanks Thrash..for all your restraint and support!

I told ya Thrash..Peg forgot to renew Neil's script!.. Just take 2 of the green one's Neil!

Please don't edit me thrash.. It's only Viagra!

At 3/10/2009 02:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just posted this video that I grabbed during the live stream. It's an alternate view of Neil recording this video. As a bonus, you get some talking before and after. Wonder how long it will be up there..

At 3/10/2009 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badass song, really funny and cool. It's a fresh breeze out there. Not a storm, but a cool breeze.
But one thing is certain, I miss the Horse, Pancho, Billy, Ralph. Where are you guys ? We need you.

At 3/10/2009 06:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Men Big Rig. This music is lazy. Probably put out because of contract agreements needed to be met. That is why Neil quickly formulated an album on what is currently taking up his time, the lincvolt, instead of spending quality time crafting some great songs. Lyrics in "Johnny Magic" are laughable, even compared to the recent "No Hidden Path" and the songs on Prairie Wind. Even Living with War had better melodies and lyrics.
- Melody Man

At 3/10/2009 07:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Wichita and spent my fair amount of time dissapearing down Douglas, so I pretty much LOVE the song! Way cool!! Wi-chi-ta...Wi-chi-ta!!! The city should throw Neil a parade but they don't even know he's there! That's why I left. Kind of surreal.

At 3/10/2009 08:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the heavy metal Continental.
Straight out of Detroit Canada.

That's a big rig rollin'.

At 3/10/2009 10:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yo steven,

if you haven't heard gillian welch's song "wichita" check it out. much better than jm (imo)


At 3/11/2009 12:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why is that when somebody criticizes one of these recent Neil songs, a chorus of commentators must start with the old refrain: "You just want Neil to sound like his old tunes."

Because in general they don't make reasoned criticisms of the music itself but go over the top about how bad it is and even impugn Neil himself personally.

At 3/11/2009 01:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -NAG,

Thanks for turning me on to that Gillian Welch "Wichita" song. It's a very nice tune. But for a 14 year old kid that rode the bus downtown 40 years ago (up Douglas street) and picked up "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" at J.C.Penney's and buried himself in the basement with it for a long, long time...there's nothing that compares to Neil singing Wi-chi-ta...Wi-chi-ta! It's surreal I tell you. I love Neil Young!

At 3/11/2009 01:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 3/11/2009 06:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, really love this video with Neil and his dog

At 3/11/2009 06:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah the dog one is really cool.

At 4/14/2009 07:13:00 PM, Blogger bonny68 said...

Carl is the cutest Dog in the world! Love you, too, Neil! Bonnie


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