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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Wish for "Harvest Moon" is Granted


There are times when we really are left just simply speechless and find it impossible to find the right words to type.

Today is such a time.

Many may recall last January when Steve and his girlfriend Danielle made a request for "Harvest Moon" in Brisbane, Australia. And by some extremely wonderfully little miracle, Neil Young performed "Harvest Moon" that night and it brought a tear of joy for many around the world.

Is it ever possible that such a song can bring such sweet, sweet sorrow and overwhelming joy simultaneously?

Well, last night at the Neil Young concert in Köln, Germany we had another instance where the collective global community of Neil fans came together again to send some good karma out to one of our dear friends Liza.

You may recall that Liza was the winner of the "Johnny Magic" Video Contest only to have her husband Michael -- who shot the video -- tragically pass away shortly thereafter. The broken hearted Liza informed the Neil community that she would not be able to attend the upcoming Köln concert because of her mourning.

Earlier this week, we posted a similar heartbreaking story from Gavin in Ireland also requesting "Harvest Moon" in memory of his father.

When Liza read Gavin's story, she resolved to attend the Köln concert afterall. Liza commented:
Dear Gavin,

My deepest condolences go to you and your family and thank you for the beautiful photo.

I hope that your wish comes true in Dublin... The funeral service you arranged for your father sounds just so special....

Today it is three weeks ago since my husband Michael suddenly passed away on that Tuesday morning in his office. Two weeks ago we had his funeral and it was also very special, my church choir sang, our youngest son, 14, played a beautiful Adagio on his clarinet.

At the end of the church service a very dear friend of us, Albert from the NY Coverband "Crazy Young" played "Light a candle" for Michael and for me.

It is such a beautiful song and to hear these words, when you feel like in a tunnel of darkness and sadness, is very moving. I was deeply touched and so thankful.

In the other thread I wrote that I would be happy about Neil playing "Harvest Moon" in Cologne this Friday, but that I wouldn't go there, that friends could tell me about it.

"Harvest Moon" because it reminds me of the first time Michael and I heard the song together on TV. We suddenly zapped in the MTV Unplugged Show and Neil started playing "Harvest Moon". Michael and I both looked at each other and we started dancing in the livingroom together, with me singing the words along with Neil: "I'm still in love with you...."

Now when I look at Michaels picture, he seems to be saying to me: "go, go to Cologne, go to the concert with Neil, there is the ticket laying on your desk and it will do you good..."

Another dear friend from the German Human Highway Mailinglist offered me to pick me up, so I won't have to drive myself..

And to think about Neil playing either Harvest Moon or maybe Light a candle for Michael would be surely unforgettable...

Love, Liza

So last night, about 2/3's into the concert, Neil says "we heard about you on the internet, so this is for you.... hope we don't mess it up". And then Neil played "Harvest Moon" for Liza.

Watch it.

This morning, Liza responds:
Yes, Neil played "Harvest Moon" for me and words aren't enough to describe my feelings yesterday evening......

Neil, since all the words I can think about don't seem enough, all I say to you is:


Also thank you to Pegi and the rest of the band, of course.....

I was standing in the second row right in front of Pegi and I raised my arm, to show that I was there and listening......

When "Comes a time" started I called my boys at home, because it was one of Michaels favorite songs, and they were listening at the cell phone. When the song was over, I was thinking, maybe this could be the place for Harvest Moon and then I saw that Larry brought a different gitarre, but Neil said something to him and went to the micro and said:

"There's a young lady out there tonight and we read about what happened on the internet....he paused a little....and said:


He didn't say: don't mess it up, at least I didn't hear him say that.

Tears were rolling down my face and sadness and so much happiness and thankfulness at the same time were in my heart.....

And I felt Michael was with me at that moment and I was so glad, that I was there.

I also want to thank my friends for their support, especially Albert from K-town and Albert from Hülchrath Castle and all my friends from the German HH Mailinglist.....

Love, Liza

So Liza, our dearest friend who we've never met. Thrashette and I say bless you and your family. We're all here for you whenever you need us. We love you.

And Gavin, may tonight be your night for you and your family as well in Dublin in memory of Papa Joe.


But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Here are the 3 Harvest Moon stories:
- Steve and Danielle in Brisbane, Australia
- Liza in Germany
- Gavin in Dublin, Ireland

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At 6/21/2009 02:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liza, I am so sorry for your loss. This act of kindness by Neil is something you will never forget. Neil, you are a class act!


At 6/21/2009 06:17:00 AM, Anonymous Liza said...

Bill, thank you for your words and compassion.

Thrasher and Thrashette, thank you so much to both of you for your love and your support.
Without you and without Thrasherswheat Brisbane and Cologne would have never been possible.

I'm still so overwhelmed that Neil did play Harvest Moon for us.
But also for receiving so much love and compassion from the Neil Community around the world.
Thank you Neil and thank you Thrasher!

Love to all of you

At 6/21/2009 09:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just singing a song can make a difference...

At 6/21/2009 09:48:00 AM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...


At 6/21/2009 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous Rick A, NSB, FL said...

Wow...I am speechless

At 6/21/2009 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Burnzy said...

That got me really emotional. My condolences, once again.

At 6/21/2009 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous tyddles said...

That was a lovely gesture by Neil in Germany. Harvest Moon is also a favourite of my Husband Ray and myself. Ray has always been a fan and introduced me to Neil's music over 30 years ago, Bob Dylan was always my favourite but Neil is up there with him vying for top spot. Anyway after suffering from Agoraphobia since the late sixties and not being able to travel, last year I got some therapy and for the first time started to travel....then last June I went , with ray, on my first ever plane to guessed it, to see Neil at Malahide. It was amazing.Since then we have been to europe!! This week was out 30th wedding anniversaryand tomorrow we are off to Scotland to see Neil at Aberdeen. What a celebration, with a bit of luck he will sing Harvest Moon...and we will be singing along. Thanks Neil, you helped me beat my panic attacks. Thanks also to Liza for sharing her story with us and for being brave enough to attend the concert. Much love to you and yours.
Val Parry. Liverpool. England

At 6/21/2009 06:16:00 PM, Anonymous Nick Murphy said...

Wow Liza. Your story actually made me cry. I used to think I knew what love is about even though I've never been in love. But now I can only hope that this 18 year old will someday experience the kind of love that you and your husband have. The kind of love expressed in the lyrics of Harvest Moon.

Thrasher, What you got goin' here is like a family.

At 6/21/2009 07:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can barely read the comments page through my tears. This is why Neil stands out from all the rest, and why we all love him so much. He is truly a special person. Liza, I'm sending out good thoughts to you and your family. Hugs to you and to Thrasher, without whose dedication, none of this would be possible. Nick Murphy is right, this is like a family.

Wendy, Montreal, Canada

At 6/22/2009 12:27:00 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

Thanks to all of you, Burnzy, tyddles, Nick Murphy and Wendy for your kind words. I feel your deep sympathy....

Love, Liza

At 6/22/2009 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't cry much being a macho man but this one got to me. Yes Lisa you are a brave woman -- and you are right your husband wanted you there -- and Neil, he is just about the coolest human walking the planet -- what a heart of gold he has. He hypnotised me in 1974 on the CSNY "reunion" tour with Only Love Can Break Your Heart and he still has me -- Thanks Neil again you have proven - we should all have a fraction of your purpose driven life.
Joe G.

At 6/23/2009 03:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember a similar event in 2003 when Neil played in Antwerp his Greendale solo project. A friend of someone in the audience who had a ticket died a few days earlier in an accident. During the break the friend dropped a note on the stage to request "Tell Me Why" in honour of his died friend. Neil played that song and introduced it with "This is a song for a friend of mine who had a ticket but couldn't come" ... those who knew the story behind it felt the emotions ...
Marco Ponte

At 6/23/2009 05:28:00 AM, Anonymous Liza said...

Thanks Joe G. for your sincere and supporting words and thanks Marco Ponte for telling the story of the Antwerpen Concert...

Love, Liza

At 6/23/2009 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condolences Liza, Gavin, all...

Neil is a big, ol' softy in his middle ages. Who'da thunk?

-no more

At 6/23/2009 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous Susann and Joerg said...

We were at the concert in Cologne and had tears in our eyes when we heard Harvest Moon because we had read what happened to Liza and Michael. We were so glad to read that she was at the concert.

Just singing a song won't change the world but it affects people and their emotions and thinking and that may lead to these people changing the world. Just to brighten the day a little bit for a woman or a man in deep grief and sorrow makes a difference.

At 6/23/2009 03:55:00 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

Susann and Joerg, thank you so much for your words and your deep sympathy.

Love, Liza


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