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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Comment of the Moment: Nephew Eddie and Uncle Neil

The Comment of the Moment is on Nephew Eddie and Uncle Neil by Greg M (A Friend Of Yours) in response to Anonymous's challenging PJ's primacy:
Even at the apex of PJ’s popularity, and I find no reason to call it into question, Neil was still a stand alone act both in terms of a still then current vitality, and in terms of historical relevance and importance. Any number of big names have elbowed their way to open for Neil. I personally have seen Steve Forbert, The Pretenders, and The Gin Blossoms, just to name a few, and that I know of Neil has never opened for another act in like manner. He was never, and to this day is not, a greatest hits show of warmed over former significance, representing a stab at a quick buck or an attempted return to a fleeting sense of former glory.

You’re right that PJ was the bigger act, but this just highlights my point. Neil wasn’t too big to acknowledge the fact, and conversely, PJ and Vedder aren’t too big to create a focus within their own music for an appreciation of Neil. Further, when the two of them meet up in the same place and the same time, you get a Mirror Ball or a European tour that create a whole greater than the sum of all the available parts. You get something that transcends self importance and exclusivity. You get two forces open to each other in a way that creates warm heartedness, something you wish was more prevalent.

It’s hard to be too critical of those who opt out of the mutual appreciation act that Neil and PJ have going. Mr. Big seems to be a nice guy, and like all of us has his own insecurities to overcome, for whatever reasons. I just think it’s a shame. Ego, talent and artistic sensitivity are all a delicate balance, and only those who have it know where the lines are drawn and where they have the potential to converge. Therefore, it doesn’t happen all the time. Lets enjoy it when it does, is all- and Neil and PJ are not the exception, and be grateful that as fans of Neil we have front row seats.

Thanks Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)!

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At 8/27/2009 04:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Anon. Greg can make a point without revealing who Mr. Big is (was). It is then up to the reader to believe him or dismiss it. Correct me if I'm wrong Mr. Greg, but I believe the point is that Neil Young posses artistic integrity and a sense of self awareness like few others. Personally, I think he is unmatched in this area by his musical peers-young and old.

At 8/27/2009 09:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of d1ckheads on auto-stroke!

Read Shakey, and you'll read all about Neil being a dictator in the bands he personally runs.

As Tim Drummond said - "i played a chord too many, and Neil shot me a glance that'd send me to the Moon and back."

People - Neil aint God. Don't make him bigger than he is.


At 8/28/2009 07:17:00 AM, Blogger Greg M (A Friend Of Yours) said...

Just so everyone is clear about the context of the discussion, and for Anonymous in particular. Anon., there are such things as confidence's, and the foregoing of character assasination. As I say, we all have our insecurities...:

… “…I have a producer friend who has worked with some big names, and he told me a story about a big name whose lead guitarist began to contribute vocally. In the presence of this big name- known mostly for his voice, the lead guitarist received praise for his vocal contribution. From that day forward, that was the end of the lead guitarist's vocal participation. I thought, geez, why wouldn't the big name want the best for someone else he's working with?” ...

…“It's nice to see Neil and PJ reveling in each other with mutual respect, and not letting ego get in the way. You know, there's enough room for everyone and everything, it's not a zero sum game. Let's not fight over pieces of the pie, let's let the pie get bigger and bigger. Neil opening for PJ?- that's something that brought me up short, but not Neil obviously. Would Mr. big name be up for this? I don't think so.”

… “Oh no you don’t Anonymous, I’m not falling for that. Does it really matter who Mr. Big name is? Just fill in the blank, and the argument is the same. Neil and PJ reveling in each other is a cool thing to behold, and the story of Mr. Big only serves to illustrate how things should or could be, but aren’t always. Reread my comments, and you should be able to discern what my point is.”

At 8/28/2009 02:22:00 PM, Blogger Greg M (A Friend Of Yours) said...

On a web site devoted to Neil Young fans, it’s hardly a surprise that his positive characteristics are featured. I don’t think that qualifies anyone as being a d1ckhead. The more than casual Neil fan is well aware of Neil the “dictator”, in addition to a whole lot of other seemingly caustic character traits, like turning on a dime and leaving band mates in the dust. The more than casual fan also is well aware that Neil has shared the spotlight with any number of other musicians, e.g. Danny Whitten, Nils Lofgren, CS&N, Booker T & The MG’s and PJ to name a few. Does he dominate the music here and there? Well, yeah, it’s his music. Hardly a surprise either. But if you read the interviews about the Mirror Ball sessions, it’s not Neil the “dictator” at play, just music happening between musicians. Has Neil had to overcome personality quirks and insecurities, does he still have some, is he God’s anointed one when it comes to music? We all know the answers to these questions, and we all still love him and his music. It’s part of why we love him. We take the good with the bad precisely because of the end result, which is why we’re on Thrashers Wheat to begin with. If stopping at every point of praise without qualifying it with otherwise self evident “negative” truths qualifies someone as being a d1ckhead, then so be it. I just don’t think it does.

The point is that yes, Neil does “possess artistic integrity and a sense of self awareness like few others”- although I doubt it’s unmatched, yes he’s not perfect, but in the end he is still capable of joining forces with kindred spirits, an example of which is the relationship that has been forged with PJ. This is the focus of discussion, not overblown points that lead in other directions.


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