Comment of the Moment: "Neil Young's Imperfect Nature"
The Neil Young Comment of the Moment is from Greg M (A Friend Of Yours regarding some recent criticism of his concerts:
I can’t think of a better way to address the issue of the “imperfection” in Neil’s approach to performance standard, which after all these years a lot of people still have a hard time coming to grips with. I mean, we could go on and on and on about bent notes and off key vocals and rudimentary concert staging and FITR and blah blah blah blah blah.
If you know anything about Neil’s music- and I think every post contributor in this thread does, you have to allow for the thrown together, and “imperfect” nature of much of what Neil has done. It’s a part of who he is, a major part of what makes his music immediate, heartfelt, honest, and sometimes wacky, all of which sometimes leaves you scratching your head- at first.
From throwing Nils Lofgren onto an instrument he had never played for recordings that made it to vinyl, to the “non dominant” nature of his film making, to recording live to get the raw straight ahead take of new music that is devoid of over thinking and over production, and yes, to employing the vocals of wife Pegi, again we could go on and on. How many years are we going to devote to restating the fact that Neil’s music, career choices, and song writing are not “perfect” in the eyes of everyone?
After a while, it just begs the question: When are the critics going to get that the things they criticize are the result of an attitude that simply doesn’t take into consideration what anyone or anything other than the artist - Neil, demands of the music?
The art is not about you, it’s about a unique expression. Part of the uniqueness in this case is a haphazard, spontaneous, less is more approach. Get over it. There are things that I wish he had done differently over the years, but then I just kind of laugh to myself, and recognize that it’s just Neil being Neil. Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. You don’t have to like it, but don’t try to demand of it something it’s never been about.
I’ve thought over the years, and I’ve never said it out loud, for the very reason of what I’m about to bring down on myself when everyone responds to this, but what the hey, damn the torpedoes. If Neil had chosen to over produce, and “perfect” every one of his albums, make them as slick as is technically and humanly possible, with some obvious exceptions, he would have long since been considered the number one performer of his time. But that was never going to happen, which I learned a long time ago. It’s a big reason why I love him - and I’m not telling anyone not to voice their opinion - but also a big reason why we shouldn’t even be having this conversation.
Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)
Thanks Greg M. ! You are a Friend Of ours.
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