Dean Stockwell and Neil Young
Actor-writer Dean Stockwell and Neil Young have had a long friendship that goes back many years.
The most well known connection regards After the Gold Rush which was inspired by a screenplay that Stockwell wrote and that Young transformed into one of his most enduring works. Later the two would team up on the cult classic film Human Highway.
From an interview with Dean Stockwell in Premium Hollywood he discusses his relationship with Neil young and his music:
PH: How did you and Neil Young first cross paths?
DS: (Long pause) You know, I can’t remember first meeting him. But I moved to Topanga Canyon in 1965, and then he got in there shortly thereafter, and there was just an amazing amount of wonderful creative activity in that canyon for several years. And I had written a screenplay that Dennis Hopper encouraged me write, and it never got produced, but somehow someone got a copy of it to Neil, and…he had been going through writer’s block for the better part of a year, and his record company was pissed off at him, and someone handed him this screenplay, he read it, and it just opened him up and inspired the album After the Gold Rush, which was the title of the screenplay. And even though I had Dennis behind me and I had Neil and all of this incredible music from that album…do you know that album?
PH: Yes, absolutely.
DS: I had all of that music, and the fucking guys at Universal still wouldn’t make the movie. (Laughs) Pardon my French. But it’s just as well. Now, I look back over at a lot of years, and I don’t know if I was really ready to do a movie that, uh, people could follow. (Laughs) I think I would’ve stepped out a little too far.
PH: Well, on a possibly related note, what was the experience of working on “Human Highway” like?
DS: Oh, that was fabulous! That was great. That came up after that, and…I love Neil. I love him as much as anyone I love or have ever loved. He’s an absolutely great guy. Not only a super great artist, but also as a human being, he’s just beautiful. So we have a lot of fun, and so “Human Highway” was a lot of fun. It was…the concept was Neil’s, and it had some silly-ass things to it, but I just went with that… (Laughs) …and there you have it: “Human Highway.”
PH: Do you remember how Devo first got involved?
DS: I got them involved. I cast a lot of the people in it: Russ Tamblyn, Dennis, Devo, and several others. And not that it matters, but my favorite scene in the whole damned movie is Booji Boy in the crib singing, “Hey Hey My My.” (Laughs) That’s just fabulous.
PH: So the Canyon must’ve built some strong, long-lasting friendships.
DS: Oh, it did, yeah.
More on other friends of Neil Young.