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Monday, March 01, 2010

Full Video of Neil Young at Olympics Closing Ceremonies

Neil Young
"Long May You Run"
Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremony: Winter Games 2010

PHOTO by Getty

To say that it is really hard to grasp just how vastly lucky we are to be Neil Young fans, is to try and count grains of sand on the beach.

With all the back and forth over whether Neil Young would actually play at the 2010 Olympics Closing Ceremonies, it was a bit of challenge dealing with the rumors du jour.

In the end, we were not denied.

Neil Young performed "Long May You Run" for the Vancouver Olympics Closing Ceremony: Winter Games 2010. As snow gently drifted down from above, Neil strolled about with his harmonica rack and Hank Williams' Martin D-28 guitar.

Following Young's performance, the cauldrons were extinguished and the torch arms retracted, bringing a symbolic coda to the Olympics finale.

It was a live performance -- in contrast to the earlier and latter lip-synching.

Many, many 1000's of instant mini-reviews that were micro-blogged on Twitter indicated that Young's performance was the highlight of the closing ceremonies. Many felt that what followed Young's performance was a travesty and an embarrassment to music fans and to Canada's rich heritage. (for more Tweets, see neil young @ olympics tweets.)

In fact -- at one point -- Neil even became a Twitter Trending Topic, which is very unusual given the platform's highly chaotic tower of Babel tendencies. And without even a hashtag/# code -- no less.


Twitter Trends

From By Allen Barra:

Accompanied by his own acoustic guitar, Neil Young made the evening complete by singing 'Long May You Run' as the Olympic flame was extinguished. It would have been a great place to end things, but unfortunately, Michael Buble then did an ersatz Broadway-like musical number I couldn't identify backed by oversized Mounties, hockey players and what looked like models wearing giant maple leafs. It was everything the ceremony had not been up to that point -- Canada imagined by Baz Luhrmann.

Oh, Canada: Just one minute of Leonard Cohen would have made it all right.

From The Manitoban Online: Put the Beaver to bed by Saul Magnusson :
Halfway through the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I became profoundly and intensely embarrassed for our country. Everything was fine until Neil Young finished his performance. The Olympic torch was extinguished and our country, on the world’s stage, up-chucked every imaginable Canadian stereotype onto the floor of BC Place.

Just to recap, we narrowly beat the U.S. in men’s hockey. We won more gold medals at a winter games than any other country in history. We showed the world that our athletes are not only fierce competitors, but are intelligent, funny and well-spoken. In attendance, for many events, were PM Harper and his always pristine salt-and-pepper bowl cut. Even he won something: a case of beer through a bet with President Obama. Over weeks of hard competition, we had earned the respect of spectators from hundreds of countries. But then, in just a few short hours, as the games came to a close, we were made to look foolish, the accomplishment of our athletes was diminished and our national identity was set back by a century.

From Vancouver Sun: Reflections on the Winter Games by Eric Lofgren:
Oh. My. God. That was the reaction my wife and I shared as we witnessed with horror and embarrassment the disaster that was the Olympics' closing ceremony. Don't get me wrong. Neil Young's stirring rendition of Long May You Run was pure understated class. But that only made the freak show that followed all the more offensive.

And then a brutal takedown of the whole corrupt corporate sponsored Olympics extravaganza contrasted with the integrity of Neil Young by the cantankerous but always provocative Bob Lefsetz Letter:
"And then we’ve got one lone man.

Who’s still making music long after David Geffen accused him of recording tripe. A man who has always followed his instincts. Hell, after recording 'Long May You Run' Neil Young bolted from his scheduled tour with Stephen Stills…it just didn’t feel right.

That’s what an artist does, go with his feelings.

Last night Neil Young sang live. He reached my heart like none of the smiling athletes parading by were able to. A day later, he’s just about the only thing I remember.

Because real artists are unforgettable. Whether they’ve got one hit or dozens. They reach down deep and excavate feelings we know but cannot express. ...

Neil Young did it his way. And what’s remarkable is when an artist gets it right, their way is our way.

Long may you run."

More Olympics reviews on - Neil Young links - reconnecting thoughts and actions. (Thanks Roel!)



Neil Young Extinguishes Olympic Flame
"We've been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come"

60,000 inside Vancouver stadium. Millions on the TeeVee box.

One harmonica. One guitar.

One man.

Full video of Neil Young at Olympics Closing Ceremonies performing "Long May You Run" on

UPDATE: Sorry, but it seems this link only works within the USA. sigh. So much for the Olympics spirit, global cooperation, harmony and the triumph of corporate greed.

Folks have been posting working links for other countries in comments section below. Thank you for sharing with your global brothers & sisters.

Labels: ,


At 3/01/2010 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Zak Claxton said...

Fuckin' Shakey. He did it again.

Just when people mistakenly assume the eco-friendly car is out of gas, he revs it up and with a whisper, roars over the entire Olympic closing ceremonies. After the hours of phoniness, the children lip-syncing to auto-tuned tracks (all of whom will be forgotten in a matter of months, or perhaps a few years if they're really lucky), Neil fires up the ultimate number for the road. I feel bad about not expecting him to fly. I should have known better.

What's something every athlete has in common? They run. From snowboarders to ice skaters to bobsled team leaders, they run, and the longer they run, the longer they live their dreams. While "Long May you Run" may seem on the surface to be a simple homage to a long-dead hearse, in our hearts we know what it really means.

Forget all the extraneous stuff. Forget the merchandising, the corporate sponsors. Instead, keep in mind the young people who are wrapping up the dreams that they've been preparing for as long as they can remember. Keep in mind that due to the very nature of athleticism, the skill will diminish long before they're ready. The knees will inevitably be injured, the muscle tone will diminish. And the desire to win, so strong in youth, will eventually give way to more mundane hopes and wishes.

What can you hope for such a person? What can you offer that applies to each of them on an equal level? Only Neil Young has the answer: "Long May You Run". Neil wasn't singing to the prime minister, nor the head of the IOC. He wasn't singing to you or me, watching on TV at home. He was singing to every one of those athletes who made it to the culmination of the dream, and yet have so long to continue on. All they want to do is to be able to keep running. Watch their reaction as Old Neil strums his even older Martin guitar. Watch as the message sinks in and hits home. And then acknowledge Neil Young, not only as the greatest singer or songwriter of our time, but as the ultimate communicator spanning multiple generations, one who chooses a message that's perfect for the occasion. We all should have known he'd come through, and that his very choice to appear at such an event was done for a reason that was much bigger than being on the world's biggest stage. He sang to those who most deserved to hear him, and imbued all of them with something they can take home that in some ways is more vital that the shiny medals round their necks.

Long may he run.

At 3/01/2010 11:48:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thank you, Zak.

Long may you run as well.

At 3/01/2010 12:10:00 PM, Blogger rdvdijk said...

Unfortunately the stream is not available for international viewers :-( I guess the Olympics *aren't* for everybody..

At 3/01/2010 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous setlistthief said...

Thank you, Zak. Beautifully said.

"We've been through
some things together
With trunks of memories
still to come
We found things to do
in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

Well, it was
back in Blind River in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift
on the long decline
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

Maybe The Beach Boys
have got you now
With those waves
singing "Caroline No"
Rollin' down
that empty ocean road
Gettin' to the surf on time.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run."

Thanks, Neil. We'll be singing this song long after you've run.

At 3/01/2010 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Roel, in your country you can view "Long May You Run" over here:

T: What a fantastic image of Neil with no flames...
Look at it and wait for the silver spaceships...

At 3/01/2010 01:25:00 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

I really like your comment, Zak, because it's so true. Thank you.

Love, Liza

At 3/01/2010 01:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is SO frustrating. I can't find a video anywhere that'll play in Canada; ironic considering a) the Olympics were held here, and b) Neil is Canadian. If anyone comes across a link that works for Canada, PLEASE let me know. Thanks, eh!

Wendy in Montreal

At 3/01/2010 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Zak said.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 3/01/2010 02:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was not "Hank Williams' Martin D-28 guitar".

It was a Martin D-18.

At 3/01/2010 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

Hi Wendy,
this is a German link and I don't know if it will work, but you might want to try:

It's the whole closing ceremony, Neil is at 88 min. and 35 sec.

Love, Liza

At 3/01/2010 02:13:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Beautifully said Zak!...

Now I know why Thrash deletes me so ! lol

Wait till Neil closes the summer olympics!...just after the Marathon...

He'll be in it!..long may he run!


At 3/01/2010 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

Zak, as poingant as the song selected.

At 3/01/2010 02:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this Olympic bump:

Long May You Run album ~ Stephen Stills, Neil Young

Sales up 1,266% on Amazon

Sales Rank in Music: 371 (was 5,068)

At 3/01/2010 03:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, sponsorised by nobody...but Bell, 3M, Acklands Grainger, Avaya, Cold FX, Samsung ! It's time for the HORSE now.

At 3/01/2010 03:39:00 PM, Blogger Crris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/01/2010 03:45:00 PM, Blogger Crris said...

Well said Zak.
I live in UK. I recorded alomst the whole ceremony on dvd recorder. If whole thing had not been so long would have done this via pc's TV card, and could then have easily edited out the other, eh, stuff...
OK fast forwarded to Neil. BBC commentary at start- damn, and then again when cauldrons about to go out. We can see they are going out, well if not transfixed by Neil, hence poor TV got words of
exasperation shouted at it.
Still was great though ☺

At 3/01/2010 04:18:00 PM, Anonymous swansong said...

I was all ready to write some meaningful comment on Neil's performance, and then read what Zak wrote. I can't add anything he didn't already say.
Thanks zak.

At 3/01/2010 04:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What got me most was I was out of the tv room at the time and suddenly I hear my 17-year old son yelling, "Look! It's Neil and he's got 'Hank'!" That got me - I didn't even know my son has been paying attention all these years.

At 3/01/2010 04:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to the Norwegian Broadcast 1:31:45

At 3/01/2010 04:39:00 PM, Anonymous sofff said...

French people can see Neil performance here :
go to 3h55

At 3/01/2010 05:25:00 PM, Anonymous Liza said...

Hey Anonymous, something like that happened to me too yesterday. My 18 year old son suddenly yelled very excited: There is Neil Young in the audience of the hockey game....
but I missed it just like you, because I too was in the next room, at my PC with some friends of the German Neil Young Mailinglist...

Love, Liza

At 3/01/2010 08:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to find a link that can be viewed in Canada and having no luck. Funny that the Olympics were held in Canada and Neil is Canadian, yet we are the only ones without access to view his performance. Grrrr.......

At 3/01/2010 08:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Liza,

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it won't play outside of Germany, or that's what I think it says. Sigh...

Even though I still haven't been able to see video yet, I am still bursting with pride for Our Neil. I just wish I could say something even half as beautiful as Zak, whose comment brought tears to my eyes.

Wendy in Montreal

At 3/01/2010 09:40:00 PM, Blogger TomCrac said...

OH CANADA!...Thank you, Thank you, Thank

At 3/01/2010 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too liked Zak's explanation (minus the profanity) but was also wondering if Neil's song choice could have been a larger, worldwide tribute to L.A. Johnson. If you thought the Conan version was a tribute seems like this one was even more so, as Long May You Run on Conan seemed fitting to Conan himself and his predicament while this one perhaps could be explained as Zak did, or maybe it was for Canada's national hockey team (as someone suggested Neil was in the audience for the game) or maybe Neil was honoring LA another time. Whatever the motivation(s) it was incredibly appropriate for Canada to honor Neil in such a way, another brick in a the road of his long career.

At 3/01/2010 10:48:00 PM, Blogger karen said...

I thought Neil was beautiful, in every way. In case you missed it, or would like to see it again, here's a link on my blog that should play for everyone. lovekaren

At 3/02/2010 12:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all,

Don't forget Neil's Dad Scott was a big time sports reporter here in Canada and covered many of our big defining hockey moments. I think Neil probably thought about 'Daddy' a little bit yesterday as he soaked up the Olympic Spirit.

Oh Canada...After the Gold Rush!


At 3/02/2010 02:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shakey 1 Archive Guy 0.

Landing on Water

At 3/02/2010 04:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UK and international Wheaties try BBC i-player via the BBC ( website homepage. Neil is on at around 1 hr 42 mins. With apologies for commentator buffoon talking over beginning and end.


At 3/02/2010 06:42:00 AM, Blogger yourisaforever said...

Thank you so much for the link, this one worked! (in Spain at least)with your permission (I hope)I passed it over to my friends of "La Playa de Neil", a spanish Neil Fan blog. Thanks!
PS. And yes ZAK, Neil did it again!Great comment!

At 3/02/2010 06:44:00 AM, Blogger yourisaforever said...

The thanks for the LINK where for Karen!

At 3/02/2010 06:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"THERE HE STOOT THE LONER WITH HIS GUITAR PERFORMING FOR THE HOLE WORLD",it's always a revilation watching Neil perform and he knows how to touch you're feelings every time again.and it was one of those goospiple moments again too.God isn't he beautiful "Long may you run"Neil for many more years to come,keep on doing what you've always been doing "Keep it Rocking" Monda!

At 3/02/2010 08:08:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

..and he's got Hank!

that's perfect. I love what Neil does to people.

(I watched it with my 14 year old daughter who asked me if I was going to cry)

At 3/02/2010 08:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous @03:47:00AM
Shakey 1 Archives Guy 0

I watched the speculation build over the weekend on whether or not Neil Young would perform at the closing ceremonies on Sunday here and on the rust list.

What some of you might not be aware of is that the Olympics (VANOC) demands secrecy from the participating performers. Wayne Gretzky was told that if it had leaked that he was to light the torch he would have been fired and they would have used a back-up.

I thought it was highly inappropriate for a list member to post SOMEONES’S facebook page, certainly without permission, as the poster is not a friend of that SOMEONE. Yes I know who you are.

So cut the Archive Guy some slack, he was only doing his job. I think that some of the members of the rust list should ask themselves if they are really fans or just obsessive stalkers.

It would have been sad for the rest of us if Neil’s performance had been cancelled because of a pissing contest over on the rust list.

At 3/02/2010 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Any links for Africa out there?

At 3/02/2010 08:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, that shot of Neil playing under torch as the flame goes out.

That image is for the ages.

At 3/02/2010 09:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try this:

It seems to be working ok

At 3/02/2010 09:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was nice.

neil looks really good, like he's lost a bit of weight. hope he's gearing up for something innaresting.

At 3/02/2010 09:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've just seen it at last,it's awesome rustie indeed !LONG MAY NEIL RUN !
In case any of you hasn't senn it yet, here's the vidI've just found on you tube :

Peace always !

At 3/02/2010 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/02/2010 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've found another one on 'you tube'

Cheers and

Long May NEIL Run!


At 3/02/2010 01:01:00 PM, Blogger designschicago said...

Excellent post, Zak!

Neil is like no other and we should always remember that--even when he takes that head-scratching fork in the road!

Long may he run!

At 3/02/2010 01:49:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

There’s smoke on the water, it’s been there since June,
Tree trunks uprooted, there’s blood on the moon
Feel the pulse and vibration and the rumbling force
Somebody is out there beating a dead horse.
She never said nothing, there was nothing she wrote,
She gone with the man
In the long black coat.

from 'Man in the Long Black Coat' - Bob Dylan

At 3/02/2010 02:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one SONY - man in the long black coat indeed! (I must play that this evening...)

Thanks Karen for your link and others for the youtube links.

And Zak - love your comments. You said it all beautifully.

Watching Neil standing in that vast open space , guitar in hand, singing with such feeling and integrity - I found myself almost in tears.

Well done Canada. Well done Neil.
Scott Young would have been so very proud.



At 3/02/2010 03:47:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Sony, interesting quote from Dylan.

Was he writing this about Pegi and Neil? soughta fits in don't ya think?


At 3/02/2010 07:57:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

So, seconds after Neil's performance, I'm sitting there just mesmerized by what was another monumental historic performance when out of the blue,my Neil induced trance was interrupted by the ring of my cell phone which was a text message from my ex-wife who said "Neil's the MAN ... Thank you for introducing me to him 30 years ago"! "Just singing a song wont change the world"? How many other artists can evoke so many emotions on so many levels?

At 3/02/2010 09:59:00 PM, Anonymous Youngtown said...

Hey hey from Omemee! Well, he did it again...another performance for the history books and deeper into our hearts. Yes, simply gotta love that Mr. Young fella. Choice of songs...perfect, and in part...(I'm confident), another tribute to Larry. My best, T.R.

At 3/03/2010 01:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't get what the "secret" was. NBC was broadcasting promos - the one i heard was the day before - so i can't see how there was such a secret...... they were advertising it to get more people to watch............

At 3/03/2010 06:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Karen and others for the Link ! Been looking for two days for Aussie link ... thankyou .

Neil sounded great the reason he sang 1963 is because Neil doesn't Lip Synch .

Neil Young continues to amaze me !

At 3/03/2010 08:03:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...

Doc -
Man in The Long Black Coat was writen by Dylan 21 years ago, so any inferrence is merely an '89 Coincendental

At 3/03/2010 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Crris said...

I just can't stop watching this.Neil you're timeless. Waking up with Long May You Run in my head ☺

At 3/03/2010 09:14:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Sony, you of all people should know when I'm pullin the chain! lol

always enjoy your posts..

your soul mate ,doc

At 3/04/2010 02:15:00 AM, Anonymous Bluejay Young said...

I cannot begin to describe my emotions when I saw Neil underneath that cauldron.

I was running errands this afternoon and it hit me -- Neil Young has just played before the biggest audience of his entire career.

At 3/04/2010 03:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were watching a replay of the closing ceremony but didn't know when Neil would be on. It was getting late and sent the kids (11, 9 and 9) to bed, upset as they would get to see Neil Young. As soon as they had gone to bed he came on so we got them up again and we all sat there watching a great performance. It's great that an old song can still appeal to kids.

David- New Zealand

At 8/24/2010 11:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who has a link for the NBC video of Neil Young's performance. I was in the audience and say myself on TV! Any help is appreciated. P.S. The link in the blog doesn't work, even in the US...


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