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Saturday, July 10, 2010

L.A. & Ben & "You Never Call" by Neil Young on YouTube

L.A. Johnson and Ben Young

The loss of Larry "L.A." Johnson -- Neil Young's long time film maker and producer earlier this year was quite heartbreaking for so many.

The sudden passing of L.A. inspired the new song "You Never Call". The tribute to L.A. in the new song "You Never Call" -- with a mention of his son Ben -- is quite heartbreaking.

"You Never Call" really encapsulates the mood and tone of the Twisted Road concerts. The ghost of L.A. fills the room and seems to hover over the stage. One can only imagine how hard it must be to sing a song about a dear friend -- who you have known and worked with nearly your entire professional life -- suddenly dies taking your son to a hockey game.

"And I know Ben is with you
'Cause you take him everywhere
He brain-to-brained me
He told me you are still there.

"You Never Call" by Neil Young on YouTube

More reviews on neil Young's current concert tour, which starts tomorrow in Oakland.


At 7/10/2010 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a heartwrenching song it must be for Neil to sing it each time out on the TRT. Personally, we here would like to extend our condolences to Larry's Family, both immediate and extended. We also would like to express our sincere thanks to Elliot and Neil for their courage to give this song the light of day during the TRT and for bringing the tour to Calgary in 2 weeks. This will be #6for me, starting at the Riverboat and Massey Hall. (yeah, I'm an old TO boy)
Bill in Calgary.

At 7/11/2010 01:17:00 PM, Blogger john said...

Yes,it must have taken courage to fight through the grief Neil must feel to sing,'You Never Call'.

L.A. seemed a special kind of person,and excellent friend to both Neil and Ben as well.

Someone would have a heart of stone not be moved by this powerful song.Yet,there are even touches of grim humour with the mention of the ultimate vacation with no back pain.

Neil is special as well.We all know that.


At 7/11/2010 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely true, John. This seems to be how Neil works through pain and grief, it must be a cathartic process for him, but oh so painful. If there was no irony or humour in the song it would be almost unbearably sad.

I heard the lyric as `the ultimate vacation with no back pay` although it could be either.

Yes Neil does have so much courage, as he`s shown so many times through his life. And to expose his grief and innermost feelings like this certainly does make him a very special kind of person.


At 7/11/2010 08:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7/12/2010 11:35:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

That photographs says more about love and friendship than any song or words could ever describe.

At 7/13/2010 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run! said...

Ben, Your sideburns are rocking!

At 7/13/2010 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Archives Guy said...

this post and photo made my eyes well up a bit....again.

fantastic picture.

-Archives Guy

At 7/13/2010 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw Neil do this song live last Sunday night at the Fox Oakland Theater. While I knew the history of the song and the references, most people in the audience actually laughed at the lyrics perhaps thinking Neil was being comical when it was the sadness and the grim humour he was speaking of. The guy sitting next to me was also taken aback, too, at the audience's reaction because he turned to me and said, "why are these people laughing - don't they know what this song is about?" I suppose the answer is that many people unless they read these blogs don't know what the song is about or the whole point of this tour for that matter.

At 7/13/2010 08:47:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

I did a random survey at his concerts. Out of the 50 people I sampled, only 1 person knew the "scoop" on Neil or concept of the tour.

Only one person knew the opening act was his wife and the dudes on the stage were not Crazy Horse.

One in fifty!!!

I imagine there are more people who show up at the concerts just to listen to the music. What happens in Neil's personal life is of no importance to them.

At 7/14/2010 12:52:00 PM, Blogger john said...

Thanks Jill - it makes sense if the line is the,' ultimate vacation with no back pay', even if I heard it as back pain.

The word vacation itself can mean several things - not just a holiday, but someone vacating a place or a post.Either way,it is all very sad,and hard to get your head around the loss of someone close.

At 7/15/2010 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Archives Guy said...

the line is "no back pain"

-Archives Guy

At 7/15/2010 09:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the audience reaction makes the song even more powerful. The crowd obviously means no disrespect, quite the opposite. As the song continues though, the chuckles cease...but the fact that the crowd is oblivious to the personal lyrics is a bit of a microcosm of how we all grieve in a know, you are surrounded by people, but you feel like you are alone in the Universe when your grieve...and Neil seems very alone up there...

Steve in Ottawa

At 7/16/2010 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Archives Guy -

Thanks for the clarification!



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