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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Neil Young is like a lighthouse beam": Joel Bernstein

Neil Young - The Boarding House, San Francisco, May 1978
Photo by Joel Bernstein Photography

In one the best quotes ever to summarize and capture the spirit of Neil Young, Joel Bernstein -- Young's longtime associate and archivist -- tells the Wall St. Journal:
"Neil is like a lighthouse beam. He has an incredibly intense focus in a very narrow area to the exclusion of all else."

Bernstein and music photographer Henry Diltz are exhibiting limited edition prints at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC, NY.

Joel Bernstein’s many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock's visual history. His first, at age 18, was Neil’s After the Gold Rush, often cited in Best Album Covers Of All Time lists. As a close friend of Neil’s since then, he has captured some of his most beautiful and intimate moments.

More on the exhibit Two Takes On Neil Young by Joel Bernstein & Henry Diltz.

Also, see Joel Bernstein and The Neil Young Archives.

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At 6/22/2011 08:32:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

I suppose if anyone would know it would be Mr. Bernstein. However, I believe that 'beam' is merely the aura that accompanies his presence wherever he is. Neil has a special gift and it's no small thing. Whenever he is on stage, not only does he have the attention of most of the audience, but other band members as well. All eyes on Neil.All of the reviews concerning the current Buffalo Springfield reunion is centered on Neil. While not intending to belittle the other members, it's really the Neil Young and the Buffalo Springfield Show. When performing with C.S.& N, it's the Neil Young and C.S.& N Show. The audience response is overwhelmingly favorable towards Neil. The man can't help it. Even when he consciously attempts to just be another band member and lay back,His aura is so vivid it's like he has a constant spotlight on him at all times. During this current tour, it seems that he is having the time of his life just by playing in a band again and sharing that spotlight with his brothers without any of the competition and drama that was so prevalant the last time around. Never the less, as humble and unselfish of a human being that Neil has evolved into over the years, there is no sign that the 'lighthouse beam' is even close to becoming dim. The aura is only getting stronger as time goes by.

At 6/22/2011 11:01:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

It's because his early songs continue to serve as a beacon for people who don't "fit in" and his songs of late shed light on how the power of love, forgiveness, and transformation are what gets us through difficult times.

At 6/24/2011 06:21:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Yes Big Chief, it would be so easy for Neil to dominate any band he`s with. I agree, his `aura` and his sheer strength of presence has grown stronger over the years and I believe that`s mostly because he`s spent his entire career following his `muse` and staying true to himself. He`s never deviated from his vision, his beliefs, and never lost his integrity.

Back to JB`s comment, it`s clear that Neil has the ability to totally focus on whatever he`s into at any one time (think Living with War, Greendale, Fork, etc), which is all part of the same thing, Neil giving 110 % of himself all the time and truly caring about his art and his music.

He gives out that beam and it`s reflected back onto him. And he`s also a terrific musician and performer! Neil is a true inspiration.

At 6/24/2011 09:26:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher said...

@Bigchief - great comment and worthy of s COTM.
@Jill - good words. The light keeps shining brightly.


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