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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind My Friends

Here's Neil Young covering Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" on the 1991 Weld tour with Crazy Horse. (Unfortunately, no venue or date info)

There was a lot of discussion at the time of Neil's cover of Dylan's "Blowin’ in the Wind", one of the most celebrated folk protest songs of all time.

    "Yes ‘n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
    Before they’re forever banned?
    The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind. "

Young prominently featured Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" on the 1991 Arc/Weld tour. The song became a standard during the 1991 tour with Crazy Horse which began as the Persian Gulf war began. At the end of "Rockin' In the Free World" (listen to San Francisco, CA. 1991-04-06) Neil Young and Crazy Horse segue into a homage to Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" for a most majestic feedback drenched finale. From Pulse! article titled 'The Godfather Of Grunge Rock' by Steve Martin:
    Young attributes Arc/Weld's unprecedented levels of white heat to the onset of the Persian Gulf war.

    That fact is perhaps most evident on Arc/Weld's version of "Blowin' in the Wind." With due respect to Dylan's halcyon days, Young dusts off the old protest standard and gives it new relevance as a pastiche of single-note feedback and vocal anguish.

    "Yeah, well, I had planned to do something along those lines," he says. "I was gonna do something off Ragged Glory that's almost the same, 'Mother Earth.' But I didn't really want to do 'Mother Earth.' I didn't think it was gonna make it to the concert. We were rehearsing 'Blowin' in the Wind' before the war and the tour started. Basically, the songs took on the ambience of the times. That's all we do--we just reflect what's going on. It just seems like we go out and it all comes from the audience; we just pick it up and send it back.

    So whatever's happening, there's no reason to just go out and entertain.

    Entertainment, all by itself, is great; it's a great thing to do. But when something like [the war] is happening, certain songs just seem trite. Why bother doing 'em? It's just natural that the songs reflect what was happening in the country. You'd see it in people's faces as they came in and out of the concert--the slogans they had on the signs they were holding.

    But there's room for everybody," Young adds, after a moment's reflection. "Some people might want to forget about the war. Some people might not."

Young performed Dylan's anti-war epic, 'Blowin' in the Wind' shortly after the 9-11 terror attacks at the 2001 Bridge School Benefit Concert. And not just once but twice (once acoustic unplugged and again electric Crazy Horse style).

More on Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

Freedom ... For What It's Worth and FREEDOM In A New Year.

The answer, our friends, is blowin’ in the wind...

99%'rs solidarity. rise. occupy. peace. namaste


At 10/01/2011 01:31:00 PM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

It seemed very appropriate to pull that song out in 1991. Very appropriate for anyone out there trying to makes sense out of something that makes absolutely no sense at all. It's what we sing when we're at a loss for words.

Remember when Neil showed up singing "Imagine" after the September 11th? Again, a perfect song to describe what's going on inside you when suddenly the world is absolutely upside down.

Neil also gives some pretty solid advice to his friend about what happens when she follows every dream -- she might get lost.

You follow every cause, you might get lost, too.

We've lost so many young, talented, brilliant, beautiful people to situations that got out of control for them. They gave to much of themselves and it ended up destroying them.

You know what I mean?

Some people cannot handle the pain or pressure when they're weighed down by causes. The people that end up surviving do so because they had some kind of an "escape route" that didn't end up burying them.

They found a way to separate themselves from the "cause" without leaving the cause.

Do you know what I mean, here?

At 10/01/2011 06:10:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Know exactly what you mean MNOTR.


At 10/03/2011 01:54:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

That is vintage Neil treatment to a classic.

He makes them his own when he does covers, ie, watchtower, on broadway...then they seem like Neil tunes to me.

At 10/03/2011 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

Sorry Sony, the Drifters own "On Broadway." But I'll tell you something, I heard my share of George Benson's version for sound checks. It's a great song to test for acoustics & good way to get the groove on before a big show. Maybe Neil got his groove on during one of those sound checks and wasn't quite ready to let it go.


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