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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Comment of the Moment: The Day I Did *Not* Meet Neil Young

Neil Young and Elliot Roberts
with Felipe Arthur Floriani and buddies
Sustainability Forum - Sao Paolo, Brazil

Yesterday, we posted a fan's story on The Day I Met Neil Young by Harold Lepidus after a show with Crazy Horse at Great Woods in 1996.

Here's a comment from another fan -- the delightfully handled ShittyHorse:
Damn, I'd love to meet the man.

Neil's music, career and creative practices/beliefs have meant so much to me for so long, just the one opportunity to meet him would be very meaningful. I'm sure I am preaching the choir here through, right? I could've put a kid through college with the amount of money I've spent over the years on CDs, records, concert tickets, books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, box sets, etc. etc. and I'd gladly do it again (and I'm sure I will... actually, I hope to!).

What bugs me though, is that if you have the right connections in the right business, doesn't matter if you've never even heard a whole album by the man, you can meet him, get an autograph (then probably turn around and sell it on ebay for big bucks) and have a story to tell.

Meanwhile the real fans barely have a shot. The ones who own everything, know every song and could probably sing every word at a second's notice, the ones that have seen him live 10-15-20-30 times and more... The ones to which it would mean so much just for a minute be able shake the dude's hand and say "thank you". Hell, screw the autograph and photo. Just to say thank you for the music, for giving your life for the music for the muse... just so us common folk can have a bit of enjoyment, escape, etc. To say Thank you for making me FEEL so much! I've never, ever been one who has cared about meeting famous musicians/celebrities but Neil is the one exception. Just for that moment... Jesus.

Could I really rationalize this? Not really. I guess it's something about Neil's work that genuinely speaks directly to my soul, that makes me just want to share a moment with him, a few words and say "thank you". I understand Neil owes me nothing and being a big fan and spending money on his work and related things doesn't come with the right to meet the guy. Certainly meeting him isn't a requirement in order to respect the man and love his work. Neil Young isn't looking for me. I know this. It's just something I day-dream about... how cool it would be to meet Neil Young.

I was at this Great Woods show (well, one of them, I went to the second night). I was 16 and it was my very first Neil show. I thought Neil and the Horse were very low key (well, low key for the Horse that is) that night. Now I know he wasn't feeling too well, it makes sense. Neil only said two non-singing words to the audience that night I think... "Crazy Horse" (he may have said a Thank you...not even too sure of that) but it was the greatest show ever to me, until I saw him the next time, a few months later at The Meadows in Hartford, with the lawn closed off. That show was MAGIC! FRANTIC! TOTAL MADNESS! (he even did, "Out Of My Mind"). I left that night totally convinced I just witnessed a complete crazy man in concert. A brilliantly twisted mad-scientist. He wielded sound and electricity like a wizard, painting huge landscape murals onto the air. You could almost see the mountains and long stretching roads. It was life changing! I've since seen Neil every time he's come around, Solo, CSNY, The Horse, Friends and Relatives, The Electric Band, etc. and I'll be seeing him at Carnegie Hall as well. Can't wait!

Anyway, it is unlikely I will ever get the chance to meet the man, who knows? Either way, I will never, ever regret following Neil's career through every phase, buying every album multiple times on different formats and going to all the shows. Neil has already repaid me x100 with his art and commitment to following the music, the muse and keeping it real. I am into many different artists and genres of music and Neil's music and career has always been the most rewarding. He will always be top of the heap for me. In fact, I have a wall of vinyl records and my Neil collection is kept on the top shelf, to the right... so he is always within reach.
Thanks SH!

Someday, our friend, someday. Good things come to those who wait.



At 11/26/2013 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The Day I Met Neil Young But Not Really.......Liz Dennis
When I was 15 yrs old I heard a wailing electric guitar and a haunting voice coming from my brothers room. I dropped my broom and headed downstairs. The music was Southern Man the artist, Neil Young. that was it for me, I was devoted. Fast forward 30 years I found myself in Milwaukee at the Pfister Hotel having an Irish coffee with my brother Phil. We were killing time until the concert and I kept asking people if they knew my friend Bernard Shakey all of the sudden in walked NY through the front door right past me and out the back door. I wanted so bad to say "My favorite movie is Dead Man and I love you." but security grabbed me and threw me out. I truly believe that someone told Neil he had a fan in there waiting. So, hey I almost met him.

At 11/26/2013 10:00:00 AM, Blogger tuned4life said...

SH, I hope You get your chance to meet Neil. Like You, I have purchased everything Neil Has ever done in all formats even the bootlegs. Since those early days there has always been a Neil song that has had a profound effect on Me. Some of those songs I had no clue as to what He was singing about but they moved Me anyway. Other songs I knew exactly what He was singing about. Being abandoned in a house full of broken windows and shuttled moved around against My will, the line "The punches came fast and hard, laying on My back in the school yard" touched Me beneath the scars like no other song ever had. Seeing Neil up close has always been at the top of My wish list. Getting to actually meet Neil Young was a dream that would never come true for someone like Me. It was a very shitty circumstance that the dream came true. My wife and I had just purchased Front PIT row seats for the 5/19/2010 Twisted Road Show at Sheas in Buffalo N.Y. There were 15 seats in the front PIT row. We had seats 7 and 8. My wife was to weak to ride up to Toronto with Me to pick up the tickets. She had been on the liver transplant list for 5 years. I guess I should have been prepared but when She died on 5/6/2010 it totally blind sided Me. I wanted a real fan to have Her ticket so I posted that She had passed away. I got to Shea's early the day of the concert. I was hanging around Neil's bus hoping to get a glimpse of Him after the sound check. Much to My surprise He came out and was signed a few autographs. He said thats it and was turning to get back on the bus. I asked Him if He could sign one more that My wife had just passed away and that it would mean the world to Me. He turned and asked Me If I was Doug who had posted on TW. I said yes,thats Me. He took My hand and told Me how very very sorry he was. He signed My ticket envolope To Doug, Love Neil Young. Going to New York City would be a little to much for Me so i didn't get tickets. I am hoping He will announce dates in Toronto or Cleveland or somewhere a little easier to get to than New York City. Doug S. Warsaw N.Y.

At 11/26/2013 10:45:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Liz & Doug for sharing. Wonderful stories.

Doug - I recall meeting you at the Philly Tower show I believe. You had that Crosby look right? And yes your experiences and memories are so heartfelt.

So glad you got to meet Neil. Hope Neil comes out your way. But if you decide to NYC, drop a note and get in touch. You never know, we might be able to help out with a ticket. Miracles can happen. Believe the dream.


At 11/26/2013 12:24:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

Haha... thanks so much Thrasher! Awesome. I always love getting comment of the moment! :) Always an honor. Love the title too, made me laugh.

Great story Liz... the closest I've come was front row a few times. If you had asked me when I was 16 and seeing my first Neil show, that I'd eventually get to see Neil Young perform live 20 times and three times from the front row, I'd never believe it. But yeah, here's to hoping.

Hey Doug, yes, I remember your story well and you reporting what had happened. Amazing. I know you suffered a profound loss... and I really feel what you are saying about how Neil's music got you through some tough times and touched so deeply. I can relate on many levels. Memories are everything. That was such a kind and decent thing of Neil to do... thank you so much for sharing. I hope you do get to see Neil live again soon.

At 11/26/2013 05:08:00 PM, Anonymous Sandy Horne said...

The delightfully handled ShittyHorse!! Love it. So fun to read. See you in New York SH! Whatabout you Thrashers?

At 11/26/2013 05:34:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

I think I'll pack it in and go down to Warsaw and see tuned4life and play some Tonight's the Night on the turntable and some Old Man and Cinnamon Girl on the guitar and really get on to it. Whatdya say Doug? I'm ready, sometime soon huh? I still got your number.
I just wanna meet a man that met Neil Young.


At 11/26/2013 09:00:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

That article by SH could have been written by myself and probably millions of other fans who feel the same way. If only to meet the man for 10 seconds. Nicely written!

At 11/26/2013 10:35:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

What Scott said for me, too. Great stories from everyone, especially Doug. Even at the age of 55, I'm a little worried about how I would react, either like a deer in the headlights, or blubbering incoherently. Mostly, I would just like to get through sincerely how much the music and the man have meant to me, but I'm sure he's heard it all before, and couldn't really get it the way I meant it. I'm content to leave it at what it is, but you never know...

A Friend Of Yours

At 11/26/2013 10:36:00 PM, Blogger tuned4life said...

SONY, Send Me an email and I will give you My new phone number and address. Put 63 Chevy in the subject line so I know its not spam. Lugnutdoug@hotmail

At 11/27/2013 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Dani Arrow said...

I agree with everything in that post. Feel the same way!

At 11/28/2013 12:58:00 AM, Blogger asg said...

I DON'T wanna meet any of my idols...I'm fairly sure I'd embarrass myself...meeting Larry Cragg was nerve wracking enough...

At 11/28/2013 05:19:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

My motto is avoid any opportunity to meet your heroes because they will almost certainly disappoint. I came to this conclusion many years ago when another hero of mine, the (sadly deceased) Neil obsessive, legendary British DJ John Peel, claimed that one of the most underwhelming experiences of his career was when he met his hero. Neil's art is so special to me that I feel the mythology that surrounds the enigma that is Neil his art is all I really need.


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