Comment of the Moment: 1980's Roadtrips with Neil Young as Co-pilot
Commenter TopangaDaze is congratulated on having 2 Comment of the Moments in a row?! Unprecedented. A 1st in the 20 year history of TW. Never before. An amazing achievement.
And without further ado... the Comment of the Moment is from TopangaDaze on 80's roadtrips with Neil Young as co-pilot:
One of my fondest memories was purchasing that tape from the back of an ad in a magazine shortly after it was recorded. I got the tape(s) in the mail a few weeks later, but didn't listen immediately because I had a long car trip to take over the weekend and saved it for the drive.Thanks TopangaDaze! Again congratulations on your achievement as a TW commenter. Want to try for a trifecta? :)
So, on a rainy Friday evening in 1989, a young man in Baltimore gets into his first new car, a 1998 Nissan Sentra and starts the engine. Minutes later as his silver Sentra finds the on ramp to I-95 North heading towards Atlantic City, he removes the "Young Man's Fancy" bootleg cassette from the car stereo and pops in the new Bronco Bowl [Dallas, Texas
January 14, 1989] tape by Neil and the Restless (whoever they were).
"Comes a Time" is immediately recognizable. The sound quality is good and the tune feels like an old friend. The young man catches a glimpse of himself in the rear view mirror and a happy uncontrollable grin stares back at him. He thinks to himself how lucky he is to have a long drive ahead of him...
"Sugar Mountain" and "The Needle and the Damage Done" follow seamlessly as the car is now filled not only with Neil's plaintive voice, but the young man's as well. He can't and won't sing for anyone else, but when he's alone and singing along with Neil, all is right with the world.
As the miles roll by, one of the greatest treats of any new bootleg reveals itself--an unexpected new song. His ears perk up as his hands grip the wheel a little tighter. "Someday" yea, he thinks that's the name of the song as he debates with himself whether or not he should rewind the tape to listen again. Yes, no, yes, no, no, he must do what he always does. So he keeps the tape rolling forward to keep the atmosphere as close to the live show experience as possible. There will be plenty of time later for rewinding. A few more old and new tunes follow, including the familiar "Heart of Gold" which is no longer a favorite to the jaded fan..
What's coming next?
Yes! it's another new song and now Neil's gone electric, likely with Old Black. It's snarling "My Love, my Heavy Love" and Neil's voice is strong, the guitar sloppy and fun, and there's something this fan rarely notices, the drums. They compliment the song and at times almost dominate. Neil and the Restless are delivering the goods, and it just keeps going. New song after new song and the new Sentra has become better than any concert hall he can remember. He wants to rewind and listen again to hear all the new words and music, but he must play it all the way through as if he was at the show. To him, that's the only way to hear a new Neil bootleg...
"Like a Hurricane" "Mr. Soul" "Cinnamon Girl" "Down By the River" and it just keeps getting better. The Sentra is cruising up 95 as rain begins to fall. Rock and roll can never die--right on he thinks to himself. Then, what? Is that "On Broadway" playing? What the hell? That sucks, but then "Tonight's the Night" jumps through the car speakers and the Sentra almost swerves off the road. This was the song and album that separated the average Neil Young fan from the true fanatic. It's got the spook and the magic, and this young man hadn't heard it played live too often. A perfect way to end a near perfect bootleg...
As the drive continues, his mind is focused on everything and nothing at the same time. Neil's music has a way of doing this to him. Where have I been? Where am I heading? What does it all mean?
The eighties were ending and my school days were done. Throughout the decade my love and admiration for Neil and his music had grown despite his uneven recorded output. Now it was clear that Neil was just beginning another round and that was more than enough fuel to keep this fan going to Atlantic City and well beyond...
Take my advice
don't listen to me
More on 1980's Neil Young & The Bluenotes.