Comment of the Moment: Neil Young @ 1997 Horde Festival Memories
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
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One of my most cherished memories with Neil was at the Horde festival 1997 @ Portland Meadows in Oregon. It was an all day event and Neil and Crazy Horse were the headliners, but there were several artists on the bill like Primus, Morphine, and Ben Folds Five to name a few.Thanks Dan! Great Neil roadtrip memory. Yes, we recall those side stage mini concerts. However by the time the tour reached the east, Neil seemed to do few and fewer. Of the 4 or so Horde shows we made, waited patiently each time to no avail. Larry would bring out the guitars. Then 45 minutes later, take them away.
There were several stages set up throughout this huge race track area and my friends and I had set up close to the main stage where Neil and the Horse were going to play at the end of the day. It was July 13th and hot as the dickens, so I walked over to this area where they had a bunch of fire hoses shooting water to cool folks off, and as I was walking back to my group of friends I heard someone announce a surprise guest on this tiny little stage set up.
I turned around and out walks Neil with his acoustic guitar about five feet away from where I had stopped. He sits down and proceeds to play ten or twelve songs solo to around twenty people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. It was sublime to say the least. I can't remember every song he sang but I do remember Heart of Gold, Comes a Time, and Needle and the Damage Done. By the time he was done and walked off this little stage, I turned around and there was this huge crowd that had gathered while he played.
It really felt to me at that moment as if Neil was playing those songs just for me, and although the crowd grew behind me as word began to spread, I had no idea that anyone else was there. It was just such a beautiful moment, and completely impromptu. No one saw it coming, and there I was having my own private little concert with Neil Young.
I still have the ticket stub for that day, $36.00 for the whole day and ten bands. Those were the day's.
I'll never forget how it felt in that moment. Just amazing!
So good on lucky you!
More Neil Young 1997 Horde Memories from Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, California on July 11, 1997.