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Thursday, January 09, 2020

EXCERPT - "Chasing the Muse: Canada" by Lloyd Walton

Chasing the Muse: Canada
by Lloyd Walton

Author Lloyd Walton is a long time Neil Young fan, Canadian and adventurer extraordinaire.

By adapting a code of conduct at a young age (the "Code of the Trail"), Lloyd embarked on a lifelong quest to live out his every dream. He became a pilot, he had a brush with the big time in the NHL, he flew with the Snowbirds, he had remarkable encounters with Pierre Trudeau, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and found a job that paid him to have fun.

Lloyd sought to gain entry to a world that had closed itself off. To gain entry, he first had to prove himself as an artist. Bolstered by the sounds of fellow Northerner Bob and fellow Canadian Neil, he undertook a sixteen-year odyssey of knowledge and understanding.

But the sixteen-year search for ancient wisdom, hidden in rock paintings and carvings (pictographs and petroglyphs), an often-dangerous odyssey, brings rewards and consequences unexpected and revelatory. In often very funny, often very moving episodes, Chasing the Muse: Canada, reveals new insights into Canadian history, identity, and landscape.

Here is an excerpt from Chasing the Muse: Canada by Lloyd Walton:
Thirteen years after the curious and powerful Neil Young tour truck vision, I was wearing a backstage pass, given by a friend, wandering down below the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and there they were, the Neil Young tour trucks. Neil Young was there as part of the super-group, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. A rumble of expectation was building from the huge crowd. All of the sound, rigging, and lighting personnel had gone to man their show stations. The roadies were in their makeshift dining area, finishing a hearty meal, planning to catch a bit of sleep before the hectic load-out in three hours.

Stephen Stills walked up, introduced himself to me, and said he was lost. I put my arm around his shoulder and guided him towards the mounting crowd roar. We talked about the show he had given the night before, and how their music over the years had nurtured my artistic muse. At the end of a long dark hallway, we approached three men grouped in a huddle. Then there I was, locked shoulder to shoulder in the pre-show pep talk with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young. I felt the brotherhood.

Neil Young, the obvious leader of the group, was conjuring the spirits to help them put on an exceptional show. He was using his hypnotic powers to motivate himself and his mates, just before they were to walk out to an excited crowd of twenty thousand people. This was their preparation ceremony to summon their strength, power and energy

His words were so inspiring that I was emotionally charged—I was prepared to walk out on stage with them. "What the hell?" I thought. "I know all of the words and harmonies." That was some trance!

I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Elliott Roberts, their manager. He said very politely, "You don't need to be here." I humbly backed away.

I watched the show from the workspace of Neil's guitar tech, Larry Cragg, one of the co-creators of the signature Neil Young guitar sound. Larry never stopped working the whole evening to make sure his boss sounded great. Watching Larry, I reflected on the loyalty of so many friends, fellow workers, and technicians over the years who have stood behind me and my work.
Lloyd's writes to us to say that the source of his pursuit, the "Teaching Rocks", is a few miles northeast of Omeemee, the town in "North Ontario."

"Teaching Rocks" - Ontario

Lloyd has received more than 35 provincial, national, and international awards, including the Academy of Canadian Cinema, the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the World Festival of Tourism Films in Milan, Italy.

As a painter, he has had five solo show of oils and acrylics of scenes from across Canada. Texas Governor George W. Bush made Lloyd an Honorary Texan.

He was the creative director for a gift from the Province of Ontario to HR Queen Elizabeth II.

While filming, he was twice kissed by a moose and once surrounded by black bears. He has been alone in the middle of a herd of caribou, stared a polar bear in the eye and had tigers jumping over him. His films have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Cree, Ojibway, Ojicree, Inuktitut, and Russian.

Author Lloyd Walton

More on Chasing the Muse: Canada by Lloyd Walton
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