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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day! Neil Young, "Old Man" & Bob Dylan: Will The Circles Be Unbroken???


"Will The Circle Be Unbroken" - A Tribute to Elliot Roberts
REVIEW: Neil Young Bob Dylan - Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, Ireland - 14 July 2019

COMMENTARY + ANALYSIS: Bob Dylan and Neil Young: Tangled Up in Blue and Out of The Black


Recently, we posted the 1986 interview with Bob Dylan and Neil Young.  

Neil Young and Bob Dylan
Entertainment Tonight on 4-1-86
(See Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday: The Bob and Neil Saga)


Bob Dylan and Neil Young at ASCAP 1986. 

INTERVIEWER: "What can we look for in the future from Bob Dylan?"

DYLAN: "I'm letting Neil Young answer that." 

Best answer ever.


"Rough And Rowdy Ways" by Bob Dylan & "Homegrown" by Neil Young
Release Date: June 19, 2020 (Father's Day Weekend)

Last year, we observed Father's Day by pointing out the semi-interesting fact that Bob Dylan and Neil Young released new albums.

Neil Young & Bob Dylan
(A Look Back At The Musical intersections of Bob & Neil)

Although some have serious reservations, the song "Old Man" is -- ostensibly -- about a ranch hand at what would become known as "Broken Arrow".

The "Old Man" Louis Avala & Neil Young
1970 Dutch documentary film by Wim Van der Linden

Another possibility is that the song "Old Man" is really about Neil's own father, Scott Young being the real "old man" behind the song.

So with Father's Day at hand ... from a not so young man to our old man...

The "Old Man" Louis Avala
YouTube - Neil Young - Old Man - Live at Massey Hall

From his 1972 album Harvest, "Old Man" is definitely one of Mr Young's most enduring songs of all time with brilliant banjo and steel guitar. James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt provide backing vocals.

The song was inspired by the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch -- with over 1,000+ acres of prime land with views of both San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean -- which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970 when he was just 25 years old young.

The song has themes of loneliness and lost love: "Live alone in a paradise that makes me think of two" recalled with a certain pain "love lost/such a cost/give me things that don't get lost."

Yet Neil searches on for that oh-so elusive heart of gold:

"I need someone to love me the whole day through
Oh one look in my eyes and you can tell that's true."

"Neil Young: Heart of Gold" Film

In the film "Heart of Gold", Young introduces the song as follows:
About that time when I wrote (Heart of Gold), and I was touring, I had also -- just, you know, being a rich hippie for the first time -- I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today.

And there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avala and his wife Clara. And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep. He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there's this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, 'Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?'

And I said, 'Well, just lucky, Louie, just real lucky.' And he said, 'Well, that's the darndest thing I ever heard.'

And I wrote this song for him.

Neil Young at Broken Arrow Ranch - 1971
Photo by Henry Diltz

As we noted earlier this year, photographer Henry Diltz has taken many iconic photos of Neil Young, as well as, many other legendary musicians over the decades.

From Henry Diltz' blog on Morrison Hotel Gallery, here is the story about spending a day at Broken Arrow Ranch with Neil Young and the "Old Man".
"Old man look at my life..."

"Neil Young bought a ranch in Northern California which he named "Broken Arrow Ranch". I went up there a few times with Gary Burden in 1971 and stayed a couple days taking pictures. Gary was my art director/ partner and still works with Neil. We used to walk around the ranch in the morning, smoking a fatty and checking things out around the property.

The Ranch came with a foreman named Louis Avila who had been there for years. This particular morning we stopped by the foreman's bungalow and he and Neil had a talk on the porch. This was in 1971, a year before his album Harvest came out and as the story goes, this is the "Old Man" that Neil sings about.

We later went on to look in a barn where Neil had some guitars. He pulled out a little old Martin guitar, sat on a hay bale, and played a tune. How great it was to be a fly on the wall and document everything that happened. Lots of those pictures got used in Neil Young Songbooks in the 70's."

--Henry Diltz

Also, watch & listen to why Neil Young will never sing "Old Man" with a band again.

The Brothers Comatose - "Old Man" (by Neil Young)

See post: The Brothers Comatose cover the song "Old Man" by Neil Young.


The Young Man Before Becoming An Old Man
Neil Young - 1967 (Age 22)

Photo by Linda Eastman McCartney 
 Scott Young w/ his son Neil Young
circa ~1970

Scott Young 
CBC TV -  Toronto Maple Leafs vs Black Hawks (1962)


CBC TV - 1962 Toronto Maple Leafs vs Black Hawks w/ Scott Young @ ~25:50

 More on Neil Young, "Old Man" & The Story Behind The Song.

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"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

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Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
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"The revolution will not be televised"
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Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

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Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

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Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

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Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

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Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
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So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat