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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Dean Stockwell: 1936 - 2021

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Dean Stockwell: 1936 - 2021


Lifetime actor Dean Stockwell has passed away at age 85.

Actor-writer Dean Stockwell and Neil Young have had a long friendship that goes back many years.

After The Gold Rush by Neil Young (1970)


The most well known connection between Dean Stockwell and Neil Young is regarding the 1970 album After the Gold Rush, which was inspired by a screenplay that Stockwell wrote and that Young transformed into one of his most enduring works

Later, Stockwell and Young would team up on the cult classic film Human Highway.


Russ Tamblyn, Neil Young (background) Dean Stockwell  


From an interview with Dean Stockwell in Premium Hollywood he discusses his relationship with Neil Young and his music:


PH: How did you and Neil Young first cross paths?

Dean Stockwell: (Long pause) You know, I can’t remember first meeting him.

But I moved to Topanga Canyon in 1965, and then he got in there shortly thereafter, and there was just an amazing amount of wonderful creative activity in that canyon for several years. And I had written a screenplay that Dennis Hopper encouraged me write, and it never got produced, but somehow someone got a copy of it to Neil, and…he had been going through writer’s block for the better part of a year, and his record company was pissed off at him, and someone handed him this screenplay, he read it, and it just opened him up and inspired the album After the Gold Rush, which was the title of the screenplay.

And even though I had Dennis behind me and I had Neil and all of this incredible music from that album…do you know that album?

PH: Yes, absolutely.

DS: I had all of that music, and the fucking guys at Universal still wouldn’t make the movie. (Laughs) Pardon my French. But it’s just as well. Now, I look back over at a lot of years, and I don’t know if I was really ready to do a movie that, uh, people could follow. (Laughs) I think I would’ve stepped out a little too far.
PH: Well, on a possibly related note, what was the experience of working on “Human Highway” like?

DS: Oh, that was fabulous! That was great. That came up after that, and…I love Neil. I love him as much as anyone I love or have ever loved. He’s an absolutely great guy. Not only a super great artist, but also as a human being, he’s just beautiful. So we have a lot of fun, and so “Human Highway” was a lot of fun. It was…the concept was Neil’s, and it had some silly-ass things to it, but I just went with that… (Laughs) …and there you have it: “Human Highway.”

PH: Do you remember how Devo first got involved?

DS: I got them involved. I cast a lot of the people in it: Russ Tamblyn, Dennis, Devo, and several others. And not that it matters, but my favorite scene in the whole damned movie is Booji Boy in the crib singing, “Hey Hey My My.” (Laughs) That’s just fabulous.

[See  How Neil Young* Got DEVO on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1978 ]


PH: So the Canyon must’ve built some strong, long-lasting friendships.

DS: Oh, it did, yeah.

Rare Human Highway Film Poster
(via Steve Cross)

(Hand numbered #109/200 edition and signed by Neil Young , Russ Tamblyn and Dean Stockwell at the bottom border, dated 3/19/1980. This poster appears to be an early version/promo that came out before the often seen movie poster. )


‘American Stars ‘n Bars’ by Neil Young’s (1977)

Stockwell also designed the cover for Neil Young’s 1977 album ‘American Stars ‘n Bars’.  Rumor has it that it is Stockwell in fishnet stockings. on cover.

More on Neil Young's 1970 album After the Gold Rush  An Evening With Neil Young as 'Human Highway' Goes Nationwide! , How Neil Young* Got DEVO on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1978 and other friends of Neil Young.


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7 Comments:

At 11/10/2021 07:20:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

RIP to a pretty important person in the Neil Young saga. Without Dean Stockwell, we don't get After The Goldrush. Without After The Goldrush? Well, who knows how the story goes.....

At the very least, Dean Stockwell was responsible for one of the very most surreal moments of Neil's career, the truly insane Mr Soul with Devo. Seriously, one of the wildest thing that Neil ever did.

 
At 11/10/2021 07:23:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Whoops, I meant Hey Hey My My, not Mr Soul. Old guy brain fart moment, it happens, kids.

 
At 11/10/2021 11:13:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Fascinating that Dean Stockwell’s script inspired Neil’s ATGR. DS ran in the same circles as NY and some interesting characters, maybe even Manson. I will always remember Dean S for his lip synch in Blue Velvet; totally bizarro. I love it that Dean designed the cover of Stars n Bars! Maybe even his leg(?!). I love that album, cover and all. Rest In Peace. Another one of Neil’s ok’d buddies dies. This mortality thing is vexing. I am glad to see the posts every time, Thrasher. We Carry On. Alan in Seattle

 
At 11/10/2021 11:14:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Old buddies…

 
At 11/11/2021 12:23:00 AM, Blogger JLM said...

The girl on the Stars 'n Bars cover is definitely not Stockwell. I believe it was David Briggs girlfriend.

 
At 11/11/2021 04:10:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

What a life Mr Stockwell had. Going back to his child acting days right up through the end. He met and worked with many important folks and had a hand in a number interesting artistic projects. Loved him in Blue Velvet, Dunwich Horror, Paris, Texas, etc. And I watched him on Quantum Leap when I was a kid. I read he also worked in some “straight” professions too (Real estate and the Railroad) and he lived through/participated the pinnacle of the 60’s counterculture. American Stars & Bars is one of my favorite album covers… up there with On The Beach.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Stockwell. We salute you!

 
At 11/11/2021 05:45:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

A rare and exquisite artist who always brought out the best in those he worked with. From After the Gold Rush, Quantum Leap, to Human Highway, and Blue Velvet he was always the one you remembered most. What a special gift he was. Be well on your journey into the light, you will be missed.

Peace 🙏

 

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