Rhinocast #17 – Neil Young

Well I used to drive a cab you know

Well, not really.

But I listened to a lot of Neil Young.  Playing "Down By The River" and "Don’t Let It Bring You Down" brought me to the debut.  Which seems to have been forgotten.  This podcast is about that very first record, containing the above-quoted track, "The Last Trip To Tulsa".

I guess we love Neil Young because he seems to be beholden to no one.  After all, it was HE who wrote "This Note’s For You", not Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton or even Keith Richards.  He may be a prickly bastard, but he’s the last guy who hasn’t sold out.  And therefore we can believe in him.

Listening to this very first record will inform you of how it used to be.  When music was the highest art form.  And people were exploring.  And marketing was secondary to music.  Neil sat in the studio and laid down his truth.  To hear this record is like staying up all night with a guy you just met.  Who you might never ever see again.  But the experience left an indelible mark, you can’t forget it.

Neil Young is winter music.  For when the landscape is bleak.  When you’re in your own mind.  When you’re contemplating.  His records are the opposite of what’s purveyed in the mainstream today.  Can you imagine Neil at a Hollywood hotspot?  You know Neil didn’t have a lot of friends in high school, and still doesn’t.  Oh, he’s not a loner, he’s got just enough.  And just enough is all you need.

It’s records like this that built this music business edifice.  Its caretakers have fucked up the store royally, but thank god we still have Dead Sea Scrolls like Neil Young’s debut to experience, to remind us what it’s all about.

This is about as good as I can do.  Or should I say as well as I can do.

Who knows.


You can listen to or download the podcast from Rhino’s site: http://rhino.com/rzine/rhinocasts/index.lasso.

Or you can subscribe in the iTunes Music Store.  Just search for "Lefsetz" and the Rhinocast will come up.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.