Jul 20, 2015 A magical evening with Neil Young
Until last month, rarely did I blog less frequently than twice weekly. My blogging frequency first reduced last month because doing otherwise resulted in strange symbols getting inserted into my prior blog entries due to a bug in my blog’s WYSYWIG option (standing for “what you see is what you get”) as my thousands of prior blog entries get migrated to my new WordPress website that I expect to go live within two weeks. My webmaster offered a solution, by letting me send her my blog entries for her to launch by the ideal HTML format (hypertext markup language), but I have needed to get accustomed to temporarily losing the instant gratification of seeing a new blog entry live, and the losing the ability to update or edit a blog entry any time I wish.
On November 6, 2006, I blogged about “If Neil Young Were a Trial Lawyer.” (Today, I am offsite at a hotel computer that does not enable me to copy and paste links and text: I will be back at the office and in court on July 21.) Last Thursday night at the Camden, New Jersey, performance center, I learned all the more how much Neil would be able to persuasively disarm without manipulating jurors and everyone else. Backed up by the Promises of the Real band (which includes two of Willie Nelson’s sons), Neil Young mesmerized me for over three hours of dynamic, excellently-presented music with barely a bathroom break.
Just like a trial lawyer needs to do with his or her audience, Neil paid total focus on the audience and gave his performance and the audience every bit of his devotion and energy. His voice remains superb after all of these decades.
When I bought the block of tickets for me and my friends just fifteen rows from the stage, I was hoping that this would not be a pontificating performance saturated with Neil’s new album “The Monsanto Years”. My hope came true. Neil mixed masterful executions of such classics as “Heart of Gold”, “Old Man” and his encore “Cinnamon Girl” with songs from his new album about genetically modified organisms, Monsanto’s domination over agriculture, and corporatations and the “Citizens United” Supreme Cort decision (which decision I support on First Amendment grounds, and because of the heavy First Amendment damage that would have been sustained with an opposite outcome). Few musicians can keep me mesmerized non-stop. Neil did.
Recently in an interview about his recent stories surrounding cars and on Howard Stern, Neil addressed his adversities of his father’s leaving the family when Neil was at a young age and his mother’s smashing music records on the ground in anger, as merely his hurdles on life’s path, as everyone has their hurdles. That viewpoint is a great way neither to ignore nor to get permanently debilitated by adversity.
On Howard Stern this year, Neil also spoke of sharing a basement apartment with Rick James in the 1960’s and their escapades together. Neil survived those wild days intact, when so many music greats from that time did not.
Neil had me in the moment. Next to me was one of my best college friends; I felt like we were transported back decades ago when we attended our first concert together.
Thanking and bowing deeply to Neil Young.