Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Neil Young at the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies
I was having a rather pleasant Sunday morning last weekend, kicking back around the house with Kat and my son. In this technologically amazing world in which we live (and take for granted 95% of the time), one can get information that not very long ago would have slipped by completely unnoticed. That's why, as I breezed around the Internet for a bit, a Twitter update from the world's best Neil Young fan site, Thrasher's Wheat, popped up on my computer. It said, "It is Official! Neil Young Will Play Olympics Closing Ceremonies".
Well, I'd heard a couple of rumors in this regard, but there had also been plenty of false information about musicians who would appear at the Olympics, and it seemed that every artist and band from north of the 49th parallel had some rumored involvement. It wasn't until I got that tweet from Thrasher that I knew this was actually going to happen.
A brief side note: Neil Young fans are all insane, and it's not their fault. It's Neil's. See, if Neil had just had a nice, homogenous career of making one kind of music for one kind of person, you wouldn't have this massive cross-section of society making a disparate group of people who like Neil for completely different reasons. And, heh heh, I have to tell ya: I must have been influenced in more ways than one by Old Neil, because I have never felt compelled within my own music to stick to one musical style either. It's a problem in that some of my fans want to hear me rock out, and others like when I do my softer, more songwriterly acoustic stuff. I can't say I know how Neil feels about anything, but for me, there's no other way to do it. I have a vast list of musical influences, and when I hear something in my head that I want to do, I do it.
Anyway, once the news got out that Neil would indeed be playing at the closing ceremonies, the immediate thing that followed was the tsunami of opinions in terms of what he should play. To me, it was a pretty obvious choice that he would do a song in his solo-acoustic mode. Others were hoping that he'd pop up with all of Crazy Horse, Old Black slung on his shoulders, and rock the shit out of BC Place. I mean, c'mon; he's going to do "Sedan Delivery" at that event? I think not.
I wasn't at all sure, though, which song Neil would choose to do. However, when he strummed the first D chord and bleated the first mournful note on his harp that told us the tune was "Long May You Run", I nodded my head and realized nearly immediately how appropriate that song was for the occasion. I already wrote about my reaction to Neil's choice of tune over at Thrasher's Wheat, so I won't bother re-writing it here; check it out there if you want.
And now, onto the main reason why I chose to put up a blog post on this topic at all (took me long enough, eh?). While re-watching Neil's performance, I managed to capture some still images that I thought you might like to check out. It's probably a good thing I did, since this video may not available where you live, and probably won't have a long shelf life online. Note: I do NOT own the images below; they are screen caps from the video that NBC was kind enough to put up on their Olympics site, and if they ask me to pull them down, I will immediately. But I thought they were pretty cool, and if you click them, they get big enough to see the details. Enjoy.
Posted by Zak Claxton at 7:39 AM