Neil Young is performing at Carnegie Hall this week (our pal Matt B caught one of shows). The Times had a piece about the first performance.
Then this morning on the subway I read “Loss Prevention” a short story in Richard Lange’s impressive collection Dead Boys. Here’s how it begins:
Every junkie I’ve ever known has had a thing for Neil Young. Be he a punk, a metalhead, or just your garden-variety handlebar-mustachioed dirtbag, if he hauls around a monkey, he’s going to have Decade in his collection, and he’s bound to ruin more than a few parties by insisting that you play at least some of it, no matter that the prettiest girl in the room is begging for something she can dance to. Even if he gets off dope, he sticks with Neil, because by then Neil’s become the soundtrack to his outlaw past. Let him hear “Old Man” or “Sugar Mountain” years after the fact, and everything in him will hum like a just-struck tuning fork as mind and body and blood harmonize in mutual longing for a time when desire was an easy itch to scratch.
So this is why, when the deejay announces that a rock block of Neil is coming up next, three classic cuts in a row, I know there’s no hope of Jim budging until the last song ends.