5 Things That Remind Me Of Neil Young (That Really Shouldn’t)
I really love Neil Young. I love his music. I love his career choices. I love his lyrics, his guitar playing. His fierce originality and stoic sense of his values and convictions. I love that he is a fellow Canadian who, like me, once played guitar in the Toronto clubs. I love that his dad is famed hockey writer Scott Young, the man who wrote the classic A Boy At Leafs’ Camp my favourite book when I was ten. I love that he is currently trying to make the digital world safe for music lovers with a better file system than what MP3 offers. Sure he liked Reagan, but a lot of people experimented with bad ideas in the 80s. Sure he wrote one of the most risible if well-intentioned 9/11 tributes, “Let’s Roll”, but hey, the guy really meant it and who am I to judge the quality of another man’s grieving?
The point is, Neil is Neil. In fact, Neil is so Neil that thoughts of his work and worldview seep into my appreciation of things which have little or no relation to the former member of The Jades, The Esquires, The Classics, The Squires, the Mynah Birds, Buffalo Springfield and, of course, the Y in CSNY.
Here are some things that remind me of Neil Young, but really shouldn’t.
1) Quaker Harvest Crunch Cereal
2) Greendale Community College from Community.
Greendale is the name of the college on NBC’s Community. Now, I have not read anywhere whether or not series creator Dan Harmon is a Neil Young fan, but I can’t be the only fan of the show who always thinks of Neil’s 2004 rock opus, movie and album, Greendale every time I see the name on the wall of the cafeteria.
3) Springfield, home of The Simpsons.
Okay, so maybe this one is a stretch, but come on man, the Simpson’s live and work in Springfield, USA, but maybe (in addition to Springfield, Oregon as he has said) Matt Groening named it after Neil’s second most famous band, Buffalo Springfield, for what it’s worth. (See what I did there?)
4) The “Heart Of Gold” spaceship from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
This one might actually be influenced by Neil. I’m guessing that Douglas Adams was directly thinking of the denim one when he named the vessel which transported Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect (and Marvin the depressed robot) through time and space. Of course “Heart of Gold” was not only a great single, it was a fine 2005 concert movie by Jonathan Demme too.
5) Airport Safety Cards (and the adventure of Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger)
This one works in reverse, ever since Neil used a similar image on the cover of his 1986 album, Landing On Water.
And of course, the only successful landing on the water I know of, Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson”…
This is Neil at most 80s by the way, but even amid the Album Radio Rock sheen, it’s still Neil up front.
There’ll probably be a volume II. Until then, Long may you run Neil, and long may things remind me of you that really shouldn’t.