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

Not named after Neil’s classic 1972 album, Harvest. Not that I know of anyway. Although, I can remember knocking on someone’s cellar door to get a little more Quaker Harvest Crunch…

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.

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9 Responses to “5 Things That Remind Me Of Neil Young (That Really Shouldn’t)”

  1. I came to appreciate Neil Young during my twenties. A friend of mine took me a little deeper into his catalog than I had been before.
    I was hooked. His insistence on following his muse no matter what the financial considerations might be is commendable. As CSN like to say in concert,”We aren’t the Beach Boys.” I think Neil has played a large part in that.

  2. Lawrie Ingles Says:

    I used to live at 5 Carmichael.
    Carmichael 5 is a song from Greendale which
    Contains my favourite Neil Young song.
    Bandit!

    Someday
    You’ll find
    What your looking for.

  3. “As CSN like to say in concert,”We aren’t the Beach Boys.” I think Neil has played a large part in that.”
    Good point.

  4. Neil’s a part of my life.A main part.Heavily influenced by his singing and guitarplaying.And I don’t mind.

  5. rustnvrsleeps Says:

    As CSN like to say in concert II…well actually CSNY, David would say “we have over 1000 songs recorded between the four of us, Neil has 700 of them” We live in Indiana and cant wait for July, going to beautiful Omemee Ont for our honeymoon. Hopefully gonna get the chance to shake the hand that shook the hand of Neil.

  6. Gary McSweeney Says:

    It is an oversimplification to say Neil like Reagan. “You had to be there!”

  7. First off I want to say great blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before
    writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts
    out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any ideas or tips? Appreciate it!

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