I guess it could be a multi-part review, but seriously, I have been reading this book for a month and am only up to 1989.
Which brings me to this post. As you may know, Neil had a pretty bad period in the 80s. He was struggling with some personal issues, and had a bit of an identity crisis. He released weird tangential albums - rockabilly, country, blues, 50s style rock and even a computerized album inspired by Devo, called Trans.
Put it this way - his 80s albums were so weird and sold so poorly that his own record company at the time (Geffen) sued him for making noncommercial albums. Classic!
So after being totally written off by everyone as a has-been and total hack, he comes out with this Saturday Night Live barnburner.
This is probably one of my all time favorite clips. It's up there with The Who slaughtering Young Man Blues at the Isle of Wight gig in 1970. Which is saying a lot (but that is another post altogether).
A couple of factoids from the book about this clip. Neil worked out with a trainer for an hour and a half right before getting onstage, so he could be in a physical and mental state similar to being at the tail end of a live show.
The drummer, Steve Jordan, had done so much televised work before that he knew he needed to bring the largest cymbals possible if he wanted to be heard. The author of the book says that the band look like 'a bunch of car thieves.'
I find this video so inspiring, I want to go out and form a band to just slaughter songs like this. And Neil was 44 at the time.
This embodies everything I love about Neil Young and for any of my friends who have never understood, just watch the video!