About this performance, Neil said:
I don't like TV. Never have. It always sucks and there's nothing you can do about it. You can't just walk on and do 'Rockin' in the Free World,' or you'll look like a fuckin' idiot. To perform that song the way it's supposed to be performed you have to be at peak blood level, everything has to be up, the machine has to be stoked. To do that I had to ignore Saturday Night Live completely. I had to pretend I wasn't there.'
In my original post, I wrote:
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!