Forever Young

September 22nd, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
I remember my very first concert. Impressive only in that the sheer number of events attended should have clouded over with time. Not so. At least not entirely. The 70’s produced the best rock and roll of all time and I was there for the ride. It’s one of the rewards for being this old.
An ardent Neil Young fan of his Buffalo Springfield days (no, I’m not quite that old. Just happened to own a copy of Retrospective), I bought and devoured the Harvest album as soon as it hit the shelves. That lonely haunting quality, both in voice and melodic lyrical content,  struck a chord so deep it resonates to this day. So, in 1972, when my new boyfriend clinched tickets launching the Harvest tour, I was elated. We were set to go to Madison Square Garden upon his return ski trip. I playfully told him to “break a leg” as he was leaving, you know that old Hollywood phrase for Good Luck. (I thought it was rather clever at the time.) He glared at me, then promptly returned two days later, leg in cast. The punishment for the unintended arsenic contained in those three little words was the threat of having to miss the concert. There would be no way for us to sit in our assigned seats encumbered with his newly plastered unbendable limb, he explained. The disbelief in my face as I struggled to digest the news prompted him to suggest we go anyway in hope of swapping two end seats with someone. The logic was he could stick his leg out into the aisle (and hopefully avoid tripping anyone in the process). As luck would have it, an obliging couple at the end of the row agreed to trade. Securely seated, we waited in darkness when a spotlight suddenly flared. And then THERE HE WAS! Harvest hat and all, perched on a chair, strapped with his acoustic guitar. Thanks, Brian. I’ll always treasure that moment and uh……sorry about the leg.
Since then, I’ve been to many Neil Young shows. Most notably, another Garden event for all three consecutive nights of the Rust Never Sleeps tour (compliments of Marty. Thank you). And the last time, at the Jones Beach Theater for the Greendale tour. One thing I will say about Neil. He does what he wants and when he wants to. He performed his entire Greendale album amidst occasional (polite) groans and a singular plaintive cry of “Neeee-illlll” from fans eager to hear something familiar. He laughed, joked, and ultimately toyed with us, delighting in every minute of making us wait it out. And when he was goooood and ready, he threw us a bone with a little meat on it saying, “You’re such a well behaved audience” as he rocked into a tune pulled from his bag of tricks. He doled it out in dribs and drabs to his “damage done” admirers.
But my long standing love affair with Neil came to an abrupt end (for about a year) after his 2010 New Yorker interview in which he revealed his distaste for his fans in the audience with the scathing words, “I hate to see them”. Hey! That’s me out there. Who do you think helped to pay for that ranch you’ve been living on for the past forty years? I’m not just any old “ruby in the dust”. I was hugely disappointed.  But then time passed. I forgave. Much as you would  for anyone near and dear. Neil is, after all, a part of my DNA (Do Not Alter). An essential component of my chemical make up. And I get where he’s coming from. When you’re into your groove, the last thing you want to see is someone making an ass out of themselves. It breaks the spell. Just close your eyes, Neil.  It looks great in the photo.
So………..whadayathink? Neil’s soon to be released (“I will never do an”) autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, is much anticipated. Catch his FREE concert Saturday, September 29th at NYC’s Central Park. You need a “free” ticket to get in but have sound will travel and so should you.
B there or B…….S Q U A R E.
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2 Responses to “Forever Young”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    Mike Metzler – neil young is the greatest ! I have seen him 9times and just saw him at farm aid. He does a lot for charties and is very faithful to his wife peggy. he is a hero of mine – from Neils biggest fan Mike Metzler

  2. magdalena Says:

    Neil Young, Central Park, Live………A M A Z I N G ! ! ! A GIANT walks on the land.

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