“Old Man”

Just for grins, here’s a great Neil Young song. On the recorded version, from the 1972 album “Harvest” (here), James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sang backing vocals, and Taylor played the banjo. I like this one better; it’s from his BBC live performance in 1971.

34 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    AH!

    PCC(E), much love.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I’ll have you all know, I first heard this as a child.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        For me, like a 21 year old child.

  2. rickflick
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Feelin’ old.

  3. Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Neil was already about 70 when he was 24.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Rockin’ in the Free World

  5. Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought back then i’d catch up with this song…
    “look at how the time goes past”

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      On the plus side, Neil’s an old man now, too…

      • Posted August 7, 2017 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        indeed.. and still older than me..

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 7, 2017 at 2:01 am | Permalink

          Yes, but he gets less older than you every day…

          😀

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 7, 2017 at 2:31 am | Permalink

            To quote Dylan…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKLIrOGfUo

            Good and bad, I define these terms
            Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
            Ah, but I was so much older then,
            I’m younger than that now.

            cr

            • Diane G.
              Posted August 7, 2017 at 2:53 am | Permalink

              Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard/thought about that song–thanks!

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Graham Nash’s “More Barn!” Neil young story:

    GROSS: In the acknowledgements to your book, where you’re praising your friends and your family, you describe Neil Young as, quote, “the strangest of my friends.”

    NASH: He is.

    GROSS: What makes him strange?

    NASH: The man is totally committed to the muse of music. And he’ll do anything for good music. And sometimes it’s very strange. I was at Neil’s ranch one day just south of San Francisco, and he has a beautiful lake with red-wing blackbirds. And he asked me if I wanted to hear his new album, “Harvest.” And I said sure, let’s go into the studio and listen.

    Oh, no. That’s not what Neil had in mind. He said get into the rowboat.

    (LAUGHTER)

    NASH: I said get into the rowboat? He said, yeah, we’re going to go out into the middle of the lake. Now, I think he’s got a little cassette player with him or a little, you know, early digital format player. You know, so I’m thinking I’m going to wear headphones and listen in the relative peace of the middle of Neil’s lake.

    Oh, no. He has the – his entire house as the left speaker and his entire barn as the right speaker. And I heard “Harvest” coming out of these two incredibly large speakers louder than hell. It was unbelievable. Elliot Mazer, who produced Neil, produced “Harvest,” came down to the shore of the lake and he shouted out to Neil: How was that, Neil?

    And I swear to god, Neil Young shouted back: More barn!

    (LAUGHTER)

    The full Graham Nash convo with Terry Gross of NPR [transcript & 44 minute audio options] is here. Read it if you love music!: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=256590871

    I also heard Young has a full scale train set at the ranch, but I might be misremembering that

    • Taz
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Here’s the story from Quora

      “In the 1980s, Young was heavily preoccupied with taking care of his son, Ben, who suffered from cerebral palsy, as did his older son, Zeke.

      Young, an avid model-train collector, created a 700-foot model train track within a barn on his property—an idea he developed as a way to interact with Ben.

      Young developed special controllers for the train set, allowing his son to control switching and power using a paddle system. The controls later formed the basis for a company called Liontech. In 1995, when the Lionel company was facing bankruptcy, Young put together an investment group to purchase the train company so that he might continue his research and development.”

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 4, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Yaz

    • BJ
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Great interview. I had never seen it before, so thanks for pointing it out.

      His book was quite good.

  7. Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    One of my fave Neil Young songs.

  8. Ken
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Great song. This is a fun version too:

  9. Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy Fallon covered this and Neil joined him on stage.

    Young Neil Young and old Neil Young. Jimmy does a very good impression!

    • Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha. Time stamp identical!

      • Ken
        Posted August 4, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        🙂

    • Kevin
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Wow

  10. Vaal
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Cool. I just recently received that live album on vinyl and was spinning it last week to listen to that song especially.

    It took me a loooong time to warm up to Neil Young. Probably because growing up I was more into pop, jazz, “fusion,” dance, prof rock – anything but folkie rambling music. And also because it seemed any drunk guy who ever grabbed an acoustic guitar at a party would start warbling Neil Young songs. Ugh.

    It really was the song “old man” that got me in to Neil, later in my adult years and I’m still just exploring his music now.

    I’ve given up on that other folkie though – Dylan. My brother recently
    made yet another “best of” mix of Dylan trying to help me “get Dylan” but, yech, leaves me utterly unmoved. Whatever his lyrical chops may be I find his music utterly bland and his voice an ear-sore. I always think “please, just put the guitar down and write poetry or something.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Dylan wrote some great songs, just they’re usually better performed by someone other than Dylan. [/sacrilege]

      This is not unusual. Leonard Cohen was another example.

      cr

  11. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    As another side to Neil Young’s talent, listen to his great harmonica solo on Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris’s ‘Across the Border’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfCS1yXg8gk

    (original written by Bruce Springsteen)

    cr

  12. Joe Lykins
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Professor,

    A very good way to finish off a work week. Thank you!

  13. frednotfaith2
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I’d rate Neil Young among the top 5 of my favorite songwriter/performers, both for his raucous rockers and his softer songs, such as Old Man. Another such classic is Expecting to Fly, released as a Buffalo Springfield song, but pretty much solely a collaboration between Young and producer Jack Nitzsche. I first heard it circa 1979 when I listened to the 3 lp Decade collection, a great primer for his output from 1966 to 1976 as a solo performer and member of Buffalo Springfield and CSN&Y.

    • frednotfaith2
      Posted August 4, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh, yeah, and with backing from Crazy Horse, etc., as well.

  14. Curt Nelson
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    That was fantastic. Hi voice sounded so good. Man, to be able to sit down a perform like that…

  15. Kevin
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Magical.

  16. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe how young Neil Young is in that video! His voice sounds so much better too. But then again, I’m 47 & in 1972, I was 2.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      I wonder what the average age of WEIT readers is. I’m guessing you’d be on the low side.


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