Heart of Gold

I just came from an incredible concert film by a master of the art.  If Jonathan Demme never made another concert film except 1984’s Stop Making Sense, he would still be a master of the concert film genre in my book.

Thankfully, he has given us Heart of Gold.  The real credit, though, goes to Neil Young and the large cast of friends that he gathered together for a two-night engagement at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

This concert took place around the time of Neil’s surgery for a brain aneurysm.  It is, in a sense, the tale of a gentle man looking back on his life, while at the same time looking toward the future.  It is more a celebration of friends, than specfically of Neil himself.

They play the entire set from his newest CD, Prairie Wind, recorded around the same time, and then do quite a few older tunes, including 3 from Harvest.  [Actually, I don’t think they did "He Was the King."]

Go see this in a theater if you have a chance!  I will certainly be picking it up on DVD when I can, but I am so grateful that I got a chance to see it on the "big screen."

Neil provides a bit of insight into several songs, old and new.  The immense love between Neil and his wife, Pegi, and all of their friends is incredible to see.  I had tears streaming down my face in at least 3 places during this film.  If you have ever been a Neil Young fan, and maybe even if not, you owe it to yourself to see this film.

it’s a dream
it’s only a dream
and it’s fading now
fading away
it’s a dream
it’s only a dream
just a memory
without anywhere to stay

"it’s a dream," neil young, prairie wind

I was 13 when Harvest came out.  Every single note of that album is seared into my psyche and my soul.  I was certainly aware of Neil before then, somewhat from his work with Buffalo Springfield and certainly from CSNY.  I’d even heard some of his solo stuff, but not entire albums.  I love the majority of Neil’s vast repertoire and discography but, for my money, it gets no better than Harvest.

I want to live
I want to give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old.

"Heart of Gold," Neil Young, Harvest

Thank you for it all, Neil!  And for every bit more to come!

I have my friends
We left our tracks in the sound
Some of them
Are with me now
Some of them can’t be found

It’s a long road
Behind me

It’s a long road ahead…

"The Painter," Neil Young, Prairie Wind