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Author Topic: Neil Young's Prairie Wind  (Read 3857 times)
bearsville0
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« on: June 27, 2008, 04:05:54 AM »

I just saw the Heart of Gold film yesterday, 2 or 3 years after it came out I might add, and wondered what any of you thought of it.

I liked much of it for the music but thought it was a little weird, like he was wrapping up his life and saying goodbye. I think all the songs had a nostalgic flavor, all based in looking back at the past and being grateful.

The weird thing was that it started to feel like a tribute movie--to himself.  I don't know how much of that was the director Jonathan Demme's influence (he of "silence of the lambs" fame) but the feeling of it turning into some kind of Lifetime Achievement Award put me off.

Any other impressions?
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 12:27:48 PM »

Well, it came at a reflective time in his life, shortly after his father died and (if memory serves) just after his own serious brain surgery.  So it's not surprising that he would be in a quiet mood and thinking about mortality.  That mood is all over the album too (in songs like "This Old Guitar"), most of which was recorded just before his surgery.   

And just a few months after that, he was back with Living With War.  That's Neil -- always careening between extremes.

On another board, a friend of mine posted a quote from Neil just after Prairie Wind that his next project was going to be loud and rocking, to which my friend replied: "Color me shocked."



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bearsville0
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 12:36:19 PM »

I look forward to hearing "living with war."   In heart of gold I felt we were sitting in a retirement home waiting for the grandkids to show up.
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canoe65
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 03:35:29 PM »

Well, it came at a reflective time in his life, shortly after his father died and (if memory serves) just after his own serious brain surgery.  So it's not surprising that he would be in a quiet mood and thinking about mortality.  That mood is all over the album too (in songs like "This Old Guitar"), most of which was recorded just before his surgery.   

Actually, I believe 'Heart Of Gold' was recorded just before 'his own serious brain surgery'.  So, I think he may definitely have been in a sombre, reflective mood.

Whatever the reason, Neil's 'Heart Of Gold' DVD is definitely one of my favourite acoustic music recordings.   
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bransonb
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 09:17:39 PM »

Neil looks old and so does everyone else. There are awkward and uncomfortable parts, and some of it is just plain boring. But the genuine regard that the interviewees express for Neil is undeniable. And the “Old Man” story, the performance of “The Old Laughing Lady” as the video closes, and the segment with Larry Cragg showing Neil’s guitars are worth the price of admission themselves.
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bearsville0
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 12:00:51 AM »

Neil looks old and so does everyone else. There are awkward and uncomfortable parts, and some of it is just plain boring. But the genuine regard that the interviewees express for Neil is undeniable. And the “Old Man” story, the performance of “The Old Laughing Lady” as the video closes, and the segment with Larry Cragg showing Neil’s guitars are worth the price of admission themselves.

Yeah I really liked him doing "laughing lady" as well. That was a gem, as staged as it was with the empty theatre, putting the guitar back in the case and walking this way then that.
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 08:07:36 PM »

I too thought it was done before his surgery. I that that is a key point here.
I also think that it was brilliant.  JMHO
I think this was more of Neil wanting to pay tribute to the people he loved and the people he surrounded himself with throughout his life. Maybe it all adds up to a tribute to his music, but his music was the vehicle that brought all those different influences and personalities together.
I wonder how we would view this all had the surgery not been successful and we lost one of our most brilliant song writers.
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Tycho
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 12:23:37 AM »

According to Wikipedia:

Quote
The recording of the album and the filming of the concert occurred just before and after Young's surgery to correct a cerebral aneurysm, and just a few months after the death of Young's father Scott Young.

So assuming that's correct, the album was recorded before the surgery and the film was made after.
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2008, 03:14:26 PM »

Prairie Wind is an amazing collection of music in my opinion.  Well crafted songs and well delivered with lots of heart.  What I suggest watching is the DVD of the recording of the CD that was the second disc when it came out.  Emmy Lou Harris and Neil sound great together.  I saw Neil twice last November at Massey Hall.  He still has it big time.  The show started with him solo on a variety of acoustic guitars, piano and organ.  Then the band joined him and he rocked like only Neil can.   Greendale and Prairie Wind are as good as anything he has recorded.
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 03:36:37 PM »

Although I have struggled with much of Mr. Young's latest output, I was blown away by Heart of Gold. Better than the Prairie Wind sessions, imo.
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lw216316
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2008, 04:17:20 PM »

" For what its worth "  - this is a quote from the wikipedia article on Neil Young

On March 31, 2005, Young was admitted to a hospital in New York for treatment for a brain aneurysm. He was treated successfully by a minimally invasive neuroradiological procedure. Prior to undergoing the procedure, he wrote the first eight songs of a new album, Prairie Wind, in Nashville, with session musicians that included regular Young sideman Ben Keith on lap and pedal steel guitars. The last two songs on the album were written after his aneurysm procedure. Many of the songs, such as "Fallin' Off the Face of the Earth," seem to be inspired by Young's brush with mortality, the recent death of his father (who suffered senile dementia), as well as a connection with his Manitoba roots. Two days after the procedure, Young was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance on the Juno Awards telecast in Winnipeg when the area where the surgeons did his procedure (via the femoral artery) suddenly began to bleed. Young finally was able to return to Winnipeg in 2006 with Crosby, Stills and Nash.

He next performed on July 2, 2005, at the close of the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario. He presented a new song, a soft hymn called "When God Made Me," and ended with "Rockin' in the Free World". He began his set with a cover of the Canadian folk classic "Four Strong Winds" by Ian & Sylvia Tyson. (He had recorded this song on his Comes a Time album)

On September 28, 2005, Prairie Wind was released as a regular CD, a special limited-edition CD and DVD package, and on vinyl. In an interview given to Time magazine, Young revealed that he had planned to keep the news of his aneurysm private until he had the bleeding scare, after which he decided to make news of his condition public.

In 2006, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, a film made by Jonathan Demme, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Filmed over two nights at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee during the premiere of Prairie Wind, it includes both new and old songs as well as behind-the scenes-commentary by Young, his wife Pegi and others.


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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2008, 11:31:42 PM »

I have not seen this yet, but I saw an interview with Neil on "The Charlie Rose Show" He talked a lot about "thinking big" in energy saving ideas, which he is involved with. (Vehicles).
           But at the end he spoke about the tumor and the bleeding later. And as he spoke of being in the hospital with a dear elderly woman next to him speaking about God not taking him yet, tears began to trickle down his face and he spoke of having "Faith". It was interesting to hear him and see his emotional depth of feeling.
           I would expect he's not through yet. Maybe another "Sugar Mountain" is going to come out.   Danny
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bearsville0
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2008, 11:39:21 PM »

I'm just gonna blame Jonathan Demme for why I was disappointed in that film.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 12:02:07 AM »

I'm just gonna blame Jonathan Demme for why I was disappointed in that film.
   Bearsville I think your observances of Neil Young are not off target. Danny
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bearsville0
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 12:37:00 AM »

   Bearsville I think your observances of Neil Young are not off target. Danny

Thanks Danny but don't get me wrong, I'm a big Young fan. When I first heard "After the Gold Rush" at the age of 13, my life was changed.  It connected me up to some kind of Larger-Than-Life sentiment. It may in fact have been the first Rock album I ever heard. There was no going back after that.
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2008, 12:46:51 AM »

  Sugar Mountain and then Buffalo Springfield caught my attention. I used to own a Gibson that came from the Band that was left when Neil and Steven left Buffalo Springfield, Which was POCO. I sold it in 1975. I like Neil, he like us all get's a little full of the man in the mirror sometimes.   Danny
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 03:59:46 AM »

Thanks Danny but don't get me wrong, I'm a big Young fan. When I first heard "After the Gold Rush" at the age of 13, my life was changed.  It connected me up to some kind of Larger-Than-Life sentiment. It may in fact have been the first Rock album I ever heard. There was no going back after that.

I hope you've picked up the Live at Massey Hall CD that came out last year.  It's from a 1971 concert, and it will take you right back to what you heard the first time you ever heard After the Gold Rush or Harvest.  It's really good.
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bearsville0
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 04:15:11 AM »

I hope you've picked up the Live at Massey Hall CD that came out last year.  It's from a 1971 concert, and it will take you right back to what you heard the first time you ever heard After the Gold Rush or Harvest.  It's really good.

I intend to but just haven't gotten there yet. Thanks for the prompt.
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 02:35:52 PM »

I have to second bearsville on the Massey Hall CD.
Neil just shines like gold on this.
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oz
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 02:42:26 PM »

Indeed which just makes the execrable Living With War that much harder to take. 
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