Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest rockers of all time, the amazing Neil Young.
A legend was created when Neil was driving his hearse down Sunset Boulevard, got stuck in traffic, and Steven Stills and Richie Furay did their famous u-turn leading to the creation of the Buffalo Springfield, one of the pioneering groups of folk/country rock. After that volatile group split, Neil went on to a stellar solo career, occasionally dropping in on Crosby, Stills, and Nash to create one of the all-time "super groups" in rock history. And he's still rockin'!
I saw him live in 1976 in Austin, and his energy was beyond kinetic! In a rare treat for astrologers, I found his birth information in Wikipedia: 6:45 AM, 12 November 1945, Toronto. That makes him a double Scorpio with a Moon at 14 Aquarius. (As mine is the exact same degree, it's no wonder I've always loved his Spirit and his music!)
Enjoy what you're about to hear, since this musical force majeure has been and continues to be one of the best. I found quite a few videos from across the years to whet your appetites and get you in the groove!
From 1967, a montage of video clips of the Buffalo Springfield doing "For What It's Worth."
From the Hollywood Palace in 1967, the Buffalo Springfield doing Neil's classic Mr. Soul"
From the Popendipity TV special, the Buffalo Springfield doing their hit "Rock and Roll Woman"
From the WTAI TV show in 1967, "Sit Down I Think I Love You"
Here's a fantastic audio-only live performance by the original Buffalo Springfield in late 1967 at the Fillmore West doing Neil's song from the 3rd album, "On The Way Home."
Here's one of the reasons it was very hip to live in LA in the mid to late 60s! I found a 27+ minute set of the Buffalo Springfield live at Whittier High School 1967 that captures some of the excitement they were said to generate. The set list includes "Pay The Price," "Nobody's Fool," "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing," "Rock & Roll Woman" and "My Kind Of Love."
A rare treat! A live audio only performance from Texas in 1968 by the Buffalo Springfield set to stills doing Neil's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing"
From their first album, here's the original studio version of Neil's "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong"
Here’s a rare audio-only clip from 1966 of an early acoustic solo demo by Neil of "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong"
From their second album, here's the original studio version of Neil's "Expecting To Fly" (it begins quietly, so be patient!) From the same album, here's the amazing “Broken Arrow" (Neil says those crowd screams at the beginning are from a Beatle concert, not a Buffalo Springfield show.)
Here's the audio only final song of the final concert of the original Buffalo Springfield in 1968. For your enjoyment, a 22+ minute live performance of "Bluebird"
From 1969, a live performance of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young doing "Down By The River"
From Woodstock in 1969, Steven and Neil doing an acoustic and funky version of Neil's "Mr. Soul"
Also from Woodstock, some very rare (and distorted) footage by Crosby Stills Nash & Young doing "Helplessly Hoping" and "Long time gone"
Here’s a treat! A 30 minute live acoustic set of Neil performing Live at the BBC in 1971. Set list: “Out on the Weekend,” “Old Man,” “Journey Through the Past,” “Heart of Gold,” “Don't Let It Bring You Down,” “A Man Needs a Maid,” “Love in Mind,” and “Dance Dance Dance.”
From 1974, CSN&Y doing a live performance of "Wooden Ships"
From the 2010 Bridge School Concert, a reunited Buffalo Springfield doing 5 of their original tunes!
Here's one of my favorite Neil Young tunes off of their first album, the honky tonk rocker “Burned”
From the 2011 Buffalo Springfield reunion tour, "Broken Arrow"
(Or you could just see the entire 93 minute show at this link: Buffalo Springfield - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA - 6/2/11 Sorry some of the camera work is so jumpy, but we appreciate what we get!)
From the 2011 Bonnaroo Festival, the reunited Buffalo Springfield doing "On The Way Home," (they take the stage about 3 minutes into the video) and then "I Am A Child." These are followed by "Mr. Soul," and then a smoking 11+ minutes of "Bluebird"
Neil in a solo acoustic performance of "On the Way Home" and "Tell Me Why"
Set to stills, from his first solo album, one of my favorites! Here's the original studio version of "The Emperor of Wyoming"
Also from his first album, a live 1973 performance from the Winterland in SF in March 1973 set to stills of "The Loner"
From Madrid in 1987, Neil Young & Crazy Horse in a live performance of "Cinnamon Girl"
Live From Hyde Park in June 2009, Neil doing "Cinnamon Girl"
From the same show, with Paul McCartney doing "A Day In The Life"
From 2008, live and extremely electric! "Cowgirl In The Sand"
Also from 2008, "Powderfinger"
From Toronto, Ontario in Nov 2007, Neil doing a solo acoustic performance of "Cowgirl In The Sand"
From Toronto in 2000, Neil's blistering indictment of the Nixon administration and authoritarians in general! "Ohio"
From 2000, a live audio only performance by CSN&Y set to stills of the very psychedelic Byrds' classic "Eight Miles High"
If you just can’t get enough of Neil live, here’s an entire audio only 80 minute concert of Neil Young European Solo Acoustic Tour in Hamburg, 2003
Live from 1992, Neil doing an acoustic solo performance of "Long May You Run"
From the 1978 concert tour Rust Never Sleeps, here's Neil Young and Crazy Horse doing "Like A Hurricane"
From Calgary in October 2008, "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"
From 1999, Neil doing a live acoustic performance of his song "Buffalo Springfield Again"
Here’s a great find! From 1983, here’s the entire one hour set of Neil Young live on Austin City Limits
Now for several versions of one of the strongest rockers ever written! Here's the music video of "Rockin' in the Free World"
Here's Neil Young and Pearl Jam at the 1993 MTV Music Video award ceremony doing ">"Keep On Rockin' In The Free World"
Here's Neil with Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe, John Fogerty and Pegi Young at Vote For Change in October 2004 doing a smoking version of "Keep On Rockin' In The Free World"
Though neither of them wrote this song, and Jimi did the definitive version, this performance is still one of my favorites! From 2004, Neil and the Boss doing a highly intense electric offering of "All Along The Watchtower."
For more, here's the Neil Young You Tube channel
The official "Neil Young website.
Happy 67, Neil! Thanks for reminding us to rock, and rock, and rock some more. Long may you run like a hurricane down by the river, broken arrow.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Wilkinson