Neil Young is the type of grumpy old man we here at deadman/party aspire to be, the type that has been ornery his whole life. The earliest moment we know of was the infamous Woodstock incident in which he told whoever was filming CSN&Y, and we quote, “One of you fuckin’ guys comes near me and I’m gonna fuckin’ hit you with my guitar.” We find this to be the perfect balance between celebrity (CSN&Y at Woodstock for goodness sakes!) and refusing celebrity (but not refusing it in some sort of Billy Corgan, “waaaaaa, stop looking at me like I’m a freak. Boo-Hoo, The Elephant Man is my favorite movie. I shaved my head!”). Mr. Young was again captured angry in his Live at Massey Hall recording, sternly telling a photographer to stop taking pictures of him as it messed him up. Somehow it comes off as cantankerous and badass more than the way in which Eddie Vedder admonishes ‘Josh’ to turn down the lights because ‘it’s not a t.v. studio it’s a rock concert’ in the music video for Even Flow. Something about Mr. Young just seems more manly than Mr. Vedder. Maybe because he is not as pretty.
Mr. Young also collects two things that we admire, guitars and cars, but both in a way that treads the fine line between decadent and manly. He has enough guitars to devote a section of his website to them which, unlike Steven Seagal, he does not. (Though he does find quite a lot of space to devote to how much he hates Bush and the Iraq war, enough space to make him the hero of any liberal arts college in America.) And unlike Steven Seagal, his guitars are famous because they once belonged to Neil Young. With the exception of one that belonged to Hank Williams. We will accept that homage. Another proof of Mr. Young’s fire and ice mentality is his love of old cars and his efforts to make them green. There is definitely some sort of penis-directed yearn in all of us to praise old Detroit rolling stock, though our politics demand we like something much better for the world but much more pussy, like a Prius. Lucky for us, Mr. Young is forging the path of ridiculous mid-life crisis autos that run on ethanol.
Getting a beer with Mr. Young would certainly be at some sort of dimly lit dive bar where they let you smoke cigarettes somewhere in the Central Coast. And from there it would go one of two ways: either a many beers, swapping stories late into the night or some sort of cosmic jam session at some strange dude named Kripsy’s bunker/recording studio near the beach. Playing folk tunes for about three days straight. Either way would be great, as long as no one mentions Chaney.