Borrowed Tune, by Neil Young:
Listening to this song on the way to work this morning, and listening to a couple other tracks from the same album (Tonight’s The Night) during the overnight shift while feeding my newborn son has made me realize that a big Neil Young thing is starting. This happens from time to time and it’s always good news. I don’t seek it out or plan for it, and there’s no trigger, like a new album or a concert experience, but I know what I want to do with this now that it’s happening.
Since the last time I wrote on this blog, my life has fundamentally changed. I am the father of a one-month-old baby boy. I am filled with such indescribable joy. And in those late night hours, when I want to calm this boy and get him back to his peaceful rest, I try to sing him something. Most of the time, it ends up being Neil Young songs.
I like to say that shaky Neil (along with Pink Floyd) are the reason I love music so much. These are the sounds that got it all started, that made me the mad collector and fueled my love of guitar. But I’m so different than I was twenty years ago, in my room upstairs at my parents’ house, playing along and trying to learn everything on ‘Live Rust’ by ear, and then by heart. So much has happened since those days when I didn’t know who I was or where I was going – just an embarrassed teenager with guitar the only thing to set me apart from my friends.
And so, I like the idea of going back here with my own child. I like that this music has been in my DNA for so long, and I want to share that elemental thing with him, even though he’s too young to have any idea what these songs are about.
Neil represents so much of the ecstasy and pure emotion of music. He’s the ultimate no-bullshit, punch-you-in-the-gut artist who doesn’t give a shit about making his audience happy, yet somehow always does. That’s a pretty neat flavor of genius, if you ask me.
And then you come across a track like this – “Borrowed Tune”, one man alone in a room with a piano, consumed with doubt and thoughts of grief, but unable to contain the power of beauty that propels him up the ladder.
I’m in the middle of trial in beautiful downtown Camden, NJ. Before today, I hadn’t updated blogerantz for days. Now I’m sitting in the living room with Lucy and Em; we’re tapping away at our computers and the wintry mix continues to fall on the old air conditioner that sticks out the dining room window, even in the winter. The soundtrack is Neil Young; so a day without sunshine is NOT a day without guitar. If you know where to look, get this record:
Closing arguments will, hopefully be made tomorrow.