Yes I am a huge Neil Young fan but if you read this blog you have probably figured that out by now. Today’s cool concert chatter is a great Neil Young boot from a 1974 performance at the Bottom Line. Both Neil and the audience appeared to be in very talkative moods. As a lead in to singing Motion Pictures, Neil tells two great stories: one about why he quit performing Southern Man and a second one about how to make “honey slides”. Let’s listen……..
The website thrasherswheat.org offers a few further details about the Southern Man story that Neil tells in the video.
The song “Southern Man” was at the center of an unfortunate event on the 1973 tour and has been recounted by Neil in concert. The incident ocurred on March 31, 1973 in Oakland, CA. During the performance of “Southern Man”, an excited fan approached the stage dancing and having a good time. A security guard approached the fan and proceeded to “beat the crap out of him” and have him removed. Young stopped playing the song, left the stage, and abruptly canceled the rest of the performance. Young believed that the assault flew directly in the face of the song’s message of tolerance and diversity and was sickened by the attack. A final irony of the Oakland “Southern Man” performance was that the officer was black and the beaten fan was white.
The honey slides that Neil talked about seem to have been the band’s preferred drug during the recording of On The Beach and based on Rusty Kershaw’s liner notes for the album it must have been some powerful shit.
Not to speak of the fun we had. We laughed so hard we all had bruised ribs. On revolution blues, I turned into a python then an aligator, I was crawling like one making noises like one.
Plus I was eating up the carpet and mike stands and such and in the meanwhile I started to crawl up towards Neil, which is pretty spooky.
The life of a rock star! Stay tuned for future editions of Cool Concert Chatter. As always, let me know what you think.