Friday, February 08, 2008

After the gold rush

I'm a huge fan of Neil Young, and feel he trails only Alexander Graham Bell in terms of overall Canadian greatness. Like Bell, who barely spent any time in the Great White North but did invent the telephone when he was up there, Young has had the good sense to have spent most of his life south of the International Boundary, where the relatively warm air has kept his creative juices flowing for what some (including myself) consider the longest most consistent run of making quality music in the history of popular music.

Or maybe the key to the 62-year old's longevity is that he has maintained the belief music can change the world, while most other once-idealistic rockers figure out this isn't the case by the time they hit thirty, and their work suffers for it.

Sadly, Young's much delayed musical mid-life crisis was announced today, when he admitted to a film festival audience in Berlin that he had recently come to the conclusion "music cannot change the world."

But life continues after the dream dies and, on the bright side, if the man who tacked Young onto the end of Crosby, Stills and Nash is able to muster up another a reason to continue making records the critics will always treat him with the same kid gloves they do Dylan, Springsteen and McCartney.

Also, this is far from the worst time to lose faith, for if Young is in need of a quick shot of world changing grandeur to blunt his descent into full-on cynicism, such a fix is just the goofy vibes coming off of an Obamamaniac away.

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