Neil Young, Before the Ditch

Neil Young once famously commented that his hit song, “Heart Of Gold,” put him in the middle of the road, but he didn’t much like it there so he headed for the ditch. His musical ups and downs and various explorations have resulted in some great music, some okay music, and some godawful music over the years, but count me as one who still enjoys hearing “Heart of Gold,” every once in a while.

The video below is from a BBC broadcast in 1971, Young is introducing a “new song” called, “Heart Of Gold,” which is so new he has to hunt for the right key harmonica to play with it.

It’s this newness that makes this such a great take, I think–Young is still enamored of the song, just as any of us rightfully are when we create something that we enjoy and think is good.

Listen to the youth and the wonder in Young’s voice, which is something his recent albums have lacked–the youth, because he’s obviously much older; the wonder, because he’s obviously much more cynical and cranky.


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