Try to be sure right from the start
For Christmas my moms bought Shakey, the biography of Neil Young by Jimmy McDonough, for J. As a result, our household has been alive with the sounds of Neil for the past couple of months. After the Gold Rush and Harvest on the turntable. Decade on the CD player. Factoids at bedtime.
J: Whoa. Did you know that he wrote his first wife's mom's epitaph, "Shit Mary, I can't dance"? I don't think that's on her headstone though.
D: No way.
J: And that he was in a band with Rick James?
D: Uh huh.
J: You did?
J: What are you doing?
(D looks up from cell phone where she has been frantically hitting buttons.)
D: I'm playing a game called Bedazzler or Bejeweled or something. You have to line up all the jewels and uh...(drifts off embarrassed)
(Goes back to reading book, looks up suddenly.)
Did you know that Neil Young once ate a llama*?
D: HE DID NOT!
J: Just checking to see if you were listening.
* * *
Llamas aside, the rumor is that Neil wrote this song for Graham Nash who was breaking up with Joni Mitchell at the time. As a song of consolation, it's sorta interesting in that it clouds its "Look before you leap!" sentiments with a soft and winsome melody. How can you be mad at him for tsk tsk-ing your fantasy love foolishness when it sounds so gosh darn nice?
Song to seek:
Only Love Can Break Your Heart/Neil Young (mp3)
Buy After the Gold Rush by Neil Young
I have a lot of Neil on vinyl. Luckily, a lot of people in Yonkers seemed to be throwing out/tag selling their Neil Young records when I was an adolescent. It made for an inexpensive obsession. And obsessed is what I was.
This Only Love Can Break Your Heart cover by Saint Etienne is responsible for my Young fandom. I heard this version first and then sought out the writer. The beat paired with
Cover to seek:
Only Love Can Break Your Heart/Saint Etienne (mp3)
Buy Foxbase Alpha by Saint Etienne.
Do the cabbage patch.
* Besides being a blatant falsehood, this might not have been the actual lie J used to test me. I think his involved dinosaurs.