Neil Young on the way to a show in San Luis Obispo, with Cameron Crowe front left. 

“I first met Neil Young in 1973, on a bus to San Luis Obispo. He had come along to play guitar with the Eagles at a small benefit for the Indian community there. Young sat playing banjo, a grinning cipher in reflector shades. I was instructed not to talk to him, that he had nothing to say. After the show – which climaxed with a fiery ‘Down By The River’ that Young and the Eagles still talk about – Young plopped down in the seat next to mine. His shades were off, and his eyes were dark, sunken shadows below an Indian-like forehead. But they were mischievous, adolescent eyes. Dennis the Menace eyes.

‘Hey,’ he said, ‘Bernard Shakey.’ We shook hands, and he began to tell me that he was an amateur filmmaker, that he was working on his first film (he was finishing Journey Through The Past at the time) and was a little nervous about it. He talked excitedly, punctuating his words with a smirk. ‘Tough business. I’d hate to go back to shooting Hyatt House commercials.’

I turned to look out the window, remembering my impression of Neil Young as a depressed loner. Now here he was – a joker. I turned back around. He was gone, of course, and I was right back where I started.” 

Cameron Crowe, Rolling Stone #284 (1979)

This photo has been shared with permission from an online community of Neil fans.

Song: “Helpless”
Artist: Neil Young

Endorsed by Dan Mangan & Blacksmith

Dan Mangan: “Helpless” is pretty not-bad.

Gord Grdina: It’s totally pretty good. It’s the best song ever, it’s amazing, it’s Neil Young. Give me break, he knows how to make tunes.

Mangan: “Helpless” is good. It makes me feel things. Helpless. It somehow feels very Canadian.

Kenton Loewen: There’s a humility to it.

Mangan: It’s an incredible song. One of the best songs ever, not just Canadian songs, but one of the best songs that’s ever been a song. 

See all of 100 Best Canadian Songs Ever on

Old Man
  • Old Man
  • Neil Young
  • Harvest

If you can fall in love again and again, if you can forgive your parents for the crime of bringing you into the world, if you are content to get nowhere, just take each day as it comes, if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you’ve got it half licked.

Henry Miller (December 26, 1891–June 7, 1980) in On Turning Eighty

Song: “Old Man” by Neil Young

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