Thanks to Facebook I found out today is Neil Young's birthday. From the first moment I heard his voice, I became enchanted. It was in the early '70's, and up until then I was an ardent AM Radio fan. I spent whatever money I would find hidden in the couches on 45's at the local candy store. My prized possession was my friend's record of Peter St. Crispin's "Pied Piper." I would make her play it for me constantly. The day she wedged it in between her carpet and the wall, struck it with a clarinet, and broke it, was the day I began hating her.
After I got a job, and didn't have to scrounge in between the cushions for change, I began to shift away from 45's to full albums. The earliest ones I remember buying were The Beach Boys (from a bargain bin), Bette Midler (loved Fever) and Cat Stevens (he looked hot on the cover). Then somewhere, with someone, I heard Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. Neil's voice immediately called out to me, and after I heard "Southern Man," I ran out and bought "After the Goldrush."
It was my album, and I didn't have to depend on the kindness of others to hear it, so I played it constantly. It's still my favorite Neil Young album. I was turned onto FM Radio, WNEW-FM, and that was the end of AM bubblegum music for me, so thank you Neil for plunging me into the world of rock 'n roll, and happy birthday!!!
I found this great version of "Helpless" today. Patti Smith does her own version on one of her albums, which I think is fantastic, and much better than her "Smells Like Teen Spirit" one. On this video she, and some other musicians, join Neil. Together they give me goosebumps...