Days That Used To Be


“It’s about everybody from that generation [Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young days – Ed]. It’s to me as well as everybody else.”Neil Young (923)

Ragged Glory (The Album)


“Trying to get a little love on the subject, that’s what I was doing on Ragged Glory, exploring this neighborhood that’s like a valley or something. Every album has its own geographical kind of fantasy scene that exists in my head and that one had a lot of them. You know, like, you’ll have a book, like The Hobbit, and you’ll have a map of all the places that are In the book, a fantasy kind of world. This album here, it’s about making things last, how to keep that interest, how to keep the fire burning. Never get bored with the fact that you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Relationships should enrichen with age, that kind of thing.”Neil Young (924)

Natural Beauty


“‘Natural Beauty’ is about survival in nature in general and survival in any situation really, there’s many things in it. The subject of the song is meandering, it’s kind of a trip through space. It’s like I took a completed album of all kinds of different songs and threw it up in the air and it came crashing down. I took all the pieces and put them back together again. It’s a live tape that I overdubbed on, added all kinds of acoustic instruments to. Doing ‘Natural Beauty’ live in Portland and singing it all the way through, I nailed it right there. I knew there was no sense in trying to do a better one. I know I got it when I was doing things with the structure I’d never be able to do again.”Neil Young (924)

Act Of Love


“I’m personally pro-choice, but you won’t hear that in the song. The song states both sides – a lot of sides – of the question. It’s not up to me to write a song about what I think people should do. The idea’s to write a song that makes people wonder what they should do. Then everybody can get something because all the sides are there; it’s all in there.”Neil Young (925)
“Yeah, there’s no bias so you have to make up your own mind, finally. See, personally, I’m pro-choice. But the song isn’t! This isn’t an easy subject to confront head-on. People who say that human beings shouldn’t have the right to dismiss a human life – they have a point. You can’t dismiss that point. But then there’s the reality. There’s idealism and reality, the two have got to come together yet there are always major problems when they do. Maybe that’s the crux of what I’m trying to say in this new album. It’s also a commentary of the differences between my peace and love ’60s generation and the more cynical ’90s generation. Like this term ‘love’. We hear the word so much it gets devalued and you need to – if not redefine it – then at least re-examine what it really stands for. We all need to get back inside ourselves and take another look. You can’t just keep coasting along on the previous analysis because it isn’t working any more.”Neil Young (916)

Helpless


“Well, it’s not literally a specific town so much as a feeling. Actually, it’s a couple of towns. Omemee, Ontario, is one of them. It’s where I first went to school and spent my formative years. Actually I was born in Toronto… “I was born in Toronto”… God, that sounds like the first line of a Bruce Springsteen song. But Toronto is only seven miles from Omemee.”Neil Young (916)

After The Goldrush (The Album)


“[Many of the songs were inspired by a film screenplay written by the actor Dean Stockwell. What was the film actually about? – Ed] It was all about the day of the great earthquake in Topanga Canyon when a great wave of water flooded the place. It was a pretty off-the-wall concept, they tried to get some money from Universal Pictures. But that fell through because it was too much of an art project. l think, had it been made it would stand as a contemporary to Easy Rider and it would have had a similar effect. The script itself was full of imagery, change… It was very unique actually. I really wish that movie had been made, because it could have really defined an important moment in the culture.”Neil Young (916)

Don’t Be Denied


“Yeah, certainly. It’s one of them, anyway [most openly autobiographical songs – Ed]. The other one’s called ‘Hitch-Hiker’. It’s a contemporary of ‘Don’t Be Denied’ from 1975 and it was all about all the different drugs that I took. I started at the beginning and ran right through my years of drug usage up to that time, drawing parallels with other stuff.”Neil Young (916)

Hitchhiker


“Yeah, certainly. It’s one of them, anyway [most openly autobiographical songs – Ed]. The other one’s called ‘Hitch-Hiker’. It’s a contemporary of ‘Don’t Be Denied’ from 1975 and it was all about all the different drugs that I took. I started at the beginning and ran right through my years of drug usage up to that time, drawing parallels with other stuff.”Neil Young (916)

Cortez The Killer


“It was a combination of imagination and knowledge. What Cortez represented to me is the explorer with two sides, one benevolent, the other utterly ruthless I mean, look at Columbus! Everyone now knows he was less than great and he wasn’t even there first. It always makes me question all these other so-called icons.”Neil Young (916)

Thrasher


“‘Thrasher’ was pretty much me writing about my experiences with Crosby, Stills & Nash in the mid-’70s.”Neil Young (916)

The Needle And The Damage Done


“Since I left Canada 5 years ago or so and moved South, I found out a lot of things that I didn’t know when I left. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. Got see a lot of great musicians before they happened, before they became famous. I got to see a lot of great musicians who nobody ever got to see for one reason or another. But, strangely enough, some of the great one that nobody got to see was because of heroin and that started happening over and over. It happened to some that everybody knew about so I wrote this song.”Neil Young (1127)