#973: 1969, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Cowgirl In The Sand

by Ray_North on December 28, 2014

There’s a quote from Douglas Adams that goes a bit like this – ‘if something was invented before you were born, then it’s second nature to you; if something was invented when you were aged between about 10 and 35 it’s exciting to you; if something was invented after you reached about 35 it’s baffling.’

Well it’s taken me a few years to reach baffled but now I’m truly there – not only am I baffled by modern technology, I’m actually angered by it. As I posted a few weeks ago on this site, I’m sick and tired of being sold stuff every time I turn on my laptop – I’m sick of hacking and social network and googling and all that shit and if I sound old that’s because I bloody well pretty much am.

Take Christmas Day, the little North Boys had an X-Box from Father Christmas (well me, actually and that’s £360 quid I won’t see again) – they were excited and understandably wanted to play, I had the task of setting it up, and I went about this task with a fair amount of curmudgeon, but, understood it to be my duty – unfortunately, I was unable to set it up because someone had decided to hack the Microsoft server which prevented anyone from registering their new game online which you have to do if you want to play an X-Box. My boys didn’t really understand this – they just assumed that they’d been given a really crap X-Box, which provoked a fair amount of heated debate about whether Father Christmas was in fact some kind of evil bastard, or whether they themselves had somehow brought it upon themselves.

For fuck sake – it wasn’t like this in my day, I mean, imagine being told, you can’t play with your Action Man Scuba Diving Grip Hand Eagle Eyed War Hero because some nerd has hacked into a website and you can’t register online.

What’s this got to do with Neil Young – I hear you say. Well, eventually, after the boys had been packed off to bed, I was able to play with my own Christmas Toys, which, this year, comprised of a number of fantastic LP Records, and I mean proper vinyl. I got myself a glass of port, sat in my dining room where my record player is kept and carefully took Neil Young‘s seminal 1969 album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere out of its wonderful sleeve, placed it on the turntable, put the needle on the record (yep) and Neil and the rest of the lads started to play – there was no internet involved, there was no registering, there was no wi-fi issues, this was a simple technology from a simpler era, I sat back and blissfully let myself be overwhelmed by proper guitars and drums and a singer with the most incredibly unique voice in the history of mankind. It was tremendous – I vowed there and then to eschew as much technology as I can in 2015, then I immediately let myself down by sending a couple of e-mails to George and Jackie, but, that remains my vow.

You may know that Neil Young wrote this song within the same 24 hour period that he penned Down By The River and Cinnamon Girl – you can’t fuck with that no matter how many servers you can hack into.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East December 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

I doubt there is a more impressive 24 hours in the history of popular music.


John Stone December 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

Awesome song!


Mike Killingworth December 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

If over 35s can’t understand new technology, that makes this 65-year-old feel a lot better.

I treated myself to a New Statesman subscription yesterday and guess what – I had to tell a third party a load of personal stuff including how to clean out my current account.

Anyone want my “Live at the Cellar Door” CD?


Charlie East-West December 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I completely agree.

Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, LinkedIn etc – all a monumental waste of time. I am guilty of spending way too much time on these forums. I recently started to fully engage with Twitter. I put a few tweets out, got a heap of new followers, and then started arguing about politics with complete strangers. This is not a healthy way to live.

Nor am I setting a particularly good example to my kids by spending free time looking at a social media network through the prism of an iPad, rather than using my time to look into the eyes of my children.

Social media is addictive, but it does not beat the face to face interaction with people who matter – close friends and family.

That is one resolution to stick to in the New Year. Less time on social networks and more time living in the real world.


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