Neil Young discussed a fan getting wrong the meaning of one of his songs about a tragic plane crash in a recent Neil Young Archives Q&A. Neil Young just ‘rejected’ a fan’s demand for him to mimic a The Beatles member performance.
A fan asked, “My question may sound really silly, since I have searched on the web and could not find any reference on my suspect…It is relate to ‘My Pledge’ my favourite from ‘Peace Trail’ album. The song as a good number of references to the past and some of them specific to music, usually pretty clear.
But my question is related to an apparently obscure reference (maybe is not that obscure to many, hence comes out my silliness). At some point there is this half verse: ‘Three stars died in a plane one night. Rock and Roll, the message that was sent.’
It immediately sounded to me as a reference to the airplane accident that involved Lynyrd Skynyrd members. Three of them died, including Ronnie Van Zandt, well known for wearing Mr. Young t-shirts, also in concert. Does it make sense? Am I gone too far? Thanks a lot for everything! Paolo.”
Young responded, “Paolo, Richie Valens, Buddy Holly , and the Big Bopper (JP Richardson) all died in a plane crash a long time ago. That is the original reference, but the same goes for Lynard Skynard, a great band. NY.”
Another fan asked, “Been a fan forever. And will be in the future. But this NYA has me really stumped. The only music you can listen to on the app or site is stuff that is already studio released and available already on spotify. All the archives and live bootlegs (ie Solo Trans) are unavailable to listen to. So, besides the supposed premium streaming quality, I’m not sure I understand the benefit of this. At all.
As far as I can tell I get access to a clunky unnavigable website filled with information and stuff that is already available. What am I missing? How do I listen to live bootlegs and archive recordings? How about live concerts streams and recordings? Seriously, I feel like I wasted $20. I wish I would have taken that same $20 and went to my nearest record store and bought some of Neil’s stuff on vinyl. I’m sorry if this is critical but I’m saying this as a fan and whose already on your side, man…This is a great idea that, so far, has been poorly produced.”
Young shot back, “Dear no name, It’s great hearing from you again! If you can’t hear the difference in the quality of NYA audio, as you indicate…. ‘supposed premium streaming quality,’ and you don’t care who played on the records or produced them, and you have not noticed all the live streams, I don’t know what to tell you. Some people just don’t get this, and that’s OK. Perhaps you should read some of the the letters here, starting with the next one! NYA.” Howard Stern recently revealed the ‘worst’ Neil Young performance.