Holidays

The holidays try to strangle me with food, family, towering Christmas trees (my father probably has the tallest Christmas tree in the neighboorhood; certainly taller than 3 meters/10 feet), more food, presents, sweets, beer, and even more food. It’s been nice though. For Christmas I got an iPod(!), a Sun Ra record (Space is the Place), a comic book, beer glasses, and Neil Young’s Re-ac-tor on LP among other things. I was up early today (alright, that was four days ago; something happened and there you go) and listened to the Neil Young LP on my father’s old turntable, and, well, it is not his best effort. But it is unmistakable Neil Young/Crazy Horse stuff with their unsteady beat and guitar work-outs. The most enjoyable songs are ‘Surf-er Joe and Moe the Sleaze’ and ‘Shots’. ‘Re-ac-tor’ also contains some of the least inspired lyrics Neil Young have ever written; here is a representative selection from the song T-bone.

Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Ain’t got no T-Bone
Ain’t got no T-Bone

Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Ain’t got no T-Bone

Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Got mashed potatoes
Ain’t got no T-Bone
Ain’t got no T-Bone

It goes on like that forever. It is said that Neil Young spent most of his time in the ‘Re-ac-tor’ period to care for his disabled son and that much of his output from the early eighties and onward was, well, less than fantastic. It sounds reasonable, I guess, but Neil Young has always made the records he felt like making, and I have no doubt that while his record company at the time tried to push him in one direction he deliberatly moved in any other direction. That’s Neil Young for you, moving in any other direction.

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