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"Here's some more trash for ya...."

"I always play more than I talk, so the more I talk, the more I'll play"
Neil Young

Originally compiled by Rainer Baron Rouge Buhleier in 1996,
with the help of Rusties everywhere.

These transcripts of Neil's words are in no particular order. Any help with the dates or locations of these quotes would be appreciated. Send them to RE*AC*TOR at reactor@HyperRust.org.

From 4-way Street

"This next song's sure to bring ya right down....
It's called Don't Let It Bring You Down"

Saratoga Preforming Arts Center, 1992 (Harvest Moon Tour)

Someone tosses onto the stage a rose incased in hard plastic with its stem shoved unlovingly into one of those plastic containers that look like a hypodermic needle. Neil picks it up and says...

"That's love in the nineties folks."

Votes for most common Neil saying

  1. "How ya doin' ?"
  2. "Ya havin' fun tonight?"
    or... "Ya havin' a good time tonight?"
  3. "We'd like to thank ya for bringin' us back"
    or... "Thanx for bringin' us back"
  4. "Yer a great audience"

Berlin, August 1995 (Mirror BallTour)

"It's good to be back in Berlin!"

Manchester, England, 11/3/73

Between Helpless and Don't Be Denied...

"Yes, Men... Thank you very much, thank you.

"It's real great to be here tonight in Manchester. Welcome to Miami Beach. Thank You.

"I'd like to say that tonight, on behalf of the band, we're very happy that these donations that you've made tonight that we've been able to aquire two uniforms other than having one, and uh, I'm going to put mine on now.

"You might have something there... Uh...

(audience: "Tonight's the Night!")

"It certainly is. Thank you very much.

"Uh. It's great being a rock and roll star. It really is. Thank you. I owe it all to you, really I do. It's the truth- don't giggle like that.

"Now this is a new song, but you've heard it before. Unless uh, maybe you haven't heard it before... I heard it in a department store yesterday though.

"Nils - we can't do it. We don't have any awards. I'm sorry man, we don't have any awards tonight.

"Well this next song you've heard before. It's about these guys who got together right here in Manchester - - - thank you very much. I've seen a lot of shows, most of them move pretty fast. You can appreciate the difference in this show."

Old Princeton Landing, 3/21/96

Neil and Crazy Horse (as "The Echos") in a stealth show...

"Nice to see you out here tonight."

Melbourne 7th March 1985

"Ya know, today ya have all these machines that play music real good... Ya hear 'em on the radio and everything........ It's fantastic..... But aah, for me it just means that when you play with other people it's because you want to, not because you have to.

"So let's do one more for you people out there..."

He then proceeds to play a stirring rendition of Like A Huricane, performed with Crazy Horse and the International Harvesters, together.

Santa Cruz (with The Ducks), August 8, 1977

"Here's one from the Ducks archives..."
And they launch into Are You Ready For The Country

New Orleans, 1984

During the intro to Flying On The Ground Is Wrong Neil says to the audience...

"How many if you remember a group called Buffalo Springfield? (cheers) Well that's nice... We'd like to do a song from the first Buffalo Springfield album for you... I used this guitar on that song actually... I've had this guitar about longer than I've had anything I guess..."
Then in response to a hecklers' "How long is that?" Neil says...
"I don't know how long that is....."

(place?), 1979

"As soon as you start talking about mystique, you have none"

Los Angeles, February 1, 1971

After Neil had talked for quite a while, The crowd starts clapping in time (NOT!) to Sugar Mountain. Neil just says...

"You can't do that"
and starts again.

Caesaria, Israel, 23 August 1995 (Mirror Ball Tour)

"What a nice place, hah..."

Greek Theatre, LA, 9/22/92

After a few warmup chords on the banjo just before Old King...

"This a song about my dog. His name is Elvis. Elvis is riding on Jimi Hendrix's bus now. He traveled with me for many years. Well, I changed his name to 'King' in the song to avoid any confusion.

"Elvis had quite a nose. That was his whole thing, was his nose. But, you know, he was very sensitive about it. I'll tell you a little story about him.

"He used to go on the road with me all the time, and, you know he kind of smelled like a hound, 'cause... he was a hound. But it smelled good to him, and uh, you know we would take him to a veteranarian place or something and they'd clean him up a little bit so when he got on the bus he wasn't too comfy, you know?

"After a while we all kind of got used to each other on the bus, so it was okay, but right at first he was a little strong, so. . . so anyway, once, uh, someone took him that usually doesn't take him and took him to some fifi dog place. He came back smelling, uh, kinda like some bad toilet paper or something? Non-environmental and all. It had this odor to it that was like, (groaning) 'oh no, wow.' He kind of smelled like one of those things that hangs on people's mirrors, you know, that smell? Anyway, it was bad for me, but to him it was hell, 'cause he was, you know, sensitive.

"I'm cold.

"And uh, so I was sleeping on the side of the road, I was on my way out to Eureka, California to play this gigantic gig... And ah, uh, you know, he woke me up, it was about six o'clock in the morning, I get this nose, you know, 'snnnfff, snnnffff, snnff, snnff,' He woke me up... I'm going, 'What's happening?'

"It's this, this big nose, it's lookin' at me, kinda, you know, desperate. You know, I said, 'God, you smell terrible. You stink.' And he knew he stunk. He wanted off the bus. He said, 'I want to go roll in some cowshit on the side of the road.'

"So, you know, he was a smart dog, and he was purebread, actually, he was a beautiful hound, and uh, he had all his senses that he needed, he knew how to get back. You know, hounds will circle, uh, an area, and keep going in wider and wider circles, and they count how many times, somehow they know how many times they've been around it, so when they come back in they just count it like the, like the lifelines on a tree or somethin', you know, you just come right back in and, right to the core and that's where you started from, you know. Anyway, he knew that. He taught me that.

"And uh, so, I said, 'Okay Elvis, take a shot.'"

(addressing someone in the crowd) "I'll get to the point when I'm ready to get to the point!" (collective laugh from the crowd) "Get to the point, he says. What a dickhead! I'm tellin' a dog story. 'Get to the point.' Am I in LA, or what?"

(addressing the audience member again) "You're tough, right? You can take it? You know, we know, so. . . that's right. So anyway. . .

"Jeez, I might have to start over again, I think I forgot. So anyway... thanks. Now you've got me goin'. . .

"Naw, really. . . he took off, I let him go. And uh, there's only one thing that can go wrong if you do that. That's if it rains, then, and then he can't find his way back, 'cause he can't smell over the little rains, you know. He just loses it.

"So, he lost it, he got lost. It's like three o'clock in the afternoon, we're still waiting for him to come back, and we gotta go to the gig pretty soon or we're gonna be late, you know, and I'm going, 'Shit, I lost my dog. What am I gonna tell everybody?' You know, I can't leave him behind, I can't, you know, what can I do? So I went out hunting for him.

"There was a railroad track there, and I walked up and down the railroad track. I was going all by myself up there, from the railroad track, (in a loud, anguished shriek) 'Elvis!!!!' And uh, I couldn't hear a thing, not a hound around, and uh, so I gave up after a while, 'cause this Rolling Stone guy was following me around, taking random notes.

"You know, I saw him write it down, you know, I was out on this railroad track in the middle of nowhere yelling out Elvis, and uh, so I got, I knew that wouldn't be good for my image.

"So I went back to the bus, and uh, I got out my lucky shirt, which I don't have with me tonight, you may have noticed. I know, but it's too hot for my lucky shirt. So anyway, I, he, I took it out there and I put it down by the bowl, put his bowl out there, and left the shirt, he'd come back eventually, you know, find his way back to the shirt. And I'd figured after the gig I could come back.

"So, I get back on the bus to take off. So I'm leaving, and this guy in a pick up truck pulls up and says, 'Hey Neil, what're you doing?' Well, so, I told him, I'm not gonna tell it again here, I told him, and then, uh, then uh, he said 'Well that's okay, Neil, I'll, me and, I'll go get my wife, and we'll wait, we'll wait right here until he comes back, and then we'll bring him to you in Eureka.'

"I said, 'Wow, what a great guy, you're, you're great.' Yeah, so he did. You know, so I took off, and uh, just before, uh, I was about half an hour late - nothin' like Guns n' Roses or nothin', but uh. . . but I lost my dog... What did they lose, you know what I mean?

"So, uh, so I, so I got there. Ah, hey, that's rock n' roll, you gotta do what you do. And ah, you know, just as I was going on he called me and said they found him."

25th Anniversery Bob Dylan Celebration.

"This one's for you Bob.
Thanks for havin' Bobfest."

Houston, '82 or '83 (Solo Trans Tour)

After a song or two, someone yelled "bring out Crazy Horse!!" Neil responed something like...

"You're crazy man, there's no one here but me and my machines!"
(That may not be verbatim. But close wording and exact message.)

Helsinki, June 1993 (Tour with Booker T & The MGs)

While introducing the MG's...

"Annie Stocking and Astrid Young ... the elusive girls ... they come and go you know!"
(They had disappeared backstage.)

Bridge Benefit VII, Mountain View (1994)

At the second show, somebody yelled out "Please play Cowgirl!". Neil said...

"This is just like Cowgirl in the Sand"
And then he played Change Your Mind

Saratoga, 1983:

"Well, a long time ago I was lucky enough to buy a ranch and settle down in one place. When I first went there there was this old guy living there and he took me around in this old blue Jeep and showed me the place and he said 'You really think you're gonna buy this thing, kid?' and I said oh ah yeah I really like this place I think I'm gonna buy it. He said 'tell me how does a guy like you get enough money to do something like that'. I said 'just lucky I guess'. I was right. Anyway, later on I wrote this song here for him, after I'd been living there for quite some time."

(place? date?)

Neil is strumming on his guitar...

"This is a song I wrote about my ranch... When i moved up... um... north... and um... When I bought the place there was this old man who was working there for the people I bought it from... He was about seventy years old... either... you know... sort of like (the next bit is hard to make out-but it goes something like) ...to be someone tonight and it ran out again (??)... 'cause the cattle business and all that isn't just like it was forty years ago or whatever... Its like something is still alive but its dead... So i wrote a song about it."

(place? date?)

"Art is a dog on my porch"

BBC Television, London, Feb 23, 1971

While introducing A Man Needs A Maid Neil sits at the piano and says...

"I'm gonna do another sad song, folks. I find it hard to, I don't know it's ..." (Notices water cups on the piano.)

"Two of these... Dual BBC cups! In America, you know, they do things to cars... I don't know if you know, but the reason I said 'dual BBC cups'...

"Here's your, uh, thing from between shows when you advertise... (Uses "announcer" voice.) 'Don't miss it, don't miss it!' On American television they, ya know... this kind of TV over here isn't the same as American TV. American TV they give you a lot of commercials, you know. They don't know that you know what's on. You know, like they take it for granted that you don't know anything. Start from there and work down...

"So, I was talkin' about American cars, ya know. When you turn sixteen in America, you get your driver's license. That makes you a man. Sixteen. And then, uh... well really it's a huge masculine symbol, I guess. In America, a man's car is a whole trip sometimes, ya know. They have, you know, like, mufflers and everything. They get 'em and they make 'em and they put stuff in the back in the trunk to make 'em this high off the ground, ya know, so they look like they're goin' fast even when they're not even turned on!

"Sayin', That guy sure must be far out! He's got such a far out car! And then they put aerials on 'em, ya know, one on each side and mufflers comin' out the back and they change the lights on the back make 'em big and red.

"Well, I've got dual BBC cups on my grand piano. 1957 Buick piano..."

Stockholm, August 12, 1995

Somebody threw Neil a pair of sunglasses. He tried them on saying...

"I don't use those any more. Nice pair though, thanks!"
and put them on his table.

(place? date?)

"Listen to your own voice. Don't listen to someone else's. To me the way to live is to always move forward - to keep searching for whatever it is that interests you."

New Orleans, Sep 27, 1984

Before Down By The River. . .
I'd like to sing you a song about a guy who had a lot of trouble controlling himself. He let the dark side side come thru a little too bright.

One afternoon he took a little stroll down thru a field and thru a forest, 'til he could hear the water running along there. And he met his woman down there. And he told her she'd been cheatin' on him one too many times. And he reached down in his pocket and he pulled a little revolver out. Said "honey I hate to do this but you pushed me too far".

By the time he got back to town he knew he had to answer to somebody pretty quick. He went back to his house and he sat down on his front porch. About two hours later the sheriff's car pulled up out front. It started sinkin' in on him what he'd done. The sheriff walked up the sidewalk, he said "come with me son, I want to ask you a few questions".

As he heard the jail door shut behind him he sat down on a little wooden bench. And he looked out of the door - thru those bars - at this kind of wimpy looking sheriff out there. He started getting mad again and he realized what he had done.

There wasn't nothing he could do about it now though. He just sat down and put his head down and he started thinking to himself "I'm all by myself here, there's nobody on my side....."

London, 1971 (solo tour)

"This is a song I wrote about the beaches in Spain. I've never been to the beaches in Spain. It's just my idea of what it's like over there."
Then he goes into "Cowgirl in the Sand".

London, 1971 (solo tour)

"If any of you guitar players out there were wondering about these guitar stands, they're Rolls Royce guitar stands... They're actually quite novel... I don't know if you're into guitar stands..."

Los Angeles, 2.1.71

Someone from the crowd yells out "I am a child!" Neil replies...

"Eventually, eventually."

Jones Beach, (International Harvesters era)

"I had an interaction with Neil - he prefaced Too Far Gone with a line like...

"This is about a guy who goes to a bar, gets too drunk, and has fun anyway."
At which point I yelled from the fifth row "TOO FAR GONE" and he looked at me and said...
"Yeah - how'd you know?"

Beacon Theatre, NYC, 2/92 (Harvest Moon Tour)

Neil was sitting on stage getting ready to go into another tune when someone in the audience yells out "Turn it UP!". Neil instantly responds...

"Turn it Down!"
The place cracks up...

Naval Museum, Stockholm, June 28, 1993

Outdoor concert, close to midnight...

"Don't tell me, it's starting to get dark!"

European show (where?), 1993

While introducing Down By The River...

"Here's a song about unrequited love... I think that's the right word... unrequited... Hell of a word, anyway, isn't it?"

Broken Arrow Ranch, (date?)

Quoting Graham Nash: "I once went down to Neil's ranch and he rowed me out into the middle of the lake -- putting my life in his hands once again. He waved at someone invisible and music started to play, in the countryside. I realized Neil had his house wired as the left speaker, and his barn wired as the right speaker. And Elliot Mazer, his engineer, said 'How is it?' And Neil shouted back..."

"More Barn!"

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