#254 Neil Young – Old Man (Live at Massey Hall)

Way back in 1970, a 24-year-old Neil Young poured the fruits of his early successes into buying what he called the Broken Arrow Ranch in Northern California. The considerable tract of land came complete with a lake, the barn where much of Harvest was recorded, and a longtime caretaker by the name of Luis Avila. During one early drive around the grounds, Avila turned to Young and asked him how he could afford such a magnificent home. “Well, just lucky, Louie, just real lucky,” Young recalled telling him. Avila replied: “Well, that’s just the darndest thing I ever heard.” It was from that conversation that Young took the inspiration to write ‘Old Man’, a more considered answer to Avila’s question in which he argued that, despite his good fortune, he was really no different. “I need someone to love me the whole day through,” he sang. Forty-four years later, Young still lives at Broken Arrow Ranch, and as he celebrates his 68th birthday today having travelled an incredible road, you wonder how much he can still see of himself in his memories of the long passed Avila, and in the man he was then.

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