My germanic week (Part 5 : Paris 2003)
Each fibre of the cloth strikes back
at the bristles of my brush. The lines shown by the stick seek to
vanish into the drakness of the T-shirt. I meticulously make them
white. White lines go to Greendale. I didn't expect this road to
be so tedious and so long. The stroke must be fine and accurate.
The reasonable paint load is quickly absorbed. White paint, blackness,
lettering and motif are under control ; my first T-shirt is not
easy. Frozen motif, academic stroke ; does my soul miss the motion
? Twinge. Where are my old fresh sketches, full of life, slipped
within a sharp stroke on a conciliating paper ? Where are the first
ideas : The guitar was a cloud : It also was electric to break the
symmetry of an acoustic one . This was yesterday. Double F visited
me and cleaned my glasses. ę I must stay on the genuine way Ľ. The
musical cloud looked like an hateful disintegration. The shows I
attended in 2003 will finally decorate the guitar. This was yesterday
and today is already Thursday. The day after tomorrow will be the
last performance of Neilís acoustic Eurotour. The design is finished,
the production can start. Top concentration. Ragged Glory plays
non-stop. The paint brush hardly progresses. The mistake is easy
! But I am not entitled to easiness. I want to succeed and I know
that I can succeed. I donít want to be a passive fan but an active
rusty. The T-shirts of this tour are dreadfully ugly and expensive.
The strings makes a railroad track for a train having Neil Young
written down on the wagons. The locomotive ! Neil is a fine expert.
An all-purpose engine doesnít suit. I search for an original shape.
Yes, this one can be recognized, its shape is very unusual. It will
be that one ! Whatís its name ? Amazing ! Really topical ! The "Lafayette"
train was built in Philadelphia in 1837. Paintwork dries. Saturday
morning, after one sleepless night, I arrive at Crosbyís house.
After freeding his pony, we drive towards Greendale City without
forgetting some others rusties on the way, so that our delegation
from Brittany is complete. During all the way, the guitar on my
T-shirt seems to crackle.
I pace up and down in the Greendale streets.
A church ... A wedding ceremony ... I finally enter the bar
in front of the church. It is 3 PM and my stomach feels like a pancake
without yeast. It is 3 PM and "The Bombardier" doesnít
garantee anything to feed me. I greetsome Neil Young friends who
occupy a large part of the room. This evening, Neil is on stage
at the ę Palais De Paris Ľ, solo, heíll tell us the story of the
Green family. Nearby an exotic and tipsy caribou, I slip into my
tee-shirt which discloses my last work, being very different
than what could be my style. Everybody loves it and some will ask
for identical works. An original copy by the artist himself ! A
still unexplored way in the world of painting ! Only musicians
can do that on stage because their work is volatile as an alcohol
vapor which would fly and caress our nostrils. Not so far, a restaurant
welcomes me and Passenger. Itís really appetizing and moreover delicious
! The restaurant owner : "I favour a good and tasty food allowing
the farmers to live without being prisoners of banks. I shop within
the Double L ranch owned by Earl and Edith Green ". "Double
L ? I retort surprised. Why not Double E which would logically suit
their first name, I say amused. By the way, arriving in Greendale
by shortcuts, I saw a ranch being named like this". The
restaurant owner took a glance at me, looking like the weather which
was not expected in this end of May. We go back to the bar, but
the rush for a sports set on TV pushed our friends outside the bar
under a fresh grey sky. Rusties coming from everywhere (Netherlands,
Germany, Great Britain, France, Florida, California, Brittany, Belgium
and Normandy) made appointment to meet there. French people only
speak with a strong accent and they stammer when speaking the Shakespeare
language. They still have to work to understand every single word
that Neil will tell us this evening during his Greendale performance
By small groups, we are heading for
the "Palace Of Paris". I help Passenger who is lost out
of its district. Elsewhere, Southern Pacific takes out his guitar
and hastens to play some hit Neilís songs accompanied by the "
Underground Voices " of the day (Anita, Sylver &, Twilight,
Andrew, Ian, Phil, Peter). The privileged listeners are anxious,
they ask if they should pay for this unexpected show. Then in front
of the palace, I come in without difficulties with my bulky rucksack
in the beautiful concert hall ! Here I am, sitted in front
of the stage. Somebody warned me that I would be disappointed to
be in the first row because the stage is too high and I would then
be as a little child at the edge of a high table clinging on to
it with his hands and trying to grow himself pushing on his toes
to see what happens over the table. But nothing like this. It is
true that my eyes are below the floor of the stage but Neil will
be so close to me that I will not be bothered at all . Futhermore
since the mikes, chairs and the magaphone are on his left, I will
thus have a clear view on his guitar play. A hostess gives me the
boot to seat Ray who was furious that somebody toook her place !
Iím out by one wretched seat. Say hello to me, Ray, before to grouse
. Everyoneís celebrating tonight ! Ray had no success to meet Neil
on the Champs Elysťes where there was an original trains exhibition.
Knowing that the first four rows are almost fully occupied by others
rusties known through the web, itís the big rush in front of the
stage. Everyone's having a good time there . If Neil suddenly looks
at this, he must be filled with wonder at this friendship ! Larry
brings the three guitars having various tunings. Little by little,
everybodyís finds its seat. I feel fine between Alain and Ray. Some
ask us how we succeed to get these seats. As far as I am concerned,
I wonder how the French audience will welcome a very talkative Neil
! The lights turn off and the applause turn on. The tall silhouette
of Neil then appears in the halo of the candles.
(May 30, 2003)
For this last very special evening,
the loud and long applause greatly affects Neil. ę Merci beaucoup
... mes amis Ľ - (ĎĎThank you very much ... my friendsíí). This
message takes us straight to the heart. Neil seldom speaks not using
his native language. He wished us ę Bon voyage Ľ for our separation
at the Bridge 8, in 1994. Some ę Merci Ľ in France, but never to
my knowledge ę danke, gracias, grazie, obrigado, tack, dank je,
ta, trugarez, kiitos, toda, arigato, takk, sagol, nťŠ'eshe Ľ during
the shows. However Neil is fond of the German audience as indicated
by the number of shows in each country since he began. In decreasing
order : 48 shows in Germany, 34 in England, 18 in France, 15 in
Italy, 12 in The Netherlands, 10 in Belgium. Neil only makes an
effort in French like he did also in march 1976 ę Merci beaucoup
Ľ - (Thank you very much). All the crowd bursted out and laughed
: we were in Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Neil told The Guardian (May
22, 2003) : ę These people have their own opinion - they're French
! They're not fuckin' Americans, they're French ! Vive la difference,
hello ? Ľ. This evening, he should go on in French ę Vive la difference
Ľ - (Hurrah for the difference) - which will be very applauded.
He wonít make a lot friends when heíll come back in his country,
unless they change their mind to peace. In these confused days,
I think the fact that Neil finishes this tour in Paris means something
! If not, why would he have programmed his venue on the same evening
than Bruce Springsteen ? The guitar abruptly dances on the Neilís
knees. A blue atmosphere in the music and AN orange one in the floodlighting
enable us to inroduce the Green family to us. at the last Bridge,
Neil announced some verses on the 242 or 3 verses and started Falling
From Above. Was that a joke ? Was that again a still-born project
? Wrong ! Neil was headed for 906 verses. Each character in the
Greendale chronicle is very touching because very human. They have
their characteristic, their delight, their misfortune, their destiny.
Neil is their herald.
(June 1, 2003)
Grandpa raises the coffee cup to his lips
and stares at cousin Jed. This one gives him a so broad smile
that it hides his shaggy face. The ear-phones of his walkman are
in the pocket of his shirt. Noise is going out of them. Itís likely
his old preferred singer, thinks Grandpa. After so many years, does
one have still to carry on his way, or to sit down and rust, or
to branch off into others horizons ? I think itís really that, says
Grandpa. Jed looks him with surprise, scratches his head and screw
his face up. Yes, I must imagine another horizon to reach and not
to wait quietly the moment of the great leaving. It is here that
everything takes place ! In my sleep, I hear the complaint of the
depressed angels. They knock together in an appalling fall for the
nonsense hope to get some feelings, emotion, sensation. For Jed,
the morning thoughts of Grandpa are hard to swallow. Grandpa didnít
put much coffee in his alcohol, thinks Jed, but which kind if stuff
is it ? Politely, Jed says : yeah, itís terrible. Grandpa draws
back the bench and sits down at the table. He opens the newspaper,
perhaps heíll find there some inspiration. For him, the letters
in the newspaper are all round ; Grandma knows that and she points
out that to him with love and affection. Grandpa mutters. Humanity
is without memory and takes flight ahead in the obscurity. Here
a little lighting, says his grand-daughter while bringing his glasses
to him. Jed laughs. But Grandpa looks at far behind the horizon,
then he speaks to Sun, his grand-daughter, love and affection are
the masters words. Never forgets that. The first cars begin to awake
the streets of Greendale. Away from the town, a cock sings in the
Ranch of Edith and Earl Green, the Sunís parents. An old horse grazes
in front of the buildings. It has a Double L corrected in E written
on its sides ; the white Cadillac brings back Sun to the ranch.
It slips between the blue trunks of the driveway which is nothing
else but a temporal fault for Grandma. This one is a young and beautiful
and single girl like Sun and sets the hearts on fire. Hers is a
flower in which anyone can see the color of the petals in her eyes.
Hold, young man I offer it to you. Grandpa looks her in the eyes
and accepts it.
(June 7, 2003)
Only small offences on the public highway
fill the Greendale jail. This building is old, for Americans, and
it seems disused. However a lodger comfortably fitted out one of
the cells of which police officer Carmichael lost the key. Behemoth,
the cat, appears in the cell and purrs to the Master. I come back
from the bay. Brrr ! what a lot of water ! The Master, well sitted
in his armchair, gives an irritation sign. I boarded into the tub
of Captain John Green. This captain avoids the vice like plague
! He is undoubtedly a very bad company ! I pity his two young sailors
for they have to put up with him. I didnít stay longer because this
Captain John Green would have seen me. Should we give him a lecture
with a small storm on his nutshell. The Master shook the head. Itís
too easy. We arenít having any play. Iíll find better. Just as the
time the evening bells came from the neighbouring church, Jed leaves
his flat for the neighbouring village. Go Carmichael, stretch yours
legs. Itís time for you to patrol outside the city. Nasty cat, he
says seeing Behemoth. The night falls suddenly and also prematurely.
A bad squall brews says Jed switching on his lights which where
too faint in this darkness. He accelerates and follows the median
line with wide open eyes. A repeated flash lightS up the hedges
of trees which surround him. Police. Shit. This is not the right
time. And this officer is known to be a meticulous character. He
should not about in the car. Jed feels a ball swelling up in his
stomach. His vision and his thoughts are confused. Jed grips his
gun so hard that he could break it. A deaf shot goes off. Jed waves
in a both aerial and liquid dimension. Grandpa doesnít believe his
newspaper. Our cousin Jed collects weapons and drugs and he finds
himself in jail. Time is a wheel whose gears crush us, says Jed
to Grandpa visiting the jail. All the city is also shocked by this
tragedy. The Master, satisfied, goes all over the streets in Greendale.
He stops in front of the window of an art gallery and observes
it. Then, he does some dance steps in a red trail.
(June 8, 2003)
A malicious wind sends up a swirl of dust
over the Greendale cemetery. Carmichael rests In the shade of a
hundred-year-old sequoia. His colleagues show a real sympathy for
this exemplary officer. The widow shows her irritation. Would she
suspect anything ? say two girlfriends. No. The scarf and the enveloppe
with the two hundred dollars were well hidden at his place. I would
never have imagined him with Lenore. Sh ! Iíll give her the money
later. The processionary cars start moving. The widow is lost in
thought. The past is quite pretty with our holidays in Las Vegas,
our uncontrollable giggles and our complicity. But now, the present
is without your presence close to me. I can now only speak to the
walls. She want to rest and close slowly their bedroom door. Earl
Green comes into his workshop and slams the door. Painting another
thing differently ! Itís to betray myself ! It wonít be me anymore
! This Lenore and her art gallery take with the devil ! Some puffs
to relax and Earl dozes off. The Master appears and looks at the
Earl production scattered in the workshop. He walk to a table on
witch pigments, brushes, tubes and pots of colors are lying about.
Glasses are distinguised among this coloured jumble. The Master
fits them, and smiles. Then, he puts them on Earlís nose, and goes
away in a draught which awakes Earl. This one is going to prepare
a cup of tea but the Art call is stronger. He thinks to take a charcoal
but he notices a red pencil drawing in his hand. He rubs his eyes
and inspects the clearness of his glasses. Oh ! What happens to
me ? If my subconscious starts to decide to do anything in my place
! Let us see where it leads me. Earl draws lines with frenzy on
the canvas laying on the easel. Where to find money to live ? His
spatula seems to be in possession of his body. He doesnít
see what his great sinuous moves paint. Who would come and help
me ? My brother, my friends ? And when my sporting bets will not
be any more disastrous ? Someday my day will come. Earl, exhausted,
looks at his work. He takes off his glasses, observes the canvas
again and then his glasses. This is not at once, he says dubiously.
Homicide at Greendale. The Internet
explodes without a sound. Its video is connected to the helicopter
which has located the already abandoned Grandpaís house. Edith
reassures Grandpa. Double E is a good hiding-place for you and Grandma.
Our frightened cat seeks escape. The devil comes in our life by
the front door, Grandpa is upset. Now, the helicoter belongs to
the sky of Greendale. Sun observes it and she comes into the jail.
I bring you a letter from Lenore. Nasty weather on Greendale, Jed.
He says : I wrote a new song longer than my life. Say that to Grandma.
How is your father Earl ? Fine. He paints in a new kind that I donít
like so much. I brought his last canvas to your mother. She is enthusiastic
! She exhibits his painting close to those of Mazzeo ! Sun climbs
in her pick-up and, anxious about the quiet sky, flies past towards
the ranch. The vans with satellite dish have noisily invaded Double
E. This unhealthy agitation has something to frighten the animals
and any living being. The journalists trample on all to obtain a
tear and then theyíll go away laughing at. I wonít give them this
pleasure ! Clear off ! You wonít obtain anything from me ! I donít
need to be on TV to exist. Grandpa catches an Earl bad souvenir
from Vietnam, he waves it into the air and the fires shots. Politzer
price is within reach, says Susan Carol. She pounces on Grandpa
with questions. I put your sensational way where I think ! These
emotions are too high for the small and fragile heart of Grandpa.
Edith runs towards him when he falls down. Grandpa seems to be delirious.
This singer will never stop ? What is he getting at with these songs
? A newspaper with the photograph with Jed covers Grandpaís head.
Sun welcomes Grandma at the ranch. Beautiful Sun, itís time fo you
to travel towards the world. Why is Grandpa on all the TV screens
? I bring to him a soup his mother made. A plane crosses the
sky of the ranch, with two passengers that we know and who look
by the porthole. A "NO WAR" written with some straw can
be seen. Behemoth : Each morning, Sun Green comes to write this
motto in this field. What will happen to her ? The Master : Nothing.
I like her vanity.
The majestic eagle of the electric company
shines in the sunset. Sun Green chains up with it. Hardly one hour
has gone since Grandpa passed away. Sun denounces, with a megaphone,
all faults of the business world, shouts out the tight-necks who
walk in front of her. The journalists change the prey and Sun on
her eagle is now on TV screens. Nobody canít turn her out. Nobody
canít make her quiet. Hey, Mr. Clean ! You are dirty now ! The truth
is said, Sun leaves the spotlights. She seems to take the lead.
Sun comes into a bar to change her mind. Two guys, who banished
any smile, follow her. Sun is on the dance floor. A tall stranger
moves near to her and their two bodies are in tonic chord. They
dance holding hands. Nothing else around them exists. Iím Earth
Brown and I go, this night, to Alaska, to save caribous. Join me
in Spring over there. Youíll be the goddess of the Life. Why should
I wait for Spring ? I leave with you tonight. Wait for me here,
time to go home to take my cat. Sun sees her open and broken door
and her untidy bedroom. Alki is a bloody scrap. Two guys are on
her doorstep. FBI. We arrest you to be in possession of weed. Sun
doesnít hear this lie. You killed my Alki ! Sun quickly resets free.
Hey, Mr. Clean ! You are dirty now ! I want to be the goddess of
Nature in order to save this planet. But I would constantly be hounded
by his powerful enemies. Save the planet ! Your children lend it
to you, so let give it back to them in good conditions ! Become
aware of what surrounds you, of your gestures ! Donít listen to
anything else than your heart ! I had a dream. We were terrified
in our mission. Will we have the support of the humanity before
it is too late ? Sun, here we are together. Let us leave to Alaska
to protect the planet. The rapacious companies wonít stop the destruction
as long as an animal, a plant will exist. Is it too late ? This
planet is already quite sick. Be inside of it. Let dissolve in it.
Be the rain. No relaxation is allowed in this fight. Let feel the
suffering of our Mother Earth. Really, let make the effort to try.
Be the rain.
(June 9, 2003)
Summary of the preceeding chapters :
- Sun is a beautiful
- Is she single ?
- Yeah ! Good question. Yes, she is.
During half an hour, we share our impressions
with the concert. Ben crosses the stage. Furtive appearance of a
blond woman who observes us - too much student to be Pegi ? Amber
Jean ? "Be the rain, Larry !". Larry looks at me while
laughing and finishes arranging the new guitars. Neil comes back.
Have we really left Greendale ? On the Alaska way, Earth and Sun
tidy up their relation. Only love will make progress our project.
(Lotta Love). The wings are opened out for our first take-off, you
soared skywards and you had already left before I can wave you.
My cry will say to you that me I also tried. I havenít got any love
in this wild beauty. The icebergs intertwine my heart because here
I am now without anybody to love. Don't become demoralized with
that. Let dive in the glance of the others. Neil is thrown in Larryís
glance. Larry understands Neil : he wishes to play with the twelve
strings guitar. Ray comes up with a high-pitched voice : Winterlong
! Neil, amused, repeats with the same real French accent : Winterlong
! Is he going to play it ? We were perplexed by the introduction.
What was his thought ? I hope it was Pocahontas and not Cortez.
I waited for you and here you are Winterlong. Please, a straitjacket
for my neighbor ! Ray canít keep still ! Her dearest wish is granted
! Neil then goes to the piano. Magnificent and apocalyptic notes
squirt from it ! A space arch leaves in time our planet towards
a new home. Neil is in search of something in his folder (black
today). I tell my whish to Neil : "Ordinary People". He
answers me something like that : "Tell me something that I
can play". We smile. A song for the animals and the children
who skip in these clouds that the man kind has deserted for his
earthly war. Greetings. Gigantic din ! I go and stand in the
first rank with those which have remained crouching in front of
the first row since the intermission. Those ones stare at Neil like
children. Heart Of Gold ! Itís the last one ! We stand and sing
with Neil. Greetings, Neil stays and looks at this concert hall
which gives him a standing ovation. Midnight, new meetings in the
bar. Then the nocturnal streets of Greendale swallow me at the gentle
(June 5, 2003)
Denis Between The Rusty Words
Thanks to Philippe Tenaud
the translation help.
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