Neil YOUNG - Paris - May 24, 2003 (review)


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 girl.
- 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 trot.
(June 5, 2003)

Denis Between The Rusty Words

Thanks to Philippe Tenaud for the translation help.

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My original text 

Setlist : Falling From Above / Double E / Devil's Sidewalk / Leave The Driving / Carmichael / Bandit / Grandpa's Interview / Bringin' Down Dinner / Sun Green / Be The Rain // Lotta Love / Expecting To Fly / Old Man / Don't Let It Bring You Down / Winterlong / After The Goldrush / War Of Man // Heart Of Gold

Text explanation ! !

I wrote : << 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 !>>

I gave a name (Neil doesnít give one) to the Sunís cat thus it isnít only an animal. And therefore, where does this name Alki come from ? ? ?
I reassure you at once, this is not Breton language ! ! ;)

I looked a bit for what I could give as name. I wanted something original and from American culture ! !
Not so easy ! ! !
And I ended up to find it ! ! ! ! ! !

"Alki" is a name that the Washington state took as a symbol.
This word means something like "hope" - "future" in Indian language.
(From which tribe ? I didnít find).

For fun, I advise you to read again this passage of my chapter 9, replacing Alki with Hope or Future. ;)


Guy : <<My cat points out something to me that he doesnít appreciate very much the Carmichael comment about Behemoth, but it is a bit touchy at the moment ...< <

My answer : Behemoth has several appearances, one of them being prefered : it wears a striped cap, weighs 35 kilos, walks on the hind legs and smokes the cigar butts of his master. ;-))
I see that in my mindís eye ! ! ;)
To read also the excellent crazy novel about this devil theme ! ! ! "The Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov ! ! ! Russian only can have a so crazy mind ! ! ! ! (Other crazy Russian example : Dostoievsky : "The Crime and the Punishment" which was badly translated into french by "Crime and punishment" ; Gogol : "The dead souls").

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Further informations

Momo : "And poor French guy shattered in the Palais Des CongrŤs, looking at the hopelessly empty stage after the show, repeating :  "120 euros for this crap".


Alain : "I think we all met the same "young poor guy".  He has complained to me the same remark whereas I went up the aisle at the end of the show. He wandered and obviously he accosted the latecomers to try to share his disappointment."


Here what Jac told me in Christmas 2003 :
(I hope without too many denaturation)

I didnít follow you in the coffe shop at the end of the show in May 2003, and it's not that I am unwilling to go with you but I remained in the theatre whereas everyone had left to greet my old pal who is a sound engineer in the Palais Des CongrŤs. This one says to me that he didnít have anything to do. Neil came with his personal team which deals entirely with the sound and the video. Yes, the show in Paris 2003 was entirely filmed by the Neil team. I discuss with my buddy during a good half an hour. While leaving the small room situated on the stage side, Neil enters by a door of the theatre, situated in the end of the stage. Therefore, I am on the stage and Neil in the theatre in the edge of stage. A length of stage separates us, and a stage itís really very wide : we are very distant. Neil comes near the centre of the stage and gives some instructions to his team which finishes to put away the material, and Neil sets out again by the same door that he had entered. He was accompanied by two girls, a blonde and a brunette.

It leads one to suppose that the fair girl would be Amber Jean and that I had not dreamed at the interlude ! ! ! Extract from my review of Paris 2003, chapter 10 :
"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 ?"

Denis Between The Rusty Words
(January 09, 2004)

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[Part 1 : Munich 2003]
[Part 2 : Stuttgart 2003]
[Part 3 : Amsterdam 2003]
[Part 4 : Hannover 2003]
[Part 5 : Paris 2003]