Column

Best I've Ever Seen

Talking with artists about concerts and albums they'll never forget

Gary Stoller is an award-winning editor, author, and journalist. He's written for USA TODAY and loves Bob Dylan and Blue Rodeo.

Best I've Ever Seen

Talking with artists about concerts and albums they'll never forget

Gary Stoller is an award-winning editor, author, and journalist. He's written for USA TODAY and loves Bob Dylan and Blue Rodeo.

Considering Neil Young Through the Eyes of His Fans

My older brother had the After the Gold Rush LP.  The record seemed to flow easily from song to song, even when you had to get up to flip it.  The artwork, pictures of Neil at work in black and white, was striking. A friend of mine stole Decade from our short-lived record shop in town.  He brought it to my house but was afraid to take it home because his mom knew he didn't have any money.  Remember, it's a triple album, so, I'd guess about $10 in 1977.  We wore the shit out of that vinyl.  I was especially entranced by "Tonight's the Night", which seemed to be out of another realm altogether (little did I know). I didn't get to see Neil until the 1992 Harvest Moon tour, but it was at the Beacon Theater and he was incredible.  Five years  later, just a few days after our house burned down, we saw him (as headliner of a H.O.R.D.E. lineup) at the NJ Performing Arts Center (it's changed names numerous times) and we managed one third row seat and a G.A.  By passing the third row ticket back after one of us had entered, we both were able to standd right in front of the band for the first 3 or 4 songs until...he played From Hank to Hendrix, Needle & The Damage Done and Harvest Moon, which required us to, well, me actually, to squat between my buddy and the other rightful ticket holder.  They weren't happy, but we hung in there until Crime in the City or Sedan Delivery catapulted us to pogo-dance like merry pranksters.  Those memories, lost in those urban dystopia-scapes, are among my favorite Neil moments.  And then there was the time I got kicked out of Farm Aid for sliding under the barricades into the V.I.P. seating...