I had the honor of attending a special one night only double feature of Neil Young movies hosted by Fathom Events. I had such a great time. I have always considered myself a huge Neil Young fan. I love his music and the stories he tells in his songs, sometimes with an acoustic guitar and other times to the rhythm of a blistering electric guitar. After going to the double feature I found out there is a lot I didn’t know. Including the fact that he made, starred in and directed an actual movie!
The movie I’m referring to is called Human Highway. It was filmed over many years and finally released in 1982. The movie stars Neil Young as Lionel and Russ Tamblyn as Fred. They play two friends who work as gas-station attendants outside of a diner. They face disaster day to day with the threat from a local nuclear power plant. The movie also stars Dennis Hopper, and members of the band Devo, Charlotte Stewart, and Dean Stockwell, who also helped direct. The movie is a trippy end of the world experience. I recommend this to any Neil Young fan who wants to actually see the visual side of this amazing artist. On a personal note, if you really want to enjoy this film in all its’ glory call your friend, you know, that friend your mom doesn’t like that has those special brownies. Trust me, it will all make sense!
After the movie was over we are sent to a theater where Neil Young is sitting on a stage with acclaimed director Cameron Crowe. The Q & A is being broadcast live to all the theaters taking part in the double feature thanks to Fathom Events. A couple of the cast members from Human Highway are on stage with Young and Crowe. They mainly talk about the filming experience of Human Highway. The band Devo are featured as angry Nuclear Power plant workers in the movie. Devo co-founder Jerry Casale is one of the cast members that appears on stage during the Q & A and he explains it best when asked about the filming of the movie. “ The plan today is no plan.” Young also talked about almost completing his next album which will be a sophomore album with the band Promise of the Real.
After the Q & A was done the second feature Rust Never Sleeps began and this movie, as fan, is certainly one in which I was more familiar. The movie features Neil Young and the band Crazy Horse in a great glossy looking concert. The concert was filmed at San Francisco’s Cow Palace on October 22, 1978. The concert runs one hour and forty three minutes and documents Neil and Crazy horse in their prime. I really liked the little creepy looking guys that looked like they were dressed up as droids, and appear between songs. The concert opens with Young playing many of his early classics on acoustic guitar. He is then joined on stage by Crazy Horse, and they rock the house. I was really happy as a fan to be able to be a part of this. I learned things I never knew about a man I greatly appreciate.