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After the garden
on 2 November 2008
Rock documentaries always take the risk of becoming sad Spinal Tap-esque unintentional spoofs.Revealing bloated egos and character traits of your musical heroes that determine that you would actually cross the street to avoid this odious excuse for a human being. They can also be so sycophantic and grovelling that you want to throw up!
Thankfully 'Deja Vu' is a million light years from the either rockumentary. Instead, revealing Neil Young as THE main man and driving force of the quartet, surrounded by three equally committed friends who,tired of waiting for new young protest performers to rise from the streets,gave up waiting and took the anti war message on the road themselves.
It's very moving seeing CSN&Y as aging hippies who have crossed the great divide,from the sixties Vietnam years to the new century and still be as committed as ever to peace.
Time hasn't been so kind to David Crosby and Stephen Stills who have both ballooned out to Michelin Man proportions. However, Neil and Graham look healthy enough for sixty somethings and despite Father Time's cruel redrawing of the former pair's waistlines and features,as musicians they can still do the business.
Their tour across the States which ventured into Christian redneck heartlands of Republicanism was both bold and revealing. It revealed that in that central swathe of America known as 'Godland' there really is an undercurrent of vicious bigotry,ignorance and racism. Despite this,many of these rednecks were lifelong CSN&Y fans. Most of whom stayed the course until 'Let's impeach the president' was performed. Naturally the liberals in the audience loved it !
If my appreciation of the music of Neil Young was strong before,my appreciation of him as a human being is off the Richter scale after watching this.