Neil Young will always remind me of my first love. On Sunday afternoons we’d step away from the chaos of dorm life at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst and escape to the quiet countryside in his big yellow Holden station wagon. Under the old bench seat was a stash of Neil Young cassette tapes. ‘After the Gold Rush’ provided the perfect soundtrack to the emptiness of the landscape - the endless yellow fields and sad-faced sheep.
On the day we broke up, he played me ‘Birds’. We cried together as Neil sang, “Lover, there will be another one, who’ll hover over you beneath the sun, tomorrow, see the things that never come today”.
I forced myself to listen to that album over and over, in the months and years following our break-up, despite the pain it caused. I suppose I was determined to recreate the ‘meaning of Neil’ for myself so that I wouldn’t have to lose his music to that relationship but the truth is – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to Neil without thinking about that boy. Damn that boy! Then again, there's a part of me that would like to believe that each time he hears Joni, he still thinks of me.
Here's my version of one of my favourite songs by Mr Young.