Out Of The Blonde On Blonde

burning out, then not fading away
PDF | Midi Mp3

This song was written for ukulele and stylophone for an annual Neil Young tribute show that’s held at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn in Milwaukee and that we’ve played many times over the years. It was an experiment in trying to write a song-to-order for one of the titles from my imagined list of the 12 Least Essential, non-released, non-recorded, non-considered Neil Young albums, with this particular song designed for inclusion on Heart of Gold II: The Golder Heart.

Top 12 Least Essential Neil Young Albums (PDF)

To write it, I literally just took Young’s line, “Rock and roll will never die,” and sang it over and over to myself – making breakfast, drinking coffee in the shower, ironing a shirt, with me little ukulele in me hand – until the alchemy of love & theft, laughter & forgetting, law & order (with and without SVU) turned it into something else. And in this instance, it became an ode to unplanned obsolescence, in which rock and roll its very self decides… it’s better to fade away!

The best reference track for this is probably this video of John Peacock and I rehearsing it for a Kneel to Neil show in October 2015, in my Washington Heights, Milwaukee home office, as shot by Riley Broach. Song aside, the clip is a good introduction to the stylophone as an instrument, and to the playing of John Peacock, the finest stylophone stylist since Billy Preston in Get Back.

The Viper & John Peacock, “Out of the Blonde on Blonde,” Rehearsal, Washington Heights, Milwaukee, WI, October 2015.

Completists may also be interested in this “demo” track I made when I wrote it. You’ll hear that it has stayed pretty much the same!

The Viper, “Out of the Blonde on Blonde,” demo track, September 2015

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about