Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

Deja Vu - A Film by Neil Young

We Have All Been Here Before

The war in Iraq is the backdrop as the CSNY "Freedom of Speech Tour" (circa 2006) crisscrosses North America. The film examines the band's connection to its audience in both political and musical terms, and the relationship between Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment and today's post-9/11 environment. A Vietnam veteran sums it all up: "It's deja vu all over again."

I don't care if the members of this band (Crosby, Still, Nash, & Young) are all in their sixties, these guys rock in this movie! This film is proof that if you believe in something strongly enough, you can rise to the occasion, particularly if no one else does. Led by a flurry of creative inspiration from Neil Young - "one thing led to another," the group came together and led a major tour, showcasing their anti-war songs and dealing with all kinds of audiences, (red state blue state) but unified by the spirit of peace. For someone as moved as I was throughout my life by songs like "Ohio," "Suite Judy Blue Eyes," "Woodstock," "Teach Your Children," "Southern Cross," and so many others, it was so great to see this music come to life. It was also great to see the that the movie, also directed by Neil Young, takes so many twists and turns, surprising us at one moment with audience reactions, and at other moments flashbacks to the group's early rise in the late 60's and early 70's. The film reminds us that as much as we may glamorize the 60's at times, it really was about fighting for you believed in, and it definitely got ugly and it definitely was hard. Audiences should allow themselves to be moved by the music, and not misunderstand the message as a "political rally." I, for one, am glad that Neil Young remembers. And how ironic was it that after we told one of the theatre managers on the way out how great this movie was, he commented that he didn't think there would be much of an audience for it! Why not? Where is everyone? And by the way, where are the troubadours of today?

Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older
been askin' after you
Hear the past a callin', from Ar- -megeddon's side
When everyone's talkin' and noone is listenin',
how can we decide?

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground

Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)

(Find the Cost of Freedom - CSNY)

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