Imagine finding the cell phone of a iconic musician and when you return it to him, he is so grateful that he brings YOU as his guest to an intimate concert by another iconic musician who happens to be his old friend from Winnipeg named Neil Young?!!
This dream came true for Barry Killen when he returned Randy Bachman’s cell phone, and to think all he wanted was a selfie!
On Friday, Bachman was in Omemee, Ontario (population 1247), for the secret Neil Young concert that was to be live streamed around the world later that night when he lost his phone. The hottest tickets in Canada were for Neil Young’s show which was kept under wraps until town folk started noticing production trailers and unfamiliar faces descend upon the streets surrounding Coronation Hall in the town where Neil Young went to elementary school.
Locals had reported seeing Neil Young with his girlfriend, Darryl Hannah, around town. As it turns out, Hannah directed the broadcast and came up with the brilliant set decoration of vintage tv’s and hay bales with cozy blankets.
The OPP were on hand and no doubt these officers were thrilled to be working on this event!
Only 100 tickets were available for the show. Lucky Tom Wilson from Junkhouse scored in more than one way, he posted about a hug from Darryl Hannah.
As the excitement spread and roads were closed to local traffic, many town people made plans for a street party near the venue to celebrate Omemee’s most famous son, now a rock n roll legend. The concert was pumped out through speakers on the street where 100’s gathered to sing and dance to a set list that delivered in a big way.
The venue was a town hall, built in the 1800’s. One local joked that it might not withstand the volume but it’s old walls just absorbed another story to tell.
I watched the show at home on Friday with the surround sound on full. I grew up in Scarborough where Neil Young’s music played an enormous part of my teenage years, whether singing along at bush parties with acoustic guitars or listening while driving around in cars with inexperienced drivers.
When Neil played Love Is A Rose my partner swung me around as we danced in the living room. When he played Long May You Run I wept for my little brother and every dog I’ve ever had to say good bye to. When Neil played Sugar Mountain I flew off the couch to sing my teenage anthem. Every single song stuck a chord in my memory chambers, which is pretty cool since I can’t remember what I had for breakfast most days! LOL
Neil Young had been dropping clues of the show on social media for weeks! The lyric sheets shown on this post were a part of the set design on Friday night.
There is another clue in this post, but Neil Young’s concert destination was still unknown, just “somewhere in Canada on December 1st”!
Once Neil Young’s Silver Eagle tour bus arrived, the secret concert in Omemee became official.
Proceeds from the show are going to Omemee’s Scott Young Public School, the senior public elementary school named after Neil Young’s father, a sports writer.
Neil Young used this special evening to celebrate the release of all of his recordings to a new website, neilyoungarchives.com
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