To All Neil Young's Friends

“I like people, I just don’t have to see them all the time.”
 — Neil Young seems like a particularly difficult person to interview. But I was very happy to read that Bukowskian quote in the profile David Carr wrote for Sunday’s Times Magazine

. Because it reminded me of the lyrics of my favorite Neil Young song, “On the Beach.” “I need a crowd of people/But I can’t face them every day…” Neil sings, sounding miserable — torn between the insecurity, the hunger for approval that fuels so many performing artists, and misanthropy. (“Though my problems are meaningless/That don’t make them go away.”) Man, and the stuff about how the seagulls remain so far away — that kills me every time. I think that song is about the loneliest song I know. If you’d like to hear a cover of it by Radiohead (who explored similar themes in the 1998 documentary Meeting People Is Easy) press play above.