Yesterday, I had the most incredible musical experience of my life.
Have you, like me, been recalling the great protest songs of the sixties, and wondered where the new protest songs are?
Yesterday, I found out.
On Wednesday, I was at work when I got a call for a Neil Young session the next day. Needless to say, I was excited about it - Neil Young is one of my musical heroes. When my husband and I got to Capitol, we found 98 other singers, a collection of L.A.'s finest. All I knew was that we were singing on a new Neil Young record, but when the lyrics we were supposed to sing flashed on the giant screen, a roar went up from the choir. I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was "Let's impeach the President for lyin'!" Turns out the whole thing is a classic beautiful protest record. The session was like being at a 12-hour peace rally. Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience. I can't believe my good fortune at being a part of this.
It was also recorded on analog in the A room at Capitol Records, which they're talking about selling and turning into condos. No ProTools, no 'flying in', no Auto-Tune. Just real singing, and real songs, from a real artist. And to hire a hundred live singers? Incredible.
I got a chance to talk with Neil for a minute, and I told him that every word of every song expressed what I've been screaming about since 2000. I've never been at a recording session that was more like being at church. Heck, I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session. We stood up for 12 hours (except for lunch and dinner) and I got a massive headache by the end, but I didn't care. It was worth the price of admission. We finished the session by singing an a capella version of "America the Beautiful" and there was not a dry eye in the house.
If I do nothing else for the rest of my life, I can say I was on that record. Whether it sells or not, it's the truth, and I got to be a part of that. What an honor; what a privilege.
Neil said it should be out in 6 to 8 weeks. I hope all of you get a chance to hear it.
Update: Attention to the disgruntled - I will be removing rude or insulting posts.