Monday, January 08, 2007

tonight at home

Out of the corner of my eye I was watching the Jonathan Demme film of the Neil Young doing Prairie Wind live for the first time at the Ryman Auditorium when Neil introduced the song This Old Guitar and mentioned that it used to be Hank Williams' guitar. I'd known about it before but seeing it clearly on film, up close, worn and used, and being in use, made me concentrate when I'd only been half interested.

There's other pleasant moments in the DVDs and it is good to see Spooner Oldham and Emmy Lou on stage but Neil in acoustic mode doesn't do a lot for me. As a directing template it is possibly a better concert film than any I have seen. It's relaxed and respectful of the listener (watcher) and the artist and the music.

"I've got a Hank Williams' guitar, but I play it all the time. It's an old Martin D-28. I bought it from Tut Taylor. It's always great when someone understands what this is that they're holding, who understands the effect Hank Williams had on all of us. They are sort of awestruck by being in the presence of anything that he touched---to the point that to actually play his instrument elevates them to another level. It's a wonderful thing to have a guitar for that reason. A lot of people who should have played it, have played it. I'm careful about it, but I use it all the time. It's not on a wall in a museum."