template / single post
We are celebrating Neil Young’s birthday today with our new single release of Heart of Gold (Live)!
It is available on all iTunes, Amazon, you name it… https://orcd.co/heartofgoldlive
And the video is public at https://youtu.be/l119zOWLYh0
This song has a lot of meaning to me personally. I grew up in a classical-music loving house. My mother was a piano teacher and all the kids from the neighbourhood would come to our living room for lesson. My first instrument was classical violin, which was amazing for ear training. I was even in a youth string orchestra called the National Capital String Academy, and I loved it. But by the time I was a teenager, violin was kind of a square instrument, and when I got to high school I had learned enough about music already that I could teach myself how to play guitar. I bought my first steel string guitar from Steve’s Music in Ottawa where I grew up. A plywood model by Yamaha. Heart of Gold by Neil Young was the very first song I learned on it.
At that time I was working as a short-order cook at a place on Holland Avenue called TJ’s Speakeasy Café, and it had a great open stage night. I saw some great Ottawa folk performers there. One night during my shift at TJ’s I came out from the back and played Heart of Gold. I didn’t have enough money for a guitar strap so I was just kind of clutching the guitar under my arm as I strummed away. I was so nervous in my first public singing/playing appearance that my arms were trembling a little bit and halfway through the song I literally dropped the guitar. The crowd went wild with applause! So I decided that was a good place to leave it. They all knew me and loved me at TJ’s, it was a very supportive place. I slinked away back to the kitchen and practiced a lot more before I tried that again.
Now I play violin in this band, but I still own that old Yamaha guitar and love singing this song! I hope Neil gets a chance to hear this – a birthday present from me, Kevin Laliberté, Eddie Paton, Drew Birston and Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon from Sultans of String!