Dave Matthews, Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers Lead Neil Young Tribute
In 20 previous editions, the pre-Grammy concert benefiting MusiCares has had some spectacular honorees and events, including Elton John, James Taylor, Sting, Bono and 2009 recipient Neil Diamond. But with all of those star-studded affairs it would be hard to find one that engendered more love and respect than Friday night's dinner honoring Neil Young. From the moment the night was announced it promised to be special.
Host Jack Black, who got so caught up in the spirit of raising money for the night he auctioned off his shoes, tie and eventually pants during the evening, noted in his opening remarks, "Neil Young has influenced four decades of music." That was felt in the remarkable lineup that brought together peers like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris, who performed the title track to 'Comes A Time' with Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin, as well as other disciples and admirers such as Wilco, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews.
Wilco delivered one of the high points of the night with a mesmerizing 'Broken Arrow,' while Matthews performed a poignant 'Needle And The Damage Done.' For them, being there was obvious. "Well, it's about time we paid him back," Wilco's Jeff Tweedy told Spinner beforehand. "I certainly can't think of anyone who's been more influential on a band like Wilco."
And for Matthews, who is still blown away by calling Young his friend, it was a chance to pay his respects. "Since I was a kid I've been a crazy fan," he told Spinner. "And it's a different thing to be able to go out there and say thank you to him as a fan,