Neil reveals that “song sung blue” was inspired by a Mozart concerto

Some of you already have this from the Brisbane, 1976 concert.

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  1. book, there is a scene recounted where ND and the band are having dinner at some restaurant in Europe or somewhere and the Mozart peice came on.

    When it got to the part in question, ND says “Oh they are playing SSB!”. Everyone laughs and points out that it is Mozart….ND did not recognize the peice at all, which he would have done if he really had been inspired by it.

    More likely ND either subconsciously lifted the melody after hearing it somewhere or came up with it independently and only after it was pointed out to him the likeness to Mozart he rewrites history to the more pretentious “I was inspired by Mozart” line.

    In a way it reminds me of Elvis’ claim, later on about how he was trying to merge country, rhythm & blues and gospel into a new genre of music called rock and roll.

    Of course he was doing no such thing back in the 50s as a 19 year old at Sun records…he sang the only songs he knew the only way he knew how to sing them based on his own personal history and influences.

    Only later when journalists put the “merging of R&B, country and Gospel” spin did he then pick up on it and perpetuate it…it makes him sound smarter and more artistic, but at the time he made that initial magic there was no intellectualizing about it by him or anyone else.


  2. The story in Wiseman’s book never rang true to me, mainly because it came from Lee Holdridge, and his stories about Neil are often wrong. I like Solitary Star a lot (many fans hate it) and think it is a terrific bio, but the one big mistake Wiseman made was believing everything Holdridge said.

    For instance, Holdridge complains that ND wanted him back early from Christmas vacation to orchestrate I Am…I Said. The problem is that IAIS wasn’t even started until the day after Christmas, when ND was doing the screen test for the Lenny Bruce movie. The song wasn’t finished until March or so, and Carol Hunter talks about ND working on it in February elsewhere in the book. There wouldn’t have been any orchestrating done in December or January. Holdridge just made that up or, maybe, got his details wrong.

    Also, Holdridge has said in interviews that ND wasn’t sick during some of the 1972 HAN series, he was just nervous, but anyone who has heard the recordings from at least that one night can confirm the guy was legitimately sick.

    So Holdridge’s claim that ND — an experienced songwriter — took the song from the film “Elvira Madigan” and didn’t know it, then heard repeated mentions of Mozart while working on the song and didn’t piece it together, really doesn’t make much sense.

    I know people think everyone on this board is an overzealous ND fan who defends him from everything; I’m not one of those fans. I will criticize the heck out of the guy when I think it’s deserved. It’s just that, in this scenario, I don’t think it’s prudent to take Lee’s word as gospel.



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