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On July 27th I went to see Neil Young’s new movie “Journeys” at the Birmingham Theater. It’s primarily a concert film of his 2011 Toronto performance at Massey Hall with some footage of Neil and his brother Bob visiting their childhood home of Omemee, Ontario.

During the performance of “You Never Call” there is some grainy out-of-focus “Super-8” archive footage of an audience taken from a stage, it then pans up to a theater ceiling… (here’s a capture of the archive video ceiling shot)…

… when I saw the ceiling I thought to myself, “that’s the Fox Theater in Detroit!” … the video goes by so quickly that you can’t recognize much… but somehow it registered in my mind.

Here’s an official photo of the ceiling…

I was at the May 20th 1999 concert at the Detroit Fox and Neil came out before his second encore with a hand held camera and walked the edge of the stage filming the audience… could the footage in “Journeys” be from that show?… a clue that it’s the Fox in Detroit will be if there’s a tall guy in the audience front row center (I was in the 3rd row behind him and took this picture):

… that’s my friend Rick and his wife Susan who had front row center seats, here’s a picture of us at a gathering before the concert:

Neil practically had the camera in Rick’s face… maybe all these nuances in the grainy out of focus video triggered something in my brain, because after watching “You Never Call” at the movie theater all I could think of was that night at the Fox… a subliminal influence?… what I need is for this to be released on DVD so I can stop it frame by frame and study the faces and ceiling!

Then in September a website announced the release of the DVD and had part of the video from “You Never Call”… at the 2:15 mark there’s a shot of a theater organ:

I compared it to the Detroit Fox Theater Wurlitzer:

That video has to be from the Fox… when the DVD is released I’ll be able to satisfy my curiosity.

Now fast forward to October 16th 2012… the movie is released on DVD and I can view the audience pictures frame by frame.

Above are pictures of Rick and Susan from video pauses of the Neil Young “Journeys” DVD.

That’s proof that the footage is from the Detroit Fox Theater May 20th 1999 concert… it goes by so quickly that you can’t recognize anything when viewing the movie on the big screen in a theater… but they triggered a memory of a night that I’ll never forget… with good friends and good music… and I met Neil Young at a reception after the show, got to shake his hand and thank him for all the great music… and got his autograph on a photo in the 1999 tour program:

And the very cool conclusion 13 years later …

Rick and Susan are in Neil’s latest movie!

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  1. […] to one of Neil’s video production people who was wearing a LincVolt jacket and told him about his cameo in Neil’s most recent movie, “Journeys”… again, being in the right place at the right […]

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