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Help: PowderFinger

GUEST,Tu-oad 11 Jan 02 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Slickerbill 12 Jan 02 - 01:21 AM
rangeroger 12 Jan 02 - 02:27 AM
PaulM 12 Jan 02 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,alinact 12 Jan 02 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Tu-oad 12 Jan 02 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Tu-oad 12 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM
Roughyed 12 Jan 02 - 02:48 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 02 - 03:15 PM
Little Hawk 12 Jan 02 - 08:15 PM
Little Hawk 12 Jan 02 - 09:39 PM
rangeroger 13 Jan 02 - 12:49 AM
allie kiwi 13 Jan 02 - 01:09 AM
Roughyed 13 Jan 02 - 03:57 AM
Little Hawk 13 Jan 02 - 02:28 PM
heric 14 Jan 02 - 02:50 AM
allie kiwi 14 Jan 02 - 03:11 AM
Roughyed 14 Jan 02 - 04:27 PM
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Subject: PowderFinger
From: GUEST,Tu-oad
Date: 11 Jan 02 - 05:41 PM

What the heck is Neil Young's 'Powder Finger' all about anyway????

I've had that song playing in my head for twenty five years now and I don't know what it is all about.

Toad


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: GUEST,Slickerbill
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 01:21 AM

I've always thought it was about a drug bust; but I'm never 100% sure with Neil. Great tune though. I've kind've gone through a rediscovery of NY in the last few years. Check out "Neil and Me" by his old man. terrific insights into plenty of his tunes, and overall quite a good read. The "Decade" anthology has notes on a pile of tunes by Neil himself, but I don't think Powderfinger's there. SB


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: rangeroger
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 02:27 AM

Both you guys realize,I hope that you are now candidates for the NYCFTTS.

rr


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: PaulM
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 06:24 AM

You might find this page of interest

Paul


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 10:26 AM

I've always pictured it in my mind as an incident set during the American civil war. Given that page that PaulM sent us to, I must have a very simple mind.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: GUEST,Tu-oad
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 01:24 PM

Thanks for all of the contributions to this topic.

I'll check out the link.

I guess that I'm not the only one who really likes ol' Neil but doesn't get some of the lyrics.

It is a great tune and I've alway just kind of gone with the crowd and knodded my head rythimically to the song. Even play'd it in bands.

And I did read Neil And Me about fifteen years ago when it first came out. I read all the liner notes to Decade when I was a kid but, no Powder Finger. Powder Finger came after that. I think Powder Finger is on Rust Never Sleeps. I only have the live version.

I try note to guess at Neil Young songs. There usually not about what I think they are about. From the liner notes in Decade I remember that 'Old Man' is not about his 'old man' at all but just about some old guy who worked for him on his farm.

Now ... what the heck is NYCFTTS.

Toad


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: GUEST,Tu-oad
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 02:13 PM

Ok so now I've read through the link that was sent by PaulM. Thanks Paul. Although, maybe you sent the link in regard to our subject as in "Oh here. Give the twisted fuckers this link. That 'ill keep 'em buzy for a while." Even if that's the case THANKS! Muchly!

PowderFinger???? Huh! Ok so I'm not the only one who didn't get it. I thought maybe it was some story about some famous incident of some American history lesson that everyone but me knows about (I'm Canadian).

I was thinking of re-learning the song. Actually I was thinking of dubbing My old 'RustLive' record to CD and giving it to my fifteen year old son who got the 'guitar bug' a little less than a year ago and who also loves 'Neil' but has yet to discover 'Hey Hey' or Powder Finger.

After reading the link I felt way better about my interpetition of the song. I got the 'south thing'. I really felt that it had something to do with the south due to the way people talked like 'daddy' and 'Big John' and 'EmmyLou'. No dought that this many names of this sort gives away the southern location. And the boats coming in at night gives the feeling that the whole night, location, is in some sort of lakey, or swampy, area rather than on the coast so that puts us in south easter, or 'deep south'. The way he talks gives everything a feeling of 'hill billies against the system' weather it is against the law or against some sort of powerful underworld force.

When I was eighteen and quit school an left home I left my praire home and headed to the moutains to look for work and to get the hell away from the place I grew up in. It was nineteen eightyone, the begining of the coldest decade, and I had about four hundred dollars an old car (68 ford galaxy rag top with a 390 engine and a radioshack casset player. The kind that only had one direction,no rewind. To rewind a tape one had to flip it over and press the FF). I also had several friends with me who I had dropped off at various locations across Western Canada. Except for one friend who was still with me as we headed up the moutain to a ski resort near Kalona where some friends of friends were working and I was hopping I could get a job that way pay me enough to sustain myself for a little while. The friend I had with me had a big bag of dope and he'd been taking acid so he was all nervey and kept wanting me to smoke up with him so he could calm down. It had been quite a tiresome trip, with very little sleep, and I was paranoid enough as it was with trying to negotiate the mountain switchbacks and listening to my car 170,000 miles on the odomiter motor and drive train starting to cough as it gasped for air in the high altitude of this desilate snow cradeled highway. The last thing I needed was a head full of mexican dope as my 'friend' kept trying to stick a joint in my face. Scared and paranoid as we went past the odd rustic cabin (were talking really rustic here. Like single room wood heated cabins with several pickups wrecked in the yard and dogs and a big ol satilite dish in the yard) I was hoping that if we broke down we would find some kind hearted old hippies to ask for help instead of the gun wealding survivalists that I expected to find who would skin us after raping us severally.

My only solice was a hand full of tapes that I had brought with me. There was a lot of Niel Young tapes and a few Kris Kristoferson tapes and then some others. When I think of that trip, it's Powderfinger that comes to mind. I don't know what that song is all about but for me it's about feeling threatened and having to defend yourself (weather it's against dope blowing friends or gun weilding boy rapers) while longing for the comfort of family and friends to protect you.

Toad


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Roughyed
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 02:48 PM

I always thought of the song as a fragment of a story about river pirates attacking a frontier family. It's as good as anybody else's I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 03:15 PM

Quite often I think that Neil has no idea about his songs either.........That's why a prolonged stay at the NYCFTTS is so important a times.

What is the NYCFTTS? Located in Montana, it was originally a cover for the CIA to form crazed tiple bands for world overthrow. All Catters may stay as long as they like for free....Simply send me a note and the Insanevac Chopper is on the way at no charge! Now if you enter the name in the Forum Search above and left, you can get many hits, but here's a thread where you can read something about the Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 08:15 PM

Powderfinger - The events are clearly occuring somewhere in the American South. The young fella with the rifle probably belongs to a family of moonshiners, and is watching as a police or government revenuer launch approaches his family's dock. He's not sure what to do. The sensible thing to do would be...run! But he's an inexperienced kid, so he hangs in there, as if paralyzed or fascinated, and keeps watching as the boat draws inexorably closer. Government boats have numbers on the bow. This boat has a large gun of some kind on it, and it fires a shell when it gets within range....he sees the shot coming (you actually can see artillery shells or cannonballs in the air sometimes for just a moment...I've see actual film of that from WWII...specially with a fairly low velocity artillery piece)...he raises his rifle in a futile gesture of defiance and is blown to kingdom come, along with much of the dock he was standing on.

That's my take on it. One more little guy rubbed out by the big system.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 02 - 09:39 PM

Spaw, you mean to say accomodation is FREE at the NYCFTTS? Yikes! I'm going to spread the word. Expect to receive notes shortly from all the homeless people in Orillia and surrounding region, not to mention all those who would like cheaper accomodation, homeless or not.

If that doesn't fill the place, I will pass the info on to Toronto...DUM-DA-DUM-DUM!!!

You may yet receive the Order of Canada for your generous offer...but you still ain't gettin' into the WSSBA!

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: rangeroger
Date: 13 Jan 02 - 12:49 AM

Little hawk, go back and re-read Spaw's post.

Mudcat members are admitted free.

rr


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: allie kiwi
Date: 13 Jan 02 - 01:09 AM

LMAO, that thread was great! It truely took my mind off the box of music currently relegated to the 'out' pile by hubby who is still insisting that 'I could throw these boxes away and you would never know the difference!' Grrrr

Allie


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Roughyed
Date: 13 Jan 02 - 03:57 AM

Probably right about the Rvenue boat. Something official with a number anyway. But surely the first shot does't get him. 'When the first shot hit the deck I started Humming, Raised my rifle to my eye...' Quite a lot to do when you've just been blown to bits with some sort of shell.


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jan 02 - 02:28 PM

Ah, quite correct, Swan. I guess it was the second shot that got him, and most likely it was solid shot (cannonball) in this case, since an explosive shell would probably have incapacitated him on the first shot that hit the dock.

rr - Yeah, I see...well, all the homeless need to do then is join Mudcat...a matter of 2 minutes on a library computer can fix that up. I still see the Order of Canada looming somewhere in Spaw's future if it all works out as planned. Maybe we should make it a little harder to join Mudcat... :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: heric
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 02:50 AM

Powderfinger is just a sketch. No profound, life-altering philosophical insights to be gained. The question that will torment me to my grave is: What did Neil mean when he said "The coffee cup is hot, and the orange juice is cold, cold cold."


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: allie kiwi
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 03:11 AM

Dan, at least you have an adult existence to ponder the hot and coldness of coffee versus orange juice. "And the rain rain rain came down down down, so piglet started bailing..."

Allie


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Subject: RE: Help: PowderFinger
From: Roughyed
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 04:27 PM

Do you know, I think that's probably the best contribution I have seen yet on the Mudcat, allie kiwi. Still laughing.


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