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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

Out on the Weekend

Neil Young (1945) is one of my favorite musical artists. This song is one of my favorite Neil Young songs. Out on the Weekend was released on the album Harvest in 1972. While Young is known for his political ballads, songs of personal sadness and loneliness are also prominent in his work. In 1972-73 when this album and song came out, I was 15/16 years old. Most of us teenagers then had 8-track tape players in our cars (along with CB radios - another post) and my friends and I just drove around and around the drag in our little town. This song reflects the angst of those young years. I recall this being one of my favorite tapes to listen to then and hours of riding around feeling "those awkward teenage blues" with Neil Young blasting away at us. I recall a specific night, probably in the fall of 1973, my sophomore year of high school, riding around in my green Ford Maverick (aka "The Mav") with a couple of senior girls who were dear kind friends to me then, but feeling my separation from them too and how confusing that was at times. I especially recall dropping them off at their homes and it being near midnight, almost no one left on the streets and driving home alone in the darkness when Out on the Weekend came on the 8-track and I felt utterly alone in my small life and world. The feeling did not last long, I was an otherwise happy and healthy kid with great family love and many valued friends. But its a feeling and moment I have never forgotten either and I've since known the feeling for more substantial reasons. I guess most of us have felt the longing in this song and how we just would like life to "pay"; to be good, to be happy, to be safe and healthy, to be full of love.

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