Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city


As we move toward the Thanksgiving season, please do not forget those less fortunate than you. For decades, homeless, lonely people have been able to find warmth, shelter, and a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Nashville Rescue Mission. In a letter I just received, the mission writes, “About 5,000 people will find their way here on Thanksgiving Day alone.” To make sure they receive love, friendship, and a nice meal, please call (615) 255-2475 or visit  Thank you.


Dissing Neil Young at Bongo Java

by Dave Carew

The other day I was over at Bongo Java, waiting on the front porch for Kenny Bernstein and another friend. My friend had a performance idea for Bongo Java After Hours Theatre she wanted to discuss with Kenny. While I waited, I suddenly became an inadvertent eaves-dropper to a conversation going on behind me.

“I mean, Neil Young, right? What’s up with that? Here’s a guy who’s one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived . . . and he hasn’t put out a decent album in 30 years!  Are you kidding me?”

I turned and looked over my shoulder, to get a glimpse of Mr. Young-Disser. From his Elliott Smith-esque features (complete with scruffy beanie) and over-all Gen Next vibe, I’d say he was about minus-10 the last time Neil Young put out a decent album. He was talking to a sweet-looking girl attempting heroically not to cringe at his every word.

“I mean, you know? If you’re a great songwriter, isn’t it because, in part, you know how NOT to be a CRAPPY one? Does he have so little self-awareness that he’s forgotten why his own first albums were so great? I mean, now, with Young, it’s just dreck after dreck after dreck.”

At that point, I’d pretty much taken in the gist of the guy’s rant, so I let my mind wander away. I’m pretty sure he went on to set the Guinness World Record for “most frequent use of the word ‘dreck’ in a five-minute period.”

God, I love hanging out at Bongo Java.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.”

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