The long road to restoring Neil Young’s Human Highway
By Jennifer Walden
In one or two words, how would you describe rock legend Neil Young? Folky? Serious? Environmentally-conscious? Politically-conscious? How about “goofy?” Yes, goofy.
I was recently surprised to learn that Mr. Young does indeed have a silly side (one with a message, of course), as is evidenced by his comedic musical Human Highway (1982), which he wrote, co-directed (under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey) and starred in along side Dean Stockwell. The film also starred Sally Kirkland, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper and Devo band members.
The film, an apocalyptic satire set in the Cold War era, follows the inhabitants of a small town positioned near a nuclear power plant. Young plays a nerdy mechanic named Lionel who dreams of being a rock star. One day a limo driving his rock idol Frankie Fontaine (also played by Young) pulls into his gas station. Lionel insists the car needs repair.
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