Neil Young News
Greek Theatre, LA, 9/22/92
After a few warmup chords on the banjo just before Old King...
"Elvis had quite a nose. That was his whole thing, was his nose. But, you know, he was very sensitive about it. I'll tell you a little story about him.
"He used to go on the road with me all the time, and, you know he kind of smelled like a hound, 'cause... he was a hound. But it smelled good to him, and uh, you know we would take him to a veteranarian place or something and they'd clean him up a little bit so when he got on the bus he wasn't too comfy, you know?
"After a while we all kind of got used to each other on the bus, so it was okay, but right at first he was a little strong, so. . . so anyway, once, uh, someone took him that usually doesn't take him and took him to some fifi dog place. He came back smelling, uh, kinda like some bad toilet paper or something? Non-environmental and all. It had this odor to it that was like,(groaning)'oh no, wow.' He kind of smelled like one of those things that hangs on people's mirrors, you know, that smell? Anyway, it was bad for me, but to him it was hell, 'cause he was, you know, sensitive.
"And uh, so I was sleeping on the side of the road, I was on my way out to Eureka, California to play this gigantic gig... And ah, uh, you know, he woke me up, it was about six o'clock in the morning, I get this nose, you know, 'snnnfff, snnnffff, snnff, snnff,' He woke me up... I'm going, 'What's happening?'
"It's this, this big nose, it's lookin' at me, kinda, you know, desperate. You know, I said, 'God, you smell terrible. You stink.' And he knew he stunk. He wanted off the bus. He said, 'I want to go roll in some cowshit on the side of the road.'
"So, you know, he was a smart dog, and he was purebread, actually, he was a beautiful hound, and uh, he had all his senses that he needed, he knew how to get back. You know, hounds will circle, uh, an area, and keep going in wider and wider circles, and they count how many times, somehow they know how many times they've been around it, so when they come back in they just count it like the, like the lifelines on a tree or somethin', you know, you just come right back in and, right to the core and that's where you started from, you know. Anyway, he knew that. He taught me that.
"And uh, so, I said, 'Okay Elvis, take a shot.'"
(addressing someone in the crowd) "I'll get to the point when I'm ready to get to the point!"(collective laugh from the crowd)"Get to the point, he says. What a dickhead! I'm tellin' a dog story. 'Get to the point.' Am I in LA, or what?"
(addressing the audience member again)"You're tough, right? You can take it? You know, we know, so. . . that's right. So anyway. . .
"Jeez, I might have to start over again, I think I forgot. So anyway... thanks. Now you've got me goin'. . .
"Naw, really. . . he took off, I let him go. And uh, there's only one thing that can go wrong if you do that. That's if it rains, then, and then he can't find his way back, 'cause he can't smell over the little rains, you know. He just loses it.
"So, he lost it, he got lost. It's like three o'clock in the afternoon, we're still waiting for him to come back, and we gotta go to the gig pretty soon or we're gonna be late, you know, and I'm going, 'Shit, I lost my dog. What am I gonna tell everybody?' You know, I can't leave him behind, I can't, you know, what can I do? So I went out hunting for him.
"There was a railroad track there, and I walked up and down the railroad track. I was going all by myself up there, from the railroad track, (in a loud, anguished shriek) 'Elvis!!!!' And uh, I couldn't hear a thing, not a hound around, and uh, so I gave up after a while, 'cause this Rolling Stone guy was following me around, taking random notes.
"You know, I saw him write it down, you know, I was out on this railroad track in the middle of nowhere yelling out Elvis, and uh, so I got, I knew that wouldn't be good for my image.
"So I went back to the bus, and uh, I got out my lucky shirt, which I don't have with me tonight, you may have noticed. I know, but it's too hot for my lucky shirt. So anyway, I, he, I took it out there and I put it down by the bowl, put his bowl out there, and left the shirt, he'd come back eventually, you know, find his way back to the shirt. And I'd figured after the gig I could come back.
"So, I get back on the bus to take off. So I'm leaving, and this guy in a pick up truck pulls up and says, 'Hey Neil, what're you doing?' Well, so, I told him, I'm not gonna tell it again here, I told him, and then, uh, then uh, he said 'Well that's okay, Neil, I'll, me and, I'll go get my wife, and we'll wait, we'll wait right here until he comes back, and then we'll bring him to you in Eureka.'
"I said, 'Wow, what a great guy, you're, you're great.' Yeah, so he did. You know, so I took off, and uh, just before, uh, I was about half an hour late - nothin' like Guns n' Roses or nothin', but uh. . . but I lost my dog... What did they lose, you know what I mean?
"So, uh, so I, so I got there. Ah, hey, that's rock n' roll, you gotta do what you do. And ah, you know, just as I was going on he called me and said they found him.