It’s usually pretty rare to find a music legend who doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows how to have fun at his own expense.
But in 1983, that’s what Neil Young did with his backup band The Shocking Pinks for the music video for the retro song “Wonderin.”
Co-founder of the legendary Buffalo Springfield and part of the more legendary Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the artist has had a hand, directly or otherwise, in some of the most important and influential music of the 1960s and 70s…even on up to the present day.
His solo career has led to the release of more than 50 albums. He’s also recorded other sings both as a member or leader of several bands. His influence helped the early 1990s Grunge Movement get its start–both Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vetter and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain have said that Young was a positive influence to their music. (He would later play with Pearl Jam at shows.)
This Tim Pope-directed video features a somewhat dazed, slightly psychotic simpleton character (played by Young), who sometimes makes his appearances by standing up from an apparent crouched position just below the camera to almost directly in front of it. With disheveled hair, an oddly colored necktie with a loudly-patterned shirt and a mentally challenged grin, the character wonders out loud why his girl has left him and why she won’t come back home.
The video is partially shot in a jerky stop-action sequence (think flip books for children), which further adds to its odd quality. It’s quirky and different enough to be included in my Favorite Music Videos collection.
This song comes from a collection of rockabilly covers and original songs called “Everybody’s Rockin’.”