Every year, I take the same vacation. I travel from Seattle, WA to Half Moon Bay with 10 to 20 of my good friends, or good friends soon-to-be. Every year, I am a little afraid that what I look forward to all year will lose its magic.
I am happy to say that has not happened in 8 years. As a matter of fact, it keeps getting better.
There is an ultimate goal to the trip..... seeing the Bridge School Benefit, and Neil Young. This show is always a celebration, of the kids who attend the school and most definitely, of music. Those of us who tend to travel the globe to see Neil (and other rusties..... I would not do all this travel if not for seeing my friends), also have been impressed year after year watching Neil and Pegi and the love, respect and appreciation they so obviously have between them.
But now, we are told they are divorcing. I feel like an adult child who has just been told my parents are separating. I sorta understand, because I think that their life together must have been difficult. Raising a severely disabled child, the work that brings one away more often than not, the idea that Neil is difficult, etc. But one can only hope that they remain friends, and that the BSB can continue.
The first day of the show, Pegi, looking happy, thanked the wisdom dancers who bless the stage prior to starting, and said a few words before announcing that she would be playing tonight and leaving her other duties to a woman (i didn't catch her function) and her son Ben. Ben introduced Neil through his communication box. Neil came from the left side of the stage (late.... said he was in the shower), but everyone else came from the right. Hmmm...... Two songs and left, and someone else introduced Pegi. We fans of the Benefit worried about what seemed fractured. However, our concern increased when the only person to join Neil at the end of the evening for the 'Grand Finale' was Eddie Vedder. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......
Continued the next day in much the same fashion. This time when Neil left the stage after his first mini set, he started to leave to the right, looked up, saw Pegi, turned on a dime and headed left. During his closing set he made numerous musical errors, such as starting a song without putting ANY harp in the holder, messing up chords, saying that he was distracted and laughing. He also laughed about having to 'dominate' and wanting his guitar to go louder. He never appeared to be anything but happy, though. And I noticed Pegi standing at the stage entrance (I got to see the show from row 4), and this time, when neil asked for help for the last song, Pegi and many others came out to join him, and all singing and smiling. The great little thing though, is that Neil and Pegi did their traditional ending of the evening, with Ben between them..... Neil says, 'Say goodnight Pegi', and Pegi says, 'Goodnight Pegi'. They laughed and hugged and walked off the stage.
Phew. I hope they can continue to be able to pull that off and Neil and Pegi can work together for that show, for the Bridge School, for their children.