Setlist History: Neil Young Live Debuts "Heart of Gold" in 1971

"I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold."
Don't cry... Okay, cry if you want, I know I am, because this perfect tune makes me feel some type of way every time I put it on, which is at least twice a day.
Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was unleashed unto the world on January 10th, 1971 at a concert at McArthur Court in Eugene, Oregon. The show was apart of his famous 1971 Journey Through the Past Solo Tour, which would later become a film and soundtrack album to the film.
Young performed "Heart of Gold" during these solo shows a year before it's official release and a month before even recording it. The track comes off of 1972's best-selling album, Harvest. "Heart of Gold" is still Young's only U.S. No. 1 single, and the recorded version features backup vocals from James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.
During that concert, the live debut came eight songs in, sandwiched between "A Man Needs a Maid" and "Don't Let it Bring You Down." He also performed another Harvest track during that show, "Old Man," but that song had already been premiered months before.
Check out the 15-song setlist from McArthur Court below:
Neil Young
Watch him performing it for the first time below:
"Heart of Gold" Live 1971
In his liner notes for 1977's Decade, Young wrote a response about the song achieving him mainstream popularity:
"This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there."
His buddy Bob Dylan, who he'll be performing with in London this summer, admittedly took an initial disliking to the song, stating:
"The only time it bothered me that someone sounded like me was when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, in about '72 and the big song at the time was 'Heart of Gold.' I used to hate it when it came on the radio. I always liked Neil Young, but it bothered me every time I listened to 'Heart of Gold.' I think it was up at number one for a long time, and I'd say, 'Shit, that's me. If it sounds like me, it should as well be me.'"
"Heart of Gold" remain's Young's most performed solo track to date. The last time he performed it was on October 1st, 2018, and with a handful of more solo dates coming up this month, we anticipate him yanking the emotions out of fans as he pulls out his harmonica and acoustic guitar before crooning away. And most definitely when he performs with Bob Dylan (winky face).
Check out his 2019 dates over on his website.

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Last updated: 19 Jan 2019, 05:45 Etc/UTC