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Readers Poll: The Best Neil Young Songs

Selections include 'Cortez The Killer,' 'Powderfinger' and 'Harvest Moon'

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10. 'Helpless'

Neil Young's most memorable contribution to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1970 classic Deja Vu looks back at his childhood in Canada. In a 1995 interview with Mojo, Young explained that the "town in North Ontario" wasn't referring to one single place. "It's not literally a specific town so much as a feeling," he said. "Actually, it's a couple of towns. Omemee, Ontario, is one of them. It's where I first went to school and spent my 'formative' years."

The most famous performance of the song comes from The Last Waltz in 1976. The night before the show Young played back-to-back shows at Atlanta's Fox Theater before catching a flight to San Francisco to appear at the farewell gig. That's probably why he didn't notice what was in his nose when he walked on stage. "Neil had delivered a good version of 'Helpless' with a good-size rock of cocaine stuck in his nostril," Band drummer Levon Helm wrote in his book This Wheel's On Fire. "They had to go to special effects people who developed what they called a 'traveling booger matte' that sanitized Neil's nostrils and put 'Helpless' in the movie." 

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