In an epic late night performance years in the making, Neil Young finally played alongside… “Neil Young.” For nearly five years, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has been delivering a pitch perfect impression of the Harvest singer to Young-ify ridiculous songs like “Pants on the Ground” and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Tuesday night, with The Tonight Show revisiting Los Angeles, Fallon’s “Young” and the actual Young, dressed exactly alike, finally collided onstage to perform a surprisingly faithful rendition of “Old Man.”
This wasn’t the first time “Neil Young” has shared the stage with a rock icon: Fallon’s “Young” also sang Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” next to a costumed Bruce Springsteen in 2010 and filled the “Y” in CSNY for a take on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” last year.
“Old Man,” though, marked the first time Fallon’s imitation actually performed a Neil Young song (not counting when Bradley Cooper played air guitar to “Down By the River,” which Young later revealed was actually a Danny Whitten part). In addition to the Young/”Young” duet, the real Storytone rocker performed his recent single “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?” sans “Young” but accompanied by the Roots:
In his interview segment with Fallon, Young complimented Fallon’s impression, as he did on his last visit, and discussed his new high-quality PONO music player and download service. “You’re a music lover. You love music. That’s what PONO’s about,” Young said. “Some people go, ‘Music is wallpaper. It’s background.’ Other people go, ‘I want to hear music. I love music. I want to turn it on and rock.'”
“I saw you doing me before and I always thought it was fun,” Young said of performing next to “Young.” Young actually stopped by The Tonight Show last May, but opted not to perform next to his impersonator in lieu of recording Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” inside Jack White’s mobile recording studio. Fallon admitted that he was too nervous to approach Young about a duet at the time.