With no warning, Neil Young posted his first ever Facebook status update last night. “i have been thinking about adding vampire blues to my show,” he wrote in the relaxed, capital-letter-free style of the casual web user. “but i would rather do it with a band. this is my first posting. thanks for being there.” The song — a fan favorite from 1974’s On the Beach — has only been played live once, when Young guested with Eagles on March 26th, 1974. Young is currently between legs of his Twisted Road tour, which features solo arrangements of some of his biggest hits alongside several brand new songs (read Rolling Stone‘s live report here). On the first leg, the set list barely changed from night to night, but clearly he’s thinking about mixing things up for the next batch of dates.
The Facebook posting is the latest step in Young’s embrace of the Internet, though 11 years ago he had much less tolerance for people who followed his tour online. Onstage in Chicago in 1999, he launched into a brief tirade after discovering a graph posted on the web that charted how his set changed from night to night:
“One thing I found out on this tour is that the Internet has really changed things a lot. They got this list of all the songs I play. We try and play new songs all the time. I don’t ever look at it. I just heard of it. Every night, whatever you do, it’s there. I’ll probably never look at the damn thing. I might use it for something else. I don’t need to keep track of myself. I don’t want to keep track of anyone else whose keeping track of me, either. A couple of weeks ago somebody was talking and I went, ‘Shut up asshole!’ I’m sure it went right up there. That’s the Shut Up Asshole show! People in Zimbabwe are finding out what I said. I don’t know what to make of all that. Here’s another new song for this tour. It’s probably only been played once before, maybe three days ago. It’ll show up on the graph. They keep track of how many new songs I did, how many old songs I did in a different way. It’s just a stupid song.”