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My, My, Hey, Hey (Out Of The Blue) - Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)

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My, My, Hey, Hey (Out Of The Blue) - Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the Black)

Around 1977 Neil Young formed a band called The Ducks that included Jeff Blackburn. The band played for a $3 cover charge in the hip Santa Cruz club environment. "My, My, Hey, Hey (Out Of The Blue)" came out of this period and Jeff Blackburn received co-writing credits. This deals with the fleeting nature of fame and how hard it is to stay relevant as an artist. "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" is a '50s song by Danny and the Juniors. Young alludes to or mentions artists from the '50s (Danny), '60s (Elvis), and '70s (The Sex Pistols, specifically lead singer Johnny Rotten) to show that "Rock and roll will never die. This was the first track on 'Rust Never Sleeps'.

Hey, Hey, My, My

'Rust Never Sleeps' was a unique recording by Neil Young and Crazy Horse as it was an album of all new material mainly recorded live but post-produced with some studio overdubbing and most of the audience ambiance removed. This all resulted in a final product that feels at once intimate and intense. The album is half acoustic and half electric, opening and closing with different versions of the same song: "Hey Hey, My My".

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Rust Never Sleeps, album

 

"My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" was recorded live at the Boarding House in early 1978. On this track, rock and roll chameleon Neil Young single-handedly pays tribute to punk and foreshadows the grunge movement of the 1990s. The lyrics deal fairly directly with the brevity of life as well as the concept that underneath everyone’s veneer lays a decidedly more complex reality. Young also acknowledges the Sex Pistols’ front man with the rhetorical question “Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?”, adding “It’s better to burn out ‘cause rust never sleeps.”

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Danny and The Juniors

 

The famous line "It's better to burn out than it is to rust" is often credited to Young's friend Jeff Blackburn. That line has become one of the most famous song lyrics of all time. Kurt Cobain's suicide note contained that line. When Young was asked by Time magazine in 2005 about the line and Cobain's death, he said: "The fact that he left the lyrics to my song right there with him when he killed himself left a profound feeling on me, but I don't think he was saying I have to kill myself because I don't want to fade away. I don't think he was interpreting the song in a negative way. It's a song about artistic survival, and I think he had a problem with the fact that he thought he was selling out, and he didn't know how to stop it. He was forced to do tours when he didn't want to, forced into all kinds of stuff."

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The Ducks (Mosley,Craviotto,Blackburn,Young)

 

Cobain's death was an epiphany of a different sort, one that not only left the second punk movement in a state of emotional disarray, but turned the dark bravado of Young's lyric into the stuff of tragedy. It's no wonder, then, that the incident casts a shadow across Young's new album, 'Sleeps with Angels'. It isn't just that the title song addresses Cobain's suicide in much the same way that "My My, Hey Hey" deals with the end of the Sex Pistols; it's as if the whole album is haunted by the implications of that act.

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Kurt Cobain, suicide letter

 

In the 1986 movie Highlander, the villain Kurgan quotes this song to people inside a church: "I have something to say! It's better burn out, than to fade away!" By this he means to glorify his ongoing perilous battle for immortality as opposed to living a normal humble life. This is quite an obvious metaphor for being a rock star.

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Johnny Rotten

 

In the biography of Neil Young, "Shakey" by Jimmy McDonough, Neil points out that this song came about when he was jamming with the band Devo. The phrase, "Rust never sleeps" was uttered by Mark Mothersbaugh, and Neil, loving the impromptu line, acquired it. Young explains why the phrase appealed to him: "It relates to my career; the longer I keep on going the more I have to fight this corrosion. And now that's gotten to be like the World Series for me. The competition's there, whether I will corrode and eventually not be able to move anymore and just repeat myself until further notice or whether I will be able to expand and keep the corrosion down a little."

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Mark Mothersbaugh

 

In 1978 Young and Crazy Horse set out on the lengthy tour, where each concert was divided into Young’s solo acoustic set and the full band electric set. The real brilliance of 'Rust Never Slepps' lies on the electric side two. “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” is a dark hard-driving and distortion-laden bookend to the comparatively pastoral “Hey Hey, My My (Out Of The Blue)”. The lyrics are slightly different.

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse

 

The song explicitly deals with the struggles of being a rock musician. As quoted on Hyper Rust, Neil Young said, "the essence of the rock'n'roll spirit to me, is that it's better to burn out really bright than to sort of decay off into infinity. Even though if you look at it in a mature way, you'll think, 'well, yes ... you should decay off into infinity, and keep going along.' Rock'n'roll doesn't look that far ahead. Rock'n'roll is right now. What's happening right this second"

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Neil Young

 

“Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” is the most popular song on the album and, in a lot of ways, Young’s signature song of his career. Critically acclaimed in its day and for years to come, 'Rust Never Sleeps' was also commercially successful, reaching the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2003, 'Rust Never Sleeps' was ranked number 351 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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Rust Never Sleeps

 

My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)


My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It's better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you're gone, you can never come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of a johnny rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
The king is gone but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

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Neil Young

 

Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)


Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

Out of the blue and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you're gone, you can't come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black.

The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out 'cause rust never sleeps
The king is gone but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.

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Battleme - Hey Hey, My My (Sons of Anarchy)

Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 December 2018 17:53)

 

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