My Bus Catches Up with Neil Young

by Sandy Biskar

Neil Young News

Posted to Rust on 9/5/93 by Sandy Biskar

I've had a lot of strange experiences driving my bus to shows and such. I can tell you some wild stories about my travels, but for now I'd like to tell you the best one.

A friend and I were driving through the desert in my 1973 bus with a built engine. My bus has done 95 to 100 MPH before, scary! Anyway, back to this story about driving through the desert. While crossing the Columbia River Gorge, I noticed two really nice Harleys, and said, "Wow, check out those two bikes!" My friend Dave took a look and agreed that the Harleys were indeed cool. But, "what's even cooler is that it's Neil Young and his wife Pegi riding those Harleys!"

Dave is a concert photographer, and he had just finished photographing Neil Young a few months back. Dave had seen Neil Young on stage at Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon. This is how Dave was able to recognize Neil Young with riding glasses and a helmet.

We followed Neil and his wife up a big hill. My bus was barely keeping up with the Harleys. It seemed like we were all in some kind of big hurry! No wonder, we were late to the concert (Pearl Jam, Blind Melon, and Neil Young), as usual.

There was some kind of strange karma in the air that night, because, Neil and his wife followed a misleading sight that said Amphitheater. We, of course followed them. The misguided turn took us into a beautiful gorge. Dave had been taking pictures with his killer photo equipment when Neil and his wife pulled over onto a gravel parking lot. I pulled the bus in next to them. "Excuse me," I asked Neil, "can you please tell me how to get to the Amphitheater?" And Neil said, "Shoot, I was hoping you guys might know!" So I said, "Are you kidding?" He looked at me kind of funny and asked "Why?" Then I said, "Well, you're Neil Young aren't you?" And he said, "Yes."

At that point I had to get out of the bus and shake his hand. While we were introducing ourselves, my friend Dave was out of the bus taking pictures of us together! He took some great shots! While we were talking with Neil I mentioned that we had seen him at the Coliseum with Crazy Horse, the Civic Stadium (solo acoustic), and at the Waterfront Park all in this year's concert season. If there were two people in the whole world that wanted to meet Neil Young, it was probably us.

We went on to tell Neil that we were so devoted that we left on ten bucks and a full tank of gas. We had driven over 250 miles with no refreshments and no tickets to the show. At that point Neil asked for a pen and took our names. He told us that there would be front row tickets waiting for us when we got there. Well, just like a heart of gold, his word also turned out to be gold!

We were so jazzed! We told everybody about our adventure. Complements of Neil Young, we got in to see the show (front row and back stage passes), and made it to show two in Portland the next day!


Sandy Biskar lives in Rhododendron, Oregon, and attends concerts when he can.

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