Saturday, July 10, 2010
Mister Neil and the dolphins
Around Bleecker and MacDougal streets, the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the sixties produced some of the best american musicians ever. Among them, one was a mystery : Fred Neil. Admired by Bob Dylan and Tim Hardin, the guy was secretive, almost elusive. Nowadays he is mostly known like a name, a shadow behind a legendary song he composed, the "Everybody's Talkin'" that Harry Nilsson sang in Midnight Cowboy (1969). But once you hear his own voice, a dark resonating baritone, well, you'll never forget it.
Maybe it was the toxic fame raising in the Village or the poisonous hard drugs he tried but Fred Neil disappeared of the music world for good in 1971 : he retreated in Florida, Coconut Grove to dedicate the rest of his life to his passion, the dolphins. There he founded the Dolphin Research Project to stopping the capture, trafficking and exploitation of these amazing creatures. Fred Neil never recorded anything else till his death in 2001. But he left us some masterpieces, for example one of the most haunting song ever, "The Dolphins"…