a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics


Music/Lyrics: Neil Young

Vocals: Neil Young (lead), Phish (backing)

Original Artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Original Album: Déjà Vu (1970)

Debut: 1998-10-17

Historian: Erik Swain

Toward the end of Phish’s set on the first day of the all-acoustic 1998 Bridge School Benefit, the band surprised the crowd by attempting an acoustic “Harry Hood.” Even more surprising was that Neil Young, the benefit organizer, came out in the middle of “Hood” to jam with them. Less of a shock for the occasion, however, was when they wound down the jam and segued into “Helpless,” one of Young’s best-known acoustic songs and a staple of his heyday with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The band stuck closely to the arrangement on CSNY’s Déjà Vu album and reproduced their yearning harmonies. This performance closed the set and Phish has not attempted the song in concert again. Those who track down the CSNY album to hear the original version will also be treated to Jerry Garcia’s pedal steel guitar playing on “Teach Your Children.” One other version worth checking out is the performance from The Last Waltz.  Enjoy...

The Band with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell -- "Helpless" from The Last Waltz

Submit notes/corrections

Login Register