Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”

Hernan CortexFirst, a cover by Grace Potter and Joe Satriani:

Then, the original by Mr Young himself:

Cortez The Killer, by the Dave Matthews Band:

Neil Young and Crazy Horse in 2003:

Your preference?

Mine is clear.  Only Mr Young, with Frank Sampedro (rhythm guitar), Billy Talbot (bass) and Ralph Molina (drums).



“Cortez The Killer”

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects
gathered ’round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them
to the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up
with their bare hands
What we still can’t do today.

And I know she’s living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can’t remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.

Let us not forget why Mexico speaks Spanish these days and not any number of brutal Indian or Incan or Mayan or Aztec tongues: because it was conquered by Spain.


My Musical Dreams, Pt I:

There is music that shapes and not only carries and enables me, but defines me — as I suspect it does you.

It is me and I am it, through the late 60s, 70s, through Progressive Rock, heavy metal, folk, blues, and anything that involved 110+ decibels live.  I lived the Rock Age, produced it, recorded it, played it on any number of radio stations from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Here I lay down the tracks that were significant to me and my friends in my time.  But beware: I do this for my own memory and not yours.  I don’t expect our musical tastes to be even remotely congruent.

First up to bid: Leslie West‘s Mississippi Queen “guitar lesson”:

This classic song of 1970, from Mountain’s album Climbing:

And from that stemmed tragedy.

On the other hand, who has survived the 70s and beyond?  That’s right, Leslie West.

He is the Mississippi King.


You knew I couldn’t stop quite yet.  Here is a wonderful — the quintessential — tribute to Felix Pappalardi from his greatest friend, Leslie West:

“I love you Felix, wherever the hell you are.”