'After The Gold Rush,' Neil Young's Soundtrack Of A Lost Movie: Lyrics And Meaning

By Jacob Shelton
Neil Young on the cover of 'After The Gold Rush/' Source: Flickr.com

Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is one of the great albums in classic rock, including "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," "Southern Man," and the title track. But it's also one of the great mysteries in music, involving a lost screenplay for a film that was never made. In an era where everyone can know everything with a few keystrokes, there are a few rock n roll mysteries that we're never going to solve, and Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is one of them.

Recorded in the winter of 1969 and into the summer 1970, After The Gold Rush is full of country and rock inspired folk tunes that cemented the the Neil Young sound, but what most people don't know is that the record is inspired by the screenplay of a movie of the same name, a movie that only exists in the minds of its screenwriters, Dean Stockwell and Herb Bermann. Everyone who was involved with this movie is still alive but no one really knows how to describe the script. We'll try to get to the bottom of this lost film and try to figure out just what After The Gold Rush and specifically its title track has to do with it.