Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris were among Neil Young’s friends who showed up on a rainy Thursday night (March 9) for the Nashville premiere of his new concert film, Heart of Gold.
Working with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, the documentary was filmed in August when Young performed two nights at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to introduce his most recent album, Prairie Wind. Young recorded much of the project in Nashville last year in between undergoing successful surgery to treat a brain aneurysm.
Young and Demme welcomed Thursday’s crowd that filled two theaters at the Green Hills 16 Cinema and introduced the film that also features Young’s wife Pegi and Harris on vocals. Others attending the premiere included Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Jeff Hanna, legendary session guitarist James Burton, celebrity tailor Manuel (who designed Young’s stage clothing for the film) and singer-songwriters Kim Carnes, Al Anderson, Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander and Eric Church. Several of Young’s longtime backing musicians were also in attendance, including keyboardist Spooner Oldham and steel guitarist Ben Keith.
Demme won an Oscar in 1991 for best director for The Silence of the Lambs. His other directing credits include Philadelphia and the Talking Heads’ concert film, Stop Making Sense.
Heart of Gold will make its way to other cities in the months to come.