The inevitable origin story

When I was trying to come up with a name for the blog, I quickly decided my common-but-not-constant screen name of CantankerousApe would do. Since I knew people would wonder what it means, and I am still looking for excuses to upload content while I learn how to steer this puppy, I thought I might explain where the name comes from.

Ever write down you dreams? Ever write down random thoughts or phrases you want to remember? I used to do this a lot. In 1989, I was living in T.O. in my first bachelor pad. Couch, bed and TV were all in the same room, which meant I watched way too much TV, but always had everything close to hand. I actually did a lot of writing in those days. Some of those late night ramblings became songs or poems. Some were really insightful, and some did not survive the sober light of day.

One night I was watching Saturday Night Live, and Neil Young came on and rocked the free world. Watching the freak (and I use the term affectionately) lope around the stage, I jotted down the phrase Cantankerous Ape. It stuck with me. Something about it just makes me chuckle.

When I started to write this piece, I discovered that the performance in question is both regarded as one of Neil’s finest and also one of the best musical performances in the history of SNL. Neil Young is hardly my favorite artist, but when I finally tracked down a video of this show, it holds up pretty damn well.

If you’re a fan, enjoy. If you’re not… this is not likely to win you over. Hopefully this video stays up for a while.

BTW – If you’re wondering about that brilliant picture in the top left, it’s by David Wong, who was kind enough to let me use it here.