Just a day after Rihanna was tapped to perform at the 2023 NFL Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, Beck is also getting in on the football action with his rendition of Neil Young’s 1972 Harvest hit, “Old Man” to promote the Oct. 2 football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Beck’s version of “Old Man” debuted on Sept. 25 in an NFL promo for the upcoming Sunday Night Football. That promo shows Beck playing a stripped-back “Old Man” on acoustic, and shows images of the Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
In Beck’s version, the lyric 24 and there’s so much more is a nod to Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes winning Super Bowls when they were 24 years old.
Written by Young for the caretaker of his Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch in 1970, the song follows the story of a young man and an old man’s life and how, to an extent, both have the same needs.
“About that time when I wrote ‘[‘Heart of Gold’], and I was touring … I had purchased a ranch, and I still live there today, and there was a couple living on it that were the caretakers, an old gentleman named Louis Avila and his wife Clara,” said Young of the song in his 2006 documentary concert film Heart of Gold. “And there was this old blue Jeep there, and Louis took me for a ride in this blue Jeep. He gets me up there on the top side of the place, and there’s this lake up there that fed all the pastures, and he says, ‘Well, tell me, how does a young man like yourself have enough money to buy a place like this?’ and I said, “Well, just lucky, Louis, just real lucky.” And he said, “Well, that’s the darnedest thing I ever heard.’ And I wrote this song for him.”
Beck has been full of collaborations since releasing his 14th album, Hyperspace, in 2019, including his remix of Paul McCartney’s “Find My Way,” which originally appeared on the Beatles’ 18th solo album, McCartney III, in 2020. The updated track featured Beck and McCartney on vocals.
In partnership with NASA, Beck also created a visual counterpart of Hyperspace in 2020. He also appeared in the updated version of JAWNY’s “Take It Back,” off the artist’s 2021 EP, The Story of Hugo, in June 2022.
Just off his supporting slot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers tour, during summer 2022, Beck is scheduled to join Arcade Fire on the North American leg of their tour and will play a special acoustic set each night when the tour kicks off on Oct. 28 in Washington D.C.
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)