Human Highway


Recently, while reading an account of the vampirically long life of the wizened sci-fi peanut Dean Stockwell, I made a curious discovery. I already knew of course that Stockwell had played Kim in Kim, Al in Quantum Leap, John Cavil in Battlestar Galactica, the Suave Fuck in Blue Velvet and Joseph in a school nativity play circa 24 AD. What I did not know was that Stockwell had also written and starred in a film with Neil Young, a genial Lurch-esque minstrel with folk-rock sympathies and a kazoo for a voice. Unfortunately the film, entitled Human Highway, is only available on VHS: the most loathsome of all audio-visual formats. Once again I must descend into the warped recesses of my cerebrum in a bid to imagine what the film might be about. The following might be, but probably isn’t, a scene from early in the film.

Neil Young: [screechy voice] ‘Hey Dean Stockwell buddy. I wrote a song. Would you like to hear it?’

Dean Stockwell: ‘Hey Neil Young. Is it an educational song?

Neil Young: ‘Yes Dean Stockwell, it is’

Dean Stockwell: ‘Stick it in your dirty fucking ears then Neil Young. I’d rather die.’

[Neil Young tries to hide the fact he is crying]

Dean Stockwell: ‘Hey hey Neil Young. I was only funning with you buddy’

Neil Young: ‘Really?’

Dean Stockwell: ‘’Course I was buddy. I’d love to hear it’

Neil Young: ‘Ok. Here I go. [strums his guitar and proceeds to sing]

Verse 1

When I’m dangling down the 103

On a steel-train to Californee

I likes to sing a workingman’s song

I likes to eat a bison’s tongue


Fiddle-de-ree, riddle-ee-squee,

I’m sitting on a workingman’s knee

Fiddle-de-roo, riddle-de-roonuch

I’m sitting on a workingman’s eunuch

Verse 2

When I’m sitting with my ol’ lover

And feeding spices to Danny Glover

I likes to know that she is near

I likes to put my finger in her ear


Fiddle-de-fuddle, riddle-de-rump

A workingman will break his pump

Break his pump and bum a jerk

But you can’t keep a workingman from his work.

Neil Young (in continuation): What do you think then Neil Young, sorry I mean Dean Stockwell?

Dean Stockwell: ‘It stinks. I hate it.’


6 Responses to “Human Highway”

  1. Banjo Fett Says:

    Whoa. Having never heard of Human Highway, but having thoroughly enjoyed those punchy lyrics, I tootled over to IMDB for a run-down. I found some fine reviews of the film, one of which wasn’t this one, by ‘johnlewis’ from Texas:

    “Well, this is totally indescribable, but I will try. Imagine an alternate history where sometime in the 1960s or 70s, the world has gone gung-ho full blown nuclear everything. Kind of like Iran wants to be now. Just imagine the whole world like that- especially the USA…”

    Then it goes on, with a fairly descriptive synopsis. There’s lots of adjectives, including ‘sexy’, ‘amenable’, ‘goofy’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘strange looking’.

    It’s an interesting review, loaded with right-wing paranoia. Much more receptive than that of jblynch, who writes: “This movie is nearly worthless… Not to say it is painful to watch – at times its combination of hokey special effects, screwball comedy and pointless plot is somewhat interesting… The best you can say is that it is unique.”

    Harsh words indeed from jblynch. I can’t help but wonder: could this sneering character actually be David, and not ‘jb’?

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Wow: ‘sexy’, ‘amenable’, ‘goofy’, ‘incompetent’ and ’strange looking’ are exactly the qualities I look for in a mate. I can’t help but suspect that johnlewis has been reading the impromptu advertisements I leave on toilet walls. Anyway, shouldn’t he be focusing on selling posh towels and sleek chrome blenders instead of reviewing films? Someone should say something.

    How good would it be though if David Lynch spent all of his time writing nasty reviews of other people’s films on amazon? I’d be interested to read more of the oeuvre of ‘jb’ lynch.

  3. Banjo Fett Says:

    I think he may have been jealous that Stockwell, Hopper et al were off doing their own thing.

  4. oldrope Says:

    Did Kim also play Kim in Antipodean lark-show ‘Kath and Kim’?

    And did Mr Young manage to swing cameos for the rest of his beachball team, halfquarterforward back Crosby, defence-keeper Stills and left-side-quimble runner Nash? Go team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. johnlebaptiste Says:

    No, Kim in Kath and Kim was played by that plump boy who played Fishy Toad in Neighbours.

    And, no, Young played spicy bristleback for Emerson (left bingo winger), Lake (hoofer) and Palmer’s (centre-parting) beachball team.

  6. oldrope Says:

    I stand corrected. Said the man in orthopaedic shoes

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