Meryl Streep Got Guitar Lessons from Neil Young

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We're going to forgive Jimmy Fallon his first question for Meryl Streep when she appeared on The Tonight Show Monday, and chalk it up to nerves caused by being in the presence of such a huge talent: He lead with, in all earnestness, "Do you sing?"

Ever the class act, Streep didn't specifically point out Mamma Mia! or Into the Woods, but simply said "Yeah, I have been singing for a long time ... but not rock and roll." The Oscar winner was referring to her new movie Ricki and the Flash, in which she plays an absent mom still chasing her dreams of musical fame, who is forced to return home and deal with a daughter who's in the midst of a breakdown (played by Streep's real life daughter, Mamie Gummer).

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One thing Streep hadn’t done before was learn to play an instrument. “I had my first guitar lesson when I said I’d do the movie,” she said. “[Director] Jonathan Demme was up at the Jacob Burns Film Center, which is a film center he runs, and Neil Young was there recording something for his new sound system. ... So my first lesson was 45 minutes with Neil!"

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Fallon went on to ask if she enjoyed the feeling of rocking out in front of crowds.“I mean, I’m playing a failed rock and roll singer, there’s a lot of leeway,” Streep said. “We had a set down in Brooklyn on the docks, just a ramshackle old building, but we built this very funky club inside and all the extras came in and all day we’d play and it was like being at a party for eight days.”

Fallon looked disappointed and said had he only known he would've "come down and been an extra.” We’re sure he would have blended right in. Click the video above to hear the big piece of advice Young gave Streep when it comes to playing guitar!

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