Young told Mojo
magazine February 2011 the story of the song: "Hitchhiker was an unfinished song that I finished for this project. I performed it a couple of times in the past so all the aficionados refer to it as an old song, but it's really an unfinished song, something I would get to the end and go, 'Well it's not over, it's not finished. It's kind of like a song I had called Powderfinger
, which I had for six years before I wrote the last verse and then I put it on Rust Never Sleeps
. I added more lyrics to it at the end and altered some of what was there before to make it a complete song. So Hitchhiker took me about 40 years to write."