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Archive for January, 2013

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There are fans, and there are fans. And then, there are the Arkansas Girls.

Or, perhaps more appropriately (and to quote their now famous sign), there are the “Arkansas Girls Who (HEART) Crazy Horse.”

For anyone who followed Neil Young & Crazy Horse during last fall’s Alchemy Tour as it made its way across North America, you might have even seen the Arkansas Girls (a.k.a. Sandy and Tami) at one or more of the shows.

They followed the tour through a number of cities, hitting shows at Red Rocks in Colorado, as well as Tulsa (where, unfortunately, they also hit upon a short stretch of bad luck) and Seattle (where we were quite pleased to have met and hung out with the AK Gals ourselves).

But for those of you didn’t make any of those shows, the Arkansas Girls exploits on the Twisted Road of Alchemy, have long since become well documented within the more tight-knit circles of the Neil Young fan community.

Sites like Thrashers Wheat as well as the Rusties facebook group have both reported on some of the Arkansas Girls more memorable road stories. But the one common factor that followed the Arkansas Girls everywhere they went was that sign. You simply couldn’t miss it.

Neils AR Girls Collage

For the Arkansas Girls, the fairytale ending to their 2012 Crazy Horse story, finally came during the Alchemy tour stop in Fairfax, VA. That night, the Arkansas Girls were rewarded with a rare acknowledgment from the Patriot Center stage by Neil Young himself (see video below):

So what does all that have to do with this weekend?

This coming Saturday Night, Feb. 2, Thrasher’s Wheat Radio on WBKM.org will feature an exclusive interview with the same, now forever infamous Arkansas Girls.

For those not already in the know, Thrashers Wheat Radio is already considered required listening for serious Rusties anyway. Hosted by the same Neil Young fanatic who produces what is arguably the best resource for Neil Young news on the web (the great Thrashers Wheat website), the ubiquitously named “Thrasher” also penned the forward for our Neil Young FAQ book last year.

But this Saturday’s show promises to be even better than usual, when Sandy and Tami share their remarkable roadtrip tale of attending multiple Neil Young and Crazy Horse concert’s last fall.

Don’t miss the Arkansas Girls this Saturday February 2 at 9P EST on Thrasher’s Wheat Radio on WBKM.org.

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While the recent announcement of the Stephen Stills boxed set has us whetting our lips in anticipation, the continuing rumors of a similar box documenting the now infamous 1974 CSNY reunion “Doom Tour” is what we are most excited about.

For those of you in need of a quick history lesson, CSNY had not played together as a band since 1970 at the time that what has long since come to be known as the “Doom Tour” was first conceived in 1974.

Produced by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, the 1974 reunion shows by Crosby Stills Nash & Young were designed to be nothing less than the mother of all superstar rock concerts, setting the precedent for the stadium rock tours which followed decades later.

Although there were a considerable number of other high profile rock tours happening at the same time — not the least of which were the return to the concert stage of Bob Dylan and former Beatle George Harrison — the return of CSNY was by far the biggest ticket out there.

Bob and George played their own homecoming shows in the biggest arenas to be sure.

But unlike the unquestionably big deal returns of Dylan and ex-Beatle George to the concert stage, CSNY’s reunion tour was, for the most part, booked in stadiums. It was that big a deal.

In many ways, the “Doom Tour” set the template for the future superstar stadium shows that have long since become commonplace every summer. Legacy acts like McCartney, the Stones, U2, Springsteen and the like, as well as the country tail-gating extravaganzas we see every summer from guys like Kenny Chesney — can be traced directly back to CSNY’s 1974 “Doom Tour.”

But by most historical accounts found today, CSNY’s 1974 reunion tour was also a total disaster, marred by the usual rock star egos and excesses of the era. However, by contrast, the actual existing video evidence of those shows — while somewhat scarce and hard to find — suggests that there were still a few great shows (including the four hour blowout I personally witnessed at the tour opener in Seattle).

Graham Nash is reportedly overseeing efforts to bring these long, lost shows to a new audience on a definitive boxed set. We can’t wait to see it.

CSNY’s 1974 reunion tour has long been historically dogged by reports of a coked-out group of rock superstars phoning in their performances for a big pay-day. But existing video documents like those seen below tell a far different story.

The best of what is out there, comes from an amazing performance at London’s Wembley Stadium. In this clip of CSNY performing Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair,” you can particularly see the musical sparks fly between Stills and Young.

Of course, we would have also like to have seen the rare CSNY performances of Neil Young songs like “On The Beach” and “Pushed It Over The End” that we know for a fact do exist.

Hopefully, Nash will be able to unearth this stuff for the mythical 1974 “Doom Tour” boxed set that has been decades in the making.

In the meantime, this clip of Neil doing “Star Of Bethlehem” from London’s Wembley Stadium makes for one damn fine holdover:

And for dessert? Chomp on Neil’s 1974 solo take of “Old Man” from Wembley, with backing from Crosby Stills Nash and Mitchell…

Ah, yes…

Get on it, Graham. We can’t wait.

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As confirmed yesterday by our good friends over at Thrasher’s Wheat, the long-rumored Stephen Stills boxed set is now a reality.

Set for release on March 26, Carry On is an extensive four-disc boxed set spanning the entire career of Stephen Stills. The set is co-produced by Graham Nash (who has also been overseeing the equally long time coming CSNY 1974 tour box, also rumored for this year), and Neil Young’s longtime “Archivist,” Joel Bernstein.

Carry On covers all phases of Stills career, from The Au Go Go Singers through Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, The Stills-Young Band, his solo career and beyond.

CSNY 2006 Denver2 (photo by Tony Stack)

Photo Credit: Tony Stack (From the Neil Young FAQ Collection)

Of the 82 tracks listed on Thrasher’s report (re-produced below), 25 are previously unreleased, and heard on Carry On for the very first time. Among those which excited us most, are “No-Name Jam,” from the long-talked about, but never heard 1970 sessions with Jimi Hendrix, and “Black Coral” from the Long May You Run sessions with CSNY.

CSNY Memphis 1973 (photo by Mary Andrews)

Photo Credit: Mary Andrews (From The Neil Young FAQ Collection)

The hits are covered well, including “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (CSNY),” “For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield),” “Love The One You’re With” and the rest.

But we were also pleased to see the inclusion of rarer solo tracks like “Go Back Home” (from Stills’ solo debut), which features a short, but fierce guitar shoot-out between Stills and Eric Clapton. The two guitar greats recorded their solo debuts at right about the same time, and you can also hear a Stills solo on Clapton’s classic “Let it Rain.”

Here is the full track listing for Stephen Stills’ Carry On boxed set, due out March 26 (thanks again to Thrashers Wheat/Neil Young News):

Disc One
1. “Travelin'” – Stephen Stills*
2. “High Flyin’ Bird” – The Au Go Go Singers
3. “Sit Down I Think I Love You” – Buffalo Springfield
4. “Go And Say Goodbye” – Buffalo Springfield
5. “For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield
6. “Everydays” – Buffalo Springfield*
7. “Pretty Girl Why” – Buffalo Springfield
8. “Bluebird” – Buffalo Springfield
9. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Woman” – Buffalo Springfield
10. “Special Care” – Buffalo Springfield
11. “Questions” – Buffalo Springfield
12. “Uno Mundo” – Buffalo Springfield
13. “Four Days Gone” – Buffalo Springfield
14. “Who Ran Away?” – Stephen Stills*
15. “Forty-Nine Reasons” – Stephen Stills*
16. “Helplessly Hoping” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
17. “You Don’t Have To Cry” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
18. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
19. “4+20” – Stephen Stills*
20. “So Begins The Task” – Stephen Stills*
21. “The Lee Shore” – Stephen Stills*
22. “Carry On/Questions” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
23. “Woodstock” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Disc Two
1. “Love The One You’re With” – Stephen Stills
2. “Old Times Good Times” – Stephen Stills
3. “Black Queen” – Stephen Stills
4. “No-Name Jam” – Stephen Stills & Jimi Hendrix*
5. “Go Back Home” – Stephen Stills
6. “Marianne” – Stephen Stills
7. “My Love Is A Gentle Thing” – Stephen Stills
8. “Fishes And Scorpions” – Stephen Stills
9. “The Treasure” – Stephen Stills*
10. “To A Flame” – Stephen Stills*
11. “Cherokee” – Stephen Stills
12. “Song Of Love” – Stephen Stills
13. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Crazies/Cuban Bluegrass” – Stephen Stills
14. “Jet Set (Sigh)” – Stephen Stills
15. “It Doesn’t Matter” – Stephen Stills
16. “Colorado” – Stephen Stills
17. “Johnny’s Garden” – Stephen Stills
18. “Change Partners” – Stephen Stills*
19. “Do For Others” – Stephen Stills and Steve Fromholz*
20. “Find The Cost Of Freedom” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young*
21. “Little Miss Bright Eyes” – Stephen Stills*
22. “Isn’t It About Time” – Stephen Stills

Disc Three
1. “Turn Back The Pages” – Stephen Stills
2. “First Things First” – Stephen Stills*
3. “My Angel” – Stephen Stills*
4. “Love Story” – Stephen Stills
5. “As I Come Of Age” – Stephen Stills
6. “Know You Got To Run” – Stephen Stills*
7. “Black Coral” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young*
8. “I Give You Give Blind” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
9. “Crossroads/You Can’t Catch Me” – Stephen Stills*
10. “See The Changes” – Crosby, Stills & Nash*
11. “Thoroughfare Gap” – Stephen Stills
12. “Lowdown” – Stephen Stills
13. “Cuba Al Fin” (edit) – Stephen Stills
14. “Dear Mr. Fantasy” – Stephen Stills & Graham Nash
15. “Spanish Suite” – Stephen Stills
16. “Feel Your Love” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
17. “Raise A Voice” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
18. “Daylight Again” – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Disc Four
1. “Southern Cross” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
2. “Dark Star” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
3. “Turn Your Back On Love” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
4. “War Games” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
5. “50/50” – Stephen Stills
6. “Welfare Blues” – Stephen Stills*
7. “Church (Part Of Someone)” – Stephen Stills*
8. “I Don’t Get It” – Stephen Stills
9. “Isn’t It So” – Stephen Stills
10. “Haven’t We Lost Enough?” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
11. “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” – Stephen Stills
12. “Treetop Flyer” – Stephen Stills
13. “Heart’s Gate” – Stephen Stills
14. “Girl From The North Country” – Crosby, Stills & Nash*
15. “Feed The People” – Stephen Stills
16. “Panama” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
17. “No Tears Left” – Crosby, Stills & Nash*
18. “Ole Man Trouble” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young*
19. “Ain’t It Always” – Stephen Stills

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It’s been awhile since our six-month old tome Neil Young FAQ has gotten any love from the press — music-oriented or otherwise.

So, we were absolutely delighted to see a very nice review from critic Brian Robbins this week over at Jambands.com.

In our own humble estimation, Robbins nailed exactly what we were going for with Neil Young FAQ, particularly when he wrote the following:

What is most noteworthy about Neil Young FAQ isn’t the sheer volume of information contained in its pages, however – it’s the book’s readability. Treat it as you’d like: a pick-it-up-and-set-it-down bathroom book; a go-to reference as the subjects arise; or, as a cover-to-cover read. Boyd has accomplished quite a task in doling out a blend of well-researched information and personal observations in a manner that allows the reader to go as deep as they choose to and still be rewarded.

Robbins clearly gets it.

Neil Young FAQ is intended as a one-stop resource for both the diehard Rusties, as well as the few Neil novices still left out there. It’s a reference guide for those in need of a quick fact-check on any phase of Neil Young’s long, legendary career. It is also the sort of easy-read that sits easily atop the personal porcelain library, ready to be opened up at any chapter for a quick and entertaining, but also informative look.

Not exactly Neil Young for Dummies, but still a fun fact guide.

nyfaq190

But we also have to confess that we liked this excerpt best of all:

Neil Young FAQ didn’t land with the hoopla of Waging Heavy Peace this year, but it is absolutely required reading on the subject of ol’ Neil for everyone from the casual fan to the fanatic.

Thanks again to Brian Robbins and Jambands.com for the nice words. To read the entire review, point your browsers here.

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When we first heard the news that Bruce Springsteen was being honored as MusiCares Person of the Year, we were of course as delighted as everybody else.

neilbruce

But when we also learned that Neil Young would be among those paying tribute to Springsteen (along with Jon Stewart, Patti Smith, Sting, Mumford & Sons and others) in Los Angeles two days before the Grammys on February 8, this really got our wheels turning.

While we have a fairly good idea what some of the others might be performing (Patti Smith is almost certainly a lock for “Because The Night” for example), what Springsteen song might Neil Young choose to dust off for the event?

“Born To Run” maybe? After all, we do know that Neil once wrote his own unreleased song with the same title…

To sort this all out, we decided to take a look back at some of the rare examples of Bruce and Neil performing together live, caught on video. Surprisingly, we only found two examples of the two icons doing a Springsteen song.

The first of these, from the 2004 Vote For Change tour, finds Neil adding a haunting, particularly rusty sounding guitar to the rarely played 1992 Springsteen tune “Souls Of The Departed.”

On another clip we came across, from an unidentified venue (but which we are tempted to guess is from an early 90s Bridge School show), Neil along with David Crosby, Graham Nash and others join Springsteen on his 1980 hit single “Hungry Heart.”

Of course, Springsteen has also been known to join Neil Young in concert on occasion for some of the latter’s tunes as well.

This clip, also taken from the 2004 Vote For Change tour, features a particularly raucous version of “Rockin’ In The Free World” featuring Springsteen, John Fogerty and others.

At the same show, Springsteen and Neil Young also took on the Bob Dylan (by way of Jimi Hendrix) classic “All Along The Watchtower.”

Somewhat rarer, is this video from Neil Young’s 1989 Freedom tour, where Springsteen joins Neil for an acoustic take on “Down By The River.”

(Note: The video is a little on the grainy side, but the sound is actually quite decent. It’s also a great performance).

Finally, we couldn’t resist sneaking in the now legendary performance of seventies Bruce and “Neil” from the Jimmy Fallon show doing their unlikely version of “Whip My Hair.”

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