Bob Dylan and Neil Young : Kilkenny - Eire


BOB DYLAN + NEIL YOUNG

EIRE

NYA

The leading poet of his generation, Bob Dylan, playing with his band, will be joined and supported by Neil Young + Promise of the Real in the concert at Kilkenny.

Ireland, the great home of poetry and literary genius, will rock to its core at the historic gathering. Imagine the green fields of Eire bending in the breeze as music of the ages fills the air. Families will be united and children will dance with their parents at this great celebration of Music, Love and Words. Be there with us. Pre-sale information available Friday December 14th - 9am Dublin time.

NYA


THE LINCVOLT YEARS : Tommy the Car - from the edit suite


Tommy the Car

from the edit suite

the passenger
photos - Larry Johnson

LV 4

Lincvolt left Wichita in the spring of ’09 on a big shake down cruise. The whole story is documented in The Lincvolt Years: Volume One – coming to a screen near you pretty soon.

Stop number two on that journey of reckoning was Perrone Robotics in Virginia. That’s where Lincvolt’s onboard intelligence system was designed, tested and monitored.

Paul Perrone is a vital veteran member of the Lincvolt Team and a pioneer in the field of automated vehicles and robotics. One of Paul’s creations, Tommy the car, caught Neil’s attention so he went for a ride and that’s where this Official Lincvolt Years out-take comes from.

This one highlights the importance of clear communication and mutually agreed upon understanding of the very meaning of a word. Any word. And it’s about how sweet it is once everybody’s on the same page at the same time. When that happens, it’s smiles all around! Clarity. An important message to me.

Please meet Tommy the car.
onward,
the passenger


DO BOOMERS HAVE BETTER SOUNDING HOME MUSIC SYSTEMS THAN MILLENNIALS? : When I’m 64


When I’m 64

By Tom DeVesto

There are high fidelity enthusiasts and music lovers today from all generations.

But, it seems to me, there is a dividing line between Millennials and Boomers regarding their inherent understanding of the importance in delivering music the way the artist intended it.

With Boomers our mission as product designers has always been to demonstrate that our equipment delivered the musical art form as accurately as possible.

We grew up listening to high resolution, high-quality vinyl records.

Millennials on the other hand grew up with buds in their ears or at best, some cranky Bluetooth speaker. Both were good enough to listen to their low resolution, highly compressed MP3 files. In many cases as little as 5% of the artist’s original music makes it to their ears.

When I speak to Millennials about sound quality a fair amount of energy goes into explaining the value of the sound quality itself. About the endless hours the designer spends making sure that each part of the musical spectrum delivers everything the artist intended and nothing more.

There is an octave to octave tonal balance that needs to be maintained so that musical instruments are true to their acoustics.

It is important that voices, both male and female, can be heard as if one was standing in front of the performer as opposed to hearing them down at the end of the long hallway or behind a curtain.

If you carefully select the source of your music and the equipment you play on you can still get great sound today. But it is not going to come out of those little plastic boxes.

I was 21 years old and “When I’m 64“ came out by the Beatles, turning 64 seemed like a really long way into the future.

Little did we know that the level of high fidelity resolution of the equipment we were listening to then was going to turn out to be better than most of the stuff available in the future.

When the Beatles sang “will you still need me”, had we been able to see into the future, the answer would’ve been a resounding yes.

Tom DeVesto
http://www.comoaudio.com/


'SONGS FOR JUDY' : Behind the Scenes songsforjudy-back1408


Behind the Scenes

Cameron Crowe and Joel Bernstein

Cameron Crowe and Joel Bernstein tell how they did it.

In late 1976 and early 1977 Joel and Cameron got together and built ‘Songs for Judy’ from a pile of cassettes and memories. This is how it happened...

Cameron:
Joel Bernstein and I first met on a crisp morning in March, 1974. It was already an auspicious day. Neil Young had agreed to join The Eagles for a benefit at the Cuesta College Auditorium in San Luis Obispo. We were all together for the bus ride up the coast. Neil was notoriously press-shy at the time. I snuck onto the bus as a guest of the Eagles. There is a picture from the day, taken by Joel.

Behind me, Neil is playing an early version of “For The Turnstiles.” (Later, passing some oil derricks, he would begin writing part of “Vampire Blues” on the same bus ride.) I’m just hunkering down trying to look like I belong. We became fast friends that very day -- Joel the photographer (and guitar maestro-technician), and me the journalist. Our shared aesthetic was rigorous. As fans, we loved the raw and the real. For example -- the demo was usually our favorite version of any given song. Joel the artist worked almost exclusively with available light. We viewed ourselves as documentarians, there to catch the spirit in the air. We even had a nickname for ourselves – Eyes and Ears (from the old movie newsreel "The Eyes And Ears Of The World") . We still do. Joel and I went on many assignments together, and one of our early adventures was for Rolling Stone. I was invited on Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s 1976 North American tour. Joel was already on tour as Neil's guitar tech, and was also documenting the shows by recording them. Full disclosure: I was in heaven.

songsforjudy-bus1408

Joel:
I'd been the photographer on Neil's Time Fades Away tour in 1973; Neil was tuning his own acoustic and electric guitars himself before each show with the help of a Conn Strobotuner, a curious device featuring a display with a backlit, spinning disc of concentric circles. Based upon the stroboscopic effect (as when a plane's propeller or wagon wheel appears to stand still or be turning backwards), it could show very fine, real-time information, when read correctly, of the pitch of a plucked guitar string and enable acoustic or electric guitars to be precisely tuned.

One night, he remembered that back at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, I'd tuned his Martin D-45 quickly and well when he had to go onstage. So, a bit like Huck Finn showing Tom Sawyer how to whitewash a fence, he explained to me how to use the "strobe," and I then tuned those guitars for him before each show. I then became a guitar tech first for David Crosby & Graham Nash and then for Bob Dylan's second Rolling Thunder Revue earlier that year.

Before going on Neil's tour, I'd gotten a Uher portable cassette deck so that I could listen to my favorite recordings on cassettes made from LPs and tape recordings while I was traveling. I asked my friend and, my friend Bob Sterne if I could get a feed of the PA mix made by Neil's house engineer Tim Mulligan to my guitar work station by the side of the stage, so that I could record while I was working. These would be of only incidental interest to Neil, because these were mono cassettes of the PA mix, unsuitable for release b) Tim was also recording the shows on cassette from the front of house, which technically should have been superior to mine, and c) because earlier shows on the same tour, in Tokyo and London, had been professionally recorded and were already being fashioned into a live album. Nonetheless, having been on tours with Neil for years, I knew that there would be magic.

The stage was moodily-lit by Chip “The Brown Acid... is not specifically too good” Monck. Neil stood at the center, between two antique-wooden Indians, each holding a legendary guitar. One, a Gibson Flying V, and the other the even-rarer Gibson Explorer. These were not incredible reproductions. These were the real guitars.

Cameron:
The shows were reckless and beautiful. Every night. The evenings began with an hour-long acoustic solo-set from Neil. The acoustic portion of the evening morphed nightly, often fueled by a smoke or two just behind the curtain. After a break, Neil and Crazy Horse would return for a barn-burner of an electric-set designed to level the place. They succeeded nightly. Just two years after the big-arena explosion of CSNY’s 74 summer tour, Neil was back with something even more potent and personal.


Joel:
The tour began at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles on November 1, 1976, the day before Election Day. Neil started with a solo acoustic version of a powerful, unreleased song called "Campaigner." I immediately realized that making these tapes was in fact a great idea. I was soon raiding malls for whatever blank C-90 cassettes I could find along the way. The U.S. leg of this tour was brief (18 shows in 12 cities, in 24 days) but the performances were at their best intense and thrilling. As the tour continued, the cache of cassette-tape grew, all of them filled with gems.

Midday through the tour, on Neil's 31st birthday, he invited Cameron and I onto his tour bus, Pocahontas, parked in the snow in front of the Edgewater Inn, in Madison.

Cameron:
Eight months earlier, Joel had been on nearby Lake Mendota, photographing Joni Mitchell skating for her Hejira album. Otis Redding’s plane had crashed, I think, in the same vicinity years earlier. The whole area felt rich in musical lore...

Joel:
Neil and I might have smoked a joint. Then Neil said, "Oh, I've got to make a phone call." This no doubt meant that Neil would have to return to the hotel, but he stayed put. "Just wait a second," he said, and opened up a leather attaché case on the table. Inside was a telephone that looked like a prop from the 60's TV show Get Smart. "It's a satellite phone," said Neil. What is that? It's 1976! We're on his bus! He makes a call to Mo Ostin, president of Neil's record label, and to our amazement, cancels the release of his 3-LP compilation Decade; months in the making, already pressed, and scheduled to come out imminently.

Cameron:
(The Rolling Stone piece had been assigned to come-out in tandem with the album. Now we were all suddenly in free-fall.)

Joel:
The last two shows of the tour were to benefit the restoration of Atlanta's historic Fox Theater, where we were playing. After the first show, an unusually long interval occurred before the second, midnight show. To celebrate the end of their months-long international tour, the band had found an excellent combination, that included at least Tequila and marijuana, with which to commune. One of the results, when the midnight show began after one, was the unparalleled rap in which Neil conjures up the spirit of Judy Garland, a vision which would have vanished but for this recording. By the time the last show was over, and we loaded up the trucks for the last time, Tim Mulligan, Neil's mixer, and I realized there was no point in trying to get any sleep; we had to catch the earliest flight to San Francisco. It was Thanksgiving, but we both had another show later that night with Neil... they said it was going to be called The Last Waltz.


Cameron:
Joel and I made a pact. After the tour, we’d get together at Joel’s San Francisco apartment, and make our own “essential” audio-compilation of the tour. The goal was to create our definitive collection of the acoustic and electric performances. Each would feature one performance of every song that had been performed, and it should fit onto a ninety-minute cassette. We began, of course, with acoustic sets. Joel listened to all the performances and whittled them down to three or four best-versions. In some cases, if Neil only performed the song once, that one version would be included.

The acoustic shows were sparkling, sometimes stoney, often surprising, and always heart-felt. You might get a “Losing End,” or even a “Love is a Rose.” Neil would regularly engage in conversations with the audience, including one epic monologue from a late show in Atlanta that became a darkly comic-centerpiece of our collection. Young had always been a sharply witty stage conversationalist, but this one intro to “Too Far Gone” took a psychedelic journey to Oz and back. For days we listened and compiled. It was deliriously painstaking work. Wake up, eat breakfast, dive back into the recordings. Decide which of the 12 versions of “Old Laughing Lady” was most essential. Repeat.

Joel:
Cameron, reading your account reminds me of just how much fun it was to do the listening and our notes, and discuss each performance until we agreed "that's the one." After you and I made our selections, I went next door to Graham Nash's home studio, Rudy Records, and transferred each song we'd chosen to reel-to-reel, then cut it together into two reels, one for each side of a cassette. I made three cassette copies of the tape compilation; two went to the two crew members who got me the audio feed of Tim's PA mix each night. (Audio nerds: to accomplish this required these adaptors: XLR > 1/4" > RCA > DIN.) At the time, it seemed the right way to repay them for taking the time to do that.

I cautioned them each not to copy the tape, and to keep it in a safe place. A few years later, one of them called to tell me he couldn't find his copy of the compiled cassette. A little later, a copy of a copy of a copy of that cassette became the master tape for a bootleg LP; just what I'd been trying to avoid. Years later, I was interviewed for Neil's fan club magazine, Broken Arrow, and was asked what I knew about this (to fans) mysterious compilation, and told the story to the journalist, who wrote a piece about it, after which the bootleg was referred to as "The Joel Bernstein" tape.


Cameron:
We never made it to the electric sets. Such was Joel’s attention to detail, and our shared commitment to exploring every crevice of the 1976 acoustic rabbit hole, by the time we finished part one, we were spent. We took a little break. Decades passed, but we always returned to the joys of this compilation. The tour had been so satisfying, and so different from all that rock would become in the ensuing years, something indelible was captured in our humble collection. Listening to it today is a little like discovering postcards from home. It was a precious time in Neil Young’s journey, a breath of oxygen in between some of his biggest adventures. Everybody involved was cresting towards another career peak, Rust Never Sleeps was just around the corner, and you can close your eyes and imagine the thrill in the room. It’s Bicentennial year in America, Neil Young and Crazy Horse are in your town, and out walks Neil with his acoustic. Press play.

Joel:
Meet you back at my place this fall. Let’s start the electric-set compilation...

Cameron:
Sounds good. I remember a blistering 9-minute “Cortez the Killer” from the Dane County Coliseum, in Madison that was absolutely essential...

Joel:
Here we go again...

by Cameron Crowe and Joel Bernstein

© Eyes and Ears Productions 2018