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Hey Neil and happy new year from Norway. 2019 is for me gonna be a great year for me filled with Bob Dylan and Neil Young shows around Europe. Can't wait to se you and the real at Hyde Park this summer. I just have one question or a wish. Is it possible to hear you and boys perform I am Ocean this summer? I am the Ocean from Mirror Ball is easily in my 5 songs by any artist and I think the song deserves to come alive again 😎

Good idea! ny

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Xstream by NYA - news ad


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How to submit a letter to the editor...

Only notes/questions sent to the Archivist via the contact page will be considered for publishing. Make sure to select "Question for The Archivist" from the drop down menu. Thanks for reading.

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BOOTLEG VINYL!!! "Live at the Los Angeles Music Center - Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Feb. 1, 1971"

Hello Archives Team,
(I should limit the amount of questions/suggestions, because there is already so much to do for you I guess. So hopefully my last one for a while ;-) )
I own one of the most famous bootleg records of a show by Neil Young: “Live at the Los Angeles Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Feb. 1 1971”.
I do know these bootlegs were illegal back then (and still are). I also paid a premium price of which nothing went to the artist, which is a shame of course. But the recording is my favorite one. It is quite listenable regarding sound quality and many great songs are debuted here and start without the applause we are used to hear now. The atmosphere of that show is great too.
Wouldn’t it be great if shows/recordings like this one become available on the NYA as well? I do know there are a number of artists who allow fans to download every show, but of course the recordings are done by the artist himself. In case of bootlegs Neil does own the rights on the music but not on the (illegal) recordings by others.
So it will probably be hard/impossible to add these bootleg recordings to NYA as well I guess. But if needed I have the original vinyl and already digitized it to WAV format. I also noticed that my vinyl copy sounds definitely better than later versions that are distributed now and then.
It would be great if this specific show (Feb. 1 1971) could be added to NYA and other people could hear it too. Would be even better if there are original tapes of that show! Best version of Sugar Mountain, the You and Me/I Am A Child is great too and the intro talking of A Man Needs A Maid…
Greetings from Germany - Jan

We hope we see you at one or more of our German Shows this summer! Announcements are coming as soon as we finish checking out the sponsors and making sure they are OK with us. We notice some banks and want to see what they invest in.
As For the Bootleg you refer to, we do have the original analog tapes. We will consider releasing this in one form or another. It is a relatively well known Bootleg and a great representation of that tour. . . . . . the same tour as MASSEY HALL.

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Dear Neil, dear Archivist,
The Archives never cease to amaze and excite. Thank you! But they make us beg for more. So here is question on a very important “lost” recording.
In 29 July 1988 you recorded Sixty To Zero, which came to be released more than a year later on Freedom under the title Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero Part 1). Shortly after that recording session in summer 1988, you played it live in versions with 11 verses (18+ minutes). These shrank during the tour to “only” 5 verses. When the original studio recording was released on Freedom it came in at just under 9 minutes (5 verses) and was significantly described only as “Part 1”.
To us it sounds like the version on Freedom is actually part of a longer recording - the start is very sudden and the instrumental intro is basically the same as the break between the other verses.
So here are the questions: Is the version on Freedom in fact “Part 2” and did you cut the first six verses of the original studio recording, presumably to fit better on the album?
And most important of all, is there a chance we will ever get to hear the full studio version of Sixty To Zero, which we firmly believe you have stashed away somewhere?
See you in Hyde Park. I’m going to bring the Queen so start rehearsing the Americana version of the national anthem.
Love and only love
Robert (Broadfoot) and Johan Erikson

We have the killer full length Bluenotes version of ‘Sixty to Zero’ slated for an album called ‘AMAZING FREEDOM’, a collection of rare studio gems from the Archives Freedom period and other periods. There is a lot to do!!

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Dear Neil,
When I was 17, on the day I got my driver's license, my very first solo trip was to the electronics store to buy the your latest album. That album was "Sleeps With Angels".
To this day, twenty five years later, I still consider it my favorite album of yours. I'm not entire sure why, since it really puts me through the wringer, emotionally. Sometimes I'm hesitant to play it because I know it's going to stir up some feelings in me I'd probably rather not deal with before patting me on the back and sending me on my way. But other times I want to walk through the fire with you and feel the catharsis that follows.
What was it that put you and The Horse in the state of mind to record a uniquely mournful record such as this? How do you feel about the record and the experience of making it all these years later?
Your fan,

It puts me through the same emotional wringer Steve! I love the album and for me, it is full of sadness, beauty and life.

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Will tonight's live stream be made available for streaming at any other time? The big problem for me in my part of the world is that live streams of shows at around that time in the U.S. will always fall in the middle of the day, usually while I'm at work. So I'll almost always miss them.
Cameron in Australia

We have started to re-show our best streams the next day in the Hearse Theater for the world to be able to view them comfortably. However, sometimes we hold them back if we do not think they are up to our expectations for any reason.

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I saw a note that Dead Man would be reissued on March 8 over at Stranded Records website. Is that a legitimate release? I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere.
P.S. - Great livestream from Mpls last night! Looking forward to Winnipeg. Any chance of theater tour of Los Angeles? (Lucinda Williams did a great "World Tour of Los Angeles" a few years ago.)

We are looking at a lot of cities after our successful tour of Minneapolis’ classic theaters. Announcements will be coming.
As to your first question; Dead Man will be released March 8th!

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Hello Neil and the NYA team!
First of all, thanks for your great work on the website.
I notice that Eldorado EP is still not available in complete form, which is a shame, because Cocaine Eyes and Heavy Love (and extended Don't Cry) are fantastic recordings that deserve to be heard by a lot more people. Really hope to see them on the site, maybe even the whole EP reissued on CD/vinyl.
Also I'm curious about Freedom Live, will it be just an acoustic set or the electric Restless/Lost Dogs stuff as well?
Best wishes,

We agree and will release ‘ELDORADO’ as soon as we can.
Freedom Live is all acoustic.

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Hi i’m an avid Neil fan and i really enjoyed his show in my hometown of Liverpool i was wondering if we will ever see a cd version of Time Fades Away i really love this album and and cannot understand why Neil won’t release it anyhow i hope to see you again soon Neil and look forward to more archive material. Peace to you always.

We have no plans for Time fades Away at the moment. We will give it another look.

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Hey Neil/The Archivist
I enjoy immensely the Minneapolis Streaming. Thank you Neil and all the people involved. Notwithstanding the painful and troublesome period, a great show.
I loved expecially Eternity, Thrasher and Old King among the many songs. Everybody Knows is always one of my favourite songs. Just a little question about SADDLE UP THE PALOMINO. I know that it was recorded by Crazy Horse on April 1977. I read that it was written by Neil, Tim Drummond, Bobby Charles. Do you remember something about previous writing/recording sessions with these late artists on this particular song? I think to have not read any story about this song.
Many thanks.
Andrea from Italy

Andrea, Bobby Charles and Tim Drummond were both great artists I was lucky to play with! I did collaborate with them both on other songs.

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I absolutely love Neil Young and NYA! I splurged on tickets to see him play last night at the Orpheum Theater in Mpls. Brought my 22 year old son who also appreciates Neil's incredible longevity, talent and incredible voice . I am 61 years young and have loved Neil Young's music (love for farmers, disabled and the environment) my whole life. Going to listen to the live stream from the State Theater. Wish I could see Neil Young and Bob Dylan in concert together in July in Kilkearney or Hyde Park.
My question is what was inside the brown leather bag with handles which he carried with him off stage?

I have had this bag since1968 when a friend of my wife Susan’s. . . .LANCE STERLING, made it for a gift and Susan gave it to me. I have too many things in the bag to mention them.
The bag is featured in ‘Muddy Track’

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I'm loving NYA. It's an amazing archive and an absolute bargain! I have a question about the various studios that Neil recorded in at Broken Arrow Ranch. There are so many listed (Plywood Analog, Redwood Digital, Studio, Feelgood's Garage, Audio Casa name a few!) Are they actually different buildings/places or the same place with different names?

They are mostly different buildings.
‘Plywood Analog’ and ‘Plywood Digital’ are the same barn at different times of technology. Redwood Digital and Modern Recorders are likewise the same at different technology eras. Audio Casa Blanca is a house where we set up and recorded. Feelgood’s Garage is a car place we used for one album. We also had the Harvest barn where Harvest and various unreleased INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER tracks were recorded.

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Not a question, but a sincere thank you for coming to Madison, Wisconsin. The show was spectacular in every respect. Your song selections and delivery made the evening truly magical. Thank you with warm regards, Henry DeBoer
P.S. Joined NYA for the ticket code and will be staying for the best thing on the internet.

Thanks Henry! We appreciate members who come to us for tickets and then discover us for the source of ny recordings at their finest, complete with all credits and relevant facts!

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Hey Neil,
Thanks for three great shows so far in Minneapolis. I had a water ad idea for you "X-stream brought to you by Clear Streams.”
And now for an ad of a different type. You should consider checking out Newport Folk Festival. I understand why you haven't, Newport has been a lot of things over the years, many of them not good, but it is truly something special now. Tickets sellout months before the first act is announced because it's a family reunion and a celebration of the music, much bigger than any individual artist. Even better it's a non-profit and the proceeds go to music education for children all around the country. Even if you don't think you want to perform you should come check it out. I think you would have a good time and see some really great music. POTR was just recently announced to be coming back for their second year in a row so talk to them if you don't trust me about how wonderful it is.
Stay warm and see you tomorrow!

Josh, we will look into Newport.
I like clear streams!

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I bought the 8 track the cassette the lp the cd now you want to sell me again?

Yes. we are here to rip you off for $1.99 per month for access to my entire recording history in hi res.

Or you could transfer your cassettes, 8-tracks and vinyl to high-res and put them on your computer. We don’t charge for you doing that. You must have a lot of 8 tracks! Wow! We are very impressed!

As for CDs, it will be hard for you to get those to high res. They are limited.
We do have nearly (95%) everything here in high res with the covers, credits, manuscripts and anything else we can add to enable us to rip you off for 1.99 per month.

If you want special presale offers on all NY concert tickets, we further rip you off by charging you less per month making you buy a year subscription for 19.99. Then of course we finish ripping you off by offering a free APP on IOS.

We hope you are still ok after all this bad news on the financial front.
Our sympathies. . . .

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Mr. Young, I want to thank you for the amazing show at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee,WI. I first experienced a Neil Young show at Farm-Aid in Milwaukee and I was so excited to have the opportunity again. It truly was a pleasure to hear your songs in this fashion as you carefully navigated through your arsenal of instruments.
I would however like to apologize on behalf of the fans of Milwaukee for not knowing how to conduct themselves in this rare intimate setting that is the solo theater tour.
With just a few stops on the tour, we were grateful that you chose Milwaukee. It may not have appeared that way with the annoying hoots, hollers and requests spread consistently across the evening, but we were.
I hope the fans in Madison make up for it tonight and understand when the time is right. Thank you. I wish you well on the rest of the tour and hope Wisconsin can see you again in the future.
Adam Laatsch

Dear Adam,
It is true that ‘calling out’ and ‘yelling /hooting’ is tough on a solo acoustic performance with nuance. Sometimes I just stop the song and move on, hoping someone will get it. I appreciate the support. Mostly though, folks are very supportive and we have had great shows!

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Dear Neil
I really enjoyed reading in ‘NYA-Contrarian’ about those beautiful theatres in the Mid-West. This side of ‘The Pond’ we also have some wonderful old halls, such as London’s Royal Albert Hall (RAH). I think you played RAH just once, in 1970 with CSNY. I doubt you could fit in a solo RAH show this summer before the Hyde Park gig with Bob but if guided by celestial events, there is a Full ‘Thunder Moon’ on July 16th.
Looking forward to 2020 and being ever hopeful, it will be 50 years since your last visit to RAH, and there will be a ‘Wolf Moon’ on Jan 10th – so the muse will be there - seems a perfect opportunity. Let me know and I’ll have a cup of tea ready!
Loving the NYA site/app/Pono, et al.
Best wishes

Thanks! We are looking at the possibilities of NYA solo shows in London and throughout all Europe. This has been difficult with everyone else looking for big paydays and out door festivals for me in the summer. We may just come back in the winter.
Loving our NYA solo shows, we are continuing our investigation!!

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Howdy Neil,
I've followed you since the 70's. Lately I've seen you at Red Rocks and Desert Trip.
I tried Pono, but I guess the time just wasn't right. NYA is so creative, well done man. I never knew Jerry Garcia played on Deja Vu. Super cool.
My family and I are Vegan. We buy our food from our friends nearby in the CO mountains, where we live. As my friend Brook says, "Build Soil or Die". We must protect the soil at all costs. Know farmers know food.
I can't thank you enough, what you're up to. It means a lot to me and my family.
Keep playing the music you want to. I'll keep listening. I hope to see you at a show soon.
Peace and love,
Paul Kulas
Eagle, CO

Thanks for your concern and understanding. We must continue to try to save our way of life in the face of short sighted greed from our leaders.

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Hi, Neil Young Team. It took me a bit while to write this. I'm writing because, despite being a huge fan, I'm a Brazilian anthropologist doing my Ph.D. in Canada on the reconciliation agenda concerning the indigenous peoples. I was encouraged to choose Canada on a large scale because of Neil, firstly. Since that, I went to Omemee twice to do some research on Neil's inspiration and I was lucky to have watched two concerts, one in Quebec, last July, and the other in Saratoga Springs, last September. I would like to encourage Neil and his team to say something about what's happening now in the Brazilian political scenario, especially on our Amazonia rainforest, with our indigenous peoples due to the threats represented by the big economic companies that want to explore the mineral and water resources. This actual far-right agenda running by the newly elected president is the end of the line for us, not only to the Brazilian people but for the whole world. I would like to help anyways if I can do something. So far, I need to try to reach people like Neil, with a great speech, capable to make himself be heard, to help stimulate good people abroad to look after this cause as well... I'm installed in Orillia, Canada, linked to the Lakehead University and it will be my pleasure if I can help him to do that! Sincerely yours, Clarisse Drummond

We appreciate and relate.
Please send us your speech when it is ready and we will publish it.

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Not really a question but a kudos. I am a fed that was locked out of doing work in Madison WI during the recent shutdown. I picked up the guitar in 1979 because of Neil, and seen him many times. I bought tickets for the Madison solo show before the government shutdown. When the show came and we were looking at another missed paycheck I was wondering if this was such a good idea. But I went and over the course of the night the songs touched on people, and the world they live in, and the long-term view of how the two are inter-reliant. Hearing from someone who has been trying to get this message out for over 50 years (and at 73 years old was still hard at it) gave me a new resolve, and reminded me of why I left the private sector for public service, our work involving helping people get water, and how it likely won’t ever be “finished”. I came away thinking we can expect to be "essential" for a long time to come. And, this is a good fight. Thanks Neil. You came through at just the right time. Rock on.

We appreciate your coming to the show after the shutdown hit you. Much love!

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Sitting back tonight and listening to your music, in particular the '94 Shoreline Amphitheater show where you and the Horse did a bunch of stuff off Sleeps With Angels.
Sleeps With Angels is my favorite album of yours (probably unpopular opinion, but who cares)--I just keep coming back to it; it's dark, mysterious, and perfectly executed. I just wanted to say thanks for all your music, but on this night, thank you for Sleeps With Angels in particular.
On a separate note, just curious: you've played with a lot of folks recently like Dylan and Willie etc, but have you ever thought of doing some shows co-headlining with Blue Rodeo? I've been listening to a lot of them lately and their music is incredible, plus you can hear Neil in their writing, plus they're Canadian gems like yourself. Just sayin', I'd drive from Maine to Vancouver to see that one!
All the best old friend,
David Young

Dear David
Recorded after the death of Kurt Cobain, ‘Sleeps With Angels’ continues to be one of my favorites.

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Neil - it is very hard for me to write this, but after the past several 2019 SOLO concerts, I am very disappointed by the second Chicago Auditorium Theatre setlist back in June '18.
I became an Archives member instantly, and paid a hefty price (over 500 dollars, quite a lot for someone in my position) for incredible box seats to both Chicago shows. It was so beautiful to watch you channel the muse in such a great venue for my girlfriend's first shows. While Chicago did get about 5 unique songs the first night, only 2 substitutions were made the second night. Gigs like Boston a week later, or Philadelphia later in '18 saw radically different setlists for two nights at the same venue. A couple months later still here in 2019, and "Thrasher" is being performed at every show of the year so far.
"Thrasher" is the one song of yours my girlfriend and I were really pining for, as we (and so many other Archive Members) consider it one of your greatest pieces of art. To omit it for Chicago, with very little rare selections the second night, and then include it in every single SOLO show of 2019 is so heartbreaking.

Hi there
Thanks for the sad story. I make up the shows based on how I feel at the time, so that’s what happened that night in Chicago. As the tour went on i loosened up and by the end of the tour I had a lot of freedom. That is continuing.

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Good Night NYA;
Could you guys and gals have Warner make more of those black NYA organic t-shirts with the red 45 adapter on it, like Mr. Walton is wearing, for the Greedy Hand store? Thanks so much.

Yes! NW Theater Tour will have them on sale and at GREEDY HAND

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A note for NY regarding next week's show in Milwaukee.
I am a long time fan and have attended 30+ NY shows over the years - mostly with my wife. First was '74 on the day Nixon resigned. Last was Solo a few years ago at Chicago Theatre. I own a Pono. Your music has comforted me for many years.
I lost my wife of 32 yrs a couple months ago to ALS. I was Kathy's primary caregiver for 3 years. During that time I stopped going to concerts, playing music (guitar player), working out, and so on. I am now empty and starting over.
I bought a couple tix to your show in an effort to move forward. With Pegi's passing I first felt that going to the show would be too hard for me as I'm sure your emotions will be present.
My friends encouraged me to attend anyway - and I am.
The purpose of this message is to let you know I will be there and thinking of you, Pegi and my beautiful wife. Your art inspires me to move forward - and I hope this note inspires you as well.
Lowell Todd

Thanks Lowell. PEACE

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Neil, thank you for NYA. It is unparalleled. Three quick questions:

  1. Did you record “Big Waves” (the early version of “Powderfinger) and “I Need Her Love To Get By” during the “After the Goldrush” timeframe?
  2. What was the purpose of the outboard switch that you taped to the top of Old Black during the “Rust Never Sleeps” tour?
  3. Any plans for an expanded version or outtakes from the wonderful “Everybody’s Rockin’” cycle? Thank you for hanging tough throughout, Neil.
    Texas Dave

The switch was a phase switch I was trying at the time. Everybody’s Rockin’ may have a few gems in hiding. We’ll see.

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Neil Young...Archives
I just want to thank you for loving your fans so much that you share your concerts, live, with those of us who can't be there tonight. And. we can actually get in your face...smiling
You know this already...You are loved for all that you do. Your music and your thoughts will live forever.
Thank You

Sandy, We enjoy what we are doing! Glad you like the NYA Live streams.

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Hi Neil, Just a note to say I’m really looking forward to the winnipeg concert Feb. 3 at the burton Cummings theatre.
My uncle Allan Bates was in the Squires. My Mom, Lorna, was Allan’s sister.
You probably don’t remember this :) but when I was 12 or 13 I went with my uncle to the shaking all Over reunion concert in Winnipeg and we got backstage passes and I was onstage with Pegi taking pictures of the concert. After the concert we all went back to your hotel room and I ate potato chips and drank Pepsi and listened to everyone talk. It was really cool. Then my uncle called a cab for me and I went home! I still have a picture that my uncle took you and I at the convention centre that night. It was an amazing experience.
Anyway because my uncle played guitar he got me started on guitar and I became a huge, huge, Neil Young fan. I love jamming along to your songs. It’s my favourite thing to do. My uncle was a great guy. One night we went to someone’s house and some Squires were there. I think jack Harper and ken smyth? I’m not sure exactly but we jammed down by the river for like a half an hour. It was awesome!
I’m so looking forward to the concert. Me and my wife have great seats 4th row Centre. See you there!
Darryl Bates

Your uncle was a great musician and wonderful person. . . . very funny!
Loved him! PEACE

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The Madison show was outstanding! The sound quality and volume was perfect. Your voice sounded great and guitarmanship was outstanding. Out of the many NY shows I’ve seen over the decades, this was, by far the best. Thanks for coming on a COLD night. You warmed all of us up! Come back soon!

Thanks! the High res we recorded of that show sounds very good to us as well!

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Hope you bring the solo theater shows to us familiar faces in the SF Bay Area. We love and miss our Neil!

Thanks! These shows may be coming soon, perhaps after BottleRock. We will let you know right here.

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Hi Neil,
Just wondering about when you first discovered alternate tunings on your guitar.
Had fun as a kid listening to the 45 version of Sugar Mountain and trying to figure out on my guitar the right sound since it wasn't in standard tuning.
When did you first discover the D- modal tuning that you wrote for Cinnamon Girl?
Thanks Neil. Keep on rocking in the free world!

I have been using modal tunings since before Buffalo Springfield. ‘The Loner’ and ‘Old Laughing Lady’ were among the first songs written with modal tunings, followed by ‘Cinnamon Girl’ ‘When you Dance’ and ‘Ohio’ and more. Sugar Mountain is in regular tuning. . . . . . .That’s the version released on many of my early 45s as a B side.

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Honor the Treaties merch? I noticed that you’re sold out of t-shirts and hoodies, didn't see any posters. I was at the show in Calgary on that tour and still kick myself for not buying a memento that night. Please let me know if there is anything else available or coming soon. Merry Christmas to everyone at NY Archives.

Actually, we are looking at it closely. We would like to have all tour shirt collection and memorabilia available chronologically through the years- all in organic sustainable materials, from as far back as possible. We are just starting on this.

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The first time I saw you live I was nine years old back in ’97 during the HORDE festival run. That night on August 21st you played "Southern Man" acoustic. I feel like that was a rare treat. Have you given thought on bringing that song out for the upcoming solo run? Also, ever think about bringing “Transformer Man" back?

Those are refreshing thoughts. I recently heard the Horde version of Southern Man when we reviewed the tour recordings. That and another song I did with PearlJam - ‘Throw Your Hatred Down’, were pulled aside to a special place.

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Hey Neil!
Happy New Year.
I'm interested in your new song "Eternity" and I'm curious to know if you have any plans to release a new album soon. Hoping to hear more new music from you!
And hoping to see you in NYC soon. Looking forward to seeing how the year pans out!
Keep up the great work on the site and app and screw those haters. They don't know what the hell they're talking about.
All the best,
Thomas Carty

Thomas, Thanks!
Haters need music too! Room for everyone to disagree.

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What was the song Neil listened to over and over again on a jukebox at a resort when he was just a kid?

‘Four Strong Winds’ by Ian and Sylvia

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Hello Neil, Have you ever considered doing a residency in Las Vegas? Just a thought. It would be nice to do a smaller venue like the House of Blues or something of the sort. The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan was nice when you performed with the Promise of the Real, but that was only one day, and the sound may be better if you can sing in a smaller venue. The artists that do come to Vegas, the high rollers pay for the seats up front, which are close to 500+ dollars, at venues such as the MGM, Caesar's Palace, and casinos such as those. There are hardly any decent headliners in Vegas, anymore, it's sad. They are all retired or dead. The newer singers are mostly rappers and young millennials who perform on the Strip. Where are all the baby boomers who are left?

I hope to not have a residency in Vegas. The city itself is not a place I would like to be obligated to .. . . . to visit daily. Thanks

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I’ve been to a few Neil Young concerts in my lifetime but my absolute favorite was at the Saenger Performing Arts Theater New Orleans January 16, 1989 (MLK day). Great concert. But to me an absolute standout was “Box Car,” An eerie weird down on the bayou song. It was released on Chrome Dreams 2 but not the same as played that night so long ago. Will NY ever release that Apocalyptic version?

We are looking for that. Boxcar is on the in production Ragged Glory expanded set. We are building it now from the sessions. Unbelievable stuff exists that we did not include. Finished records! Waiting in the Archive. The work proceeds at a pace that allows us to do the recordings justice. We will get Ragged Glory expanded to you soon.

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Will the movies on the timeline like Journey's and Muddy Track ever be made available for subscribers to watch on the archives? I think that would be very neat.

We are reviewing the Hearse Theater program now. Watch for updates. That is a deep well.

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What does the "Vinyl" button do that looks like a 45? Loving the NYA!! David

Thanks David, That vinyl 45rpm record leads you to your closest record store.

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Hi Gents
I have to echo the plea of a previous correspondent to your letters page asking you to consider exclusive vinyl for subscribers. I have most if not all of your releases on vinyl (I need to get out more!) and buying vinyl is the only way i tend to listen to your wonderful work. Yes i will occasionally press play via the website whilst reading various articles but if i am planning to sit down and enjoy the moment it's vinyl for me every time. So in reality i have joined the archives just to see what is happening in your world and not to purchase vinyl as living in the UK makes me reluctant to purchase from the greedy hand due to postage - I will wait until it's in the UK stores as it works out cheaper. However, if every now and then an exclusive vinyl of your work appears I will happily pay greedy anything they ask. Keep up the good work, Carl

The Greedy hand thanks you. We are looking at exclusives, still undecided.

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Glad to see the site doing well! I have loved the concept from the first day I logged in. As an avid fan, I wish more artists would go all in on this type of venture, understanding the incredible amount of work that must go into collecting, cataloging and archiving a library as extensive as Neil's. The high-res audio sounds amazing, not sure of the tech aspects of sound, but how does this compare to something like .flac?? Especially like the ability for subscribers to get access to show tickets a bit early! Taking full advantage of that to see you in Milwaukee on the 23rd!! My first Neil show, excited beyond words. See ya from the ADA section next week … Mark

I hope you liked the show. It was the first one and I was pretty nervous about it. It takes a few beats to remember what it is to do a performance and stay in the music.

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Curious to know if Neil is a football fan and who he wants to win the Super Bowl.
PS. If asked, would Neil play at the Super Bowl halftime show?

I think Reverend Billy should do the half time show and then bring me out for a hymn. That would be TV special.

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Dear Neil,
thank you for streaming the " Hometown" concert again. This was another Christmas gift for me. It is amazing to see and hear you play.


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Not sure if extra fees are going to Neil or Overture Center, but just purchased 3 tickets to his show in Madison, WI. Not too happy with almost $100 in additional fees on top of ticket price.

Extra fees are not added at NYA. We had a problem with Overture’s ticket handling process which we addressed and covered in the Times Contrarian. We received no extra money. We have since taken steps to make sure this does not happen again.

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Hey there NYA folks!
Been a while since I wrote and gushed over how head-over-heels I am with the archives. Now with the app and ordering tix by phone it's even better. I'm stunned at the folks complaining about the $20/year. Just from the tix I got last year I feel fully compensated. Hope you get those PNW tix up soon … But, to the real impetus of my letter.
Neil - I'm digging the full res copy of “Fontainebleau.” It strikes me just what a great fit this song would be for POTR. Obviously, you've got Tato to add those tasty percussion sounds. But then, the lead style and tone you used on that recording just screams to me for Lucas and you to trade leads. Plus Joe Vitale's understated style matches Anthony's too. What do you think? Break it out for the upcoming PNW shows?
Feeling the magic through the music, yours always,

Thanks Paul

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hello … I love this service! Question: why can't I find this site with my hi-fidelity subscription when I browse for additional music to play on my Sonos player app? I listen to Pandora there, and they have a million other sites to choose from, but not this one? I have a 96K / 24 bit DAC and would love to listen in my house thru Sonos upstairs??

We are investigating and If we are sure Sonos system can play our quality, we will be happy to be on Sonos. We are investigating the possibilities right now.

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Dear Neil,
Love you Dude, Please don't make me wait 30 years for your live Solo Tour and Promise of the Real shows to come out.

The Hearse Theater would be a good place to watch for those things to be shown. Some previous performances will be re-screened in the future. Compilations will be made.

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Hello Archive Team & Neil,
I have a question for Neil about a possible theater location for a potential future show. As a lifelong Staten Islander, we have here, right across the water from NYC, a beautiful, old, historic theater built in the late 20's. Fully restored, and hosts many acts throughout the year, (Gordon Lightfoot recently played here)
As the sound is amazing, it would be a fine location for yourself solo, or (possibly with the Horse!). Have you ever been to Staten Island? I would absolutely love to see you perform here! It is a wonderful, and majestic theater. Thank you for the archives and all the great releases of older material!

Vinnie, Thanks for the tip. The St George will be considered when we do NYC area.

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Hey Neil and NY Archivist, Lovin’ the site. Dream come true (NYA1 was a nightmare for me$$$$). Read where you would release the b side of the 45 LTTT. Great my first real concert as a 17 year old in Baton Rouge Louisiana 1973. I’ve dubbed your song Last Trip to Baton Rouge. Since you mentioned it in the song and yep it was your last trip to Baton Rouge. The new (sort of new album) SFJ reminded me of how you opened in ‘73. Both sets were incredible that night. Can’t wait for Odeon-Budokan that’ll remind me of the second set with the stray 🐊 but with crazy 🐎 . You guys and gals are working hard thanks so much. Hope to see you the 🐴 in the Phoenix area

TUSCALOOSA album is coming. . . . . A live LP recorded just a couple of nights away from Baton Rouge, and what a night it was.

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Thank you for sharing the Hometown concert with us again this Christmas.
I have watched it multiple times and it is spellbinding. Those who were there were so fortunate.
I am looking forward to being at Hyde Park next summer but it would be the dream if you would play some smaller venues while you're over here in the UK. Check out the Boileroom in Guildford, Surrey - it's not much bigger than your front room but a truly special independent venue.
Can't wait for next summer and more from NYA throughout the year.

Mathew, Thanks!

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NYA APP for CarPlay?
Hi Neil and Team. Happy New Year to you all from the UK. I have been enjoying the Archive and the NYA APP so much that it is now my go to source of listening to music beating all the others out there in terms of content and quality. As others have already said this should become the norm that other artists and the likes of Apple music should follow.
It would be great if the NYA APP could be enabled for use in CarPlay. Hopefully this may be possible as the APP and Archive continue to innovate and evolve?
This really is music for the future. Well done and keep up the good work.
Look forward to seeing you in July at Hyde Park.
All the best

If we are sure the Carplay system can play our quality, we will be happy to be on Carplay. We are investigating the possibilities right now.

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I love the Archive - truly wonderful audio!
but: I find the interface sounds pretty annoying if you want to browse the collection while listening. please provide an option to turn interface sounds off. thanks an lots of love. :D

This request has been sent in to the team

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I watched "Journey through the Past" again last nite, and Ive got to say I was absolutely blown away. It was amazing. I tried to watch it maybe 20 years or so ago, and I could not finish it. However time and maturity have made all the difference. The imagery was very effective and the CSNY, early Neil stuff was enlightening. It allowed me to see what the world looked like to a very young, but wise beyond his years, Neil Young. Even the title of the film, in 2019, was prophetic . I never would have watched it again if not for NYA. I am so glad I did

We are happy that you enjoyed it!

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We have heard (and seen hints) of concerts to be performed in Melbourne this year.
Can you confirm this? If so when? Is anything planned for Sydney?

Dear LTF
Nothing has been confirmed. We will let you know when it happens.

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Awesome! Thank you for the iPhone app!
I’m getting great throughput, and enjoying the high quality audio. Much better than when I first heard most of the music on cassettes and CDs. I’m a fan all over again.

Thanks. it means a lot to me.

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Neil et al, I just want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the hard work that the team has and continues to put into NYA. It truly is a labor of love. As one who has all that I can get my hands on I was blown away with the Hi-Res purchase and download feature for select tracks that are less common to acquire, such as the Mixed Pages of Storytone and the full length (both verses!) of the version of Birds recorded in August of '69 with the Horse. This has proven to be an exclusive to NYA as even the version found on all NYA V1 were the 45rpm edit. Thanks again and keep up the great work. Keep it coming, please.

Thanks for your comments. We at NYA want you to be happy. That is our way of paying you back.

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Hi guys I went on to NYA and went thru the process of ordering up 2 tickets for the Feb 2nd show
I was surprised to see “ticket master “ as I thought I heard Neil say he’s cutting out the middle men on the NYA site No more of these blown out prices I.n Turn lowering the price for the “little guy” I was even more shocked when I went to order 2 seats and found the price to be $539.20 This was roughly the same cost from a scalper outside Massy Hall Neil was playing .Not sure if it is the venue or Ticket Master getting there cut.
But will be there
Ken Mitchell
Pls let Neil know we are trying to revitalize “The Riverboat”

Your ticket prices are the base price. Nothing added. NYA has to use Ticketmaster because they control all the venues. Ticketmaster only processes the purchase for us. They receive a fee for that and they do a great job. With our agreement, we don’t allow vips, meet & greet, platinum, early entry, extra price for aisle seats, or any of the other glorified programs that raise the price! We are just selling our base price. There is no secondary ticketing program allowed.

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Dear Neil
Congratulations!!! You are now in the top ten in the database of my music collection! Each year the total number of discs (Lps, 45s, etc.) is tabulated by artist and you now rank # 8 on the list with 79 units. To receive your framed Certificate of Achievement please provide a PO Box or mailing address for snail mail delivery, Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Bear in mind that this is not some chinzty industry award. This is the real thing from a real fan who owns over 8,000 pieces of music
It is significant to note that you are actually tied for 8th place. The new RUSH remaster series has set the bar very high in terms of sonic quality & presentation. What a banner year for all things Canadian!!!
Again Congratulations on this amazing achievement

This s truly a great honour. Thanks!

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Thought you might be interested in my review.

Thanks Tony
We used it in the Times Contrarian. Much appreciated.

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Hi Neil,
I would like to give the biggest thank you to you for returning home to Winnipeg to play this upcoming February with Crazy Horse. My brother (who now lives in Regina) and I are two of your biggest supporters/fans (well we think we are 😁) and could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase FRONT ROW tickets to the show at the Burt!! Thank you to the NYA Pre Sale for this!! This will be the closest we have seen you perform live and I am beyond words. So happy! This will be a memory my brother and I will always cherish.
I am 37 years old and began listening to you, CSNY when I was very parents had great taste in music and passed this along to my brother and I. You have taken me through a musical journey throughout my life. From the Squires to the Springfield, CSNY, Crazy Horse, International Harvesters, to now playing with Lukas Nelson and POTR, you have created the soundtrack for my life. Not one of life’s moments goes by where a song of yours isn’t apart of it. One of the wonderful parts of music is hearing a song and it sparking a memory of a time good or bad. It takes me right back to that moment in time.
I’d also like to thank you Neil for your unwavering goal to provide the listener with the highest sound quality possible. The NYA site/App you and your team have created is a real gem. One I am enjoying and exploring everyday. However, I still need to put my vinyl on for a spin now and again. I have searched high and low around Winnipeg and while on the road to find your records and am very proud to show off to friends my personal NY archive. From your earliest recording here in Winnipeg with the Squires to Songs for Judy...I proudly have and listen to them all. Pono...BLEW my mind!!! Thank you SO much for this experience!!
In closing, I hope you enjoying your time back in Winnipeg and all of the other stops you are making on this theatre tour. Us fans are thrilled to see you on stage not only playing widely known songs but also new ones. I love that you continue to create new music wherever the muse takes you.
One addition to the NYA pre-sale I would love is the opportunity to meet you Neil and say thank you in person for the enjoyment your music has provided. Possibly an additional fee or simply a random draw from the NYA subscribers that purchased a ticket to the show. What do you think??
Dane Johnson

Dear Dane
Enjoy the show. We are reviewing your draw idea.

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Thank you!
I’m a strict vinyl completist with sound quality on my mind. Run everything through a quality soundsystem and great turntable. With all these performance series and original recording series records coming out I’m so happy. But when I get an email stating there is an iPhone app for nya I sign up immediately. I have to say the hi resolution streaming is very comparable to listening at home when I’ve got my earbuds in. Being able to instantly access the entire catalog is great as well. I’ll be here for years to come. Just really thank you for everything Neil and all at the NYA.

With your quality sound system, it would be worth it to add a DAC if you haven’t already. Then you can hear all the sound Xstream by NYA provides. Even though Xstream by NYA sounds better than any other streaming service without adding anything, adding a DAC takes it all the way.

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Dear Neil -
Hello, my name is Steven and I’m a 20-year-old college student at Purdue University in Indiana. I am excited to be attending my first show of yours in Milwaukee with my dad in January. I just wanted to know if there is any way I could send you a handwritten letter. If so, to where should I address it? Do you often find the time to reply? As a musician myself, and also as someone just trying to navigate life, you’re my biggest inspiration and it would mean the world to me to hear back from you. Thank you.

Just send a hand written letter to NYA. I will get it. Thanks!

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$300 a ticket Neil? Really? I'm not rick folk, but even those that I know (i.e. millionaires) are blown away. Sure supply and demand has dictated could probably still sell out @ $500 a piece, but really? Who is your audience at that point?
I suppose you lost a lot with your house burning down, sorry to hear of that, and so I get it to an extent.
Nevertheless, you are my favorite musician of all-time, I've seen you many a time (including your last appearance at Northrup for $50), and this Songs for Judy release is nothing short of phenomenal. Better than Massey hall, and I never thought I'd say that about anything. Oh, to have lived in those times (I was born in 1981).
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2019, and I hope to scalp my way in to one of your Minneapolis performances! Love the 3 (now 4) night concept at different venues!
Keep on truckin'

The tickets are our price. You can’t scalp them for less. At this point the audience is full of NYA music lovers. These are small shows. They are very cool for us. We love visiting these theaters.

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Hi Neil et al,
Here is a personal story that "Quality - whether you want it or not." reminds me of.
My maternal grandfather was a Jewish emigrant to the US from eastern Europe. He was lucky enough to arrive before the Holocaust. He worked as a laborer in NYC his whole life. He was also a card-carrying member of the communist party. I have no idea how he survived the McCarthy era. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years before I was born, so my knowledge of him is entirely thru the stories my mother told me. My favorite of these is the following short conversation between him and my mom.
Father: "Don't worry my dear. Comes the revolution, we'll all be eating strawberries and cream!"
Daughter: "But what if you don't like strawberries and cream?"
Father (after a pause): "Comes the revolution, we'll all be eating strawberries and cream, whether you like them or not!!"

Just so it’s not McDonald’s

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Hey Neil,
Thanks for coming to Minneapolis, I never thought I would get 4 shows all within walking distance! I'm sure you've already figured out the opener but if you haven't may I recommend truly great local band The Pines. I think you and your fans would dig their performance. No idea if they're in town then or free but I really think they would be perfect.
See you soon,

Thanks! We have great openers booked. Check them out!

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Okay, not exactly a question, but more like an offer. Today was the last day of my 18 year gig as a videographer / editor for a Mpls. company. Good news is that I'm throwing it out there to you is that since Neil will be in town for about a week in January if you have need of a cameraman to do any pick up shots around town etc. let me know. I can send resume, reel info upon request.
I saw Neil in Chicago and Detroit this a seat for the State Theater show. The Pantages is an awesome theater...Marcel Marceau drew his picture on the backstage wall near the stairs. Great place for a concert.
all the best, patrick

We are live-streaming soon and we have our man CK Vollick with a few robo cams. That’s how we roll. Thanks for the offer and enjoy the show at the State.

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Hello all of you at NYA,
This was intended to be a mail of wishing all of you, including Neil of course, a very healthy, joyful and loving 2019.
But the world seems to be turning faster than our thoughts and actions, so this mail can only express my most sincere and deepest condolences to Neil Young and all around him with the passing away of Pegi Young.
Too soon, too young. No words for it.
Love to Neil, the family, and all of you.

Thanks. Pegi was wonderful person and a great mother who touched many. PEACE

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No question, just sitting here in northern Massachusetts listening to Songs for Judy and thinkin how lucky we are to have such treasures being released. I just turned 62, and Neil has been in my life since 1968. Just saw him in Boston this past summer, and brought my new wife, whom I enjoyed watching her, listening to Neil, enthralled.
So, thank you again for the songs, the albums, the fuckin great sound, and lookin forward to buying more Neil vinyl in the new year.
Jack Kelleher

The vinyl is coming and coming and coming. Just ask J Hanlon.

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This app, and the Archives site in general is just another extension of your commitment to what is your commitment to social justice, peace, the earth and the artistry of your music, the way you meant for it to sound. Neil we know the path has always been bumpy in the ditch. You told us that a long time ago. We know your path has been especially bumpy lately. Thank you for providing the soundtrack for my life and thank you for for the hard work and love put in to this great app/website. Stay in the the middle of the road Neil, but may your ride stay interesting and rewarding.
Love and only love,

Deep thanks to you my friend. PEACE

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NYA has been my dream come true so far. Magnificent.
Absolutely best thing ever happened in music streaming business.

Thanks. Much appreciated!

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Hi Mr. Young,
I'm not sure if I've sent a message like this before, as my memory is not the best (I feel like you know what I mean), so I will keep it relatively short.
I've loved your music since I was a kid growing up in Omemee, Ontario. I have also been struggling with epilepsy for a while now, and have to deal with disturbing, mind-bending seizures on a semi-frequent basis. For these reasons (and many others), I've always identified immensely with you and your music, and have always been influenced by you when it comes to writing my own music.
So, I was hoping if I shared my album with you, perhaps you could give me some feedback and let me know what you think? I may not be the most amazing guitar player, or the best singer ever, but my songs come from the heart, and are written from a place of real experience and real joy/pain. It would honestly mean the world to me if you took the time to listen to my music, and I'll be immensely grateful and never forget it for the rest of my life.
Again, please forgive me if I've sent this before, and either way thank you very much for taking the time to read this. Here's the actual album link.
Have a great day!

We hope everyone who reads this gives you a listen!

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Neil Young, Hang on! I need you and so do so many others! Many prayers going up from Mpls., MN
I’m the one who tried to tell you my very first album at 13 was “AFTER THE GOLD RUSH”. Got me thru some rough times and did again recently...
I still love you


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Hi, I am a long time NY fan & recent subscriber to NYA. Thank you Neil & friends for this wonderful resource. I have a message/request for Neil but I want to make it clear that I have never done anything like this before & fully expect this message to be ignored. Apologies in advance but I woke up the other morning in despair over the gun problem in America following the latest shooting & had an idea for a movement that encourages Americans to hand their guns in to the authorities But I don't have the star power that Neil obviously does. If the politicians can't change the laws then maybe the people should act & stand up for the thousands of innocent victims killed or wounded by guns in America year after year & their families that are left with the devastation for the rest of their lives. Hand them in to your local police station or dismantle them & have them destroyed. If Americans really want to 'Make America Great' I can't think of a better way than to do something that honours the fallen & protects fellow Americans into the future. I'm an Australian living in Sydney. In 1996 our government changed the gun laws & we all had to hand in our guns. It was a huge success for us. I'm really sorry if this is not received well but just thought it was worth a try to see if Neil would be interested in starting something along these lines. Thank you once again. I'll go back to just enjoying the music again. I am a real fan by the way & I have the Nov 2003 Greendale concert ticket to prove it.
Happy New Year, Best, Scott Seymour

Thanks for your letter. I don’t think America is ready for that yet, but I know the idea resonates with a lot of people.

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Your site is listing the 2 Winnipeg shows as Solo, and I bought tickets for the February 3rd show from your site based on that, but ticketmaster says its with Crazy Horse. ??
I was planning on taking my 9 year old daughter to an up close acoustic show in the 3rd row, but now it’s a rock show?
So is it with Crazy Horse or solo? Very different from one and other, especially in the 3rd row. Please let me know.

Neil is considering playing a solo set and then bringing out Crazy Horse. We’ll see what happens!

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Watching film of Neil playing "Words" with Ben Keith and co. at Glastonbury '09, I had an idea: in honor of his birthday, March could be Ben Keith Month. Just an idea!
Thanks for all you do,

For me, every day is Ben Keith day!

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I really wanted to take my wife to your Mpls show on 1-29-19 for Her birthday (12/28) and our 35th Anniv.
When the local Radio stations and TV news announced that tickets were on sale (12-12-18), I drove downtown (on the 13th) to get tickets (I'm not big on Online sales or Ticketmasterlock/Ticketmasterchargeyouthroughthenose).
What a bust!
The State Theater can't sell the tickets, didn't know when they 'might' become available, and didn't know how to get a Ticketmaster Code.
Went online to purchase, but Ticketmaster was of no help - and their purchasing help phone line has been 'unavailable' for the last 4 days!
Their technical help line finally told me where to get a code to (NYA).
The NYArchive website navigates like a game of Clue to figure out what to do to get a code and now you want $20 to join your Archives - to get a code, just to SEE the tickets and pricing and ... and your NYA policy is to auto renew and charge the yearly subscription...
Have you lost the values you have written and sung about and I have been listening to all my life?
Please return to your roots.

Please check some of the other comments about NYA. You may be missing something about why we are doing this. We hope you find the other comments.
We thing we are doing a good thing.

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Question for Neil
Did the steamroller Buffalo Springfield sign (I have one as well!) in your Instagram live stream get burned in your recent home fire?
It appears darker and blacker than mine, which is rust and yellow?


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NY & NYA team, Just a quick note and a question.
The launch of the paid version of the site in my opinion went extraordinarily well. A couple of small hiccups that were fixed in a very timely manor. The NYA app also rolled out way better then expect and the sound quality is truly outstanding. Considering the big boys I tunes, Amazon, Spotify and Sirius have had years, thousand of employees and millions of dollars to improve the listening experience for the customer but have chosen not to do so. The fact that a old hippie and a much smaller team of dedicated music fans, historians and sound aficionados could put out a product of this quality is astonishing. The ridiculously low price speaks volumes for what Neal is trying to do and how he wants his music heard in its true form. We’re all kidding ourselves when we think the $20.00 a year price pays for what we get. I am sure that the vast majority of this endeavor is being under written by the solo shows that Neal been doing. That NYA subscriber almost exclusively benefit from. Remember the old days when the scalpers had all the best seats for Neal's shows and we paid a enormous mark up on each ticket. That's now a thing of the past we as subscribers get the best seats and should be happy to help under write the cost of NYA and be entertained at the same time.
Now the question: Will the Recordings and or video from Desert Trip "Oldchella" ever be made available? The two shows with Promise Of The Reel and the guest appearances with Paul were some of my favorite Neal performances.
The Guy in the Green Freedom Of Speech hat.

Ol’Chella was pretty cool. We are investigating releasing that among several other shows.

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In the 90's, when the Sleeps with Angels came out, there was a documentary/promo in Finnish TV about the record. I'm not talking about the Jonathan Demme film, The Complex Sessions. This was a different thing. Neil Young & Crazy Horse with David Briggs in the studio making that beautiful record. Maybe L.A. Johnson or Bernard Shakey directed it. I still have it on VHS on my personal archives, but I'd love to see it on Hearse Theater someday (extended edition if possible).
Sleeps with Angels was the record that introduced me to Neil Young’s music. I heard “Prime of Life” on the radio and went to the record store and bought the CD straight away. Oh man it's such a great record!
Also like mention that I'm exited about Ragged Glory II. Keep those vinyls coming!
Peace & Love
ps. Regards to Daryl Hannah. I loved the film Paradox

We are glad you like Sleeps with Angels! PARADOX too. We have that video and more. It will surface soon at NYA.

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Dear NYA,
I’m a fairly young Neil fan at 21… I’ve seen Neil in his various forms nine times over the last few years. Anyway with such an impressively huge catalogue I’m finally delving into the Re-ac-tor album. The song “Southern Pacific” is incredibly mesmerizing, the song makes me feel free and I can almost feel the vibrations of the train. I can’t seem to find any footage of this being played live or any live recordings of it … does it exist? Is it a tough song to orchestrate live? I’ll be heading up to Winnipeg from Philadelphia to catch the first NYCH show … fingers crossed I get to see the Horse cast the magic of this song live.

International Harvesters - ‘A TREASURE’ has this song and a partial view of the band playing it. Not too much available by Crazy Horse at this time.

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Heading to Winnipeg for the 3rd Feb. celebrating, my son's 1st year anniversary of sobriety. my sons name is he love Neil Young as much as his old man. A shout out to him would make our trip from Ontario something really special. Just a thought and I have no way of knowing how to get this message to Neil other then here.. Thanks for this sight! there's not enough time in the day to listen to all the great songs and search the history. Brett Forestell

Brett, Enjoy the music and your son too! If I remember I will give a shout out. I’m generally not that good at remembering during the shows though!

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it is a sad state of affairs when people kvetch about a $20 annual subscription

They don’t understand that it’s not just for the ticket, its for the whole thing. We need to improve our messaging. We are working on that now.

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Happy New Year to all at NYA. We really appreciate the extensive content of the Archives. It's an amazing project and long may it continue. Thanks to all and especially to Neil for sharing his life's work with us all.
Looking forward to seeing you in the UK at Hyde Park and hopefully more venues.
Ian & Sue

Dear Ian and Sue, See you at Hyde Park

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Folks I enjoy this app so much. I have been a Neil fan for over 35 years. I own all the albums. But I find I am using the app to listen to the music Instead of my collection. I really enjoy the videos. Some I have never seen and some have been so long since I have seen them. Great job. This is one of the best things Neil’s team has done.

This site is our gift to you for all the years.

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Just want to say how much I love the app. Been a Neil Young fan for many years now, about 40. I’ve been following NYA since I found it on Instagram and when I found out about the app I had to get it. It’s wonderful. So much music. I’ve been going back and listening to the older music and it never sounded better. Hoping Neil has some dates planned for the Los Angeles area in 2019. Saw him last time with Promise of the Real and it was amazing.

This apps for you! It was made for you! Thanks for supporting my music and NYA.

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By the way, NYA is a truly amazing labour of love and care. It is the way forward.
People are resistant to change, and expensive box sets and Blu-Ray audio, etc has its place, but this kind of hi-rez streaming and interactive on-demand experience is just so good.
Thanks for all the hard work.

Thanks Al
We appreciate your support.

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Dear Neil- I got kind of a crackpot theory but I thought maybe if any other crackpot might indulge it I'd find them here on NYA. I agree with you that we are living in an "Angry World.” I also agree with you that what has been done to audio quality is criminal. Do you think there might be a connection between the two? I really think there might be. I notice when I have people over to listening to Hi-Res audio through a DAC they may say they don't hear a difference but inevitably their body starts moving and it's like you can see them getting the medicine. Same deal in my Jeep when I got the NYA app or Tidal with the DAC. The "I can't tell the difference" crowd sure seems to feel the difference in their body and I would venture their soul. They seem to be happier when they leave (aside from the incredible company of course) Is it possible that one of the reasons this society is so frayed and angry (among social media and other issues) is that people aren't getting the music the way they are supposed to anymore? Instead of music filling their body they are getting a tinny shit copy that doesn't contain enough information or depth to make you feel better? People used to have get-togethers where music was the centerpiece. You would put on an album. Now it’s a Bluetooth speaker in the background. Maybe the music that is supposed to be clearing the tension isn't getting through? Maybe the medicine is diluted and the world gets angrier? Anyway, crackpot theory, I got a lot of them, but I seriously think there's something to it.
Thanks so much for NYA. It's my favorite thing to check in the morning. The angry world is far away and I thank you for it.
Can't thank you enough, Eric

I also have been referred to as a crackpot for my views on audio quality (especially by uninformed bloggers!) I am very happy and gratified that now people have a chance to compare the experience of listening to High Res Xstream by NYA against Spotify etc on the same device, making for an equal playing field. Now we get so many super positive comments. I am very happy. Too bad the world does not currently get to hear all of its music at the highest quality. Maybe someday. If NYA can do it, you would think that Apple and the rest could do it too, just to support the artists and creations. Where would Apple be without music? Yet the apple devices sell music so short.
Its time for all streaming services to up the ante to the 21st Century quality of Xstream by NYA.
BIG Thanks Eric, from NYA!

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Dear Neil and NYA,
Thank you for adding the 4th MPLS show. We have a crew of 23 coming. It was meant to be. We were all exchanging texts about how sad we were that the remaining tickets at the other shows just wouldn't work for us. Just as someone said "Please add another show Neil. Let us love you”... you did. I was searching one last time and poof there it was. Northrop. I put out the red alert and we all scrambled to buy our seats. We'll be loving you from the balconies.
A huge shout out to the Northrop who helped me buy accessible tickets over the phone for my cousin Travis. I needed to be SURE that he could get in. He is the biggest Neil Young fan there is. He's surfing all day every day on the NYA. The smile on his face was ginormous when I told him we were going! We spent Thanksgiving talking about how awesome it will be! He'll be on the east side screaming your name in his heart.
We're all sad about Pegi. “Unknown Legend” has always been Travis and my favorite song. "I used to order just to watch her float across the floor" makes my heart melt. You make up reasons stemming from no need of your own just to watch how she moves in her life. An ardent lover gazing upon his lovely.
~Bree, Travis and the Gleason clan

Thanks for your thoughts about Pegi. Enjoy Northrop!

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I want to comment on the series of gripes about NYA and the shows that are ticketed through NYA. I get it, money does not grow on trees. That said, it’s twenty bucks to access all of the music on NYA, plus ticket access, and that is a great deal. Anyone who says "I have it all already" is likely overlooking some gems on NYA, and is ignoring the coming live releases, including the Crazy Horse material that nobody has. Also, don't forget the high quality audio! As to the tickets for shows, yes, concerts have gotten expensive. However, I have NEVER been disappointed by Neil. If it feels too expensive, pass it by. But I think it is awesome that NYA is offering us - the real fans - an early crack at great seats. It is true, the good seats end up full of fans focused on the music, not on their phones gadgets. NYA works, and I applaud Neil and all of the NYA people for this great resource. Thanks, all! See you in Winnipeg!

Nathan, Thanks from NYA. We think you “get it”.

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Just a quick note on Ticket release.
Is there a way of a large gap between concert announcement and ticket sale release?
It’s just if you’re coming from a long distance away (international) its very difficult to line up a ticket.
It can be very tricky to get ticket, flight and time … before even finding out, and tickets are gone.
Steve Rust Down Under (New Zealand)

We are working on a way to do that for you. Currently we have a heads up on the Contrarian about shows coming to Germany this summer. These shows are not yet on sale. Soon they will be announced. We will develop a better way because we want you to be there and not miss the shows.

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Thought I'd write to let you know that your music has had a profound impact on my life. “Harvest Moon” still never fails to get my parents dancing. I will never forget being up late at night doing homework listening to an Ottawa radio station and thinking my radio tuner had been bumped when I first heard the guitar tone on “Hey Hey, My My.” That tone killed me and every time I hear that song I still crank it. I've only managed to see you twice over the years—once in Halifax with my buddy in '96 when you were there with the Horse and blew our minds. Before the show there was a lady that came because she thought you were a pretty hot shit country artist. You and the Horse then proceeded to melt her face off with a sonic assault she was unprepared for. It really cracked us up. The next time I saw you was again with the Horse in Kingston in 2012. That night is extra special because before the show I asked my wife Patty to marry me and once again I got to hear "Hey Hey, My My.” One year to the day later we were married and I danced with my mom at her request to “Harvest Moon.” The next time I was meant to see you was once again with the Horse but life happens. The great Gordon Lightfoot stepped in as a replacement for you and the Horse at that show.
Enough about me! I'm really glad you've offered NYA members the best seats in the house. I live in Toronto and it has always been hard to get great seats at big name shows without leaving the city. I look forward to seeing you back in Toronto whenever you return knowing that I won't miss out on the experience due to some hungry scalper-bot gobbling up all the tickets.

Yes, NYA pre sale tickets are working well to get the real music lovers the best seats. Although all you have to do is check the ticket selections on the home page to get tickets, we are going to add a listing of future shows so folks can get a head’s up and be watching for tickets in their areas when pre-sale comes.

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I want to extend my condolences. I remember seeing Pegi in the balcony when my husband and I went to Neil’s show at Carnegie Hall. She and another came up to the area where we were seated during intermission and asked, “How’s the sound?” I didn’t know who she was at the time. I did notice her radiant light. The gentleman in front of me responded, “It sounds like heaven.” I have deep admiration for Pegi, as she was so invested in helping children, such a beautiful soul. Her passing surprised so many of the NY community fans as we were unaware she was ill. My love and healing to those in pain of her Earthly loss. She is with us in Spirit sending lots of love to help heal our Planet. Much love, Linda

Thanks very much. Pegi was a bright light in our lives in so many ways.

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Though I’m very thoroughly enamored by NYA’s app I’m very wary about investing in added ‘toys’ to enhance the sound of my iPhone. My skepticism lies in the year 2009 when NYA1 came out. I invested so much and got so little in return. Remember we needed a certain Blu-ray player etc because fans were promised so much. But NY and you Archive guys and gals failed to deliver. I was certainly bitter for the longest time. Now you suggest a DAC plus who knows what else. I’ll wait, (use my lil’ crappy head phones listen to great NY songs ), and see if NYA2 comes out and then maybe I’ll buy a new ‘toy’.

No toys required. You may not have the correct understanding. No, you don’t need anything added to make NYA sound better than anything else available. It really does sound better without adding a thing.Those ‘toys’ you refer to are just not for you.

*BUT. . . . . .The component DAC (digital to analog converter) is for people who want to unlock all of the sound from their devices, phones included. The DAC component I wrote about allows all of the sound in your phone to reach your ears and your soul. Music heals. However, you don’t need anything to make Xstream by NYA sound better than all other streaming services because our NYA sound originates from a high res file. Spotify’s sound originates from a low res file. The Spotify app cannot play back high res. Xstream by NYA plays back high res perfectly. So with no added components, what you hear is noticeably better than low res. *

Just look at the comments Xstream by NYA is getting. Most of those people do not have the extra components we recommend to get everything possible. . . . they are getting what their iPhones can provide. NYA through an iPhone is limited - but it is superior to Spotify or CDs . . . . and that is with no toys added.

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I have been a fan of your music since I saw “Hurricane” on The Midnight Special. Throughout the years I have had many jobs from delivering papers, cook etc. These jobs allowed me the things I wanted to have such as your LPs, CDs, Concert tix etc. I looked for better jobs which led me to manufacturing. Hard work landed me a job at arguably finest mining equipment maker in the world and a well paying family supporting job. People need to remember that the things that are mined provide them with products that they use daily in, cars, phones the list is endless. Think about it. IF IT ISN’T GROWN!!!! IT IS MINED!!!!! Still a fan

Hey, Still a Fan! Thanks
If mines were cleaned up after, if there were not poisonous tailings ponds left behind, that would be a good start. I prefer renewable fuel and dislike the oilsands and the oilsands financiers. The fact we use these things you mention everyday (cars, phones) does not make it OK to destroy the environment to get them. We are smarter than that. It's time to get real, get inventive, and save the planet for another day and for our kids and theirs.

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Looks like we lost an angel, on the magic wires of night,
She was lovely, she was friendly, she was music, she was life.
I didn't get to meet her, though I saw her once or twice,
She was Neil's, she was ours, on a Harvest Moonlit night.
Goodnight Pegi x

Lots of Love

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I want to thank the Archives team for the amazing hi-resolution content provided in the Archives. The difference is definitely evident and for a long time I wondered whether I would notice the difference. I am now a believer!
I am wondering whether the song "Pushed it over the End" found on the Bottom Line performance from ’74 and the CSNY live recordings from that year has ever been recorded in a studio and if so, is there a possibility of a release?
I happen to live in the Tampa/St.Pete area in Florida and I've read Neil say that he loves Florida but he rarely comes to this area to play live. If I'm not mistaken, Neil has only been here three times in the past 30 years (not counting CSNY), ’90 or ’91 with the Horse, ’03 Greendale & 2011 solo. Neil, please consider a southern swing.

We are looking at a southern swing right now. ‘Pushed it over the End’ will be coming to the archives!

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I love the NYA and i own a number of Neil's albums on CD. However, they were made before Neil started remastering and selling them in hi-res. I'd like to start buying hi-res downloads to replace my old CDs. Is there a way to tell if an album has been remastered by Neil vs it just being a hi-res version of an old audio file like i already have on my CDs? I just want to replace my CDs with albums that Neil has remastered.
Great site. I've been a member for a while, and now that you are offering a subscription, i'll be doing that before i start buying hi-res downloads. I'm so glad Neil is passionate about his work being released inn high quality sound. It's important to me, also.

Everything in the Xstream by NYA store is available in high res with few exceptions. These are all remastered. I think you can buy there with confidence. The prices are low res prices.

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This is in regard of Neil's interest in cars. There is a website, that, since the early 2000's, has listed Neil as one who owns or has owned a Morgan sports car. But he never mentioned a Morgan in his book Special Deluxe: a Memoir of Life and Cars.
Is he a Morgan owner? Or did the website mistake him for Neil Young of Georgetown Ontario, who was a member of the Morgan Sports Car Club of Canada back then?
Dave Farmer
MSCCC webmaster & newsletter editor

I do not own a Morgan. it must be the other Neil.

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I am wondering if you would consider putting those kaleidoscope Psychedelic Pill videos on DVD/Blu-Ray. I think they are so beautiful and do not have the best internet signal at home without cutting down trees. The colors on those changing mandalas are brilliant. It was like magic when I found those videos one birthday evening some years ago. Thank you for the assist in going inside to my heart and moving through space. Peace. Laura

Thanks for the idea. I hope the internet near you improves soon, as it is improving. We will look for ways to help you get the quality you deserve. The videos are on the PSYCHEDELIC PILL info cards.

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So has Neil given up on the Blu-Ray audio format? Haven’t seen a release in this format for sometime now. If so, why?

Blu Ray production is unsustainable. Costs way too much to make and master compared to the demand. What we have at NYA is deeper and the audio can be just as good as Blu Ray.

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Dear Neil,
there are three songs that i was lucky enough to hear live and never released.
I really think that "Separate Ways,” "Gateway of Love" and "Standing in the Light of Love" are beautiful and powerful songs that need to see the light of day.
i would like to know everything about them and if there are any plans to do justice with them in this beautiful place you built. Love and Only Love — Dror

We have all of those ready. ‘Gateway of Love’ is on the unreleased ‘TOAST’, coming up. ‘HOMEGROWN’ has the original’ Separate Ways’. That’s coming soon too. Researching ‘Standing in the Light of Love’ from Fuji Fest and Alchemy to find the master.

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Hello Neil, just a quick note and a couple questions for you. It was tough picking what questions to ask you, so here it goes. Let me start out by saying your music has been my soundtrack of my life since I saw you live in Syracuse,NY at the state fairgrounds (you could lose me on the New York State thruway) the lyrics you sang during "Sail Away.” My uncle and parents took me to see you at the tender age of nine and have been hooked line and sinker ever since. Thirty shows in various cities: Buffalo, Hamilton, Toronto, Barrie, Cleveland, Burgettstown, Vernon Downs, Albany, Saratoga Springs, Canandaigua. Two Farm Aid shows. A lot of the shows I saw were magical, one particular show that sticks out is the Halloween gig in Hamilton, Ontario with Crazy Horse, one of the longest shows on the Broken Arrow tour with 24 songs performed, 7 encore songs, it just didn't want to end. It was the show with the only performed electric version of "Natural Beauty" with Crazy Horse. Any chance we get that show released as archive release as video or album? “Like A Hurricane” from 2/16/91 Memorial Auditorium, Bflo, NY was released on the Arc/Weld album but not on the VHS. Any chance LAH be premiered in the Hearse Theatre.
“Campaigner” electric version was awesome too from Buffalo ’91. Will the Weld video ever be released on DVD/Blu-Ray? I saw three Crazy Horse Greendale shows in ’03–'04.The 7/4/03 Saratoga Springs, NY show was the longest up to that show with 17 songs. Any chance that recording gets released on the archives live album/DVD?
Looking forward to the 'Toast' album, the '76 Crazy Horse Europe album, and the Alchemy ’12–'13 tour album/DVD. I was right in front of you Neil at the 10/8/12 Cleveland, Ohio show and the 11/20/12 Kitchener, Ontario show, my 14th Crazy Horse show.
Any news on 'Poncho' will he return to CH.
The 5/1/18 Fresno livestream was fabulous, thank you. Looking forward to the Winnipeg CH gigs and your solo shows. I subscribed for $19.99 the day it was available, thanks! I love the song of the day.
44 years old and a lifetime fan forever.Thanks for all your music, etc.
Steven ~ Buffalo, New York

Thanks for your support! We are looking into the Hamilton show.

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Can you tell us a little about “Pushed It Over The End”? The only released version outside of the CSNY 1974 live version from Wembley was a different live version with CSNY backing vocal overdubs released on in odd Italian vinyl boxset in the ’80s (not in the NYA). The song sounds like an On The Beach song. Was it ever attempted in the studio as part of the On The Beach sessions or was it written after On The Beach was completed?
You can probably tell I'm looking forward to the NYA Vol. 2 release. Thanks,
now playing - “Razor Love”

CSNY in Chicago 74 has a great version which was finished. it is on the italian release. We will research getting it available on NYA. There is another version available on NYA right now. 9-14-74 CSNY

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What version of Crazy Horse will be in Winnipeg? I like surprises, but. ... Maybe Nils and Poncho?

Billy, Ralph, Nils, Neil.

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Hello and Happy New Year!
My husband and I have tickets for Hyde Park. I am concerned that there is a dark cloud over this show. Can you tell me, are you happy to be playing at this event or doing it because it’s happening and you can't stop it? I love Neil Young and appreciate everything his music has done for my heart and soul over the course of my life. I bought tickets for Hyde Park to share my love of this music with my husband who loves to travel but doesn't know the awesomeness of Neil Young's music (yet). It seems like all the excitement is about the show in Ireland and maybe I made a mistake buying tickets for London. I was so excited when I heard about the Hyde Park show! We stayed up late and bought the tickets the minute they went on sale, well before the controversy or Ireland date became public. Is this even a question you can honestly answer? Send me a signal if you are pissed about the London show so I can figure out a way to get to Ireland instead.
Asked with much love and respect.

It’s going to be a great show in London. There was a big problem and the sponsor had to be changed. It was a London bank that supports and finances fossil fuels. We had that sponsor, ‘Barclays’ eliminated. Now all is good. It will be fun. No problems at this time.

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Hello from an unseasonably mild Uxbridge ON,
I wanted to ask about Bruce Palmer. Listening to his playing, he seems like a real genius on bass, and an integral part of the Springfield sound. I have heard Stills say that Bruce showed him the EBEEBE tuning that he used on “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” But I haven't found much else about him after he got deported in 1968, except that he was in an early incarnation of CSNY.
Because of his short run with the Springfield, and the enormously talented singer-songwriters in the group, I kind of feel that he is under-appreciated by the public for his playing and contributions to the group and music in general.
Just wondering if you could share any thoughts or memories about Bruce, as a person and as a bandmate.

I really loved Bruce. We came down to LA in 66 together from Toronto when the Mynah Birds broke up ‘cause Rick James got in some trouble. Bruce was amazing! If you look at Sample and Hold from Trans, there is a live video. Bruce is playing bass. He was amazing. Although he passed away a few years back, I still think of him all the time. He was a truly great musician and a real force. A true character who I was lucky to know. RIP Bruce!

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Island In the Sun
Neil, Are you aware you have never played a concert in Prince Edward Island? I believe it's the only province/territory in Canada you have not performed. Unless you have at some point in your career and i'm unable to find information on it. Could you provide any information on if he has.
Not sure if you do 'bucket lists' but maybe throw us a bone and scratch us on there somewhere.
Cheers, Wyatt Gillis.

Next time we are in the Northeast area, we will find a gig in PEI. Thanks for pointing that out!

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If you want the renewal from the general public every year you need to make venues offer more cheaper seats to archive subscribers. Its NOT a money issue but I NEED TO SIT WHERE SOUND IS GOOD, ALL THE VIP SEATS ARE CLOSE BUT SOUND GOES OVER YOUR HEAD..... The best sounding seats are NOT being made available to your paying subscribers!!! If anyone would appreciate this NY would?????
very disappointed. jn

In addition to being very disappointed, you are very wrong!!
All seats are available on NYA presale. You can buy whatever seat you want. . . . not just the front seats. Also, there are no VIP seats in presale or anywhere else at an NYA show. The whole idea is to get you the best seats in the house. That means what you think are the best seats for you.
NYA does this to try to ensure that the people who listen to my music get the best seats and are surrounded by other people who enjoy this music too.

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Dear Neil,
This having to sign up to NYA to get pre sale tickets is bullshit. I have purchased all of your cds, vinyl (which is exorbitantly over priced in the market I might add), and dvds over the years. However, even with that devotion over all this time I am not able to have first crack at concert tickets because I refuse to pay a yearly fee for music that I already own? I know you or Elliott never going to read this or give a shit, but I just want you to know that you are completely alienating your long time fans who, like most people in this fucked up world don’t have extra money to be throwing around at the off chance you may tour in their neck of the woods. Apparently when you wrote:
Where did all the money go
Where did all the cash flow
Where did all the money go
in "Cough of the Bucks"..... the answer is to you!!
Happy holidays,

Dear Brad
Just to be clear. . . .
Elliot and I read this and do give a shit.
An NYA subscription gets High Res of all the music, the videos, and other associated history to the songs, plus a newspaper I edit and write in every day. As a bonus to subscribers, presale tickets are offered.
We think its a good deal for you. The great majority of NYA members agree.
If you want to get tickets another way, they become available to the public and are advertised as soon as pre-sale offers end, unless the show sells out to all NYA presale, which happens sometimes.
The presale ticket prices are offered with no mark ups. They are the cheapest prices you will ever find. That’s the deal.
The shows have a good feeling because the audience is full of NYA members who love my music. The front rows are not packed with high rollers talking on their phones who overpaid a scalper and got front row tickets to impress their friends. It works.

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Greetings to the Archivist,
I was wondering if there is a process or possibility to submit articles for consideration for publishing in the Contrarian? Also I was thinking it might be a lovely idea to allow paid subscribers to comment under the articles: an additional incentive to subscribe as well as another opportunity to build and grow the community here at NYA.

If you send an article here we will consider it.

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Hope you are doing well!

Many years ago I have seen a very interesting video of Neil playing live an acoustic "The needle and the damage done" followed back to back with an electric "No more". Looks like it was during a talk-show or at least a filmed on a small stage with an audience. I have looked for that video all over the internet and your archive but so far I was not able to find it: any chance it will be available here at some point?

Thanks for your time!
I sure hope to see you sometime in the Yukon Territory in Canada!


Phil, You are remembering ‘Saturday Night Live’ around 1990.

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I recently made my first playlist on NYA, entitled Gretschorama, a set of songs featuring, you guessed it, the great tones of Gretsch guitars. Cool list. Anyhow, back to my headphone discovery...
Midway through , A Child”s Claim To Fame (Mono) comes on and lo and behold it’s a version missing the dobro fills between versions, also missing the little Gretsch fills. The cool electric guitar solo...missing. I’m thinking, this sounds great, but not what I intended. I removed it from the list. Now I can’t find it.
Was this some kind of audio anomaly? Every search now pulls up the regular stereo and mono.
Thanks, Paul, SoCal

I cannot explain that. look on the info card to see if there is an alternate version.

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When will Trans be available to purchase from OraStream? And more importantly, IMO, will it include the original version of Sample and Hold, which is my favorite?
I don't care for the alternate version that was included on the initial CD release.
Thank you,

We hear you. We are working on this.

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I just want to compliment you all on this app. It’s a dream come true. Thank you!
P.S.: Any more Danny Whitten-era Crazy Horse live releases or Live Springfield recordings coming our way? Would love to hear some more stuff from this era. Best-

Early Daze - Crazy Horse, is in pre production. No release date yet.

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Dear Uncle Neil,
I am really loving Songs for Judy and I am so excited to see your show in Milwaukee.
I am wondering what goes into your process for choosing set-lists for records like “Judy” and shows like the solo shows coming soon.
Thanks so much,
Scott in Green Bay

Read the article in the Times Contrarian about ‘Songs for Judy’. The answer is there. The solo shows now are generally

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Hey I was just curious on the status of the film version of Trans that Neil was working on with Micah Nelson that I read about in an interview earlier this year. Is it actually happening?
Thanks, Jacob

Micah and I are working on this and it is going to be so amazing. A dream come true for me. We are well into it.

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I've been lucky enough to see many of Neil's magical live performances, but there's one in particular I'm wondering whether y'all have any recording of. Back in 2003, Willie Nelson held his annual 4th of July Picnic over two days at Two River Canyon outside of Austin, TX. Neil headlined with Willie one day, and The Dead with Willie the next, with as usual a cast of thousands. Awesome shows.

We all know that Willie has a fondness for certain herbal remedies, and he was making a point of joining any act on stage that played a song that referenced getting high, which was most acts. When Neil broke into "Roll Another Number", of course Willie came out. But the song that sticks with me most was what followed: Neil and Willie dueted on "Down By The River", with Neil tearing it up as always, but trading off leads with Willie (on Trigger!) that rank as some of the most amazing, Django-esque playing I've ever heard from the Patron Saint of Texas. All guitar players know Willie is the real deal, and it would be way cool if y'all could release this somehow.

Clint Weldon

We will look for that performance.

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NYA is fantastic. I come here regularly and love streaming albums that I haven’t got on Vinyl yet - mostly stuff from the 90s and early 2000s that has become really tough and expensive to get (Broken Arrow, Prairie Wind, Greendale mostly).

One feature though I am really missing. Randomly I find stuff that has been added. Videos, alternate versions, etc.
But it feels that I am missing a lot of additions.

A new, simple section that just lists all additions would be extremely helpful to keep track.

And, I am also really looking forward to hear Toast. Maybe it can be added here with a physical release just following later?

Subscriber News in the Times Contrarian is supposed to have those updates. I will look into it for you.

Toast is in post production and may come soon. There are a lot of projects on the burner and we are looking at the right way to get them to you as soon as possible.

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Hi guys, two things I'd like to explore;
Firstly, none of the Films, DVD's or Soundtracks have song listings ~ as an example Journeys (which is fantastic) is the only place where "You Never Call" and "Leia" is available, so unless one can remember that we cant find it !! Secondly it does not seem any of the Films, DVD's are able to be purchased via NYA !
Gary ~ Old Man Emu

Thanks Gary
We will act on your suggestions. They are on our big request list and we will get to them asap.

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Hi—Has any thought been given to reissuing 'Dreamin'Man Live '92' on vinyl?
This appears to be a much sought-after issue and, while I bought the CD on release, I've never seen a copy of the LP in the wild here in the UK.
Also, will there be a version of the Archives app for Apple TV?
Kind regards
Owen Davies, Glasgow

Dreamin’ Man is from a CD quality master. We will get to the vinyl soon. It is on our request list. We can make it sound better than a CD by using a professional DAC (digital to analog converter). That’s all we can do with CD masters but it does make a large difference.

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Hi Neil,
I hope that this gets to you. My father helped record your first solo album. Dale Batchelor is my father. My brother and I remember being at your home many times when we were little in Topanga. My mother Kathy has fond memories of the long night discussions that you all had about the industry. Dale died last week on Dec. 11 from cancer, I want to have a celebration of life for him in Sonora Ca. in the spring. I'm not asking you to show up with a band and shit. I just thought you might want to know.

Peace and love

Dear Brett
Sorry for your loss. I remember your dad well.

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Hi Neil,
Just to give you a breather from all the subscriber and ticket dramas I have a music question.
I loved the Berlin concert in 82. I have the VHS that was released in 83.
I read that it was the only time you have played the song “Berlin” live. Is that correct?
You sure seemed to have trouble keeping your tie out of the guitar strings during that show.
Is there any possibility of you releasing the show on NYA or having it released on DVD to buy?
I have subscribed to NYA and love the quality of the sound.
Many thanks for all the work you have put into it.
Regards from Adelaide Australia.

Thanks Trevor. Berlin will be released, when business matters are settled, on NYA. We have the master. Watch for it to show in the Hearse Theater. If you check out the song ‘sample and hold’ from Trans, on the infocard there is a video that was taken from ‘Berlin’. It sure was a memorable show, with the Trans Band - Nils Lofgren, Bruce Palmer, Ralph Molina, Jo Lala, Ben Keith and myself.

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Hey Neil/The Archivist
I love the video section. I'm a happy subscriber. Thanks.
Just a few questions. Joel Bernstein said that Mediterranean was a lost album from the Homegrown sessions, although I can't see it on the timeline. Was the Mediterranean song from the same sessions (December 74–January 75)?
Is “Four Walls” (1974) an unreleased song or a different, copyrighted title for a known song, A.K.A. “Star of Bethlehem” or something of this kind?I affirm that, probably wrongly, because all the Neil, Crosby, Nash 1974 songs submitted for copyright (October 74) seem to source from the transcriptions of the 1974 CSNY live tapes.
I think that “Four Walls” was never performed live.
Many thanks
Saluti da Andrea, Italy.

Thanks for writing,
Mediterranean was never an album, although we may have talked about it at the end of the CSNY tour in 1974. It is a song and is part of a compilation of unreleased gems we have been working on. ‘Four Walls’, I have never heard of.

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Hi Neil,
New annual subscriber, long-time listener. I've attended 33 shows over the last 21 years. I have a question. Is it true that our awful President (who shall be remain nameless) is a fan of your music?
Thank you,
Jason in St. Louis

I think he really likes music. Not just mine. He came to a lot of our shows though. I think he used to go to a lot of other musician’s shows before it became unsafe for him to appear in public.

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For consideration for the religious column, I sent it to Neil too

Reverend Billy’s Christmas Message
Christmas? Resistance is futile. The families trudge back to the trenches, covered with plastic snow. The holiday shopping season remains the flagship ritual of consumerism, the cultural enforcement of capitalism. But then again, the 1 percent has never seen anything like the Extinction Rebellion.
Finally, we are alarmed and we are panicked and we’re speaking up. Mass extinction? Oh, I get it, extinction. This is about DEATH. Like, you mean, MY death and my kids' death, my cat and dogs’ death… and the neighbors…
Well, we could sense this, over the last years. We knew the scientists were right. We’ve been walking around a bit haunted, feeling a strange vertigo… And then at some point the radical decline in life forms became directly emotional for we humans. Something about the Irma-Maria-Florence-Michael-Paradise-Malibu series, something about the children in cages, finally broke through to us.
The Extinction Rebellion is breaking through to us from the positive side. This movement says that we can save our lives if we act together and take the risk. We can take back the stolen holy days with our bodies. The Extinction Rebellion has been snowballing in the United Kingdom since the summer and revealed itself on Nov. 17 as 6,000 people took over the five London bridges. Within weeks, Extinction Rebellion activists were organizing in 35 countries. Here in New York, meetings and actions are a’brewing.
In the end (of the world) there is one issue and that is Life. Each of us has our work and our issue. We are hard at work against racism and sexism and climate change, capitalism and industrial agriculture and guns and war. Point is, we need to be alive for our life work. One job we all have is to survive and save others.
We are made of the Earth. The soil and water and sky is in our blood. Our eyes carry the perspectives of ecosystems, of the forests and wetlands and fields. That’s why we still have a conscience for the Earth. We won’t stop loving the Earth. We can listen to evolution. We can hear the instruction to radically change.
Corporate Christmas is the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born. But what if that beast is stopped on the highway by a million humans who want to survive? The beast will be stopped by you and I, a super storm of people. A perfect gift.


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Hi, just wanted to say what a great site this is and very much enjoying using the app.
Also just wondered if there were any possibilities of exclusive vinyl (to buy) for yearly subscribers?
I think this could be a really good incentive for people to join. Just a thought but thanks so much!

That may be a good idea. We are talking about it. Thanks.

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Good Morning Archivist and all at NYA!
Time for research!
I am wondering if Emmy Lou Harris ever worked with Neil on any of his releases? This comes up as a dear friend of mine, Dina, works with a clothing designer in NYC and on Saturday Emmy Lou came a shopping. Emmy Lou invited Dina down to Memphis to visit her animal rescue, Bonaparte's Retreat. Dina loves dogs. Bing!
A while back Rita Coolidge, and Graham Nash stopped by to have a look at the clothing and say Hi.
I always take these sorts of "coincidences" as signs to do more. Usually to listen to the music and put out a vibe. They always make me happy.
Has Emmy Lou worked with Neil on his music?
Peace and Love.
-Mudflow Mike

Mudflow, I sang with Emmy Lou on quite a few things. Most notable I think was ‘Star of Bethlehem’

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I live in FL.
When the recent solo shows were announced some of my Midwest friends asked if I could order tickets for select shows and pass them along. I couldn't find any information on the site concerning ticket resale policy, but assume there's something in place to deter scalpers.
What are those safeguards and what is NYA ticket resale policy?
Anyway, I advised my friends to pull out their wallets and subscribe as $19.99/year is incredibly reasonable for the treasure trove that is NYA.
On a related topic, as far as I can determine Neil has played FL only once this century...
Please come back. Florida misses you.

I will return to Florida soon. I love it down there.

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Hi Neil,

You can forget me ever going to one of your concerts again.

This idea that I have to belong to your club is about as mickey mouse as it gets M.I.C.K.E.Y. well you know the tune. I'm not playing. A sorry place to end. I really loved all you did for a very very long time.

Sadly disappointed. The music business sucks and you went right along with it.


Tim, doing it this way has greatly improved my personal concert experience. People who come to shows now through NYA really want to hear music. They love the archives and the selection of their favorite music in great sound - Xstream by NYA. All my albums are here.

That all comes with the subscription. When I do a show now, I know the people are there for the music. That’s why I did this—-to protect my soul. It has made a huge difference and is probably why I am still playing. It’s fun again! The business of concerts is pretty dirty now with surcharges, scalpers, and special ticket offers that charge through the roof.

NYA pre sale tickets really help skip the middle man- the scalpers. The front rows are no longer full of high rollers with cell phones impressing people with front row tickets. Most of them didn’t even know my music. I want music lovers. It’s better this way for many reasons. cheaper tickets. . . . more music lovers. . . . no high priced diamond and golden circles for NYA. That was a bunch of bullshit. Sorry NYA wasn’t for you. I like it a lot.

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WOW WOW WOW. Just signed up for limited and I am listening on the new IOS App. Simply unbelievable.
I may not get any work done because it is such a joy to listen to your music.


Cheers, Marty Greene.

Thanks! Real Sound for Real people.

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Hello my friends...this question has been dogging me for 25+ yrs. when did Neil stop wearing his Peace/Doves guitar strap as in 1978, Rust tour, Doves and Peace signs right side up then at some point all of a sudden the guitar straps and Doves/Peace signs were upside down... when did this happen and was it an accident you liked so kept or was it a deliberate reaction or protest with Bush W becoming president and the war...??? Please End my obsession with this simple question so I can get some proper sleep 😴 all my love to all during this Holiday Season... THANKS IN ADVANCE

The strap fell apart. It was then attached to a denim strap for strength. It must have been sewn on backwards! I never noticed that.

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I am a life long Neil Young fan and supporter but this policy of making me go to NYA daily to see if any new tickets are on sale is not very friendly, it is designed to get "hits" on the website. What do you do with constructive criticism from fans? I hope the comments are considered. I'm analog, not a marketing robot and I hope not to be a marketed to robot also.
Other than that I like Archives, and appreciate Neil and your team creating it.
Thanks, Jeff

You can always just follow neilyoungarchives social media accounts for announcements.
thanks, ny

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The version of "Campaigner" on Hitchhiker has 4 verses. Every other version I've heard is minus the first verse. It's pretty great.
Traffic cops are all color blind.
People steal from their own kind.
Evening comes to early for a stroll.
Down neon streets the streaker streaks.
The speaker speaks,
But the truth still leaks,
Why was it dropped?

I thought it was too long then and now I think that was a mistake! It was back in the days when vinyl sound quality demanded that you stay around 18 to 20 minutes a side for quality.

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Hi Neil,
It's that time of the year again when I give the late great Ben Keith's lovely 'Seven Gates' Christmas album from 1994 (or the 2007 reissue 'Christmas At The Ranch) another spin. I really love your contributions, especially “The Little Drummer Boy” with Johnny Cash, and “Greensleeves.”
My question is: did you and Johnny Cash record the song together at the ranch, or were his lines recorded separately? The recording sessions for this album must have been wonderful.
Peace and love,
Carlo (Belgium)

We did them separately. I think I added to what Johnny sang. It's a great record! Long live BEN KEITH (Longgrain)!

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Dear Archivist, dear Neil,
One or two people have started asking if subscribers can share a pre-sale code with them. You need to stop this before it starts – at best technically by linking codes to subscriber IDs somehow, if not at least by appealing to your subscribers. A year costs 20$ FFS and we easily get enough for our money as it is. Even if it’s not actually true, you should be telling subscribers that their code is linked to their subscriber ID/log in and that abuse can be identified. I have already started to try to shame people but I doubt if they’ll listen to me.

Robert (Broadfoot)

(2nd message:)
Dear Archivist,
Just so you know: I now understand that Neil expressly allows the sharing of codes, which I personally think is not such a good idea, it means there’s less incentive to subscribe. There is certainly a lot of support in the Rustie community for not allowing the sharing of ticket codes with non-subscribers.
Robert (Broadfoot)

We are giving this another look. Thanks

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Hi Neil,
I have a few questions for you about your cover of Don Gibson's "Oh! Lonesome Me" on After the Gold Rush. I consider this song (alongside Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower") to be one of the greatest cover songs ever recorded. I just love how you transformed Gibson's original from an upbeat country swing tune into a slow, mournful ballad, a style that seems way more aligned with the sadness of the lyrics. I was wondering if you could provide some insight into how you came up with that arrangement—was the arrangement written first and then you fit Gibson's words to it, or was it your intention from the start to cover the song for the album and then you wrote the slower arrangement for it? Did you ever try to record it in the swing style of the original? And, finally, what was it about that particular song that spoke to you so deeply that you decided to include it on the album, esp. considering that you seem to be someone who chooses his cover songs so carefully? Anyway, thanks for any info you can provide—and thank you for all the music you continue to provide for your loyal fans! Can't wait to see what the Archives has in store for us all!!

thanks for this question. Oh Lonesome me is an arrangement I did in Toronto way before I joined the Springfield. It was about the time of folk rock and ‘I Got you Babe’ by Sonny and Cher.was on the charts. I did it as kind of a joke at a gig I was playing in Toronto, an audition to play a club. I didn’t get the job but i never forgot the arrangement and a few years later I did it with Crazy Horse for ‘After the Goldrush’ I particularly love Danny Whitten’s singing on that track.

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Hey Neil, I saw your show in Boston in July, my son got me tickets for Fathers Day. It was in the same theater where I attended my first of many of your concerts. It's called The Wang Theater now. I think it must have been around 1973, and was the "Tonight's the Night" tour. Full circle sort of thing. I have a memory of that first show, when I was still a teenager. A solo artist came on stage before your show and was getting booed by an obviously rude crowd. As he was getting tuned up, he broke a string, got booed more, and walked off stage. I remember feeling horrible for him, and then you came out and really chewed out the crowd, threatened to cancel the show. You came back eventually and did a (to me at the time) confusing performance of material I wasn't expecting to hear. I know now what I saw, and am grateful to have been there. My question is, who was the solo artist, and how did he make out after that tour? It's actually been bothering me for over 40 years, but I've never had a way to ask the question.

John Hammond. He is a great artist.

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Loving the Orastream Store and the awesome pricing for Hi-Res for NYA members! I was born late in '58 (sixty years old in ten days!), and I do have the equipment necessary to handle the brilliant 24/192 audio. Now I'm just waiting on Greendale to be released in Hi-Res. I know it's close because of all the teases this week! Bring it on!

Also, it's simply criminal that Four Way Street has not been released in Hi-Res. One of the great live albums ever released and it is very conspicuously missing. What's up with that??

Looking forward to the next live stream. How about encores of the Crazy Horse and POTR streams for the holidays?

Thanks for all the hard work on the site. This place is an amazing treasure trove!
Merry Christmas,

Working on all your requests

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Hi Archivist, if you could pass the following letter on to Neil it would be appreciated. Best wishes.

Dear Neil,

Well, that has woken everyone up! I was unaware of Barclays' involvement in fossil fuels, but not any longer. It's great to see you still making a ruckus, something few are willing to do.

I was holding out just in case there were some indoor UK concerts (my personal opinion is both you and Bob sound better in a hall or arena than a festival), so haven't yet bought tickets for Hyde Park. But I hope you can find a satisfactory way to proceed with the show for everyone who was excited to be attending.

At risk of creating some fireworks of my own, whilst on the subject of the environment and damaging corporations, perhaps it would be equally powerful to distance yourself from Tyson Foods.

I know you've campaigned very powerfully against factory farming in a general sense, but Tyson are still some of the worse offenders (when negative and uncaring impact on the environment, farm animals and people are considered).

I respect that you are mates with some of the bosses there; I think it's good to be able to have friendships or relationships with people you may disagree with on some things. But it's worth bearing in mind that these particular people have a criminal record of giving "illegal gifts" to those who they want to influence:

Indeed, Don and John Tyson had paid millions of dollars in fines and thus granted themselves immunity from being personally prosecuted for this. A situation that you capture perfectly in "Big Box". And yet, the way you describe them in your book portrays them as being saintly do-gooders. I fully realize people aren't "black or white", so to speak, but if Barclays deserve your criticism, then so do the particular gentlemen at Tyson avoiding prosecution and "informally" bribing people to get themselves out of trouble.

These are just my thoughts on the situation; I realize you may come to a different conclusion.

...Thanks for standing up, as always! I saw you do "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" when it was brand new last time at Hyde Park, and I thought it was one of the most electrifying performances of the night. The version you released is even better with an awesome sound. I miss Rick Rosas. I also miss Crazy Horse, but that's another story.

All the best with the tour which I'm sure will be another success,

Johnny Tyson has been a good friend of mine for many years.. He knows how I feel about aspects of his family’s business. Mostly the Organic food subject. His dad started the business years ago. I will show him this letter. Jon and I will still be friends. Sometimes sharing things with a good friend, although it may be painful, is good. John will still be my friend, although we may disagree on some things that are very important to us.

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Hey, hey, (my, my),
I'm actually writing to Neil Young if he could read what I have to say. I am a 22-year-old girl from Turkey. I really want to express how I feel about the chance of seeing Neil performing live. I have been listening to his songs for years, I just listen so much till I memorize all of the instrumental wonders in them. They give me hope and inspiration. I dream to sing my songs, and Neil Young keeps me motivated whenever I feel I might fail. I desperately needed to see him live so I bought a ticket, to the Hyde Park Concert in July 2019. When I read on the internet that the concert might not happen, I got so sad, because all my savings I spent on Neil's concert ticket. I just would kindly and genuinely request an effort to try to make this concert happen cause I really might not have a chance like this again. :( I hope it is not useless to write my feelings. Neil will always be one of my few biggest inspiration sources, for whom I will write a song. I dream of seeing you and listening to you on a day with the shadows of the birds falling on my eyes. Love from this part of the earth.

Eriç, see you there!

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Dear NYA
The Archives are a triumph! So happy to see Violent Side be chosen as Song of the Day. I’ve been fascinated by this song since you mentioned the Catalyst version in Shakey. Gets me deep down. Every. Single. Time. Love can control all the division and rancour in today’s world, but we gotta fight to control!

So, although there’s no note in the timeline, might we one day hear Violent Side and some other Catalyst material in the Archives? In any event, I sincerely hope we’ll get an official release of Violent Side with Crazy Horse on ‘Crazy Horse Garage’. That and the truly epic restarted version of “Like a Hurricane” from the Cow Palace in 1986….arghhhh!!

Finally, although I fear the Letters to the Editor becoming an endless list of song requests, its got to be better than barking at you during a gig: may I humbly request that “Violent Side” be considered for the upcoming European tour setlist. POTR could totally do that chorus justice.

Big love to all the team and thank you, Neil, for EVERYTHING. Songs For Judy is glorious. We can’t wait to see you in London and hope so very much you can fit in a dedicated gig in Madrid.

We have video of the Horse doing Violent Side at the Catalyst. It will get out.

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Hey Neil!

First of all, I just wanted to say that I am so excited to be able to subscribe to this site and I'm proud to say I did.

I've been listening a lot to your solo shows from 2014 and I must say, the setlists and performances were tremendous from that run. Your Carnegie Hall shows and Chicago Theatre shows from 2014 are stunning performances.

Sadly, all I have are spotty YouTube videos to go off of to enjoy these fantastic shows. Are there any plans to maybe release a show or set of shows from the 2014 solo run?

I was only 14 when these shows happened and didn't get to attend them sadly. I saw you in Philadelphia in September though, and it was an incredible night.

Your 2014 shows seem, in hindsight, to be incredibly inspired with the setlists nearly perfectly crafted. They are, in many ways, "dream" acoustic setlists. I hope they will be released in some format some day.

Of course, thank you for the music. Looking forward to the future.

All the best,
Thomas Carty

Thanks. That was an emotional time for me with my life transitioning. We are aware of these shows and are reviewing them.

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Wanted to give my 2¢ on the HP quagmire. As a long time fan and frequent NY show attendee (112 shows & counting since '74). I appreciate NYA member status for pre-sale announcements, etc. While I was a bit surprised at the HP announcement outside of NYA, I attributed same to the nature of the gig, a big time festival with a co-equal co-star. (In other words, I blamed Bob!).

My real issue with the whole tour announcement scheme, is the dribble and drabble nature of the news getting out and the difficulty of planning to attend some or many of the overseas shows. Leaked news of German and Irish (7/10 & 7/14) dates are hardly a great basis to make plans for flights, etc.

So while the pre-sales are much appreciated, perhaps equally important is advance notice of as complete a tour itinerary as possible. Not just for Euro-dates, but I know many of my US, CDN, Euro, Asian & Australian friends would appreciate as much notice as possible for US and Canada dates as well. Some of us have lives, jobs and loved ones to juggle!

In any event, please keep up the good work. LOVE NYA. Mistakes are made all the time, but my long time view is more informed by how mistakes are addressed to avoid repeats.

Keep on Rocking (an-a- rollin)


First. Don’t Blame Bob.

First. Don’t Blame Bob.

Second, pay no attention to the dribble and drabble. It does not come from us. We have no control over rumours. If its not in NYA, its not happening. We only announce when we confirm. Many times we explore the routing with promoters and elect to not do the dates. They leak and you get confused info.

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Hi Uncle Neil,
Hope this message finds you well.
I have just subscribed to the Archives for a full year and I'm really enjoying making my way through all the content.

My congratulations to you and the Archives team on such a fine job.

I have a quick question.

I was lucky enough to attend many of the Bridge School shows from 2006 to 2016 and I was wondering if you had any plans to release any more recordings? I own the 25th Anniversary cd/dvd but I would love to own a physical copy of some of the wonderful sets that I witnessed over the years. It would also be a great way to generate more income for the Bridge School.

As an aside, I wonder if some of the other artists would be willing to release their sets, with all proceeds going to the Bridge School?

Also, really looking forward to seeing you and Bob in Hyde Park next year. Great job with getting Barclays removed as the sponsor.

My best wishes to you


There are concrete no plans to release more Bridge School Concerts at this time.

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Dear editor
You have my full support fighting the climate crisis in any peaceful way possible.
I presume all emissions of the European Tour (which I'm looking very much forward to) will be compensated.
How about a 1or 2 € surcharge on every ticket sold to compensate the emissions the audience generates traveling to the concerts. And—maybe a little exaggerated—how about asking local organizers donating a (symbolic?) contribution to compensate emissions caused by producing and transporting food and drinks consumed at the venue.
Kind regards from Basel

Dear Kurt
Those ideas are a reflection of the times. We are doing all we can. GIANT CHANGE NEEDS TO BE MADE. Be aware the European tour you speak of is only rumour at this time. Not confirmed.

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Neil posted a "thank you" song that was a little, uhh, silly, and I wanted to record one that was even stupider!
Proud new subscriber.
Greg McGarvey

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Dear Archivist,
Sorry this isn't a question, just praise and adulation. I can't keep my pure joy to myself as I'm listening to the archive right now. The sound, of course! but also just every-fucking-thing about it. Been using it since it started and plunked down today. The file cabinet, the organization ... so real.
This machine never felt so human! Thank you, thank you ... thank you.
Such a wonderful job.

Thanks! NYA

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Hey Neil,
Just wanted to tell you what a great job you did on that Greendale album. I bought it when it came out, and have listened to it a million times. Just thought about dropping you a compliment about it, as I listened to it on the way to work again yesterday morning. You boys nailed it on that one.
Take care

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After hearing the song of the day and letting the album continue to run this morning, I heard one of my favorite Neil songs, "People On The Street.” It reminded me of the great video that was done around the time it came out. Also while listening I read in NYA Times-Contrarian about the Hyde Park concert ticket information and was also made aware of another corporation wanting to buy into an artist’s realm. I just want to let Elliot Roberts and everyone involved with this website know how much it means to me to be able to access current information and the remarkable music of Neil Young. To say that you all rock would be an understatement. Thank You.
WJ Atascadero, CA


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Hi From England,
I was never sure that my hearing was good enough to hear the difference between CD and Hi-Res. But recently i heard Déjà Vu Live on NYA and it sounds amazing compared to the CD release! I'm now a paid up convert and I'm looking forward to the future of NYA! Thanks, Ed

Thanks for letting us know that. We are always happy when someone hears what we hear and enters the world of quality listening.

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Not a question … a compliment.

I've been listening to Neil since 1972 and this site is like a gift for any music lover. It's especially amazing for fans of Neil, whether it's his music, his videos, or just his thoughts regarding humanity. I've never seen anything like this site and probably never will again. Simply the best.

Thank you for doing a fantastic job.

Mike Simon

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Hi Neil,
My name is Jorge and I write from Spain.
I propose you an idea to improve the NYA experience for the non-English speaking subscribers:
It would be great to understand all the rap and interview cuts uploaded in the archives, and to achieve this it would be enough to add english subtitles or add an english transcription of the rap cuts and interviews cuts.
All your non-English speaking fans, we would appreciate it very much.
Thanks Neil, the NYA is incredible!!!

We will look into that, perhaps find a translating technology. Thanks!

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I just signed up for NYARCHIVES and am trying to buy tickets to the Orpheum show on the 29th. The 45 rpm thing just keeps spinning around and not giving a code.

You must be having a problem with your internet.

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I just paid to subscribe. Thanks.
Now I need the Code to buy Minnesota tickets but I cannot find it.
Help please

go to cabinet door tickets are there. Good luck

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I'm a yearly subscriber and trying to purchase tix for the 1/23 show at the Riverside, is there a special code ?

Yes. You should be able to find it. Read the article on page 1-left column of the NYA Times Contrarian.
Or go to the cabinet door and press the ticket icon.

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I signed up to get the pre-sale tickets. They are out of my price range. Can you please refund?

If it was the Madison overture show, there was an error on the overture Hall’s end. If it wasn’t, you did not give us the info to check it out. I hope we fixed it for you.

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I just bought tickets for the show in Madison WI and it is very disappointing how expensive the tickets are. I have never viewed Neil Young as greedy but that opinion has changed. Why is NY charging so much for his fans to see him?

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Good evening to all the fine folks at NYA,
I wondered it was possible to express my frustration over yesterday's solo shows pre-sales. When I bought tickets for the three NYCH shows in Fresno earlier this year, everyone had a fair crack of the whip ~ they went on sale at 10am PST which was 6pm GMT for me here in England.

Last night I gather there were technical issues (all the shows went up via the Subscription page and swiftly disappeared). I'd been working all day and had an early start this morning for a day's filming for the BBC. By the time I hit the hay last night, here in England, there was still no sign of the pre-sale. Now, 24 hours later, tickets are still available for the Minneapolis shows but (as I'm REALLY FUSSY!) the pick of the seats have gone. I know that you'd have been doing your best to ensure a better time for a pre-sale (I hope so at least) but now I'm torn as to what to do given the seats that are available (getting to Minneapolis from the UK isn't that easy).

Hopefully any future solo shows between January and the European POTR gigs will be free of technical issues. Don't get me wrong, I 100% approve of the NYA ethos for beating the scammers, scalpers and touts and the unique code for each subscriber is genius ~ its just that, this time, the system didn't match the expectation.

I appreciate your time and continuing good works.
Cley next the sea

Dear Mark,
The tickets for shows are on the cabinet door and have been there since they went on sale. Sorry for the problem you had. A lot of other people got there with no problem. Keep your eye on the cabinet door when purchasing.

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To Neil and Neil Young Archives subscribers:

We take great pride in being the guardian of Neil’s music for over 50 years.

And equal pride in Neil Young Archives, something we believe is a very important work. To our subscribers, we made a promise that they would be the first ones advised of any shows and the first to be able to buy tickets.

To say we fell short of our obligations on the announcement and pre-sales for the Hyde Park show is an understatement and we disappointed a lot of people. We lost focus and the entire team at Lookout Management apologizes for promises not kept to our subscribers.

We have tried to rectify this as best we can by making sure that tickets are available for Neil Young Archives subscribers. I personally really must apologize for this lapse because working as the custodian of Neil Young Archives is very serious to me. Neil’s life’s work has been mine as well. We will make every effort to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Elliot Roberts

Thanks Elliot, We love you. The world’s greatest manager!

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Dear Neil and Daryl:
I'd like to start this letter by saying how much I respect and admire you both. Professionally and in particular for the incredible activism and work you've both done for the environment and our planet. I only wish there were more like you. People who care and have used their positions to do good. It is sadly a rare thing and therefore very much appreciated by us all.

I'm writing to you as an anti fracking activist living in the UK but originally from Canada. For many years we've been fighting fracking from taking a hold in this country having seen the devastating effects it's had elsewhere on earth. We've managed to hold it off for years but sadly they've just started the first official frack in Lancashire and other wells are being drilled all over the country as I type. Time and time again local councils have said no but as in Lancashire our government have over ridden their decisions. At the moment they are trying to change planning regulations so local councils wouldn't have any say at all. They have also done many underhand things such as changing the definition of fracking so gas companies can say they aren't fracking when we all know they are. This is crunch time for us. We are fighting it on every level yet one thing we've lacked is a lot of support from high profile people. This is one of the reasons I'm compelled to write to you now.

Yesterday it was announced you, Neil, and Bob Dylan would be headlining the Barclaycard presents British Summer Time concert in Hyde Park next summer. We're delighted to have you play in this country. However Barclays bank are instrumental in funding fossil fuel extraction. Not only fracking in the UK but they're the only UK bank to fund tar sands pipelines in Canada too:
greenpeace article
greenpeace article
There is a divest from Barclays campaign in the UK:
the ecologist article

As avid campaigners against fracking and climate change I wanted to make sure you were aware of this link.

So here is my/our ask: I realize asking you to pull out of this gig isn't necessarily realistic (although it would be massive coup for us and great press coverage if you did and said why!) So I wondered if you would be able to use your leverage to draw attention to what else Barclays are funding. Whether it be through a meeting with Barclays or even covert (or not!) messages at the concert itself. I did work in the music industry for years and would happily speak to promoters about alternative gigs though I imagine your agent would have this covered.

I'd love to discuss this further with you and would help in any way possible to get the attention and coverage we so need.

Yours faithfully
Pippa Hockey
written on behalf of groups across the UK including:

Extinction Rebellion
Antifracking Nanas
Rising Up
Frack Free London
Frack Free East Yorkshire
Frack Free Yeovil
Frack Free Harrogate
Frack Free Isle of Wight
Keep Wiltshire Frack Free
West York Frack Free

Dear Pippa:
Thanks. We are working on a solution to the concert sponsorship. We too, feel that the situation on Earth requires a new, more aggressive approach. I cannot stand on a stage sponsored by uncaring and ignorant irresponsibility. We will soon know much new information on the HYDE PARK show and respond to it as we must.

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When do the tickets for England next July go on sale?

By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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It’s brilliant news that the archives are now open - I subscribed this morning as soon as I could - I bought the annual plan so that I could get the 'best seats in the house' via the exclusive fan pre-sales scheme.

It seems a shame then that the pre-sale general admission tickets have been sold via the Barclaycard pre-sale website and now show as 'sold out' - maybe I should be corralled into springing for a £335 ticket instead? - on TOP of my annual NYA fee? That must be it.

New ways of working? Same old way of making people keen to see you pay through the nose. Shame - I thought this was gonna be innaresting...turns out it's the same old toss. 'Songs for Judy' better be sodding amazing to make me forgive this shitty stunt...

Next time 'round then...

Are you at least able to let your paid subscribers know about other shows in Europe that our paid "best seats in the house" access subscription will let us buy tickets to...? least you could do really...given that Hyde P is showing as SOLD OUT making a mockery of NYA.

I'll support the artist and buy a ticket but if its sold out i simply cant do it...and thats why i subscribed. I'm used to the wider world promising stuff and then doing the opposite...i did, however, expect better of Neil...i thought this was a new start...

Thanks in advance

You don’t know the half of it yet.
By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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I see Neil is playing Hyde Park next summer with Bob Dylan. I will be out-priced, so have to miss my dream gig. However, what I am really interested to know is, why Neil would agree to play for Barclays bank? It goes against everything he always says. If you pass this on to Neil,,,, tell him This Notes For You.
None of my disappointment stops my craving for more music. :)

This is Neil. I passed it on to myself!!
By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park and Barclays. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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Hi All at NYA,
Is it true that in the Summer of 2019, Neil and The Promise of the Real will be headlining a concert with Bob Dylan on the bill in England? In the countryside in England?
Any word on advance tickets?

-Mudflow Mike
PS. like hearing Wordsworth and Coleridge recite poetry.

So it isn't fake news!
Hyde Park is Urban Countryside. Close enough. Like Coleridge and Wordsworth giving up their best in the Summertime in England.
A Promise of the Real.
-Mudflow Mike
PS Will pass the word on tickets.

By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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Hi. Where is the link for pre sale tickets for the Neil and bob gig in the UK on 12th July?

And just to say the Archives is a work of art. The depth and quality of work on there is amazing. I only hope is that as much of the amazing LIVE footage from over the years and more home/studio Demo recordings make it on at some point.


By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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Hey Neil
Have just seen that you are playing Hyde Park in London with Bob on July 12. Are you likely to sneak in a couple of solo gigs in the UK around that time as well? Be good to see you without getting rained on! Keep up the good work, regards from a new UK subscriber. Carl

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We've just ordered our tickets for July 12, 2019, Neil and Dylan at Hyde Park. We are AWESOMELY excited to make the long haul from Cambodia to London for this, and especially so as it falls on our wedding anniversary. We got married in a scottish castle, Eilean Donan (I'm scottish, my wife is anglo-indian) back in 2003 and had sitar and tabla players, a female bagpiper and a rhythm and blues revue playing for our wedding, so to have you, Neil, and Dylan playing on our anniversary is pretty darn cool, haha!). Any ideas about what we can expect - a duet maybe? Who knows, whatever the hell happens it will be an amazing day anyway! Love from James and Anita and Otis in Phnom Penh. x

James and Anita,
I hope nothing goes wrong and you get to see the show. I want to play for the people. I don’t want to play on a Barclays Bank stage. I was not informed about the Oil financier Bank sponsoring the outdoor show at Hyde Park. Thought it was the city.
By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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Is there a link for presale tickets Neil Young Hyde Park London England July 2019? I am a subscriber to archives.

By the time you read this there will be more news on Hyde Park. I hope it makes it clear. Read the Times - Contrarian for updates on this story. Thanks for subscribing.

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Hello Neil-
I'm thrilled to see that subscriptions are live and I'm happy to sign up for such amazing value. I'm also looking forward to going through Greendale over the next couple weeks via the Song of the Day.

I was wondering if Greendale, along with many other of your '90s and '00s albums, are slated for vinyl reissue. I've been trying to track down vinyl copies of all your albums, but I've found myself stuck when it comes to Greendale, Mirror Ball, Broken Arrow, and Le Noise. All seem to be available only in rare copies that cost $100 if not much more. I can't afford that really, but I especially hate to do it when I know that money isn't going to you and your collaborators. Counterfeit copies of these albums seem to be on the market, as well.

Anyway, looking forward to being a subscriber and using my pre-sale access for future shows! Thanks for all you do.

Thanks back to you! I just spoke to J. Hanlon. These are on our vinyl list.

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Hi there my name is Violet Teegardin and I am college student in Nashville, Tennessee.

When Neil announced the NYA, I was ecstatic. I have read "Waging Heavy Peace" and I was left disappointed with the way my generation experiences music.

"Greendale" is one of my favorite albums, but I am stumped when it comes to finding the record on vinyl. The only available records are selling on eBay for $700!

As a teen who loves rock 'n' roll, is there any way to find the vinyl to experience the record in its' purest form or should I stick to streaming through NYA?
Peace and love!

Dear Violet: Greendale is one of the next batch of vinyl we are making. It should be out in the next 6-8 months, maybe sooner. Watch the Times Contrarian for announcements.

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All set and subscribed!
Question: When presales are announced, will subscribers receive heads-up emails so we know when things are happening in real-time and can prepare to be available of local on-sale times?

Dear Lee: We talk about presale shows in the Times Contrarian, previewing them there. Very soon after that, we go live with the presales. We do that to keep people involved and have them learn other information at the same time. That said, there will be announcements upcoming, so keep in touch.

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I'm having big fun with the updated NYA with playlists, new extras and many added videos. I came across the 1971 pre-Harvest Thunder Sound tape box earlier today. I sure would like to hear that some day.

But my real question is about Will To Love. The info card says it was recorded Dec 3, 1976. I aways thought it was recorded right after Neil returned from Europe in the early April of 1976 and before he returned to Miami a few days later to finish the Stills-Young record? Maybe that December date is when the overdubs where done at S.I.R. studio? That's one of Neil greatest songs and any clarification would be appreciated.

Thanks again,
now playing - Hey Babe

Hey Tom! You are right to ask! Good sleuthing! Those overdubs were done at Indigo Ranch though, not SIR. The date of the fireplace midnight recording would be an all nighter before traveling to Stills’ place in Miami to finish Long May You Run, or maybe do CSN vocals on some of the songs to see if we could have a CSNY album. Hazy. Checking data base next. Look at that card for Will to Love and see if we change anything. You woke something up. Good on ya!

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Greetings Archivists,
This one is perhaps addressed to Bernard Shakey, as it involves editing of the recent Director's Cut of Human Highway.

When the film was re-released and then on home video, I took some time to catalog some of the differences between the new edit of the film and the 1990s VHS/LD release. I was also fortunate to have a barely watchable VHS copy of a largely different cut of unknown origin, which contained scenes not found in either of the two commercial video releases.

I just noticed the 3 clips posted under the Human Highway folder in the File Cabinet, and I liked the edited "Worried Man Blues", piecing the song together from scenes around the movie, and the inclusion of the "Goin' Back" scene as a music video format. I would love to see more of the outtakes and alternate scenes someday.

Finally, it was obviously the director's call, but I was a bit disappointed in the choice to use the 3 minute edit of "Hey Hey, My My" performed by DEVO with Neil. The 10 minute version used in the VHS/LD release is an HISTORIC PERFORMANCE in the history of rock and roll, especially PUNK. The World needs this full video in high definition!

Thank you, and I'm sure I'll write again.

That’s so great you like the long version that much! I always love the long versions. I’m sure the short version is in the Director’s Cut to keep it moving and tell the story but. . . . the archives could use the long version. I will ask the team to search it out in the VHS laser disc master. I love going back to the laser disc master!
thanks N

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Dear Neil Young and Team,
I was at first very excited, that you opened up your music to the public. I had great respect for you by doing so. I am a big fan of your music and many projects that you stand up for. The other day, when I tried to listen to the music in the archive, I realized that it is no longer possible and I have to pay for everything. Now it looks to me that this is just like another corporate business strategy. It’s about money making and not the spirit of your music and your believes to make a change in this corporate world. I am very much disappointed by the direction you have taken.
Marek Bures
Freiburg, Germany

OMG! I am busted! You hit the nail on the head.
Maybe I should retire.

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Hi it would be nice to know how many people subscribe to NYA now and how it’s growing.
thanks DD

We are waiting until the APP goes live with IOS and ANDROID. If we reveal numbers, it will be after the official launch. Right now, its not mobile yet. Mobile is about 95% of the market. IOS is in negotiations for release with Apple. ANDROID is still in development. The official launch will be with the IOS app.

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Neil & the team,
What a treasure NYA is! Thank you. Loving all the Greendale content. Thanks to the way the Archives are set up, I noticed that "Be The Rain" was the last Greendale song recorded. Was it written last? Was the story conceptualized before BTR was written so that you knew it was going to end this way (or did it just happen to tie up perfectly)? As a concertgoer who was fortunate enough to catch 4 Greendale shows, there was nothing better than observing the skeptical crowd early try to figure out Greendale, watch as the momentum picked up through "Carmichael" and then turned the corner at "Bandit," and then to see the engine gather steam all the way through BTR, when the appreciative (and no longer skeptical) crowd stood and erupted at the triumph that is Greendale. (How rewarding was it for you when BTR brought down the house each night? Fuuuuuuuck man.)
Rock on.
DJ in Leucadia

Thanks for the enthusiasm DJ!
Greendale is one of my favorite projects ever. We are reviewing three videos of the entire live production. I recall several shows, especially the first in Florida and the one at Madison Square Gardens in NYC. Your description is right on the money.

The songs were written and recorded in order, one at a time, quite often on the way to the sessions. The movie was made after the record. There is a live acoustic performance with story telling.
Be the Rain,

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Hi there
Loving the archives site so far. $20 for the year is a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned and is great value. It's fantastic how somebody of Neil's stature is engaging so well with his fans.

I realize that you must be currently deep into the period covered by the Archives Volume 2 at the moment but I was just wondering what the status is of the missing items from the Volume 1 period? I'm thinking specifically the 2 Mynah Birds songs, I Ain't Got The Blues, the Neil songs from the Buffalo Springfield boxset and the unreleased Crazy Horse Early Daze record.

Thanks in advance for any info.
Simon F (UK)

Working on getting the Motown ‘Mynah Birds’ tracks now.

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Hi Neil and team
I was wondering if there is any footage of the 1976 Glasgow Apollo gig. I love the footage filmed by David Peat of Neil wandering round the streets of Glasgow and playing Old Laughing Lady outside Central station. I always think of it any time I walk past it. it would be great to see more here on the Archives.

The last time you played Glasgow I bumped into Elliot and Lukas taking in the sights in Buchanan street, round the corner from your old busking pitch. Hopefully you make your way back here in the summer, bring Bob. It would be great to see you both busking outside Central station!

Looking forward to exploring the vaults
Take care

We unfortunately have no footage of that gig. No fixed sched for summer.

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how about a publicly populated timeline on the archive?

a place where fans can share their media from the ages, instead of just randomly uploaded stuff on YouTube.

it would give the users shared ownership in the archive, and serve as a compendium of user experiences. people could submit their own memories, recordings, ticket stubs, and films.

a form that requires date and location for their uploads would help you file them away.

maybe a widget could aggregate all the random pieces already on YouTube.

a simple release agreement, would allow shakey to make use of fan submissions in official releases.

I think people would feel great to be a part of the archive and the legacy. we are all so connected in our love.

thanks for your consideration, bestest,

Big idea. Lots of work to do this I think. Maybe over time we can do a separate timeline for music lovers personal memories, but i am not focused on that now.
thanks, N

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Hi Neil,
Can I link your streaming site to my Sonos system? It would be groovy to stream your music to all of my speakers from my phone. See you further on up the road in Boston! Thanks for all of the seeing you back at the Music Hall.....Bring Lucas and the boys around!

Try it when the APP comes out. Use your phone. SONOS will not play back NYA’s high res. It tops out 25% of the way there. Better than a CD though. Sounds pretty good; just not all the sound. There is a big difference when you get it all. I wish you luck and hope you can get it all going. We will be showing folks how to get the best from their APP when it comes out. That delivers true high res to the digital port.
thanks, neil

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Thanks for the music! i can't find the song “Philadelphia"; please think about adding it. Love and only love. Dror

Philadelphia has been a legal challenge so far. We have been working on it for months. Watch the Times Contrarian for news on that.

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The amazing footage of CSNY at the Fillmore in "Journey Through The Past", Nash said that two nights were filmed including dressing room and many other locations in the build up to these legendary shows. What a concert movie that would make. Any chance of seeing more from these shows on NYA please.

I think it will be worth the wait. We are going to get to it. Transfers are in the works. That’s stage one.
thanks NY

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Hello Neil;
Thanks for the opportunity to contact you. Thanks too for not only preserving the music over all the years, but for your painstaking care of so many of the artifacts from over the same time.. The cars, the stage props, the photos, videos, and on and on. You are an amazing Caretaker.

One of my favorite stage artifacts would be the platform heeled go-go boots. I know you could write a book or make a film, just about them..

Much love and Peace to you and yours; today and every day.
With Appreciation;

I hope the boots were not lost in the fire. I will be finding that out soon. Ask again in a couple of months.

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SAD AND SCARY! Country Girl

Hi there, greetings from Philadelphia! I want so much to pass on my love for Neil to my children but they feel your voice is sad and scary. They are very young and I know their tastes will improve as they age. They hear you so much that they will have no hope but to someday love you as I do. Thank you for the wonderful shows last month, I will treasure those memories forever. It took all my will and effort not to yell for you to someday play Country Girl at one of the shows. I know you hate when people yell out songs, so I didn't, but do you think there's a chance someday that you could work out a version of that song when you play again with POTR, or better still CSN, or even solo again sometime soon? It is my most favoritest song in the whole ever lovin' world. Cheers to you and your beautiful new bride!!! All my love, Joby

Thanks Joby,
I will get ‘Country Girl’ onto the songlist. No doubt ‘Promise of the Real‘ can do it better than anyone at this time. We’ll see how it feels. Sorry to be so sad and scary!!!

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There are a handful of truly epic songs that don't seem to get the live treatment often enough, if at all: (1) Natural Beauty, (2) I'm the Ocean, (3) Let It Shine, (4) Grandpa's Interview. I think most of us who will subscribe to the Archives would be happy to hear Thrasher played every show. (If you polled us, my guess is Thrasher takes the top song among Rusties.) Also, I'm a huge Greendale fan and would LOVE to see Greendale brought out for another run (Broadway being the obvious venue). It seems like you're going 1,000 mph with 9,000,000 projects, I don't know how you have the time and energy for it all. Like you said in 1995, though, people your age don't do the things you do.
Peace, brother.
DJ in Leucadia, CA

Of all the songs you mention, ‘Let it Shine’ stands out as something I would like to do, and the others will have their time too I hope. I don’t know if I’m ready for Broadway yet! I heard Bruce is doing a fine show there. People really love what Bruce is doing there. He’s a great storyteller.

I just can’t imagine myself there at this moment.
Love, ny

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yo Neil - when are you dropping by New Zealand for a gig or three? cheers!

I have my manager looking at that right now. Maybe next year. We’ll be ready for a great time when it happens!

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Are we ever likely to see the third Jonathan Demme movie, Trunk Show, get a release on DVD? I’ve never understood why it was not released, was it for some sort of legal issue?

‘Trunk Show ‘is a great moment. I’m sure it will be coming to the Hearse Theater in the future. Probably pretty soon. We are just getting ready to focus on the theater. We have been showing occasionally and the rate should pick up soon because we will have a lot of things ready to go when subscriptions start.

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I am curious about all the mystics surrounding the "Comes A Time" album. Lots of stories have been told. Here is a summary of what I have learned about the different editions:

A ticking sound nobody but Neil Young heard apparently led to the withdrawal of the first pressing, and all the LPs became targets for shooting and got bullet holes in them.

Altering the sequence of "Lotta Love" and "Peace Of Mind" led to the second withdrawal.

Changing of the album title from "Give To The Wind" to "Comes A Time" led to another withdrawal. Even so the "Give To The Wind"-album was produced with a blue flamingo cover, and apparently some very few albums escaped and went on the market.

Could you enlight us with the facts about the history of this album? Or is it just okay that the myths survive?
Kind regards
Petter Osbak
(Dedicated fan since After The Gold Rush was released)

Comes a Time had to be re-pressed because the master tapes were damaged when they were shipped to an East Coast mastering facility.-high end was wiped somehow during transit. Then we had to re-master the album from a tape copy that still had the high end. That was a rough blow for ‘Comes a Time’, pressed from a copy of the master, but we had no choice. We had to do that to make it as great as we could.

Give to the Wind was the original title. Some ‘Comes a Time’ albums were released with that title in foreign countries.

Sequencing changes may have been made when the album was remastered. I’m not sure at the moment.

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Hi Neil,
I have a couple of Performance Series questions, from opposite ends of the spectrum... I was wondering if a vinyl release of Live At The Riverboat is on the cards at all? I love that disc and I’m sure it would sound great on vinyl. Also are there any plans for a vinyl release from the Mirrorball tour with Pearl Jam? I was lucky enough to be at the Reading show and it was a pretty special night.
One last thing while I’m here... we’d love it if you could make it back to Australia soon!
Thanks for everything,
Chris, Sydney

‘Live at the Riverboat’ will be scheduled for a vinyl release through Shakey Pictures Records.
‘MirrorBall Live’ is in the review stages. We have a film and some live recordings for that night. If it cries out to be released, we will go.

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Letters to the Editor
Dear Neil,
The unreleased songs on the inner sleeves of Lucky 13 Hi how are ya? I happened to have the vinyl version of Lucky Thirteen in my hands for the first time in a long while and had forgotten that a lot of song titles are printed in large type behind the lyrics on the inner sleeves. Among them are the names of many hitherto unreleased songs - some of them very prominent in really large type such as Big Pearl, Winter Winds/Turbine, Your Love Again, Johnny and many others!

My question is this. You obviously found these unreleased songs specially important at that time. Maybe you were teasing David Geffen on your way out the door (Eat a peach - Vol. 2?!). And you were certainly teasing your fans! Your unreleased catalogue is my special hobby horse. I have over 200 unreleased songs or performances of covers listed in my own "Unofficial NY Archive". So I was just wondering if we are maybe going to hear some of this material on NYA very soon. I know your fans would love to hear some unreleased material in the best available quality, even if it is not the right quality for official commercial release. NYA seems to me to be the ideal platform to present such "additional" material. And I know that access to unreleased songs and performances would be a big big argument for many many more fans to subscribe when the pay system starts up. I certainly can't wait to hand over my money!

And just one parting shot from me - I've always wondered what L.A. Girls and Ocean Boys sounds like. It's a bit early (1974?) for Oceanside-Countryside, but it sounds like it should be on there! If there is a recording, can you please please give it to us for Christmas on Homegrown?

Thank you for providing us all with a guiding light during these difficult times.
Best as ever
Robert (Broadfoot)

Those are pretty obscure songs and we will indeed be hearing them on NYA. They are not involved in unreleased albums, but they will find a place.We will take care of them. Shakey Pictures Records will release anything we think is musically rewarding.

We reviewed ‘Your Love Again’ and ‘Big Pearl’; recently and they both sounded good.
Winter Winds is on Hawks and Doves.
‘LA Girls and Ocean Boys’ needs a special place to be.
Homegrown is coming soon - next year for sure.

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Question For Mr. Young please;
Have you ever met Elvis Presley? If so, could you share any humorous memories with the King? Thanks Jonathan


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Hello to all at NYA,
I've a quick question regarding "Songs for Judy" (and subsequent archival releases). Is the new label Shakey Pictures Records an imprint of the giant Warner/Reprise group or a new project from NYA?
Fun times!
Mark Golley
Cley next the Sea, Norfolk, UK

Shakey Pictures Records is NYA, distributed by Warner Bros.

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Dear Archivist,
Will you add the Stray Gators' 1973 live single version of Last Trip To Tulsa to The Archives some day? I have heard only some old bad quality cassette copy of it but I think it is great. Is the "Time Fades Away 2" with Kenny Buttrey on drums coming?
Thanks for the great NYA from northern Finland

Dear LL.
Yes, we will be adding ‘Last trip to Tulsa’ from ‘Time Fades Away’ (single B side release) to the timeline.

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Hey Neil-
I just wanted to thank you for all of the great music over the years. I'm only eighteen so I haven't been listening for as long as some other fans, but I've packed in a good deal of listening in the time being.

I saw your solo show in Philadelphia on September 30th and I thought that it was a truly transcendent evening. I never thought I'd get the chance to see you live and I'm thrilled that I did. Thank you for a great show.

I'm curious to know how you go about writing your setlists. Some parts of the setlist seem to stay the same during the course of a whole tour, while there are other slots in the setlist that change from night to night. When do you write these setlists? Do you ever really change them while you're on stage? What inspires you to break out a rarity one night, or try a new arrangement of a song?

It seems like there's a real art to writing setlists and I'm curious about how you do it.

Thanks again. I hope you come back to the Northeast USA next year, solo or PoTR or CH or whatever... just play and I will come.

All the best,

Thanks a lot. We will be there in the Northeast and announce it on NYA when it happens. You can will be able to get the best tickets in the house here at NYA.

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I saw your video against violence today. It made my heart ache at wasted years of repeated violence. It's frustrating to see violence normalized with tragedies repeating themselves over and over. In 2000 we made a 5 ton art installation to generate dialogue about our culture of violence. Guns from around the world were donated in a gesture against violence.

Maybe if artists join forces it could create real change. Thx for doing what you do.

Art Against Violence

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I like Tom De Vesto's Audio Technical column. Looking forward to a new piece from him. Maybe how to spruce up the old turntable or optimize the NYA interface. The book Good Sound, by Laura Dearborn is chock full of good ideas for him. It's never to late to achieve good sound! Is he working on another iteration for his column?
-Mudflow Mike

Mike, We are happy to say that Tom De Vesto will be writing more columns for the Times-Contrarian.

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You surely must have to sort though many, many fan notes. Forgive me for adding to the pile, because I merely wish to express to Mr. Young my heartfelt thanks for his letter regarding "DT's" use of “Rockin in the Free World.” The remarkable elegance of the letter has a lot to do with Neil Young's kind, yet firm, approach. And it inspired me to also be direct and honest more than ever. Walk On!
Henry Hibbert

PS - I own a mint condition, original pressing of Harvest. No barcode! ;>)

Thanks Henry,
As for DT, I think every paper should put all presidential tweets on page 9 in their own space where they can’t attack any of the other columns.

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I first became aware of your music in the late 1960’s when I was a student in Kingston upon Thames near London, England. I liked the gentle sounds of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Leonard Cohen, Donovan and The Moody Blues and a fellow student recommended Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere to me, but with the cautionary words that I may find some of it a bit too loud! He was right. Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl in the Sand and Down by the River were for my then somewhat sheltered ears somewhat disturbing – and they were long.

When After The Goldrush and Harvest came out I thoroughly enjoyed them – this was what music was all about. But then Tonight’s the Night confirmed that for me, then, you were an erratic artist who could make beautiful music but also discordant and confused noises too. Oh the ignorance of youth. I have grown up since.

Our first son Ben was born in 1976 and one evening when he was a few weeks old I was left on my own baby sitting whilst my wife went out for the night. Ben was unsettled, crying and causing this new father considerable anxiety. I was listening to John Peel on the radio when he played the most electrifying music I had ever heard up to that point. You and Crazy Horse playing “Like a Hurricane” on what John Peel described as an as yet unreleased white label.

I could not believe the sound of the screaming guitar that emerged from the radio; Ben stopped screaming and went to sleep. I was hooked on your music.

I have followed your career with keen interest ever since. It has given me some wonderful moments of pleasure – a much absent experience in this sad and increasingly battered world we live in, and for which I shall always be grateful and appreciative. To my mind your music can still be patchy (but who’s isn’t) from time to time soaring to the heights of Rust Never Sleeps, Freedom, Ragged Glory and Harvest Moon and so many others, while falling to the occasional depths of Everybody’s Rockin, or later Storytone (in all its guises), Fork in the Road and The Monsanto Years, but soaring again with Greendale or Psychedelic Pill. The good and brilliant far outweigh the bad in my mind. But what I think may be less than good I know others really appreciate.

I took Ben to see you and Booker T at Finsbury Park – an uncomfortable experience for me, then too old to stand all night in the crowded environment whilst people around me shouted out getting drunker and drunker with every song. And a less than perfect sound system.

Ben began to appreciate your music.

I took him with me to see you perform Greendale at the Hammersmith Apollo – an extraordinary occasion. By this time I had become a judge and I wondered how many other judges you can count as fans of Neil Young and Crazy Horse. We were mesmerized by the whole evening, your narration before and after each song from Greendale, followed by songs seemingly selected at random as you flipped through a lever arch file filled with the lyrics to your songs and which were played, or so it seemed, just for us, even though David Gilmour of Pink Floyd was a few rows in the seats ahead of us.

So struck was I by the concert that I wrote to you care of your record company thanking you for the evening and the pleasure you had given to us. I did not receive a response, but then why would I?

Ben was a real convert to your music; trying to learn some of the basic chords to some of your songs, listening to your music constantly to the increasing irritation of his girlfriend Kate.

So when the opportunity came round again I took Ben and Kate to see you at the Hammersmith Apollo again, this time when you performed with your Electric Band – with the now sadly missing Rick Rosas, Ben Keith and Pegi (?). In the restaurant beforehand I profoundly embarrassed my son and daughter in law when I approached David Gilmour who was also there (was he stalking me I wonder) and asked him if he was going to your concert later that day. He finished his coffee and promptly left – another rock star’s lunch spoiled by an over enthusiastic fan.

The concert – just you, solo, followed by the Electric Band was phenomenal. I am still waiting to see it as captured by Jonathan Demme. And Kate became a convert too. Whilst previously she would complain when Ben or I played your music she now loved to listen to it - and their first dance at their wedding was to “Harvest Moon.”

I am now in the final years of my journey in this life. Your music has been a constant thread providing me with both exhilaration and comfort, but also disturbing me from time to time and unsettling me. That is what a true artist does. No one will like all of Shakespeare’s plays equally; they are not all as good as each other. Not everything Picasso painted is appreciated by everyone. An artist cannot control their muse; sometimes it is there; sometimes it is not.

But from this aging judge in England – thank you for everything that you have given to me. And by way of a question will there be another (a final) NY and Crazy Horse album?

Thanks for your letter, which I read and appreciated greatly. I am doing what I do and letting the chips fall. everyone, in their lives, has ups ands downs.

The film you saw being made at Odeon Hammersmith is a Tim Pope film, ‘LONDON’, still unreleased, a beautiful gem which we will be showing. I hope you are enjoying NYA. It was made for people like us. Say hello to Ben. I have a son Ben as well!

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It’s good to know how to dance and start again.

And when the melody, through the window called, It sounded in the courtyard and murmured in the corridors. He played it all night .......

Good evening all the team of NYA what a pleasure for the senses this music decked with words which does not stop running in the corridors between cut of ............. cuts but small (always a little) but the sound is good NY A.

Got a little air before going to bed; but i would like to go to the cinema hearth theater ... maybe in a few days .................. I hope that Neil Young is doing well !!!
Thank you and have a good night see you soon
José de Paris

Thanks for the sentiment. Enjoy NYA.

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...Just wanted to say THANK YOU for releasing “Songs For Judy,” which will be out soon... I am shocked that you even released it, but happy that you always throw a curveball at us, The Fans...! lol. So Glad I do not have to listen to a crappy version of that bootleg ever again! Thanks Neil, Joel Bernstein, & Whoever Else Got This done! Cameron Crowe! You Guys Rock En Mass Supreemo! Any Chance of getting any 'Stills/Young Band Live' Released? I Realise that it's only my opinion , but Neil Young & Stephen Stills NEED to make another album together, perhaps a Live One as Well? Hmmmm...
Thanks Again! ~Marc Buehre, Longtime Old Fan .

Stills-Young Band live recordings have not ever been reviewed. There is one new song being done on the tour called ‘Evening Coconut’.

Cameron and Joel did a great job with ‘Judy’ and I am so glad we can share it with folks like you on Shakey Pictures Records!

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Thanks for all the good news. A pleasure to read these articles. Really looking forward to Songs for Judy and hope Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Crowe tackle the electric set next. My memories of the Madison, Wisconsin show are crystal clear and hearing Like a Hurricane and Cortez from that show would be spectacular. As I wrote before, I have a home movie of this concert and remember every detail. I must compliment you all on this fabulous website and archive as I seem to learn something new every day, plus the music and political slant are in perfect harmony. Thanks, Neil. You are an inspiration. I am especially grateful that you allowed my friend and fellow water protector Christine Nobiss to speak her wise words at Farm Aid so others can join our battle against Monsanto/Bayer, Big Ag, DAPL, and corrupt politicians. Christine may have told you but Energy Transfer Partners is contacting landowners about another pipeline following the same route across Iowa. Your leadership and strong voice is needed so thank you to you and Daryl Hannah for standing up to those who fail to heed Mother Earth's cries. Love always to you and the archives team. Your Iowa fan, Mary Bennett

We will both be there for Earth as long as we can. Long May You Run.

We may go ahead and see if we can find the Crazy Horse ‘Electric Judy’ set of our cassette dreams, but we are not ready yet.

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Please let Neil know that we USA beekeepers are thankful that he is speaking out about the chemical saturation and corporate corruption. No more lying to the American People about why bees, insects and animals are dying and people are sick !! WE need people like him to stand up to this madness in this country. Share this info with him he will know exactly what we are talking about !!!

We need people like you to spread the word to the world. In an Earth crisis such as this, insects are telling an important part of the story. Keep speaking up. Every voice counts!

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Absolutely brilliant!!!!
Running iMac - Schiit Yggdrasil - Parasound Halo 2.1 - A21 - Vandersteen Quattro Wood CT - me
Thank you for your commitment to excellence in the face of so much compromise.

Enjoy, my friend!

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Hey now,
Does “Windward Passage” or “Cryin' Eyes” from the Ducks exist in the vault? Those are songs I would certainly love to hear as part of the NYA experience. Thanks,
Santa Cruz

I remember both of those songs by the Ducks. Tim Mulligan, who recorded the Ducks, is working on the record for Shakey Pictures Records. It will be great. As you probably know, we recorded several Ducks’ shows inside the city limits trying to raise the ‘Pussinger Curse’, imposed by Master Mallard on Pussinger the surfer - I wish the Ducks could have raised the curse. They tried night after night to have a Nuclear Quack, Maybe the Ducks chronicle of these events will do it! Its quite a story to tell.
Thanks! NY NYA

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This may seem like a repetitive question since I am sure many have brought up specific rare recordings multiple times, but one that I don't recall being brought up is the studio recording of "I'm Goin'" which was exclusive to the 45rpm single of "Ten Men Workin'". When can we expect to see an info card for this recording? And perhaps we may see something for the contributions to the soundtrack of Where The Buffalo Roam…?

Thanks! Two great suggestions! That’s why I love NYA. We are working on this request.

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Has Neil's performance of “Out of the Blue” done with DEVO ever been released outside of the movie? Is it available today?

Its available as a video as part of ‘Out of the Blue/Into the Black’ and ‘Human Highway’, the film.

Residing in info cards in the filing cabinet, and on the timeline, these will be introduced with subscriptions.

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A letter to The Editor,
Hey hey, My my, NYA lives and will not die!
Bravo on the new format and so good to read interesting, informative articles by people in the know. Looking forward to Songs for Judy. Mr. Hanlon is watching warily over the process of production and it should be a worthy listen. And yes, I lament so the Hi-Fi experience. After you've been there, it's hard to settle for less, which is why NYA is more.
Quality, whether you want it, or not.
-Mudflow Mike

Thanks Mike, We appreciate your enthusiasm. Please tell any of your friends who might enjoy my music in depth.

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Neil, there is very little written about your learning to play harmonica and piano. Can you lay the background on us as to how and when each got started, the inspirations you had and the progress to when you felt strong about putting them on tape, playing live, etc... Thanks
SONY Loson, Rochester

I learned how to play piano in Winnipeg. There was a piano downstairs in the basement hallway of the triplex I lived in there. Harmonica must have been after I heard Bob Dylan a long time ago and Jimmy, so it may have been Bob or Jimmy Reed. Both are among the greatest harp players I ever heard, along with Paul Butterfield.

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Super idea putting up Songs for Judy! I'm eager to hear it.

Question for Neil, one that I've thought often.
What music do you listen when you are not either listening to or playing your own?

Jimmy Reed, JJ Cale. Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, when I get the opportunity.

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Hi Neil
I'm from a wee town in the north of Scotland called Thurso, which is a hotbed of Neil Young fans! Finally got to see you and the Horse at Hyde Park a couple of years ago, which was an especially magical day for my wife and I, who had traveled many thousands of miles to get there. Been a huge fan of yours for many years - first thing I heard was 'Broken Arrow' on a compilation album called The Age of Atlantic, which I played until the vinyl bled white... so many other favourites, I guess On The Beach and Everybody Knows just edging out on top right now... anyhow, my question is about Paradox. We have Netflix (via Korea, I believe) in Cambodia, where we now live, and Paradox was on there for a few weeks after release but now seems to have disappeared. Basically, I started watching it then got interrupted putting my son to bed and never really got to finish watching... so, I missed how it ends and would love to find out how I can see that - is it available to download or stream from anywhere else? Sorry if that seems a lame question, and a huge thank you for keeping on keeping on and creating such marvelous sound pictures and more for us all to enjoy - best wishes from Phnom Penh, James and family

I will find out why that is. Netflix is something I regret having done because we can’t get the picture on the archives. I will see what happens. No promises. So sorry.
Maybe we can get it back someday. We don’t often make mistakes that lose control of the art. Nothing is perfect.

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Hi Neil!
Have you ever thought to play Heart of Gold with the 'Old Black' as a punk song? I think it could sound great!!
Have a nice week-end.

Someday. You never know, I think it would be done as a lark.

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Thank you for hours of fun - fabulous website.

Please keep Song of Day comments going.

Should songs released on a visual format only, be included in the timeline?

eg Berlin from the DVD from the 1982 European tour, is one AAA gem that springs to mind.

Neil, was this really inspired composed rehearsed and performed all in the one day in Berlin 1982?

What recollections do you have of playing this sublime (very POTR friendly) song that deserves not to be landlocked on DVD only?

renewed thanks
Adrian Sunny Barnet London

‘After Berlin’ is available to us now. We just got it. We may present it in the Hearse Theater soon and then on the timeline. It was written and recorded in one day.

As far as ‘Berlin’ the concert film goes, check out the info-card for ‘Sample and Hold’. That was from the Berlin performance. The Berlin concert will be added as a video around the time when subscriptions are offered.

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How to submit a letter to the archivist...

Only notes/questions sent to the Archivist via the contact page will be considered for publishing. Make sure to select "Question for The Archivist" from the drop down menu. Thanks for reading.

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Neil's performances of No Hidden Path in 2007 - 2008 always felt like a career highpoint. He seemed to dig even deeper than usual there. Was the song a special one for him too?

Yes it was. I was deeply into it. Ben Keith plays guitar with me on it.

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Dear Hannah, John and Neil-
I am writing to share that there is a lot of interest in the Bottom Line show from 1974. If you have the master cassette, it would be such an amazing honor to your fans if you could master it digitally to NYA as exclusive content to member-fans who have long since worn out their x-generation copies. It is such a unique and vital part of the history.

I see NYA as being able to go far beyond what you would be willing to put out on Vinyl or CD. Remember that eardrum busting live version of Mr. Soul from the Hollywood Bowl you put out as a BD-Live track? Same idea.
Peace and Love,

Omar, these are good ideas and we will act on them both. It may take a bit of time because so much is happening right now, but we will get there. Stay tuned and thanks!

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I used to look for jukeboxes in Portland that had the edited, single version of “Time Fades Away,” because the B side was an electric version of “The Last Trip To Tulsa” played by Neil and the Stray Gators. This was an official release, and as such I would hope it would be included in the archives and on the timeline. Will it be coming our way? Thanks. TC

Hey TC
That will be coming soon. I always liked it. We have it on our radar. Thanks!

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Just a quick question (or 2 or 3 or 4).

Do the supposed unreleased albums actually exist: Oh Lonesome Me (c.1970) Ranch Romance (mid 70's) My Old Neighborhood (mid '70's) Island In The Sun (1981) original Bluenote Cafe (1989) (would love to know the original track list) aborted Crazy horse album in 1984 aborted Crazy Horse album in 1995 solo Silver and Gold (1999) Toast (2002) Twisted Road (2010)?

Or will we see notes and stuff so we can put the albums together ourselves?

Thanks Martin

PS will we ever see the original Tonight's The Night with the between song banter?

Martin, ‘Oh Lonesome Me’ was the working title for ‘After the Gold Rush’.

‘Ranch Romances’ was a working title for the period 1975 and an album was never made. It was the title of a comic book that was around when Crazy Horse was practicing and learning songs during that period.

“My old Neighborhood “was a line from ‘Ride my Llama.’

‘Island in the Sun’ was the title of an album made in Hawaii in the eighties. Some songs appeared on ‘Trans’, but there may be 4 others. It needs to be listened to again.

The original Blue Note Cafe was abandoned.
Aborted Crazy Horse album and video from 1984 is in the vault untouched. It was live and studio recordings.

There was no Crazy Horse album from 1995.

Solo ‘Silver and Gold ‘was a video by LA Johnson from Austin Texas. It is unreleased. No album has been worked on.

‘Toast’ with Crazy Horse is completed and unreleased.

‘Twisted Road’ was a possible working title for Crazy Horse ‘Psychedelic Pill.’

The original banter from TTN is lost and not found at this time.

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"Too Lonely" is a true rock and roll classic it would be very nice to hear it alive one more time with The Promise or with the Horse. Any plans for a South American Trip?

I would love to to return to South America. The audiences down there are great. If Brazil is stable and non violent, we may be considering traveling to South America next year. I am concerned about the new leadership. I hope it works out well for all the people down there.

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This past week I was fortunate enough to attend 4 shows: SPAC, Portchester (2x) and one night in Phili. I have not missed a tour since 1976, and these shows were up there with the best. Also, these shows were special for the variety of songs played. I want to see every NY show in my area, but I haven't in the past because the sets were so similar (I did see Greendale multiple times because I knew I would never see most, if not all, of those songs performed again).

I understand that each night brings a different energy from the band, but different songs bring a different energy from the audience, especially repeat attenders! That was a big part of the Grateful Dead experience. You never knew what the boys would play on any given night (even though in those pre-internet days there were newsletters distributed by fans at the shows with the tour's setlists to date). But you knew they weren't going to play what they played the night before -- so, why not see all 3, 4 or 5 shows on a run?

So....thank you Neil for the variety. Is there a reason you did not switch it up so much in the past? Peace, LS

None of the bands I played with had the depth in number of songs possible to play that Promise of the Real has. That makes it easier for me to add and subtract tunes on a whim during the show. In solo shows, I am free to do whatever I want and have been doing that more recently.

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Will there be a reissue of CSNY Déjà Vu in the near future. Would love to hear a new version on Vinyl. Thanks.

No plans right now, Watch for an announcement.

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Coming off the tremendous Capitol Theater, Portchester shows, I was struck by how perfect POTR/Lukas are for accompanying Neil. This was my first time seeing this outrageously great lineup.

I might even go so far as to say that this is the first band that has the soul and musical flexibility that could really do justice to a full-band live version of Country Girl (has it ever been done?)

I've heard a solo acoustic version from ~'69/'70 (which is breathtaking) but never with a band. It would, no doubt, be challenging to figure out the arrangement but, judging from these recent shows, Neil is at the top of his game. Throwing down the gauntlet!
Billy Glassner

Country Girl is a good idea.

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Hey Neil,
I was wondering how Sun Green has been lately. I've sure been thinking about her, with all the recent events going on and all - It seems like she would have to be right up front, leading the resistance. I heard you might have a way to get in touch with her.

Sun Green is always on my mind. We have a Greendale live concert in review

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Bill Bentley's writeup on Townes Van Zandt was amazing. And Townes was simply one of the best, if not the best songwriter of pain ever. Thanks.

I've read that he had recorded with Neil for a large box set of prospective covers of his own songs. Never saw the light of day except for a 1 disk skim released maybe 15 years ago called Texas Rain.

Does Neil have recollections of Recording with or knowing Townes? —Omar

No, I don’t have any recollections of meeting him. It was a great article in Bentley’s Bandstand!

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Dear Archivist,
At the end of the lyrics to Last Dance you have "Negative, negative...." which, although it fits in theory with "No, no, no....", seems from a style point of view an unlikely choice of words at that point. I believe I hear "Make it two, make it two, make it two, make it two" (or similar), and sure enough, exactly two bars later (and not four) the band suddenly stops the long repeating jam and moves into the final coda, ending the song. As a live performance that also seems a logical "stage" direction after a longish improvisation.

I'd even put money on it but presumably only Neil would know for sure!

Thought I'd mention it since most lyrics for the song do not record that part at the end so you will be influencing a lot of people! Best as always

“Negative negative” is the correct lyric. It is written in the lyrics of your NYA info card found in ‘Time Fades Away’ on the timeline. 1973

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Hi Neil. I am a long time fan - since Every Body Knows This is Nowhere was originally released. I saw you for the first time on the Harvest tour at The Nassau Coliseum and so many more times over the years. Been in San Francisco since 1980 and just missed The Ducks when I moved to Santa Cruz in 1978. Was at the Rust Never Sleeps show at the Cow Palace. Attended 22 Bridge School Concerts. You get the drill here - your music and what you stand for are very meaningful to me as I enter my 35th year as a criminal defense attorney.

So, my question is, having gone to Fresno to see NYCH (quite amazing), any chance of a Bay Area show soon? We miss you here. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I hope to play the bay area soon, but we have no plans at this time.

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As the anticipation for Archives V2 builds, is there any information that can be provided as to what kind of previously unheard or unreleased goodies we can expect to find? I am sure I am not the only one who is hoping for the Human Highway recordings, Homegrown, Comes A Time solo (w/o overdubs), Chrome Dreams, and the CSNY mixes of what became Long May You Run. What other treasures have you got in store for your fans? Much respect for your immense catalog of what you have released over the last 50 years, please keep it coming. I will understand if you choose not to divulge info on what is coming.

We are currently reviewing all of the unreleased albums from the Volume 2 period, which is the seventies. 'Songs for Judy' was one of those. ‘Oceanside Countryside’ is another. We are reviewing the others.

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Neil + Promise of the Real - Canadian Tour

Hi Neil,

I writing this to hoping spark an idea for another tour to the great white north...Canada. I’m dying to see you play again live here in Winnipeg, MB. It has already been 4 long years since the wonder Treaties tour you played. Time flies!!

My wife an I travelled to Minneapolis this past November to see Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real play and wow can they play!! Those boys can rock! I sure hope a future tour will include POTR, I would love to see you guys out there together.

Hope you see this and say....damn, I need to get back up there to the Peg!

Much Love, Dane

Plans being made

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Hi folks! love to read Times Contrarian, do hope can be expanded more: I feel less alone reading something I agree with and that tries to open up our minds in this crazy world where social networks are mainly used to spread FAKE NEWS!

Nice week-end and tks for the great work you all are doing,
Joe (from a sunny sky in Rome).

p.s. our government, in Italy, is reinforcing social hate.....cannot recognize my country anymore. Too sad.......but 'we shall overcome some day…….’

I Iove Italy. PEACE

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Hey Uncle Neil,
How are you? I hope this message find you well. I'm one of your many dedicated fans on the other side of the pond and was wondering if there are any plans to visit the UK in the near future?

Some solo Neil shows would be incredible but please feel free to bring along The Horse or POTR. We just want to see you grace our shores again.

If you do drop by, be sure to look me up and i'll take you and the missus out for some drinks.
Look forward to hearing from you
Take care and keep on keeping on.

We are coming to the UK next summer

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Hello All at NYA,
In 1976 I was a junior in High School. My best friends father was in the band The Association. I felt I had been initiated into a club or a secret society hearing the tales from the road Larry, my friends father would discourse after a tour. Your behind the scenes give and take on Songs for Judy brought back a feeling that hasn't been around for a long time. I feel like I am part of a group of like minded souls sharing a journey, like I fit and am accepted as a fellow traveler.
Thanks NYA.
Peace, —Mudflow Mike

You fit!

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Thanks Neil for your last two books. I read Waging Heavy Peace twice and same for Special Deluxe. I then listened to that audiobook on the 300+ mile drive up to Gallup, New Mexico a year ago (thanks for sitting down and reading it). I had to bury a friend and fan your yours on the Navajo Nation who died suddenly- maybe he had Everybody's Rockin CD on which I sent him. I guy named Lester Kien - he was an artist, DJ or world music and turned me back on to your music in '04 when he saw the Greendale tour. I totally understood that album and own the movie too, which I've seen 20 times. Please bring back some of that music and stay healthy! I love your work the last 15 years the best--- Pete (Tucson AZ)

My next book is in final edit. I do love writing stories. This one is fiction...

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Dear folks at NYA,
I look forward to subscribing soon to NYA when that option gets underway, and it appears to be a generous and fertile deal, especially given all the labor and talent involved. My question at the moment though is why you don't call it like it is, i.e. $20 a year, or $2 a month, instead of employing the classic capitalist psychological ploy of saying $19.99 and $1.99. I've always found that to be sneaky and off-putting. Just saying... cheers, John

Hey, yer right!

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Hi guys, I'm in London UK, it's lunch time, sun shining, and while strumming my old guitar on Neil's notes, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate these archives.
Love and peace

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Hey Neil/Archives team!
Thanks for everything you've created here and elsewhere. I saw the second night in Boston this summer and was happy to have access to the best seats at my price level. Hitchhiker has become one of my favorite albums of all time and I have the archives to thank. I'm excited to hopefully hear Homegrown soon!

My first ever rock concert was Neil at the United Palace in 2007 with my dad who has since passed. Whenever I find myself listening to the archives, I'm glad to have a piece of that memory back.

Let me know if you're ever hiring for the archives team. I'm a musician and writer and have experience with copy writing and a background in archival and antiquarian research.

Thank you again for all that you do,

Your Dad is here at the Archives. So is mine.

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Hi Neil,

Wow stunned that you answered my letter about the ORS vinyl box sets, that really made my day. Here's another quick question, any chance of letting us know if any European shows are coming? My daughter is getting married in 2019 and I'll be paying so trying to plan my year out to ensure I've enough ££'s left to cover my usual 3 shows when you tour in Europe. That Amsterdam show with POTR was a wild trip. Amazing.

NYA is simply amazing, the changes to the Contrarian make it even better.
Rust well.
Andrew, UK

Coming next summer

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Dear Neil,
How about some low key pyrotechnics on your next solo tour with the performance of 'Will to Love?’ (Be sure to include the crackling log fire sound, either real or taped as the song would not be the same without it!)
Gareth McNair-Lewis (BA#859)

That’s why i don’t do it. But I am working on it.

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Dear Editors at NYA, dear Bill Bentley,
at a time when the transatlantic distance appears to become wider and wider, European friends of (North) American music that we kind of made our own, sometimes understanding just bits and pieces of it’s surface, we appreciate very much Bentley’s look at our record collections, explaining once more why they are there in the first place and adding to our perspectives.
Keep that one going!
Greetings from Germany

Bill will be writing for Times-Contrarian for as long as possible! We love having Bill in the family.

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Letters Volume 2 Future

I see a number of placeholders for planned disks in the Archive. But none of them are named "Archives Vol 2, disk 0" or "Archives Vol 2, disk 6", etc...

Could you please elaborate on whether the NYA website now replaces future Archives Box Sets? Will the website feature chronological "virtual albums" to play sequences of music chronologically in their era in a manner analogous to the first box set?

Dume has been discussed in Neil's first book and in the press, yet it is not mentioned. Is it basically "Archives Vol2, disk 6 : Dume" and will not receive a CD release but will be playable in the Archives at some point in the future?

Just wanting to understand this amazing beast and what to expect in the future. Hope my other notes were helpful.

We hear you guys loud and clear. You are really excited about Volume 2. Good news — so are we!

Not having a placeholder for Volume 2 was possibly an oversight (note to self), but you all know it’s coming.

Volume 2 is all you think it is and more. It will likely have a physical release, maybe not, but probably, or not. You can certainly look forward to it making its debut here on NYA.


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Letters Muddy Track Premiere

I think it makes more sense to have Muddy Track on the timeline at 1987 rather than wherever it is now, 2014-2015. I know you chose a date for when the DVD was produced and made ready to go, but it never was actually released. So, probably best to put it on the timeline in the timeframe it was recorded.

Excellent movie night! 1987 was my first Crazy Horse show, too!

Well spotted! Film release dates are just one of those things, you know. There’s a sort of stodgy conventional wisdom that a film is released when it plays a week-long engagement in Manhattan, not before and not after. Sometimes release dates get a little muddy when a film is made, doesn’t play anywhere except perhaps in secret for a few decades, reappears to do a brief retrospective circuit and then disappears never to be seen or heard from again—except on NYA!—so for the purposes of placing Muddy Track on the timeline we’re going with the New York premiere date of April 17, 2015. The film played as part of a traveling Bernard Shakey Film Retrospective that brought together for the first time some of the most important works of that director/cinematographer’s illustrious career.


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Letters Queen Of The Mall

Hi Team, The following song is labeled incorrectly. ‘Queen of the Mall’ It should be Queen of Them All :-) Pretty funny. Cheers, Ben.

Ah, yes. Very good noticing. At some point in our review process before launch Neil asked for the title to be changed without much explanation. It has been told, although not officially confirmed, that the song was originally titled “Queen Of The Mall” and then changed in the official record before it’s release on Looking Forward. We don’t have an original manuscript that confirms this suspicion and the man with the answers has remained tight lipped about the reason.


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“MUUUSICAL GUEST, Neil Young” (Don Pardo Voice)

Neil plays on a number of other artists' albums which aren't represented in the Archives. Is the intent to eventually include those? Tracks like "Easy Answers” from Rob Wasserman's “Trios" or even "Homeward Through The Haze”or "Taken At All"and the alternate version of "Soldiers of Peace” from the CSN Box Set. There are a few cuts on Randy Bachman's albums which Neil played on prominently too. They are not of Neil's authorship or on Neil's albums but are a part of the history. They could reside in the file cabinet as singles with a pointer to the album they are from. What are your thoughts for cuts like these?

Excellent question. The Archives team is bound by a set of rules, rules that are only to be broken when Neil feels like it.

One of our rules was that we don’t include these sorts of releases. If Neil didn’t write a song and it wasn’t included on one of his records then it’s not here—officially. Unofficially here is a list for your enjoyment:

  • Little Girl Lost - Randy Bachman
  • Prairie Town - Randy Bachman
  • Made In Canada - Randy Bachman
  • Easy Answers - Rob Wasserman
  • San Francisco - Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real
  • As We Go Along - The Monkees
  • Smile - The Monkees (outtake)
  • That’s What It’s Like Loving You - The Monkees (outtake)
  • You and I - The Monkees
  • All That You Have Is Your Soul - Tracy Chapman
  • Kind Woman - Richie Furay
  • Bright Lights, Big City - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • You Don’t Have To Go - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Down The Wrong Way - Chrissie Hynde
  • Furry Sings The Blues - Joni Mitchell
  • Sentimental Hygiene - Warren Zevon
  • Gridlock - Warren Zevon
  • Splendid Isolation - Warren Zevon
  • Harriet Tubman - Stealin’ Horses
  • You - Nils Lofgren
  • Someday - Nils Lofgren
  • Drunken Driver - Nils Lofgren
  • Boys In The Band - Rusty Kershaw
  • I Live To Live On The Bayou - Rusty Kershaw
  • Married Man - Rusty Kershaw
  • In The Backroom - Rusty Kershaw
  • Goin’ Down To Louisiana - Rusty Kershaw
  • Future Song - Rusty Kershaw
  • Greensleeves - Ben Keith And Friends
  • I Want To Be The One - Bobby Charles
  • I Remember When - Bobby Charles
  • Ambushin’ Bastard - Bobby Charles
  • I Don’t See Me - Bobby Charles
  • Sweet Old World - Emmylou Harrris
  • Light of the Stable - Emmylou Harris
  • Starting Over - Pegi Young
  • Side Of The Road - Pegi Young
  • Body Breaks - Pegi Young
  • Lonely In A Crowded Room (album) - Pegi Young
  • Pioneer Mary - Grin
  • See What Love Can Do - Grin
  • Outlaw - Grin
  • Tears Are Not Enough - Northern Lights (From “We Are The World”)
  • Soap Box Preacher - Robbie Robertson
  • Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions (album) - Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris
  • Houses - Elyse
  • If I Could Only Remember My Name - David Crosby
  • She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina - Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • I Got Id - Pearl Jam
  • Long Road - Pearl Jam
  • Round The Bend - Stephen Stills
  • Different Man - Stephen Stills
  • Treaty - Joanne Shenandoah
  • Potato Hole (album) - Booker T.


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Letters Content schedule

Another question: There were a number of other things released on the Archives Blu Ray and other DVD-A bonuses over the years which have never made it into the NYA website. Mainly film clips, and BD-Live. Will those be making an appearance? Will we need to wait for the subscriptions to go live before we get any of that fun stuff on NYA?

We have a ton to add! Everything you are missing you can expect to see some day. You should see some small additions before subscriptions launch, with the bulk of all material coming after.


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sorry to bother with yet another quick mail ... but I just had to agree/comment with the Young family or Bob Young's song “Hey America.” At least once a year I drive through the Western USA from Canada to visit my aging mother living there. I/we have yet to meet an unfriendly or not welcoming American. They have built a great nation in a beautiful country.

I hope that the current political division among Americans turns out something positive for the next generations. The negative effects in their system are obvious now so one has to conclude (hey, let's look at the bright side) that this nation wakes up and new leaders will steer them out of their political mess. Cheers from a Canadian friend, William

Thanks William. My brother, Bob Young is a real individual and it doesn’t surprise me that heis starting to write and sing his songs. His voice is deeper than mine and so is his mind. Appreciate your comments.

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Hey Neil, if you do by chance go through with that Farmer's Market flatbed tour you mentioned, please consider coming to Kent. It's not a huge market but I know it's an important place to you and I don't know that you've ever come through here. Obviously the Kent Stage would sell out within seconds, but a lowkey market appearance would just be incredible. I'd even roll one up to burn with ya! (I'd appreciate a heads up though so I wouldn't get totally shut out by the crowd, and might get a chance to get an album signed, haha!) Also, just a show in NE Ohio in general is badly needed. And while I've got the opportunity, I wanted to say I really liked the live arrangement for Children of Destiny at Farm Aid. Can't wait for more new material!

We may just do it. When the time is right and we can make it happen it could be a pop up tour. Not this year.

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Hello Neil from Manchester England
Always loved your music from way back, I am 72 now so it’s a long time!

I still play gigs and music has always pulled me through life’s difficulties, your songs have especially helped. I am an all vinyl listener and hope someday you will release vinyl from the last tours with Crazy Horse?

I hope also you will play over here—perhaps with Kurt Vile, who I really like. He is in Manchester in November—maybe one day it will happen!

Happy trails to you and yours—
Love Kevin McCormick (Hearts like Magnets)

Thanks Kevin. We are planning on releasing Alchemy in triple vinyl in Shakey Pictures Records. That could be next year. We are working on the videos and album now.

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Hey there Neil, Hannah, whoever is reading this...
Just want to take a moment to thank you for all of the hard work you guys are putting into this. Your vision is materializing (blossoming, really) and I find myself checking in at least once a day during the week. Maybe rediscovering an old favorite (“Hey Babe,” "Motion Pictures,” etc), reading song notes (“Helpless” being one of my recent favorites) or looking at old newspaper clips, setlists and random bits (the nuggets you posted around the Nov-Dec '70 Cellar Door/Carnegie Hall run were especially fun).

It's really wonderful to be able to live in an age when we don't need to have a mediator or editor between the artist and fans. The unobstructed view is something to behold. Provides a nice respite from all of the other frightening things going on in our world. So thank you for acting on the opportunity and putting so much hard work and resources into it. I can't wait to start paying the subscription fee once you get that up and running.

I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to put in a little plug for a proper release of the Boarding House shows from May '78. In particular, the acoustic version of "Shots" is devastating. All the cutting and tender beauty we have come to love from some of your greatest songs.

I also want to thank you for the Capitol Theater shows in Portchester a few weeks ago (“Albuquerque”!). I know it wasn't much of a money-maker for you but it felt great as a fan to experience that intimacy and looseness. You guys were clearly having a blast. As were we. Thanks again and keep up the fantastic work.
Billy Glassner

Billy, we have chosen the Boarding House takes and the videos that go with them. The videos are different takes from the best audio performances. We are evaluating.
Thanks for asking

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Yesterday's Contrarian had an article about Facebook. I thought the following article in today's New York Times was a good follow up. It's a step by step guide to getting off of Facebook responsibly.

How can we trust this platform? I need to use it to get the word out if I have something that needs that, like tomorrow when we introduce a new video of OHIO, to stand with the young people in America against our lack of gun control. I don’t post FB anymore except to say I am here at NYA taking care of my music and living with the diehards. Drop in if you want to-we are here with all the music in high res.

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Regarding Neil's notes for each "Song Of The Day," can you please leave the little stickies on the file card indefinitely? Seems to make sense to leave his thoughts and anecdotes for each track in the archive as a way to further enrich the experience and amass a growing collection of his personal notes.

Oh, and if I hadn't said it before, keep up the great work! You guys are doing a phenomenal job and clearly love what you do. And we love what you do.
Billy Glassner

Thanks Billy,
I would like to leave the note’s up and soon will have little spoken word messages attached occasionally. Look for these things to happen soon.

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I have had the very good fortune of being able to see Neil over a hundred times in the last 40 some odd years. During the last run thru the East Coast Neil seemed more at ease actually stopping at points for brief second to take it all in. The Sunday 9/30 show had even the crew talking Bob and Les both commented how much they enjoyed the show and how great it was. Afterwards during the normal fan banter while breaking down for the the night. Even Zeke chimed in with a how did you like that. I could only respond with your dad was amazing as i was at a loss for words by what i just witnessed. That show was on a level that far surpassed the other five solo shows i had seen this year. The song selection was perfect for the room and the sound was excellent. Neil was a little less talkative then the prior weeks shows with Promise Of The Real. He was in the zone and just killed it.

Along comes Monday my fifth Neil show in a little over a week. I had no expectations other than a good show and maybe a couple of tunes that i had not seen Neil do in a while.

My ritual for every show stays the same i show up 5 hours ahead of time to try catch a glimpse of the man and possibly a autograph. Neil came out after sound check and you could just tell he was in great mood. We gestured to Neil to see if he was willing to sign autographs and over he came. He ask if we were the same three guys (all fans no for profit autograph seekers). that had been standing in front of the bus for the last two days, yes that was us i responded. Then i presented him with a very rare french colored lithograph of Journey Through The Past that i have been trying to get signed for 35 plus years. He looked down smiled ask who he should sign it for and my 35 year journey of trying to get it signed ended with a gold sharpie and the inscription to Dave, Neil Young signature on my favorite Neil collectible ever. Realizing my time was short i said thank you and ask him to play Thrasher please. Before the show ever started my day had been made. Then comes the show and the impossible he topped the night before with a simply amazing performance including Thrasher. The coolest moment in the East coast mini tour occurred during this show just prior to Mother Earth Neil was mimicking woody with the biggest grin ever on his face.It was great to see a very happy and content Neal. Wish i was more of a picture taker as the scene was priceless. He knew he was killing it that night. Just like all shows it ended all to soon. During the breakdown the guys as always were talkative ,kind and just as amazed as the fans were agreeing he had actually some how topped the night before.

Time to head back to North Carolina my head filled with new Neil memories and songs i haven't heard in forever. The great quest to get the Journey Through the Past Lithograph signed had ended successfully. Fast forward one week and North Carolina gets hit with a massive hurricane destroying just about every Neil Young item i owned including my prized Journey lithograph and nearly every signed album poster and picture i had collected of Neil since 1976.

Not sure why i felt the need to share this i have no desire to have it published or dwell on it after today.The collection will never be the same but the quest will start again in a couple weeks on the left coast if the rumors are true.
Dave "the guy in the green Freedom Of Speech hat”

Thanks Dave,
Nice hat

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Hey there Archivist. I was just wondering what alternative release is gonna be released next? I been waiting for Homegrown since i was in diapers, but I also can’t wait to hear the Horse tearing it up on Alchemy or Live at Odeon Budokan :)

I also wanna say as a long time Rustie and a hifi nerd this page is like a gold mine for me. Keep up the good work. Cheers from Norway

Norway, It looks like ODEON BUDOKAN. Vinyl laquers being checked today by Hanlon. Maybe he’ll write about it. Check out ‘J Hanlon’s Notebook’ in the Contrarian.

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thanks for keeping this platform going! When I discovered NY seven years ago, I committed myself to collecting all records on vinyl. I'm almost 30 years old and 1/3 or almost halfway. I was wondering about this: it seems hard to find a Greendale album on vinyl. Although I only buy records in stores rather than ordering online, even on internet I can only find CDs. Was this a limited edition?

And one remark: my favorite song from that album is “Be the Rain.” I spent a holiday repeatedly listening to that song, giving me a feeling of connection with everything around me. I've been to a NY concert once, Amsterdam 2016. It was stunning! What are the odds you come back and it's raining?

We‘ll be back. Maybe raining, maybe not.

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Hi, my name is Yan Ficker Ruiz, I'm from Catalunya and I would like to ask a few questions:

  1. I went to see Neil Young in Zürich on 2008, at the end of the show there was a merchandising place with (between other things) Are You Passionate? album in double LP form, I couldn't buy it and now I can't find it anywhere. Is there a possibility of releasing again this LP?

  2. Since "Interstate" and "Don't Spook The Horse" are Ragged Glory outtakes, why don't put them in a Ragged Glory re-release?

  3. That's a freak one: I've seen Neil four times (Zürich 2008, Barcelona 2009, Nîmes 2013 and Barcelona 2016.), in none of them he played my favourite song “Like A Hurricane,” so please play it in 100% Europe shows, so it's sure I can enjoy it.

Thank you very much for your patience!!!

‘Are You Passionate’ is a sleeper. We are looking at it, deciding what to do. We’ll let you know.

‘Interstate’ and ‘Spook’ belong with Ragged Glory and we are remastering that one. Look for J. Hanlon’s Notebook for news on the remastering (when he gets to it….he is very excited because we have found all the original analog masters.!)
thanks, neil

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Hi Neil,

I just adore the NYA site. I was unable to afford the Vol. 1 blu-ray when it came out in 2009, so the idea of everything being available on a website is very satisfying for me!!

I have a few questions ...
Landing on Water is a very good album. Have you thought about remixing it and removing some of the 80s production?

I love, love Broken Arrow. You and the Horse just let it rip from start to finish. Do you have any live stuff from this era? Does the original version of Tonight's the Night, with the raps, exist? Will it see a release on NYA?

Keep doing whatever it is you are doing on NYA. It is working!!!
Love you, Jake

Jake, Good idea. Those tapes were on the floor for a while in Zeke’s room. we have them. maybe they will come out. Now’s the time.

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Letter to the Editor
I just wanted to say thanks for the A Treasure release. My first Neil Young concert was at the Minnesota State Fair in 1985. One of the tracks from A Treasure is on there. I'm looking forward to hearing more International Harvester songs in the future. Such a great band (both versions).

Any thought to releasing the full 1984 Austin City Limits show on video and CD? New West Records has released several classic ACL shows on CD/DVD. It would be an amazing supplement to A Treasure and spotlight the 1984 version of the band.

I was pretty out of it for Austin City Limits. Not sure it all is good enough.

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for AHJ

Dear Archives Girl-
I wanted to write to say that I really appreciate the recent "Letters to the Editor.” It tells me so many things I really wanted to know.

Let me try a question of my own. Cover tracks, such as "Oh Lonesome Me" or "Four Strong Winds" or "The Wayward Wind" or all of A Letter Home are not playable. I had always assumed that these were dependent upon the subscription so that the writers could be paid. Is this the correct thinking or are there other publishing issues that need to be resolved? And will these be resolved prior to NYA subscriptions going live?
Omar (Zia)

The songs others wrote that you mention are being addressed and management is working with the publishers. You will see what makes it through the process when we go live with subscriptions.

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Hi Neil,
Absolutely adored the Hurricane live video on Hearse Theater. Took me back to seeing Crazy Horse in Adelaide and them ending with a furious LAH. Love the band.

Furthermore any chance of any video, outtakes, live songs, etc. being available from the Mirrorball Pearl Jam era? “Scenery," “Song X,” etc. would be fantastic for POTR to play.
Thanks for the wonderful archive,

The Mirrorball songs you mention are al part of a film from Dublin that has never been seen. We are formatting that now and it will probably appear in the Hearse Theater.

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One question I have concerns recordings from the 1977 concerts with The Ducks. The Santa Cruz residency with The Ducks is one of the more interesting eras of Neil's career. At the height of his stardom and popularity, when most artists are keen to go solo, Neil hunkers down in the small beachside community of Santa Cruz to form a legitimate working bar band with some other amazing musicians. What always intrigued me about this era was that Neil was a just a member of the band, and along with his songs the band always relied heavily on input and material from other members. I see no place is listed on the timeline for a release by The Ducks. I have heard rumors of recording trucks parked outside Santa Cruz venues for some Ducks shows. Were any of these recorded and will they someday see release?
Thanks for all your efforts to preserve music in the highest quality.

Ducks are in production. Too soon to say release dates.

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The Greendale concert was one of the best live show experiences I have ever had. Any plans to release a full concert film?

We have film of the complete concert and it is slated for review. We also have acoustic Greendale. Announcements coming as to release plans.

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Dear Neil,
I am a guitar player whose style owes everything to you. I am a big fan of your tunings, riffs, bass runs, etc. I even use the same types of picks as you (that is when you play with a pick!) I read that Hank B. Marvin is one of your favorite players. I was hoping you could say a little bit about those players (including Hank) who influenced you when you were young and who’s styles you dig. All the Best,
Phillip in South Pasadena, CA

Hank B Marvin is a genius guitar player. Randy Bachman and I were really influenced by him heavily during the Shadow’s reign. JJ Cale is a unique master guitar player. I love JJ. We were lucky to have both of them.

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ZUMA - River of Pride

I thought I could take a chance on the great opportunity in the "Letters to the editor" section to ask my personal question, in hope for an answer.

Zuma has always been one of my all-time favorite NY albums. Recently I came across an awesome mid-seventies version of "White Line", back then apparently called "River of Pride" which to me definitely has that special Zuma sound I appreciate so much about that album. I wonder why that one didn't end up on Zuma. I even made my own little version of Zuma and tried "River of Pride" at different spots and it fits perfect (my choice would be the opener of the B-side). There's even a great electric version of "Peace of Mind" from that era. Do you recall any other songs that possibly were recorded for Zuma, but didn't make it on the record? I guess there were just too many songs around during that highly productive period in your life.

As a huge Neil Young fan for decades, I sure appreciate the NYA site very much. Thank you for that incredible opportunity to enjoy your music. I am from a generation that listened to entire albums on vinyl - one at a time, and I still do that. Anyway, the NYA platform would give the possibility to enable the users to compile their own playlists, picking songs from different albums together. Did you evaluate that option for the future development of the site? You know, in the end, it's all one song...
Greetings from Sweden, Ulf

Ulf, The Zuma outakes are all with us. River of Pride and Peace of Mind are not there. Peace of mind was not written at that time. White Line (river of pride) was recorded in different places but not at Zuma. We are looking in other areas. We will use them if they make the cut.

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for AHJ/Archivist?

Page 6 is in Latin? Virus?
Thought you would want to know…

We know. It’s how we feel about Bad News. The Bad news is all the same over and over so just fill in your own stories on page 6. Occasionally we put a bad news story up but we take it down asap.

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Thanks for Sell Out as song of the day. Neil talks about playing drums on a guitar case. In the version on the Archives it sounds like real drums. I have a version of Sell Out without drums and with some piano. There is a chorus of "la la la la la la" and a long fade out with piano. Can you tell us about that? Was that the original demo that BS then overdubbed on and was edited? —Omar

I vaguely remember that. I don’t know how you got it. Please send a copy to our archivist and we will review it.
thanks NY

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Songs for Judy Sources.
I read that most of these songs come from the original audio cassettes recorded in the hall by Joel Bernstein. I remember a Joel Bernstein's interview(1988) that his recordings come directly from the soundboard. Do recorded in the hall and soundboard mean the same thing?

In a Visit to The ARCHIVES (2000) are actually displayed reel to reel tapes labeled Warner, not audio cassettes from these concerts. Were these audio cassettes transferred later on tape or exist different sources for these concerts?.Many think that these concerts were recorded on multitracks. There's a circulating tape from BOSTON in excellent quality.

there are a lot of sources for Songs for Judy. Original audio cassettes from the PA, from the board directly, multi track mixes, combinations of those.
Thanks for asking!

JJH may add to this in his column.

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Hello, Given the recent individual remastered reissues of titles such as Re-ac-tor and Hawks & Doves on vinyl, does this indicate that there will be no more NYAORS boxsets? I have the 1–4, 5–8 and 8.5–12 vinyl boxsets and would love to see the series continue. Thanks,
Craig Hardie

The NYA ORS box set series will continue. There have been a lot of other releases getting in the way recently. NYA ORS will be back.

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Can you tell me if the famous show @ The Bottom Line in 1974 is "in the can" and will be released on the NYA at some point? Thank you
Sean O'Leary

We have the tape. We are not sure about it. It’s a borderline recording. It may be released in some special way but not as a full recording. Not sure. NY

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Dear NYA, the Editor and Archivists,
Firstly, heartfelt thanks for the continuing journey that everyone here (readers, fans, artist and archivists alike) seem to be relishing and enjoying, as the NYA Times-Contrarian continues to inform and expand. From finite detail (for instance, the potential live debut of Deep Forbidden Lake) to makes-you-think political comment (the current US administration, Monsanto and more) the increasingly expansive site is a treasure trove of nuggets, new and old, to be mined on a daily basis.

I have a question relating to the decision making processes by which unreleased albums (all mentioned within the Timeline) are worked on for future release.

Is it a matter of Neil (and perhaps someone such as John Hanlon) listening over and over to those unreleased albums (be it “Homegrown”, “Oceanside-Countryside” or “Odeon-Budokan”) and thinking “yes, lets get this one ready; into post-production, to the mastering stage, sort the cover art and prepare it for release”? Or does it involve discussion with the record company as to what may be viable on the market? Or is it simply a matter of whatever takes the artist’s fancy at any one given time and working things up from there? (Impulsiveness seems to be a defining trait of Neil Young).

With the recent news on NYA’s “Letters to the Editor” that Archives Volume 2 could be with us by May 2019, does that mean that the some of, or all of the five (potentially six) unreleased albums within the timeframe (maybe up to and including Solo Trans) will feature? Or will they come individually?

May I be more specific too with regard to two further unreleased records, two unreleased Neil Young & Crazy Horse records. Heading back to January 2018, Neil made a significant announcement on NYA regarding the live Crazy Horse record, “Alchemy” and it felt as though something very special was coming. “All that we are doing now is post-production and mastering”. Several months have passed and then, suddenly, along came the astonishing “Like a Hurricane”, from Nyom, seemingly the perfect trailer for Alchemy ~ but the tempest has left us seemingly becalmed once more as the release talk seems to have faded.

…and then there’s the mythical Horse record “Toast”. Ten years have passed since the famous Rolling Stone quote regarding Crazy Horse’s classic noir “it’s an amazing listening experience”. And despite stories of a LincVolt listening session pre-Bridge in the early 2000’s, we seem to be no closer to hearing a record that was ready at least 10 years ago.

Any clues for Alchemy and Toast?
Thank you for your time, and thank you for delivering NYA.
With grateful thanks
Mark Golley
Cley next the sea, Norfolk. UK

Alchemy is in the works. TOAST, I believe is complete except for the videos. The six unreleased albums from the seventies are now in review. Odeon Budokan may be next in line. ‘Oceanside Countryside’ and ‘HOMEGROWN’ are in the wings.

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How come Neil doesn’t repress Ragged Glory on vinyl? I’ve spent $300.00 on 3 copies and everyone of them were a bootleg and sound horrible .I`m a huge Neil Young fan I have 99 % of all his albums. I do have a copy of this album on cd sounds great but I like the sound of vinyl better. This would make a great Record store day release . Thank you for your time, Jay Isaacson

Dear Jay
We are working on that and it will be the best sounding Ragged Glory ever heard. We are going from the original analogs, many of which were thought to be lost and have been found. The process will also yield a high resolution file. John Hanlon is working on this and he will write about it in his NYA Times-Contrarian column, ‘J Hanlon’s Notebook’, soon. Thanks

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Well, since I discovered there's a 'Letters to the editor' section I might give it a try and ask Neil one question, in hope I will get an answer...

Neil, I can ramble on and on about how much your music means to me from age 14, 15, I guess. To discover it all, in the seventies, starting with Decade (a GREAT way to start exploring your music). The first album I bought actually was Stills-Young band - not because it was on the top of my list but just because it was the only album I could find and I had to buy something, anything! Still love that album and think it is way underrated btw.

Also what was very strange in my experience was the feeling I had that these albums (also Zuma and TTN which I discovered quick) were released a long time ago while in hindsight... It was 1976/1977 so these albums were brand new!

Anyway, my question is: why did you never played live one of your most beautiful songs, 'Deep Forbidden Lake'. It's such a great song, great melody, chord sequence, lyrics.

Tnx, Peter Dees (Holland)

I will try Deep Forbidden Lake on a solo show and see how it feels. I think it’s unreleased on Homegrown, the album it was recorded for. That album will come soon. I could also do it with Promise of the Real.

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Why does the memorabilia page of Running Dry from Everybody Knows this is nowhere have an image of a rockets album cover?

Running Dry features Boibby Notkoff on violin. He was an original Rocket.

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My favourite Neil Young album is ‘Ragged Glory’ and my favourite track from that album has to be ‘Over and Over’. I love all the tracks on the album but I wondered why ‘Over and Over’ doesn’t get played live more often. It’s only been played 4 times, compared to 311 times for ‘Love and Only Love’, 265 times for ‘F*!#in' Up’, 145 times for ‘Love to Burn’ 136 times for ‘Country Home’ and 117 for ‘Mansion on the Hill’. They are all great tracks but ‘Over and Over’ is also a fantastic track and would be especially good live.

If Neil tours with ‘The Real’ it would be brilliant to hear them play it - I think it would really suit them. Not that the great man ever needs to justify what he plays and what he doesn’t play to me or anyone else, but I wondered why this hidden gem doesn’t get played live like the other ‘Ragged Glory’ tracks. I live in London so if he can play it next time he’s in the UK I would be a very happy man!

John Hall

That’s a great idea! Promise of the Real and I could do that one and it would sound great! Thanks,

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Hi Archivist,
Why aren't some albums uploaded in their entirety, like ""Journey Through the Past"", which is one of my favorites? I was hoping Neil was going to be at Joni Mitchell's 75th tribute in L.A. in Nov. Hope to catch him again in the near future.

Hey Lewis
Journey is incomplete because of publishing issues. When we have that resolved, we will release. Thanks,

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Hi Neil,
Love the Archives! and thank you for a fan for 36 years now, i remember as a young person exploring every record shop i could find to come across every album, and every bootleg, or anything i could find, and it was a lot of work! Now with the Archives, everything is in one place and direct from you! But i have amassed a very nice audio collection of your work, on many different formats. I still listen to vinyl, cassette, and CD because of my large collection of your work. My question is I purchased a Pono player during your campaign, and my goal was to download every album you released on it, through the Pono store. Unfortunately i had a lot of technical problems with the store and with purchasing, etc... and then Pono was no more. I would like to know, what can i use the Pono player for now? Is it obsolete where i cannot use it no longer? or is there still a way of getting all your albums on there? Can i download them through the archives? Also, Do you still use your player? I purchased the signature Crazy Horse edition. It is beautiful, both the design and layout...The sound is incredible! Thank you and looking forward to seeing you again in concert soon!

Thanks for being there! The Pono player is still very useful. Download anything you want from our store. Look for the buy button on the info card or album info card found on the timeline. Just click on the album cover. Alternatively, you can buy singles, 5 at a time. Load your files onto the player or onto a data card and then stick that into the player. That will get you Pono sound.

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Dear Neil,
I love your work, but I've been waiting 9 years for the release of Neil Young Archives, volume 2. Can you just give us a ballpark estimate of it's release date? Thanks!
Best, Ken Norris

May 2019 the NYA V2 CDs and a separate book by Toshi Onuki will be available. Blu Ray is no longer viable for economic reasons. NYA can give you what the blu ray had though, including High Res audio.

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I think the time has come for Neil Young and Stephen Stills to play together and do a significant project. As a lifelong fan, it seems to me there is so much untapped potential between the two. It is time to come together and make some music for now, for these times.

I have been thinking about that too. I hope to play with SS at his Autism Benefit again this year, but this time with Promise of the Real.

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This letter is simply a compliment and a thank you with one BIG question at the end.

Hey Neil Young,

Everyone's talking about Detroit.

I wasn't there, so I cannot speak about it. But I was in Chicago for two nights, in the very front row in the center. Now I've seen Neil Young quite a few times in my 52 years on this ball of dirt and water we call home. I've followed his career through ups and downs (just like Dan the Fan in Rock and Roll Fantasy by the Kinks), been to as many shows as I can. I've been elated and confused by Neil Young, but always delighted...except for maybe Fork In the Road....ha ha ha.

But those two shows in Chicago (as well as the second night in Fresno with Crazy Horse that I was lucky enough to see).....Man. It was just perfect, Neil. I don't care if I ever see you again in the flesh. Maybe it was my seats. Maybe it was the good old friends I went with. Maybe it was the double Tequila I had in the lobby. Nah, It was you, Neil. You were so in sync with all of us there. Down in the groove, Up in my Face. Singing to my Heart. Speaking to my Soul.

So hey hey, my my eccentric Uncle From Canada.....Thanks a lot for making the effort to get out there and perform from your heart. I don't care what happened in Detroit! I was in CHICAGO !!!!!
Your pal,

PS. Here's my question.... You spoke at length about guitars but never told a tale about the White Falcon, my favorite guitar of yours. Where'd you get it? Why does it speak to you? I've played them and don't care for the feel but in YOUR curmudgeonly grasp, it is an Angel Choir. Ohio sounded SO great. Also, I agree completely....Le Noise is a beautiful thing. Thanks again!"

Hi Timothy
SS and I traded our white falcons. Now he has the one from the Springfield and I have the cool stereo one that I love. It is finicky. Has to have the right amps. Has to be set up perfectly.

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What brand of vintage acoustic guitar did Neil use last night on the "Le Noise" songs and Micah's "The Ocean? I've never seen it before, sunburst with a black and white fretboard. Thanks.

A 1935 Gibson Bluesmaster. It’s Daryl’s guitar.

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Whatever happened to the song, "If You Got Love," that was originally supposed to be on "Trans"? I still have my vinyl copy of "Trans" listing the track (bought the album the day of its release way back in the day!).

I was not crazy abut the way it came out, so I pulled it.

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Please ask Neil if he can offer me any advice. I am going into a recording studio for the first time in my life in August 2018 to record ten of my songs and wow I'm apprehensive. I was born in Glasgow Scotland but live in the quiet market town of Buckingham in England for the past 25 years. I play guitar in two bands but neither band can grasp my songs and deliver them the way I want so I am going into the studio as a solo guy to record play and sing (first time as solo vocalist) my own songs to get them sounding the way I want. I am using a local studio (Echo) set in the countryside in the little village of Maids Morton, Buckinghamshire England Uk. I know this is a massive ask but I would be delighted with any response and in this life if you don't ask ya don't get......... All the very best to all at NYA, Tony Pearson aka Pearcy..........

Play your songs the way you want to. Keep trying other musicians. If the band can’t play your songs, why play with the band?

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Just noticed that Hawks & Doves, re-ac-tor and This Note’s For You are getting 140 gram vinyl reissues on the 27th of August. I have previously bought the Original Release Series vinyl boxes. Have these stopped? I don't want to buy these reissues and then find a box version coming out. Also, I noticed the five Geffen releases have been skipped, are these coming out as vinyl reissues at some point? Keep up the great work. Andrew, UK.

Original Release Series vinyl boxes will continue. The Geffen releases will also be coming out. We have had delays with Geffen but continue to believe we will get these records to you in their best sound possible in vinyl, CD and high resolution.

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I have a question about vinyl labels, and by extent, the album Comes a Time.

I recently acquired a secondhand copy of an apparently official Taiwanese release of Comes a Time (LP) on vinyl, with the usual cover art (albeit with the order “Peace of Mind" -> “Lotta Love”).

Like the New Zealand release, the label has it titled as "Give to the Wind.”

The most unusual thing is that the record has a Burbank Warner Bros label, and not the usual orange Reprise steamboat one.

So this leads me to a couple of questions: Were there any other official releases in Taiwan?

Why was the Give to the Wind title scrapped?

Was the Burbank label the decision of a rogue pressing plant worker, or an intentional decision? (I've only seen a total of two other NY records with that label, after extensive internet sleuthing)

I know these questions are very specific, but I figured it's worth a shot.
Thank you.

Best wishes from Germany!

Hi Germany,
‘Give to the Wind’ was the original name of ‘Comes a Time’. Taiwan and New Zealand must have jumped the gun and pressed it that way before the title change. Same goes for the labels I think, but it’s hard to be sure.

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Hello, I’d like to thank NYA & NYCH for 'blowing my hat off' with the "Like A Hurricane" version featured in your theatre currently. How can I purchase this version or will it be online for subscribers in the future?

I check your site daily not just for music but also for your thoughts and comments on worries and issues that we all share.

Anyway, I hope to see NYCH in the future (I certainly also enjoy Mr. Young solo or with the promise of the real etc.).

Thank you all for your hard work at NYA!


"Like A Hurricane” will be there for subscribers when we open up our subscription program. We have been delayed waiting for the NYA APP but anticipate November 20th unofficially.

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Seems like "Interstate" is missing from the archives. It was on the vinyl version of Broken Arrow.

Any chance of getting the Boarding House videos added? Larry ( may he rest in peace ) told me they were dark but he was hopeful about them.

Interstate was originally recorded for Ragged Glory. It was left off. Then it was, as you point out, included in the Broken Arrow vinyl. We are currently addressing your question and the answer will be coming soon. When Interstate is re-introduced, there will be a notice on the cabinet. It should be fairly soon.

The Boarding House videos will be coming as well, but no date yet.

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It’s being reported that during a recent backstage reconstruction at the old Hollywood Palace theater on Vine St. in Hollywood, a backstage storage closet locked for decades was cleaned out, and in the very back of the large closet was a small guitar amp with “Buffalo Springfield” stenciled on the side.The amp was positioned against the back wall of the closet so the stencil wasn’t visible.

Building managers say the amp has likely been there since the band’s 1967 TV appearance and left behind by accident. Cool, huh???

I would like to see that. We will give them a call!

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Would you please consider adding the "Theme from Dead Man" to this new Hi Res version of the Dead Man Soundtrack? I never understood why it wasn't included on the original soundtrack. I spent close to $100 to get a promo copy of the CD EP with the long and short version. It is one of the greatest musical themes and I know his fans would love to hear it in all it's Hi Res glory!!


Ps. Thank you for this incredible website. I bought a Pono and will continue to purchase Hi Res downloads, but this website is a masterpiece in website technology.

Thanks for that observation. I do recall leaving it off. I think it was because it was not done as part of the live soundtrack but was an overdubbed theme version. I think that was a mistake by me, so I will try to get it added to the archives now. Unfortunately, I do think the new reissue vinyl and CD have been done without this track. We will make it available on NYA soon.

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I have a question and I appologize in advance as it's more of a nerdy gear question than a question about the site. When I was a kid I traded a bunch of Ted Nugent records for "Decade" (funny eh?). I was enamored by the picture of the Gibson '1958 Korina Flying V on the inside of the sleave. Much later on I learned that it was used regularly on the "Time Fades Away" tour. That album and "On the Beach" are two of my favourites BTW. Those guitars have certainly climbed in value. So I was out on my back deck listeneing to TFA and I began to wondering whatever became of that guitar (which apparently never stayed in tune). It's been driving me bonkers and I need something to talk about by the fire with my pals when at the cottage (not far from Omemee by the way). So, by chance, do you know? I'll be able to scoop my pals on this one when we fail to create any fishing stories.

- Flying V was a crap guitar for me. Albert King and Lonnie Mack made it sound great. I could never get it in tune and sold it. NY

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Wanted to relay a story that I thought you all would put a smile on your face. I was at my computer and decided to play the song of the day, Distant Camera. My 7-year-old daughter walked in and I pulled up the lyrics. She started reading and singing, so we sang along to that one and enjoyed it so much that we ended up reading the words and singing along to half of Silver & Gold before it was time for her to go to bed. It was a moment (and a victory for the heart). Keep up the good work, what you're doing is amazing. -dj

- Thanks. A great little story! NY

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"This is a personal e-mail I want to send to Mr. Neil Young. I wish to congratulate and thank Neil on creating this archive. Words cannot express the heartfelt joy, compassion and nostalgia I have experienced enjoying this collection of music.

Especially The Roxy, it has brought back personal memories of my youth listening to ""Tonights the Night"", as a 15 year teenager from Albany, Oregon, I'm also product of Canadian parents, experimenting with everything from, well you know.

I must have listened to ""Tonights the Night a thousand times in my youth, summer 1975, and now to hear it again in it's current live version from the Roxy is just mind blowing!

At the time I didn't realize the pain and purpose of the album but now after 40 years and reading all the history I get it, I have no idea how, why or what, but am grateful this recording has surfaced and how much it means to me as a 60 year old fan. Thank you Neil!

Love the archive and will keep exploring.


-Thanks NY

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I'm wondering if there's any way to write to Neil here. I just read his article about the Detroit concert. I was there.

I'm an "old" Neil Young fan, i.e. from way back and I'm 63. Last night in Detroit was my first Neil Young concert. Ever. I flew there from NYC on Monday, stayed in a hotel, and DID get my ticket through NYA. I just returned and signed on to see what Neil had to say about the concert. (I only had mobile with me)

I was indeed disappointed, although there were some real music listeners nearby who helped make the experience ok. We did have a yeller nearby, drunk out of his mind. Does Neil know they sell scotch before the performance? And that ;you can buy a double? The guy was shouting out song titles, and clapping in time to even the quiet, moodier songs, so I leaned forward and said, hey man, this one has no percussion. It worked for a while.

So I'm sorry to hear that Neil didn't enjoy it either. I thought there was something wrong with MY mood that I couldn't get as into the music as I wanted to. I have had better times watching Neil on YouTube.

Oh well, maybe no hard liquor selling in the lobby?

Another factor was the acoustics of the Fox. Neil is a bit of a mumbler, ok, just not as articulate as Sir Laurence Olivier, And those of us who were sitting on the side of the orchestra, could not hear individual words. It was very frustrating. I have NO idea what the Hearse theater is, but I would like to hear it again and be able to know what Neil said during the performance.

Many thanks Barbara

Hi Barbara. I did my best and I think it was a good show. I just wanted folks to know I felt their pain. The Hearse theater is part of NYA. Thanks NY

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I'm hoping you can somehow get this message to Neil. I just read his post. ARTICLE.

He is spot on. I was one of those in attendance last night looking forward to just listening - taking it all in - every note, every word. Unfortunately, I sat in front of one of the loud noise makers who would not shut up. And I could tell from Neil's interaction with "the loudest guy in the house". Neil was not enjoying it.

With the above stated, please let him know, this was my first time seeing him solo. Others were with Crazy Horse, International Harvesters, Booker T and the MG's, and Greendale. I may not ever get to the opportunity again. But his performance of Broken Arrow alone was worth the price of admission.

Thanks Brother Neil. You are loved.

Steve Paradiso Portland Michigan

- Thanks! Next time it will be better! We will book during the week, away from holidays. July 3 was a bad time for an acoustic solo show. I am making sure those type of shows are booked appropriately going forward. NY

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"Good afternoon, Some hopefully-valuable feedback for Shakey Deal. I'm enjoying looking at your site very much, I love the old-school archive design, but I'm fed up with this relentless obsession with high-res audio.

-in that case, you should avoid reading about it and just listen to it. I love it and I hear a giant difference.

Look, I'm 29 years old, I've got high-end hearing that you old-timers probably lost about 5 decades ago (no offence), and if there is any benefit to 24/192 then it's not exactly worth the fuss that is being made about it. How would you know. Yer just a kid!

-Imagine that you are color blind and someone made everything black and white because you couldn’t see the difference. How would everyone else feel? I mean folks who could see the difference? Everyone is different and has different way of seeing and hearing things. Restricting othersexperiences based on what you are capable of enjoying is not such a good idea.

I'm not suggesting we revert to the bland soullessness of the Spotify experience, but it's clear to me that 44.1 sounds absolutely fine.

-I am glad you enjoy CD quality.

I thought the blu-ray archives (a great project) was more clunky but actually even more fun than this website. Because it slowed the user down and made us savour the experience. The website doesn't do that, it's too easy to keep scrolling and stop listening. Whereas, the blu-ray made each and every song feel important. As Bob Dylan might say, ""it had stature"".

-You are probably alone in that opinion, judging by other feedback I get. I do agree that the slowness of Blu ray gave it a more old time feel compared to the web. The blu ray was clunky, but it gave us what we needed at the time. High Res and the info about the songs. It gave you the ability to slow down and smell the flowers.

What's more, I can't read seemingly ANYTHING to do with your music anymore without it someone coming back to an advertisement for hi-res audio. Since when was any of this what made your music so great?

- Since the day it was recorded . Quaity of sound matters. / Audio quality is not music Quality. Its audio quality. Those are two different things.

And what's up with ""rating"" the quality of the music by the resolution it was recorded in? This is the really ridiculous thing. The Pono store made this fatal mistake.

-it’s ‘rating’ information -regarding the digital resolution of the recording. The fatal mistake of PONO was the fact it was a download service precisely when download services were heading for obcelsence. Streaming was coming in to vogue. It was an ugly death!

Don't you realise that the music you made between 1988 and 1996 is some of the very best of your entire career? With the Bluenotes, the Restless, solo, Crazy Horse. WHO CARES that it wasn't recorded with superhuman frequencies?


Greendale, one of your best albums ever, is only available in CD quality. Who cares, it sounds amazing! And would Le Noise somehow have become a great album had it been recorded in 24/192? It's nonsense, and what's more, it's a distraction from what actually makes your music so powerful, beautiful and remarkable.

-You are confusing audio resolution with music. They are two different things. No wonder you think it’s nonsense.

I'd love you to pass a copy of this email onto Neil so he can actually get some human feedback from one of his younger fans with a different perspective, in fact I'd be happy to sit down with a cold beer and discuss this subject with him personally in a more jovial manner. Alas, I expect this opportunity will be intercepted by one of the ""yes men"", but it's worth a shot.

-I don’t have ‘yes men’. They are residing in your own mind. File them with your opinion on the value of quality. We have ‘quality whether you want it or not.’

I'm very much looking forward to Alchemy.

-We are holding back Alchemy because of your attitude. JUST KIDDING!!!!

Kind regards, Dan”

- Thanks! Neil

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Regarding Detroit and Rough Night. My wife and I bought tickets from NYA presale. First row center. This was a very expensive once in a lifetime treat for us. The people yelling bothered us as well. We still had the time of our lives and enjoyed the effort to give us a special show. I don't know how to contact anyone associated with Neil, so i figured I would try this. I am embarrassed for my city and just want to say that as a lifelong fan I am sorry.

Sorry that happened too I love Detroit. A few people who drank more than they could handle can’t change that for me! NY

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What is the location of the cover photo on Neils SOLO tour picture it looks amazing

-Between Atascadero and Fresno on a highway through the California hills. NY

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it would be interesting if you could search the archive by sideman's name, so one could make a playlist of songs danny whitten is on, for example.

- Noted. We have heard that before. We are swamped at the moment but it is on our list. Thanks! NY

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Thank you. I thought I had died and gone to heaven a few years ago when I found the Neil Young channel on my i-tunes radio on my laptop. Then I couldn't find it anymore. I went to the St Louis show last week and a friend sent me the news release on the live streaming from Detroit. And now I have found the Archives. And I am in heaven again. Thank you.

- The archives is for you. You are the ones we are trying to serve. NY

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Hello there I love the live stream of the shows so much! Can I say that they would be so much better if the person who is holding the camera did a better job of keeping the camera on the band and NY especially? It really sucks when I can't see Neil when he is singing and playing guitar so wonderfully and instead see a bunch of wires or even just the ceiling or some strange random piece of equipment! But thanks for the live stream! I shouldn't complain but to be honest the camera work sucks! The rest of the show is heavenly!

See you in Chicago - both nights!

With lots of love,


- Thanks! Judy, Check out the next one and let us know what you think. Our B ad C cameras were down so we had nothing to cut to. NY

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Assuming Neil will see this. Thank you for the battle that you and John Hammond waged last night in Detroit. Somebody drank too much and distracted us all. But you handled it with class and taught many of us what class is all about. It’s loving others as you’d love your own family. The love shined through. I think your battle in Detroit is as meaningful as any of those concerts where you’re able to go deeper. You brought beauty into a dark place.

Scott Simon Advanced Energy Engineering General Motors

-Thanks Scott, The Chevy BOLT rocks! Great car. Go GM. NY

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“Hi Neil, you forgot the song; "Interstate" it was release as a bonus track on the album Broken Arrow LP record and the CD single of “Big Time” from the same album. Many Thanks, Mr. Jean-Francois April in Canada.”

NYA: A few Friday ago we re-mastered the song Interstate at 192/24 digital. It will be up on the website shortly.

*This is from the original 1/4 “ master tape that was recorded and mixed by John Hanlon in the Record Plant mobile truck in the spring of 1990 during the Neil Young & Crazy Horse sessions for Ragged Glory in the Plywood Barn at Broken Arrow Ranch. SC *

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the first album on reprise

“Hi there,

really loving this site so far, but I do have one question. I've been searching the site for the original mixes of the four songs from Neil's first solo album that were changed on later pressings. Are they here and I'm just missing them, will they be added later or did Neil just decide not to put them up? I'd kill to hear a hi-res version of the original mix of "Here We Are In The Years" at the very least Thanks!”

On Young’s first album there are only three tracks that were 're-mixed' not four. However the entire LP was originally mixed and cut using the out of phase Haeco-CSG process --which incidentally plagues a number of other great Warner Bros / 7 Arts albums released during 1968/69.

The original version of Neil Young's debut album was withdrawn 9 months after its initial release and contains three tracks in a different mix and the whole album in an entirely different mastering.

The album was recorded in the period from mid-August to late October 1968 at the TTG studio in Los Angeles, CA, one of the first studio's to have a 16-track facility at the time.

The original US stock version was released on January 22, 1969.

When Young and his producer David Briggs delivered the album to Reprise in late '68, they had no idea that their work would fall victim to a new technology that the record company was about to try: the Haeco-CSG "Compatible Mono/Stereo” Process.

The idea behind HAECO-CSG was to create stereo records which when played on monaural equipment would "fold-down" properly to mono. Predictably, the process also resulted in lessening of sound quality.

*Young was furious when he learned about this practice and demanded the record be withdrawn and replaced with a properly mastered version. But it would take no less than nine months before this new version was completed and released,

In the process, Neil decided to re-do the mixes of "Here We Are In The Years", "What Did You Do To My Life" and "If I Could Have Her Tonight". Contrary to popular belief "I've Been Waiting For You' was not remixed.

*NOTE: ‘Here we are in the Years’, before CSG and with the original long ending, has never been recovered. ny *

When released in October '69, the new version did not only have a different sound but also came with a slightly different sleeve. Where the original front was covered by the painting, the new sleeve had "Neil Young" above the painting in black capital letters. The revised version has since become the standard version used on vinyl and the original and the remastered CDs and on the website at 192k/24b digital.

The sonic differences between the US versions of the original and the current one existing here are quite huge. It has been claimed that this is exclusively the result of the HAECO-CSG process which made the original record sound dark and muddy but this is not (entirely) true.

*CSG basically leaves the sound of the individual channels intact. It does however shift the phase of the right channel 90 degrees, so when folding the two channels together all elements that are mixed in the centre (vocals, drums) aren't doubled in volume as opposed to anything that isn't panned in the center. When played in stereo, it results in a less definable panorama and a volume decrease of all elements in the center as opposed to everything that is panned sideways. *

Important note: Most of the above was taken and substantially edited from a web forum called Demonoid.

SC 5-30-18

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  MLK mlk-1408
Today We Start Again

Martin Luther King Day 2019

America is a Rainbow of Colors. It will never be white-washed again. Those days are gone. The brilliance of our Afro-American artists is unparalleled. The wisdom of our Native First Nations peoples is the foundation for our survival on Mother Earth. It is time to come together, rejecting the messages of Hate, embracing Love, in the USA and the World. We are one.


What MLK said about walls

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AP Photo / JimCooper
Pegi Young 1952-2019

You are such a woman to me
And I love you
Our love will live
Until the end of all time

No one else can kill me like you do
No one else can fill me like you do
And no, no one else can feel our pain

Love is a healer
And I love you

No one else can fill me like you do
No one else can kill me like you do
And I love you

You are such a woman to me


Thanks Pegi,
for being such a wonderful mother
to our children.
You live on inside of them
and the many you have touched.

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tarsandsalberta1408 clip from Shakey Pictures' 'Honour the Treaties'

About five years ago I did a tour in Canada called ‘Honour The Treaties’. Treaties with First Nations people had been broken by the Canadian Government to enable oil sands development in Western Canada. I spoke out against the destructive tar sands development destroying the beautiful Boreal Forests of Alberta to enable the oil companies, even as fossil fuels were seen as a threat to the Planet Earth and life as we know it. I thought it was irresponsible.



When I compared the tar sands near Fort MacMurray to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many local people were very angry with me. Records of my songs were broken on the air in Ft Mac, near the development. I felt a lot of hatred.

It was deep.


Allan-Adam-Neil-Young-David-Suzuki1408 Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Alan Adam, left, with musician Neil Young and environmentalist David Suzuki.

CBC’s take-

The Honour the Treaties tour made international headlines, thanks in part to Young’s occasionally over-the-top rhetoric, which included comparing the impact of oilsands development around Fort McMurray to that of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Chief Alan Adam was front and centre when rock star Neil Young and environmentalist David Suzuki embarked on a cross-Canada tour five years ago that raised *hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ACFN's legal fight against the expansion of Shell's Jackpine oilsands project. (*CBC erroneously said ‘tens of thousands’, corrected)

The ACFN (Athabaska Chippewan First Nations) argued the government's consultation process was inadequate

In one of several interviews with news media in Toronto before the first concert, Adam said oilsands development had to be stopped.

*"When are we going to say, 'Let's get this under control?"*

But the headlines and ticket sales weren't enough to kill the expansion project.

The ACFN's legal challenge was dismissed in late 2014, although the project has yet to be developed.



An interesting comparison can be seen by looking at Hiroshima today in the image above. Hiroshima looks good, having grown past the size it was when it and Nagasaki were obliterated by the United States of America with the first atomic bombs, killing over 200,000 people while destroying the physical cities.


With the First Nations People’s leaders finally worn down, submitting to the oil companies and signing off on further development, I am even more resolute that the oil sands development in Canada is wrong for Earth.

We, the fossil fuel users, have beaten these indigenous leaders and some of their people down with our greed and lack of vision.
The Canadian government is complicit.

When I stood along side Chief Alan Adam and called for an end to oilsands development, I felt Chief Adam was thoughtful leader, looking out for his people. Today I see it differently. Adam has taken a short term view, possibly to accommodate his tribe’s daily welfare, and has abandoned to second place his former dedication to Mother Earth and the bounties she provides naturally to support life.

Today Adam is looking at the short term benefit to his people and himself. He appears as a beaten man. His people may ultimately defeat him in the fall 2019 election because many of them are not beaten and have not been worn down.


TODAY - 75

The picture above, taken 75 years after the bombing shows that Nagasaki looks good. I don’t think that will be be the rosy picture of Earth after another 75 years of fossil fuels. Neither do the world’s scientists. I stand by my comparison of Hiroshima and the Tar sands at Fort Mac except the Tar sands represent something worse. . . . . . . much more death and suffering.


As we withstand the greenwashing advertisements by EXXON and SHELL, touting renewable fuel solutions we know they are not using, we already see Climate Chaos and the resulting damage fossil fuel use is causing, and this is just the beginning. Unlike Nagasaki and Hiroshima, neither North Western Canada, nor Earth as we know it will be looking healthy in just 75 years from now. In 75 years I wonder what the Alberta tar sands will look like.. .. .. ..but I wonder a lot more about what the planet Earth will look like and what will be the fate of the people inhabiting low lying regions, one quarter of Earth’s populations, in over twenty countries - 634 million people after another 75 years of fossil fuels.



CBC- Fast-forward to today, the same chief who shared the stage with Young as he blasted the oilsands as a "disaster area from war," has signed an agreement in support of the most massive and expensive oilsands mine project ever proposed — to be built in his community's own backyard.

Fishermen say fish populations have decreased sharply over the years and some species no longer exist. Research has found elevated cancer rates in Fort Chipewyan and high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, and arsenic in animals that are hunted and consumed in the region.

The list of Indigenous groups that have officially endorsed the Frontier project has grown to 14:

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  • Mikisew Cree First Nation Fort McKay First Nation
  • Fort Chipewyan Métis
  • Fort McKay Métis
  • Fort McMurray Métis 1935
  • Fort McMurray First Nation #468
  • Métis Nation of Alberta - Region 1 and its member locals:
  • Athabasca Landing Local # 2010
  • Buffalo Lake Local # 2002
  • Conklin Local # 193
  • Lac La Biche Local # 1909
  • Owl River Local # 1949
  • Willow Lake Local # 780

According to Teck Resources, every Indigenous community in the region that could be affected by the project has signed an agreement with the company.


Today as I write this, in my view Chief Adam and some other chiefs have forsaken their own wisdom, a knowledge based on countless winters of life, lived in harmony with Mother Earth, long before white men came. The Chiefs have forsaken Mother Earth for short term gain from white men in their own communities. They had a very tough decision to make and are not unified in the result.

I wish the Chiefs were thinking more about the future of Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. Where is the Great Spirit now in these leaders? Giving up for a shallow short term relief of jobs and schools, are they becoming just like the oilpatch companies they are signing on with for ‘hopeful’ short term results.

CBC- “. . .Bringing in a lot of funds for our First Nation, where we can at least develop our infrastructures, get our people well educated, hopefully do more business. And hopefully when we do more business, we don't have to rely on federal funds," -Chief Adam

HOPEFUL - Except they have a gnawing doubt in their consciences. They know better. They used to be Mother Earth’s care takers. Now some First Nations’ leaders have ‘given up’ to the oilpatch industry and Canadian government, ‘hoping’ for good short term results. They look to education benefits so their people can start up their own businesses and live a good life.


How long will that promised good life last. . . . built on the shoulders of destructive fossil fuels? How long will the good life on Earth last? Does it not look like it is already losing ground today?

Still, conscience and wisdom remains strong in Canada’s First Nations People One great example is Jean L’Hommecourt.

CBC-JeanLHommecourt1408- Jean L’Hommecourt, center

CBC- Jean L’Hommecourt grew up in Fort Chipewyan and now lives in Fort McKay, a 45-minute drive north of Fort McMurray. The fact Fort McKay First Nation has also endorsed Frontier brings her to tears.

Government hearings are pointless, she said, because the outcome is always the same — oilsands developers get the green light.

*"They're signing agreements with these companies and they're signing our death warrant," she said. "The government doesn’t give a f#@k about our people and this hearing is just a gong show."*

L’Hommecourt was sent to a residential school at the age of six and stayed there until the facility was shut down when she was 12. She credits her connection to the land and nature for helping her to cope with her pain.

She believes First Nations are making agreements with the oilpatch because they have so little faith in government to defend their interests. Simply put, the communities trust industry more than government.

Wearing a sweater that urges the protection of Mother Earth, L’Hommecourt listed the troubling impacts she says she’s observed over years, including falling water levels, displaced wildlife, dying ducks and birds, and increased health problems in the community.

*"I have so many feelings going through me. I'm angry. I'm hurt. I'm emotionally stressed. My health is affected mentally," L'Hommecourt said.*

She plans to keep opposing the oilsands for the rest of her life — to try to protect the environment "for the future of our children, for the future of our grandchildren," she said.

I will never give up. I stand with Jean L’Hommecourt and the strong First Nations people who share her sentiment. I agree with her. I stand with her.



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With the success of our App, reaching the top #100 list of the music apps two days after introduction, I wanted to thank the team at NYA for this amazing work! I want each of you to know how proud I am to be working with this great team of committed professionals. My love, appreciation and respect go out to you all! THANKS!
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all!!

LA Johnson - Co-founder of Shakey Pictures and NYA

Larry is still with us today in spirit and through the members of his family associated with NYA. Originator of the “Quality Whether you Want it or Not” mantra of NYA, Larry Johnson’s great sense of humor, directness and work ethic is at the heart of everything we do.

Hannah Johnson - Project Manager

Hannah is the daughter of LA Johnson, my life long friend and co-creator of many of my films, videos and recordings. Hannah’s mother Leslie played an active roll for many years in our management company - Elliot Roberts’ Lookout Management.

Hannah has made a stunning contribution to NYA, organizing and overseeing the creation of our website and app platform, a platform designed to be used by artists of all kinds to preserve and share their legacies.

Today Hannah runs NYA on a day by day basis, coordinating the myriad of talents utilized in our organization. Subscriptions are overseen by Hannah who also is our liaison with ADE ‘A different Engine’ who help to build and maintain NYA.

Well qualified to stay at the top, should World Music Archives, our parent company, grow and take on other artists, Hannah is integral to NYA. The success that our NYA platform is now enjoying and the happiness of our music fans worldwide is largely owed to Hannah Johnson.

Toshi Onuki - Art Director

Toshi creates the ‘look’ of NYA. Integral to the original BluRay design created with LA Johnson and me, Toshi has been with NYA since the very beginning, the early nineties. Residing in Tokyo and California, Toshi’s long history with us has been spent designing the on-line Archive as we see it today.

Working with LA Johnson and me, Toshi began by editing many of our projects. NYA would never be what it is today without Toshi’s valuable creative design and artistic input.

Phil Baker - PONO, NYA technology, Xstream by NYA technology

Phil has been with NYA since the founding of PONO, our early high resolution music store and music player. The Pono Player, designed with AYRE Acoustics under the leadership of Charley Hansen, was developed and manufactured under Phil’s leadership and was ‘product of the year’ at Stereophile Magazine - a great achievement in the audio world. The Pono Player is known today as the gold standard of listening devices-a great portable way to hear high resolution music in all its glory. Many of the tens of thousands of Pono players we built are still in use today by satisfied listeners. PONO was introduced at a time when streaming music was just getting started, and the convenience of low res streaming doomed Pono to the history books.

Today, Phil is my close adviser and the co-ordinator of the outreaches NYA is making to audio companies, artists and tech press. Phil’s input on all of our endeavors and the advice and perspective he offers to me is key to our success. Working with Phil Baker over the years has been a remarkable experience for me and a boon to NYA! Phil’s continuing day to day advice, organization skills and analytics coordination is an invaluable asset to everything we do with NYA.

Jon O’Neil - Archivist

Jon’s background in Archiving has taken NYA to the highest level. He cares for our archives, all the pieces of content. Practices in organization, gathering of content and care of the original pieces- art, recordings, film, manuscripts, and historic documents associated with the music, are all the domain of Jon O’Neil. Jon has only been with NYA about a year now and recently led the rescue, moving and reorganization of the entire archives when it was threatened by the great California fire of 2018.

Zeke Young

Zeke, my son, is the coordinator of NYA file cabinet Info Card content. Continuity of information throughout the site is closely monitored by Zeke. Our videos / films appearing in the Hearse Theater daily are handled by Zeke, who’s eye for detail and continuity of music information throughout NYA is a valuable asset to us day to day.

dhlovelife - Social Media / Podcasts

dhlovelife’s photographs, videos and commentary provide the beautiful look and feel of our Social Media Outreach. The art that is such an important part of our NYA presence on the internet, the coordination of events with posts and the creative concepts behind our posting are all under the direction of dhlovelife.

NYA Livestreams on the internet concerts and otherwise, are conceived and directed with her unique eye.

Our podcast series with Bill Bentley, myself and others, in pre-production now, will begin this year under the direction of dhlovelife.

Phil Denslow - NYA Times Contrarian print setter

Phil sets up every article in the Contrarian, often finding errors and correcting them along the way. Without Phil Denslow, you would not be getting the NYA news in a timely manner. I work with Phil several times a day and it is a pleasure. Thanks from all of us at the ‘NYA Times Contrarian’, Phil.

Gary Ward and LOST PLANET - NYA video production

Lost Planet is the place where we do all of the videos derived from the archives content. Shows need to be edited and finished; videos restored from the past; Social media projects are carefully culled from the archives. Extreme care is taken to ensure that every NYA project is at the highest level.

Thanks to Hank Corwin, Jason Dopko, Rachel Simmer, Kimmy Dude, Federico Brusilovsky, Aimee Hinkley, George Romo, Lee Bacak, Alex Bushe, Tricia Yaguchi, Stann Waithe, Madi Emenheiser and of course - Gary Ward. Gary is our point person, the force that keeps us rolling.

Scott Andrew - App developer

Scott of New Wave Digital has created the app that faithfully delivers much of the website experience to the millions of mobile users.

Gordon Smith - Website developer

Gordon, along with Mike Ryan and the entire team at ADE have worked tirelessly to turn my vision of a musician’s archive into reality with a website that’s unique and an entirely new web experience.

Frankie Tan and Kelvin Lee - Orastream

Frankie and Kelvin and their small company has worked closely with the NYA team to develop the engine that lets everyone experience hi res music quality, far exceeding what’s become today’s standards for music streaming.

Stuart Mauritzen - Social Media

Stuart, working with dhlovelife, provides NYA’s voice on the internet, publishing messages and images to inform the NYA community on the latest releases and happenings at NYA, and preparing posts for review and publishing.

Katie Fox - Letters to the Editor

Katie coordinates our incoming letters to the ‘NYA Times Contrarian’, organizes and provides the letters to the editor for replies. Answers to questions from members about NYA’s activities, methods, reasons for choices made, musical histories, recording information, ticket availability and more are all published regularly in the NYA Times Contrarian ‘Letters to the Editor’.

John Hanlon - Producer / Engineer

John Hanlon is in charge of all of the mastering of my archival music, coordinating the creation of NYA’s high resolution files, analog masters and vinyl production for Reprise Records and Shakey Pictures Records. John also writes for the Times Contrarian and provides insight into the process of creating our music’s quality sound in his column ‘J Hanlon’s Notebook’.

Tim Mulligan - Producer / Engineer

Tim produces, refines and organizes the music content that originated at Broken Arrow Ranch. His experience with the creation of many of these masters is invaluable to the quality we try to maintain at NYA.

John Hausmann - Content Management

It is John Hausmann who cares for the data base of music at the core of NYA. Musical and visual content from 1963 to present day is under the watchful care of John, the keeper of the data base.

Joel Bernstein - Archivist / Photographer

Joel has been with me since the 1970s when he travelled aboard CSNY’s tour, documenting the action and music. His legendary care for detail enables us to confidently draw on his records and recollections to ensure that NYA is providing the correct information, photos and memorabilia for each song.

Bill Bentley - Music Writer / Historian

Bill has worked with me for years, beginning with Reprise records decades ago. His friendship, talent for writing, and insight into the love of music and related subjects of the music scene in ‘Bentley’s Bandstand’ a column he writes regularly, is one of my favorite aspects of the NYA Times Contrarian. Bill’s hosting of our podcasts and live interviews is sure to be a big part of who we are going forward.

Reverend Billy - Our Religious Voice

Reverend Billy’s ‘NYA Times Contrarian’ column, ‘Religion’ is full of commentary on today’s faith in consumerism, our Planet’s wellness and our Political Conscience.

Dave Toms - The Lincvolt Chronicles

Dave Toms is the director of the ‘Lincvolt’ series, now in progress at Shakey Pictures North. As “The Passenger”, Dave provides regular updates from ‘The Editing Suite’ via short videos culled from the hundreds of hours of footage documenting the construction and history of Lincvolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental electro-cruiser, powered by electricity and a domestic renewable cellulosic ethanol fueled generator, long before electric cars became popular.

CK Vollick - Director of Photography

In addition to the Lincvolt Chronicles, where he has traveled around North America filming, CK is the eyes of our Live-Stream concerts and our interviews for podcasts.

Ben Johnson - Director of Photography

Ben Johnson, son of LA Johnson, brother of Hannah Johnson, is Director of photography and camera operator for the Lincvolt series. Ben Johnson is also Director of Photography for all concerts where we utilize live screens. Ben has worked with me on many projects such as ‘A Letter Home’ and countless others involving video, which now yield special features of live concert performances at the Hearse Theater.

Reprise Records - The home of my music since 1970

Reprise Records and Warner Brothers have been an incredible supporting force in all of our endeavors. We are proud to be associated with Warner Brothers, a great music company dedicated to supporting artists who release their recordings on Warner Bothers labels.

Elliot Roberts - Lookout Management

Elliot, my best friend, has helped me throughout my life with guidance and steady, caring leadership, from Buffalo Springfield to CSNY to today, from Pono to NYA, Elliot has been there for me, leading the way with advice and business handling.


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We got Mother nature on the run


When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them.


But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry.


facebook-logo bw-1408

In Congress, on Facebook and in statehouses nationwide, Marathon Petroleum, the country’s largest refiner, worked with powerful oil-industry groups and a conservative policy network financed by the billionaire industrialist Charles G. Koch to run a stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards, a New York Times investigation has found. The campaign’s main argument for significantly easing fuel efficiency standards — that the United States is so awash in oil it no longer needs to worry about energy conservation — clashed with decades of federal energy and environmental policy.



In recent months, Marathon Petroleum also teamed up with a secretive policy group within the Koch network, the American Legislative Exchange Council, to draft legislation for states supporting the industry’s position. Its proposed resolution, dated Sept. 18, describes current fuel-efficiency rules as “a relic of a disproven narrative of resource scarcity” and says “unelected bureaucrats” shouldn’t dictate the cars Americans drive.


A separate industry campaign on Facebook, covertly run by an oil-industry lobby representing Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Phillips 66 and other oil giants, urged people to write to regulators to support the rollback. The Facebook ads linked to a website with a picture of a grinning Mr. Obama. It asked, “Would YOU buy a used car from this man?” The site appears to have been so effective that a quarter of the 12,000 public comments received by he Department of Transportation can be traced to the petition, according to a Times analysis.


Gary R. Heminger, Marathon’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the company supported “sound fuel economy standards” and wanted to “help ensure they are achievable and based on existing technology.” He added, “We appreciate the administration’s willingness to conduct a thorough review in order to ensure future standards are achievable and will actually benefit American consumers.”




A spokesman for Koch Industries, the energy conglomerate led by Mr. Koch, said the company had “a long, consistent track record of opposing all forms of corporate welfare, including all subsidies, mandates and other handouts that rig the system."

Meanwhile, the oil industry itself gets more support in subsidies from the US government than any other energy source. . . . .20.5 BILLION annually paid by US taxpayers..

The Trump plan, if finalized, would increase greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by more than the amount many midsize countries put out in a year and reverse a major effort by the Obama administration to fight climate change.


California has pledged to stick to the stricter standards, together with 13 other states that follow its lead. But President Trump’s plan challenges California’s rule-writing power, setting up a legal battle that threatens to split the American auto market in two. That is a prospect automakers desperately want to avoid.

For gasoline producers like Marathon, a shift toward more efficient vehicles poses a grave threat to the bottom line. In October, the company acquired a rival, Andeavor, making it the biggest refiner in the United States, with sales of 16 billion gallons of fuel a year.



“We have invested billions of dollars to make our operations more energy efficient,” Marathon said in a recent report. Even while doubling down on gasoline, Marathon has projected an environmentally friendly public image. The company’s Twitter account recently highlighted a gardening project and the creation of a duck pond at one of its refineries.


On a conference call with investors last week, Mr. Heminger, the Marathon chief executive, was already counting the extra barrels of fuel a Trump rollback would mean for the industry: 350,000 to 400,000 barrels of gasoline per day, he said.





“However, you have another side who doesn’t want to pivot away” from the stricter rules, Mr. Heminger said. “So we have a lot of work to do to keep this momentum going.”

“You sure do, Mr. Heminger. More than you will ever know.”


edited by NYA

Based on a story by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times

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Dark Decisions at the Top

In a dark office at the top of Barclays, they plan how to gain. They evaluate the returns. . . . decide when to sell. They are ignorant and out of touch with today, with what matters now; doing what they have always done. I do not stand with this. It is over.

It shows how out of touch with reality Barclays Bank is, still investing in Fossil Fuels. Our children’s Planet is in trouble. Fossil Fuels are a major cause. Every day it gets much worse. Science on this matter is indisputable. Period.


“I heard Neil is sponsored by Barclays. He likes oil and money too.”

Barclays is still involved in the Canadian Tar Sands and currently backs fracking in England, overtly against the will of the people. It’s like they live in the past.

There is more to life than Money. There is more to decision making than Habit. There is more to results than Greed. I am standing against Barclays. . . . .Not on their stage. Not under their name.

It is my own fault that I am here at this crossroads. I was delivered here unknowingly by my own organization, arriving in a changed world. Things that used to be alright are not alright anymore. My grandchildren’s Planet is in crisis and new moves have to be made now. . . . .not the same old moves.

So now we have to pay the price. I don’t want music lovers to be disappointed. But the end of this is coming. It is change. . . .Change for the Better. I do hope no one gets hurt.

Dark decisions, once safe, may now have dark consequences. I sincerely hope not.


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When Bayer acquired Monsanto earlier this year for more than $60 billion, they also acquired the 9000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto involving their notorious weed killer, Roundup. As we reported here on the Times-Contrarian, the first of these lawsuits went to trial in San Francisco in August, where a former school groundskeeper was initially awarded $289 million in damages for the terminal cancer he acquired from using Roundup.

Since the acquisition and as a result of the lawsuit, Bayer’s stock has dropped by 35%. This has led to an announcement today from Bayer that they’re slashing 12,000 jobs, about 10% of their workforce.

Not surprisingly, Monsanto has not been good for Bayer’s health, the maker of products that include Bayer aspirin, Afrin, Claritin, Dr. Scholls, Coppertone, Citrical and hundreds more, some of which are expected to be sold off. The full impact on Monsanto’s notorious Roundup has yet to be felt and it’s expected to continue to cause huge problems for Bayer, headquartered in Germany.

Phil Baker

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When I’m 64

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

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photo: dhlovelife
the story of an awesome car and a great country

I bought ‘Pearl’ in 1974 on the last CSNY tour of that era. I found her in a garage in Cleveland OHIO and drove her through the East, traveling separately from the band with Ranger Dave (David Cline) and Mazzeo (the artist), until that stadium tour ended.

Pearl was a beautiful car. Here she is seen backstage at one of the CSNY 74 stadium shows.


photo: Joel Bernstein

In 1994, Pearl Jam played the Bridge School Benefit for the first time. As the now legendary band arrived, they saw my 1954 Cadillac limousine parked near my tour bus backstage. They were happily surprised to see her license plate:

‘PEARL 10’.

Pearl, the name I had given my car, was also the title of their first album ‘PEARL 10’. They were elated at the happy coincidence. Since then Pearl Jam appeared at the Bridge School concert more times than any other band. We are very thankful for Pearl Jam’s help, and for Eddie’s many solo appearances in support of the Bridge School.

In a recent image, we see the demise of this great old car. Mother Nature and Climate Change, in their fiery embrace, took her with them. Such is life.

That said, I have to add this fire was the worst thing I have ever seen in my 73 years. Its awesome power changed my life forever.

To imagine we have a leader ignoring Climate Change is just unbelievable. How could the USA have slipped so far, so fast?

In his mind, he knows more than the Navy leaders about how to support air power on the sea, he knows more about immigration than anyone else and he knows more about Climate Change than the world’s scientists.

We are putting the USA and the World in grave danger with the delusional ignorance of DT. He’s unfit to be president and soon America must end this. I hope we have the two years we need and the wisdom to act in a democratic, peaceful way.

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How They Lied To You

by Phil Baker

Facebook’s bad behavior uncovered by the NYTimes. Worse than we had imagined.

We have reported here on NYA how much we dislike Facebook, and we’ve been warning about signing onto this and other websites using Facebook, because they track you and then sell that information to advertisers. They’ve also failed to prevent our information from getting into the hands of bad actors on the web, some that work for foreign governments, including Russia, that have been intent on disrupting our elections and sowing discord.

Now, thanks to a sixth-month investigation into Facebook by the New York Times, we’ve learned that Facebook is even worse than we had imagined.

“Exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda & inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Zuckerberg & Sandberg (Facebook’s CEO and COO) stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view.”

That’s the headline from the Time’s investigation that describes how the company attacked its critics, issued denials and avoided correcting its problems that compromised its users’ data. Facebook learned in the Spring of 2016 that Russian hackers were tampering with the accounts of Facebook subscribers, yet failed to report what they learned to their board, the government, or their users. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive then lied about it after the election, describing it a “crazy idea” that his company had played a role in the presidential election, knowing all the while that they were doing just that.

To deflect even more criticism. Facebook conducted a disinformation campaign, attacking its critics and competitors that included the philanthropist George Soros, Google, and Apple, using a conservative disinformation company that’s known for writing and then placing its own new stories on extreme right-wing websites.

When Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, noted that Apple did not traffic in personal data, Mark Zuckerberg required his management team to use only Android phones.

We advise NYA readers once again of how evil Facebook is and how dangerous it is to our democracy. We recommend you follow Neil’s example and close your Facebook account to let them know that you cannot support such behavior. When you do, please let us know and we will publish some of your emails.

One of our friends, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, accurately described Facebook on a recent appearance on MSNBC: "Facebook is the new cigarettes. You know, it's addictive. It's not good for you. There's people trying to get you to use it, even though you don't understand what's going on. The government needs to step in. The government needs to really regulate what's happening."


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WE have to take care of this world. WE can't wait any longer. WE need to stop using fossil fuels. Get behind the green new deal. WE are running out of time. Stop being distracted by Reality TV shows in the White House. Climate Change is what Reality looks like.

The mud slides are coming. The rain is coming. The timing is all off. The rain could have saved California. Now it is coming to bury the things we've done. This is what you and I are leaving our kids. Wake up. Love one another. Save one another. The Earth is talking to us.

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Time Flies!


As my gift, on this my seventy-third birthday, I want to re-share this archives gem with you. It’s one of hundreds of songs, books and films shared with you over my life. This time it's different, showing a glimpse of some of the depth of our archive.

Mr. Soul is an early (1-9-67) song from NYA -

I think it was Buffalo Springfield’s first TV appearance and we were pretty jacked to be there. The record we are lip syncing to is the first-ever version of the song, just as it was originally recorded. This version was never released by Buffalo Springfield. Hear Still’s backwards 12-string acoustic guitar on this original! I love that guy.

The Archives is full of things like this and we made it for my music loving fans to browse through. From 1963 to present day, the audio quality is unsurpassed in this world - high resolution digital, streaming to you from NYA.

On this birthday we are still filling out the archives and there is a lot left to add to be sure, but you can get the picture. We are having a blast! It’s free for you to enjoy for a couple more weeks, then subscriptions begin. That day we start filling in all the rest of the details and pieces, many of which already sit waiting in beta, as if there weren’t enough there already!

NYA is a living document! Every day I write articles for our paper - the NYA Times-Contrarian. Write a letter to the editor -me. Join us for unseen movies, books, unheard tracks and albums, and so much information your head will spin. We are all in this together.
Happy Birthday to all of us.
Happy Birthday Mom and Dad.
Lots of Love,
and Thanks,

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photo: Wally Skalij
Extreme, Unseen & Dire. That’s What Climate Change Looks Like

ZUMA hit by Giant Fire and Wind as all living things seek shelter.

Life everywhere is affected by these fires. Residents of Malibu have brought their animals to the beaches for safety, shelter and companionship.

California is vulnerable-not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think. As a matter of fact this is not a forest fire that rages on as I write this. We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.

Our temperatures are higher than ever here in our hottest summer on record. That has not helped. DT seems to be the Denier. (I’m holding back and not using the word liar just because it rhymes with denier). It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader. Maybe our new Congress can help. I sure hope so.

California is a paradise for us all. A gift. We are sad to not be able to defend it against Mother Nature’s wrath. We love California. We are not ill-prepared. We are up against something bigger than we have ever seen. It’s too big for some to see at all. Firefighters have never seen anything like this in their lives. I have heard that said countless times in the past two days, and I have lost my home before to a California fire, now another.

Hopefully we can come together as a people to take Climate Change on. We have the tools and could do it if we tried. There is no downside.

Imagine a leader who defies science, saying these solutions shouldn’t be part of his decision-making on our behalf. Imagine a leader who cares more for his own, convenient opinion than he does for the people he leads. Imagine an unfit leader. Now imagine a fit one.

Look around.

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photo: dhlovelife

OHIO was written back in 1970 after seeing the cover of a magazine with a young girl kneeling beside her fallen friend. When the National Guard murdered four students at OHIO’s Kent State University for protesting the Vietnam War, it was a pivotal moment in our history. It was a pivotal moment for me.

Today we see what we have become.

With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them, we are not well represented. Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times.

We stand with them. They are us. We are them. This has been going on for far too long. My wife Daryl and I put this video together for you to reflect on. Support the students. Support our children. They want protection. Not more guns. Give us common sense gun laws that protect our people, in schools, in places of worship, in the workplace and on the streets. VOTE.


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photo: dhlovelife

Justice in this country is broken. It has been broken for a long time.

We are a nation rife with injustice, inequality, discrimination, poverty, corruption, environmental degradation & the list goes on.....

Our justice system itself is In desperate need of reform.
Our country has 5% of the worlds population yet we have 25% of its inmates. Our brown & black sisters & brothers are incarcerated at significantly higher rates & in privatized for profit prisons, which are now increasingly being used for immigrants & caging children.

But we are also a country that has seen its extraordinary, ordinary citizens take heroic and successful stands against injustice.

So today, I opt to take a lesson from Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Ida B. Wells and the many, many others like them.

Today women of all races are being reminded they we are still vulnerable to being held under the heavy hand of injustice...
But today I also choose to remember women have been imprisoned & have even died fighting for our right to vote.

In exactly one month from this unfortunate day in history, we have another opportunity to change our shared history & herstory for the better. Nov 6 -

#vote #makeitcount


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Songs for Judy

live and untouched

1 9 7 6

Joel Bernstein ‘boy photographer’ music lover, collector and archivist, and Cameron Crowe, writer and music lover were responsible for the record album ‘Songs For Judy’. JB was on my solo tour in 1976, tuning my acoustic guitars. He also was recording cassettes of the shows from our P.A.board mixes. Basically, what the people heard.

Joel and Cameron chose these songs and did a great job. The album is quite unique and I think the period was very well captured in the sound and performances. It was a moment in time, and it’s easy to tell why it’s called ‘Songs For Judy’.

More of the story of Songs for Judy coming this week


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The songs have been chosen

This morning we are back in the editing room working on the videos for ALCHEMY, a Crazy Horse Live Classic that goes beyond LIVE RUST and WELD.

This is probably the last live album from Crazy Horse, the band that took me where I had never been before.

We started together in 1970, playing in my house in Topanga Canyon. The music we have made over fifty years is very meaningful to me and this collection is no exception. The feeling of the horse galloping through Mr. Soul, Walk Like a Giant and so many others makes this a very compelling rock and roll exploration.

Remember the Hearse Theater screening of Like a Hurricane last month? The ALCHEMY videos are cut from that same cloth. Too bad if you missed it when we sneaked it to you that first time, but it will be back with ALCHEMY.

CRAZY HORSE FANS, If all goes as planned, ALCHEMY could come out in 2019. I can’t wait to get this one out there for everyone to enjoy. Crazy Horse fans - this one’s for you! The picture will be much more complete, but not finished!

Times’a wastin’.


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photo: dhlovelife
Climate Change Will Be Here When You Are Gone

Maybe its time to think about the kids.

California Sunset, going down in the West. All the colors in the sky kiss another day goodbye. It might be a good idea to focus on Climate change as an issue. It is the biggest one we face.

We, as usual, have been distracted. We really need to see what is happening. Read the New York times today and see what the scientists are predicting. Earth in crisis in 20 years.

It's not time to relax. It’s time to fight for Earth, for our children and theirs. By the time my daughter is my age this planet will be dying. Read the Climate report that just came out.

“We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement.

The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty. Previous work had focused on estimating the damage if average temperatures were to rise by a larger number, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), because that was the threshold scientists previously considered for the most severe effects of climate change.

Come on people, let’s get together! Stay focused on survival for your kids.

Peace and Love,

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by Phil Baker

New data shows that Facebook’s users are growing tired of the product in record numbers. Creative Strategies, the Silicon Valley market research company, found that one-quarter of the users say that Facebook has become a toxic place to spend their time, and more than 50% say they are not comfortable with how Facebook tracks them online.

It’s no wonder with each new revelation about how they share our data. They are not only tracking and selling their users’ data as we expected, but they’re also tracking people across the web, including those that are not Facebook users. Then we learned that they’re accessing members’ address books, ostensibly to help them better connect with their friends, only to harvest the address book data and sell that to advertisers without permission or clear disclosure. And most recently we learned that 50 to 90 million users had their logins and other information stolen.

Facebook is no longer a place many feel comfortable hanging out. Users feel vulnerable to every like or click and now wonder how they’re being taken advantage of. It’s the same feeling you get wandering down a dark alley at night unsure of what lies ahead or lurks around the next corner.

Whenever they had the opportunity, they compromise privacy for profit without telling us or asking us for permission. With each action, they erode trust further, to a point where more and more are saying “enough is enough.”

Choosing to use a product always involves a balance between the product’s value versus its cost, whether it’s the cost to buy or the cost to one’s privacy. Facebook’s behavior has shifted that balance so that the scale now tilts in favor of just abandoning them forever. It didn’t have to be, but their executives thought they were invulnerable and greatly miscalculated the intelligence of their users.

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Read the Contrarian

We have been working on our expansion for months now and here it is, packed with news, stories, and random information about NYA, music, subscribers and current events.

My dad was a newspaper man and I delivered his paper ‘The Globe and Mail’, Canada’s most widely read newspaper, on my route every morning, six days a week. I think if my dad were alive today, he would appreciate this effort.

Writers John Hanlon, Phil Baker, Bill Bentley, Dave ‘the passenger’ Toms, dhlovelife, archivist Hannah Johnson, and a growing staff supply stories and views here regularly along with me.

Working alongside us every day, Hannah Johnson - project manager, Phil Denslow - digital type setter, and Toshi Onuki - designer, bring the Times-Contrarian to you daily.

Photographs by dhlovelife, Joel Bernstein, CK Vollick and others help to add clarity and color to our stories.

We sincerely hope you enjoy reading The Times-Contrarian as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.


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photo: dhlovelife
It's another beautiful day!

I just got another batch of letters today and I wanted to take the time to thank you all for writing them.

One said, “I really enjoy reading what you write about the ‘song of the day’. Please write more because when I play the song I always look for your message on the info card and I am disappointed when you don’t leave a message”.

That got to me. I felt good knowing that someone enjoyed reading my little messages so I have decided to try to write them as often as I can in the future. This last batch of letters really made me feel good. I like that people are enjoying this space.

When I get up in the morning I do like to write. Not songs so much as just a message like this. When songs come, they come. They are always welcome. I have five or six hanging around now, waiting.

Parked alongside a palm tree grove, hidden by big road trucks, I am up with the sun. I have made some coffee and I always use the same cup. Every day on the bus since the first Farmaid I have used a cup I got back then. It’s a Willie Nelson cup, with his name written in rope on it and a Texas flag. I make my own coffee, usually a latte with a touch of Canadian maple syrup. I drink it as the sun comes up.

This morning I am going to format the answers I have written to questions for ‘Letters to the Editor’. Then they will be up on the paper for you. There are some letters I got that just make me feel good! They don’t ask questions so much as just reinforce what I am trying to do to preserve my music and give it a safe place to live for folks who enjoy visiting it. By ‘safe’ I mean a place where the music is all preserved, sounding as great as it can in the digital world. That is NYA.

I want to tell you that next week, if all goes well, the NYA Times Contrarian will have seven pages! After stories show up on the front page, they will move to sections where they are collected. These sections are throughout the paper. I want to thank all the people who have worked so hard to make this happen. Hannah Johnson, Toshi Onuki, Gordon in Canada with ADE, Mike with ADE, Phil Denslow, Phil Baker, Zeke Young, Leila Crosset and all the little people behind the scenes. You are all so appreciated. Thank you!


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photo: Red Fire Farm
A great show!

Enjoy eating good food

What an amazing show! Willie was great! His guitar was singing so beautifully. His playing is a wonder. What a great songwriter and artist, not to mention his work for regular folks in all walks of life. I am proud to be a part of the Nelson family.

33 Farmaids and the tradition continues. Sadly, the problem facing family farms is worsening under the current administration and there is no end in sight for the need for Farmaid to continue. As Willie says, “We will keep going until its perfect.”

This is a cause for all to believe in. We need our farms and farming way of life. We cannot let the greed of corporations and politicians destroy the very foundation of this country’s life.

Support good food. Enjoy the humanity and cooperation of Farmer’s Markets across the continent. Buy there and support the farming way of life.

Fight stores like Family Dollar and all Dollar stores, stores that offer NO FRESH FOOD, and are responsible for so undercutting many family grocery stores, which are closing across the country. Do not use these stores.

We must take the reins and ride our way back to healthy eating and the good life of farming. I will never give up this fight.

Know where your food comes from. Support Family Farms. Support Good Food for your children and theirs.

Fight the seed killing giants Monsanto and Beyer. Protect the seeds of Life. Don’t be complacent. Buy only good food from farmers. If you can, buy organic.

Drive across this continent and see how industry if killing the farming way of life. Stop in the small towns and look around for yourself. It does not have to be this way. You can make a change and get back to quality food and preserve a quality way of life.

Never pass a Farmer’s market without going in and educating your children about real food. Buy something with the kids. Take it home. Rediscover real food with your children.

Neil Young

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photos: dhlovelife, Ebet Roberts
Defends Willie

by Patrick Doyle RMV/REX/Shutterstock

Last week, Willie Nelson announced he is endorsing Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who stands a chance to unseat Ted Cruz in November, and will headline a rally for O’Rourke on September 29th in Austin. “My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said in a statement. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

Some conservative outlets thought Nelson’s endorsement was surprising, even though he has been aligning himself with Democrats since he got high on the roof of the White House during the Carter administration. Now, Willie’s son Lukas has backed up his father’s political statement up with a video of support: “There is a lot of misinformation about Beto O’Rourke: right wing news slandering him, Facebook groups publishing things that simply aren’t true, lies accusing the left of doing the same,” Lukas says in the message.

Lukas says he was inspired to record the video after stepping offstage with his dad: “I’m very proud of him: at 85, he just blew everyones minds here in Scranton, Pennsylvania playing guitar lines that are transcendent, Coltrane-like, just amazing.”

“My father has always led with his heart – in his life and his music, he’s put his energy toward building a heart-based family and community with music as a cultural glue,” Lukas says. “The issues that are important to him have less to do with himself and what’s good for him and more to do with what’s good for the community. Republican or Democrat, he’s always stood for the candidate that best represented his values which include love for thy neighbor no matter what color or nationality, responsibility with firearms – including some regulation to prevent unnecessary violence – and health care that isn’t owned by private companies who put your health below their profit.”

“I don’t like the news….I believe in knowing someone by meeting them face to face, observing the philosophies they live by and watching what they do. I have met and watched Beto and I support my father’s decision to back him. All I ask is if you disagree is you respect a fellow American for having a different opinion than yourself.”

Nelson goes on to stress the importance of an open mind when it comes to learning about a new candidate. “The common enemy is our division. Together, if we discuss things in civil ways, we can start to realize ourselves not as patriots of a country or state or political party but as patriots of a world community that, whether we like it or not, is getting smaller and smaller. We all have to live with each other now – the old times have come and gone.”

Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real just released an EP, Forget About Georgia, and are currently on the Outlaw Music Festival tour with Willie. That tour hits Mansfield, Massachusetts this Friday with Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Particle Kid and more. Lukas and Promise of the Real play Farm Aid the following day in Hartford, Connecticut, backing up Neil Young (they will also team up for a pair of shows at New York’s Capitol Theatre Sept. 26 and 27th.)

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The Impossible BURGER

photo: dhlovelife

No mention of GMOs


Cornucopia Institute.

by Stacy Malkan

For anyone who wonders why consumers aren’t inspired to trust the GMO industry, consider this bizarre statement from Impossible Foods Chief Communications Officer Rachel Konrad in defense of the Impossible Burger, a veggie burger made more meat-like via genetically engineered yeast.

Konrad was upset by a June 27 Bloomberg article Is it too early for fake meat? that raised concerns about insufficient research, regulation and labeling in the realm of new food technologies.

Konrad took to Medium, blasting critics of the Impossible Burger as “anti-science fundamentalists” and “setting the record straight” with information she sourced from chemical industry front groups and other unreliable anti-consumer messengers who regularly communicate inaccurate information about science.

Bloomberg is not a trusted source of reporting on science, according to Konrad, because the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) says so. The ACSH is a corporate front group that solicits money from tobacco, chemical and pharmaceutical companies to defend pesticides, e-cigs, cosmetics and other toxic products that aren’t likely to win over the vegan crowd.

Instead of enduring the bias of Bloomberg, Konrad tells us, we should take heart in the rise of Mark Lynas, a promoter of GMOs and pesticides who communicates inaccurate information about science, according to scientists and food experts.

Konrad’s article also links to a column by Ted Nordhaus, who sits on the board of the parent organization of Genetic Literacy Project, a chemical industry propaganda group that attacks cancer scientists as part of its role as an “industry partner” in Monsanto’s public relations strategy to protect Roundup weed killer from cancer concerns.

The false and inflammatory messaging these front groups use to promote genetically engineered foods, defend pesticides, ignore health and environmental risks and silence consumer and environmental advocates goes a long way toward explaining why the GMO industry isn’t winning consumer trust.

Impossible Foods had a chance to turn a new leaf. Up to now, most GMO foods have been engineered to survive the spraying of weed-killing chemicals: glyphosate, now also dicamba, and soon also 2,4-D, in what environmental groups call the GMO pesticide treadmill. But the GMO industry is changing with the emergence of new techniques such as CRISPR and synthetic biology.

As one of the first food companies out with a genetically engineered food product that may actually offer consumer benefits (if one likes “bleeding” veggie burgers), Impossible Foods had the opportunity to write a new story, and build trust with an open, transparent process that respects consumer concerns. They blew it.

The Road to Consumer Distrust

Impossible Burger’s new genetically engineered protein is new to the human food supply, and we are supposed to trust the manufacturer to vouch for its safety. But the company’s process hasn’t inspired trust.

Their GMO “heme” ingredient is “super safe,” according to the Impossible Foods website. Konrad explains in Medium, “An objective, third-party team of the nation’s top food researchers unanimously concluded in 2014 that the Impossible Burger’s key ingredient, soy leghemoglobin (produced by a genetically engineered yeast), is ‘generally recognized as safe.’ The panel made this conclusion in 2014, well before we began selling the Impossible Burger on the market in 2016.”

She left out some important facts. As the New York Times reported last August, when the Food and Drug Administration raised concerns that the studies presented in Impossible Foods’ GRAS notification were inadequate to establish safety, the company withdrew its petition but put the burger on the market anyway.

That was within their rights, but not a way to establish confidence in their product.

Another flag: The three food researchers who wrote the expert panel report that Impossible Foods submitted to the FDA—Joseph Borzelleca, Michael Pariza and Steve Taylor—are on a short list of scientists the “food industry turns to over and over again” to obtain GRAS status, and all three served on the Phillip Morris Scientific Advisory Board, according to a 2015 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, The Misinformation Industry: Food safety scientists have ties to Big Tobacco.

Borzelleca, the Center for Public Investigation reported, was the most active of the go-to scientists, having served on 41 percent of 379 panels convened in the last 17 years to review the safety of new food ingredients.

“Despite his decades of experience and praise heaped upon him by colleagues—one called him a ‘wonder’—critics of the GRAS system say Borzelleca is emblematic of a system that is rife with conflicts of interest,” CPI reported. “If scientists depend on the food industry for income, they may be less likely to contest the safety of ingredients companies hope to market, critics say.”

“These are standing panels of industry hired guns,” Laura MacCleery, an attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told CPI. “It is funding bias on steroids.”

But the views of critics with legitimate concerns are not welcome in the world of the Impossible Burger, according to Rachel Konrad.

Rather than blazing a new path of integrity with its new food technology, Impossible Foods has decided to follow a path well worn by many other purveyors of food additives and genetically engineered foods: rush new products to market without a transparent process or comprehensive safety reviews, then shout down anyone who raises concerns. Across our nation, people who want to know what’s in their food find such arrogance distasteful.

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New Report...

photo by adam ck vollick
New Report Revealing Musicians Only Received 12% of the $43 Billion Music Industry in 2017 - High Snobiety

MUSIC-Ripped Off by Tech Giants and Record companies.

A new study by Citigroup report revealed that recording artists only received 12 percent of the $43 billion that the music industry generated in 2017. The report, led by analyst Jason B. Bazinet, suggested that “two profound changes” in the music industry has affected growth.

First up is the consumer’s decision to sign up for music subscription services — such as Apple Music and Spotify — over buying physical copies. As Business Insider reports, artists take home “a meager share of the increasing revenues in streaming for their music” as a result of music labels and music streaming services acting as intermediaries.

The second change is a knock-on effect of listeners opting to rent music instead of buy, with artists now gaining economic strength in live concerts and music festivals. As music distributors and record labels are economically separate from the live concert business, artists have been able to see considerable growth.

Candice Nembhard


Artists and Musicians are duly alarmed at the duplicity between what we have been told is happening and this article’s revelations.

At first, we were told that the

calculations for our streaming income were still being worked out and in the trial phase. Our managers and agents were unable to provide us with information that was clear and concise.

We now read that our income can be made from live concert appearances. That is unfair and plain bullshit. Some of us may not be able to perform in our later years for various personal reasons and yet we have dozens of albums and hundreds of songs still in circulation - a life’s work.

I don’t know where the concept of making money from concerts rather than recordings originated, but concert performances and record making are two distinctly different forms-not to be played off against one another in a vain effort to justify a blatant ripoff of music from artists.

My life’s work in music is still out there and will be after I’m gone. My children and theirs should be the beneficiaries, not some record companies in Los Angeles - not some trillionaires in Silicon Valley, not some streaming company. I don’t mind sharing but if the Citigroup report is correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, the record companies and streaming services are ripping off music.

I have great deals that cover me. But what about new artists trying to make a life in music. Why are they so screwed?

Fortunately I still have music to make me forget these things.

I am not done making records and want to continue my life’s work. I remember well when the record business almost died a few years ago with the advent of the digital age and the errors made in dealing with it, but those days are gone. Now the record business is healthy again.

Only the artists are in trouble.

I have had so many friends and good people at my record company over the years and the great majority of them have no knowledge of the ripoff that is happening right now.

I am sure when they see this they will be saddened. The Citigroup numbers just don’t add up for the artists.


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US, with the so-called President and his Senator Lindsay Graham, plus fellow climate deniers cheering him on, chooses short term greed over long term existence for people of Earth.

Headlines from New York Times 9-11-18.

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Why it matters to you

NY: At NYA, we tell you that you can link from any music’s info card to AMAZON to buy records. We give you other choices too. Please take a moment to think about what you are doing and how easy it is to buy. Here is a message to you from myself but it originates with my friend, Bernie Sanders:

BERNIE: “I want to ask you to clear your mind for a moment and count to 10.











In those 10 seconds, Jeff Bezos, the owner and founder of Amazon, made more money than the median employee of Amazon makes in an entire year. An entire year.

Think about that.

Think about how hard that family member has to work for an entire year, the days she or he goes into work sick, or has a sick child, or struggles to buy school supplies or Christmas presents, to make what one man makes in 10 seconds.

According to Time magazine, from January 1 through May 1 of this year, Jeff Bezos saw his wealth increase by $275 million every single day for a total increase in wealth of $33 billion in a four-month period.

Meanwhile, thousands of Amazon employees are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid and public housing because their wages are too low. And guess who pays for that? You do. Frankly, I don't believe that ordinary Americans should be subsidizing the wealthiest person in the world, because he pays his employees inadequate wages.

But it gets remarkably more ridiculous: Jeff Bezos has so much money that he says the only way he could possibly spend it all is on space travel.

Space travel. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It is absolutely absurd.

Well here is a radical idea: Instead of attempting to explore Mars or go to the moon, how about Jeff Bezos pays his workers a living wage? How about he improves the working conditions at Amazon warehouses across the country so people stop dying on the job? He can no doubt do that and have billions of dollars left over to spend on anything he wants.

So today, whether or not you use Amazon, I want to ask you to join me in sending a message to Jeff Bezos:

Sign my petition to Jeff Bezos: It is long past time you start to pay your workers a living wage and improve working conditions at Amazon warehouses all across the country. He needs to know that you are aware of his company’s greed, which seems to have no end.

Now, I have never understood how someone could have hundreds of billions of dollars and feel the desperate need for even more. I would think that, with the amount of money he has, Jeff Bezos might just be able to get by.

And I think there is something weird and wrong with people who have that much and are willing to step over working people, many with families and young children, in order to get more and more.

But this is not just about the greed of one man. These are policy failures as well.

Last year, Amazon made $5.6 billion in profits and did not pay one penny in federal income taxes. The Trump tax cuts rewarded Amazon with almost $1 billion more. And city after city is offering additional tax breaks, mostly in secret, for the right to host Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

In my view, a nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little. Millions of people across this country struggle to put bread on the table and are one paycheck away from economic devastation, and the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good.

It has got to stop.

But that starts with all of us making our voices heard and being clear — loudly and directly — that this kind of greed is intolerable, and it must end. And that starts with you:

Sign my petition to Jeff Bezos: It is long past time you start to pay your workers a living wage and improve working conditions at Amazon warehouses all across the country. He needs to know that you are aware of his company’s greed, which seems to have no end.

As Americans, we must ask ourselves one fundamental question, and that is whether or not this is the kind of country and economic culture we are comfortable with. I am not. And I don’t believe you are either. Thank you for making your voice heard.”

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Neil Young


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Chemical giant gets nailed

Dewayne Johnson, trial team and jurors after historic $289.3m verdict

By adopting Big Tobacco's playbook,

  • corrupting public officials,
  • capturing the regulatory agencies,
  • compromising scientists and ghostwriting science to sew doubt, Monsanto has been able to escape the consequence of killing a percentage of customers who use its product as directed, while poisoning our water, our food and our planet.

Now the cascade of science has passed the inflection point and the only real question in this trial was whether the American Jury System could withstand Monsanto's awesome power to subvert democracy.

"I'm overjoyed that this jury understood the need to reassert democratic institutions over corporate power.

Thanks Neil and Daryl for your long, inspiring leadership in this big fist fight."

-- Robert Kennedy

"Monsanto made Roundup the

oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost.

This won't cure DeWayne Lee Johnson's cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company."

-- Ken Cook Environmental Working Group


NYA - Next week we begin our in-depth history of the trial, day by day, written by Robert Kennedy and the legal team that brought Monsanto to justice.

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Facebook Hesitates

We don’t want to lose our Facebook music lovers. We need them to stay with us. A Facebook decision is on the table at NYA. We are watching.

NYA needs Facebook. It enables us to reach out to gazillions of music lovers and potential subscribers. We like the Facebook ability to log into NYA without any extra hoops. But how do we use something we don’t believe in and feel good about it?

Facebook resists passing judgements on the posts it publishes. We need Facebook to be more responsible. Facebook hesitates. Russians and others easily used Facebook to their advantage, sucking the air out of our Democracy while Americans watched football. Censorship is a big responsibility and the Social Media Giant is seemingly not up to defending democracy, at least not yet.

Hey Facebook, you can’t publish it and not be responsible for it. You have to take a position. Get real. We need you to be responsible!

Even as Facebook struggles to find its position with regard to protecting Democracy, CEO Zuckerberg seems to be unable to deal with what he has created. Social media is a monster. An out of control twister moving across the green lawn of American Democracy.

Welcome to your life. Turn this off and take a walk.

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LOT #7


photo: dhlovelife

Over population is becoming our normal experience. Growth is our way of life. Sustaining it can not and will not happen forever.

Sure, it's hard to tell a new family to limit the number of children they have biologically, and that if they want a bigger family, opt to adopt the rest. It's hard to tell anyone what to do with such personal life decisions. It doesn't seem right. It's also difficult to understand how we will curb population growth without creating a new set of priorities, socially acceptable standards or restricting a natural right.

The animal kingdom has its own set of problems. Take Lot #7. Flowers are growing everywhere, with an abundance of birds and animals. Life is moving forward for that space of land. How long will that last? Until Lot #7's owner begins work on a new project, building a business headquarters on Lot #7 in the new office park, where people will have jobs.

Progress will come to Lot #7. The wildlife, animals, birds and amphibians will move on or disappear. More people will be born, and will need jobs to support their families.

Some feel this challenge will take care of itself. Perhaps humanity will start a World War, encounter famine, disease, or any number of other cataclysmic events that might drastically cut down the population.

Is there another way? I think about my children and theirs every day as I travel the world. This challenging subject is critical to contemplate. Of course, many people are too busy to be concerned with problems like this. These issues are just not important in their day to day life.

We cannot rely on government. The focus there is growth and profit, environmental de-regulation, replacement of laws made to protect endangered species, perpetuating fossil fuels that are destroying our planet's environment, and a blatant disregard for science.

It seems to always be rush hour. Was traffic always this bad? Read up on it. It's worse than ever before and growing. For thousands of years human population grew slowly then in the last 100 years it exploded, tripling its rate exponentially. There are over two thirds more people on the planet now, than when I was born, and millions more than there ever has been. We are building new roads, more cars, more houses. Growth is what our economy is based on and it's a dangerous model. Perpetual growth is a cancer.

We don't know where this is going.


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Young artists today, great authors, songwriters and musicians at the beginning of their creative output, are challenged to make ends meet in the digital world, a world where the artist is paid last, if at all, by the Tech Giants. This came to mind somehow today, listening to Broken Arrow, an album I made with Crazy Horse about twenty years ago, in 1996.

Broken Arrow is an overlooked album. It was the first Crazy Horse album after the death of David Briggs, our producer since the beginning’s lucky “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.” It was engineered by Greg Archilla, who David had just introduced to us. Broken Arrow is soulful. Real. Not trying to be anything it wasn’t. I was beginning to see that hits were overrated and that hit-makers were falling like flies.

There’s a comet in the sky tonight.

Makes me feel like I’m alright

I’m movin’ pretty fast

For my size

Those lyrics from Music Arcade are kind of how I felt at the time. Today, in the age of FaceBook, GOOGLE and Amazon, it’s hard to tell how a new and growing musical artist could make it in the way we did. The Tech Giants have figured out a way to use all the great music of everyone from all time, without reporting an artist’s number of plays or paying a fucking cent to the musicians. Aren’t they great companies!!! It makes you wonder where the next generation of artists will come from. How will they survive?

‘Don’t be Evil.’ That was GOOGLE’S corporate motto as they directed users to pirate sites to get artist’s creations and not pay!! Amazing tech breakthrough!! Meanwhile, they reap the bucks from ads people read while listening to music made by the artists. GOOGLE just changed their motto to ‘Do the Right Thing,’ but haven’t changed anything else as they continue to rip off the artist community, building their wealth on music’s back and paying nothing to the artists. WOW! Brilliant tech breakthrough! BTW, GOOGLE is YOU TUBE. Guess who’s next?

I am so happy to be able to share my music and albums like Broken Arrow with you here at NYA, where you can actually hear what we did. Xstream high resolution music makes me feel like I was there. I hope you can feel it too. The more you enjoy this music, the happier I am to share it with you. NYA is moving into a future that is really different from what we have now. It will not be easy. We are going to break a few rules and give you what you want.



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A Band of Brothers (Part II)

After terrorizing small clubs around California in 1982, it was time for Los Lobos to take steps to find a record label to move forward. Their energy onstage was overwhelming, delivering a mix of rock & roll-driven originals and Mexican-American anthems. Lobos' live shows felt like a five-day fiesta of unadulterated joy. Watching them tap into something deeper than just music was a constant reminder of how certain sounds evoke a neural urgency, sending listeners into blissful reveries of days gone by and nights to come. It is the very reason music is our ultimate language of life.

Los Lobos had self-released their earliest recordings in the 1970s, but considering Los Angeles was on fire with all kinds of new music and inquisitive A&R directors, there was plenty of room for the East L.A. marauders to find a proper home. At the top of the list of companies that prided themselves on diversity, Slash Records was golden. Perched above a drug store on Beverly Boulevard right down the street from El Coyote restaurant in mid-town, the company was no stranger to musical spelunking. Los Lobos had been playing shows with such Slashsters as The Blasters, X and others, so it was a seamless fit for the label to offer them a recording contract.

For their first release on Slash, it was decided an EP would be the perfect calling card. It could be a chance to introduce what was basically an unknown band to the world at large, and with four original songs and six rollicking covers, it gave Los Lobos an irresistible sonic edge. Produced by T-Bone Burnett and Steve Berlin (the wailing saxophonist was not yet a full-fledged member of the band), the appropriately-titled "...and a time to dance" threw a wide net on a curious audience, announcing there was a formidable aggregation that had come to kill. The band's sure-fire live favorite, "Anselma," was a whiplash invitation to mayhem, and when it won the 1983 Grammy for Best Mexican-American Performance, the party was permanently on. Los Lobos became an unrelenting source of pride for Los Angeles, East and West, and created their own genre in modern rock. And that on the EP they also included the instant contemporary classics of Richie Valens' "Come On Let's Go" and Flaco Jimenez's "A Te Dejo in San Antonio" proved the quartet knew where they came from. In '83 it felt like the world was starting to crack open a bit wider. While the politics were being dominated by the California Republican in the White House, in reality America was beginning to hear a call of openness and divine inspiration. Something had to give, and it made perfect sense that music would, once again, lead the charge.

In 1984, through sheer luck and a cosmic gift, I became Slash's publicist. They say in life that the truest test of a righteous path is one that lets you follow your joy. I had definitely hit the mother lode. Working with some of the most exciting artists in America, going up the stairs every morning at Slash was an instant rush. Music would be blaring from one of the small rooms, whether it was Rank & File's new release or demos from the Violent Femmes, and the dedicated staff was actually happy to see each other, even if there was just a half-dozen of us. We all knew what we'd been given, and weren't about to destroy such a wonderful chemistry. One day that summer an unlabeled white cassette appeared on my desk, and when I put it in the deck to play, my jaw quickly dropped open several inches. The first song was an unbridled rocker that felt like a car careening downhill with no brakes. "Don't Worry Baby" went straight for the skies from the first note, without even thinking about slowing down. Singer and writer Cesar Rosas had hit on the magic formula for modern rock & roll, propelled by the band's strangle-hold attack and saxophonist's Steve Berlin saxual assault on the soul. And that was just the first song.

The album, HOW WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE, had gathered every essence of becoming an American treasure, and let Los Lobos show exactly what made them unequaled. It's the kind of collection of songs where one right after the other ups the ante of what life's gracious possibilities can be, and gives a peak at the pudding that really lies at the center of all our bodies. I've only heard a dozen or so collections of anything like it: you know immediately this might just be the best music ever recorded, at least in the present tense. Every part of your mind races into overdrive thanking the higher powers you are being allowed to be in on the action. Really. As songs like "A Matter of Time," "Corrido #1," "Serenata Nortena," "I Got Loaded" and "Evangeline" roared from my petite speakers, they took my breath away. In fact, it made it hard to breath, and I started thinking maybe I should start the drive to nearby Cedars-Sinai hospital and hit the emergency room while I still could. Then came the last song, David Hidalgo and Louie Perez’s "Will the Wolf Survive.” I knew in an electric flash that not only had timelessness entered the building, but so had a call to arms for music lovers everywhere. It was a rallying song for all who believed that music is our savior. Maybe our only savior. For now, there could be nothing else.

When the album was released, fortunately the world agreed with my initial reaction. It's a blessed day in the neighborhood when critics and civilians agree, and for Los Lobos this time around perfect harmony between those two factions was the theme of the day. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named HOW WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE the Best Album of 1984, and the band became a touchstone for American music. Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Conrad Lozano and now full-member Steve Berlin were carrying the flag for all the aggregations who dug down deep and listened to their higher selves in what they wrote and played. In fact, Los Lobos became more than just a group. They became leaders of what was being called roots music, but what in reality was more of a heaven-sent sound. It was up to them and all those in their rock & roll army to lead the charge away from corporate rock and head back into the field to fight the good fight. Alternative music and Americana weren't far around the corner.

But for Los Lobos, that determination would soon be tested. The band had been booked to play a series of shows along the Texas-Mexico border, where they hadn't been heard yet, opening for a teeny-bopper group called La Mafia. No one was quite sure who'd come up with this brain-twister of a double-bill, but off Los Lobos went to open the tour in Laredo, and I was right along with them. But not before tour manager Bondo (no last name needed) peeled off a hundred dollar bill in Austin and asked me if would head to San Antonio and find a certain guitar maker and buy his homemade strings for Hidalgo's big bajo sexto. No problem, because it would give me a chance to track down my Texas soul brother Doug Sahm, and hopefully say hello to Flaco Jimenez. San Antonio was a whole other enchilada when it came to American cities, and old musician friends like El Pinquino, Rocky Morales, Jack "the Barber," Charlie McBurney, the Jalapeño Kid, Sauce Gonzalez and maybe even a Esteban "El Parache" Jordan sighting always made the town come alive with wild merriment and unrivaled sounds. Soon enough I was roaring down I-35 heading for the border and Lord knows what lay ahead.

The first Los Lobos-La Mafia show was in a corrugated tin warehouse. It felt about 40 degrees inside, and it seemed like I was the only person in the crowd over 18. Still, Los Lobos had no fear. They came out, roared into "Don't Worry Baby," "Come on Let's Go" and a batch of other knee-poppers. Unfortunately, the kids just stood and stared. I may have heard a clap or two, but not much more. Lobos might as well have been playing Martian music. It just didn't fit into what La Mafia's acolytes have come to hear. But the Angelenos finished their set, packed up and headed off for McAllen to try again. Same thing there, as well as the third night in Brownsville. Fortunately, Lobos veered off of the tour and headed for a small club in Corpus Christi to try their hand on their own. The Corpus radio station had been blasting "Don't Worry Baby" for weeks, and the sold-out house was practically drooling to drop the hammer and go crazy. The crowd was so thick you couldn't stir them with a stick, and by the time Lobos' roared into their hit single, it felt like Lobomania had been unleashed. A good ol' boy of six-foot-six and 250 pounds of Texas brawn slid up to me, and asked me who the band was. I told him, and he gave me a quizzical smile and said, "Well, I heard their song on the radio and it reminded me of that hun'ert mile-per-hour n....r music I used to love. I figgered I better get down here and see what's goin' on..." I quickly headed for the other side of the club. Maybe a chicken move on my part, but the man had a hundred pounds on me and I couldn't see getting stomped into Gulf Coast mush that night. I had work to do.

For the next three years Los Lobos went on a tear all across America, and even in cities around the world. There was something so unique about how they approached the music of their Mexican-American heritage, and mixed it with early rock & roll and modern tales of challenge and redemption. It really did start to feel something like a musical religion, one born on the streets of East L.A. and that spread into Hollywood and beyond. In 1987 it was time for a follow-up album, and when BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON came in it felt like Lobos had done it once again. "One Time One Night" had all the passionate pathos of the best of HOW WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE. There were plenty of other songs on the album that spoke directly to the best part of ourselves, and offered solace in the strength needed to stay the course.

By then, I had become a creative services writer at Warner Bros. Records, which was distributing Slash's releases. For the new album, I wrote an advertisement for the back cover of Billboard magazine that simply said THE YEAR OF THE WOLF. It just felt right for the band and where they were, and also held promise this would be their year again. Little did I know how right I'd be, but not necessarily for an accurate reason. BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON just did not catch fire. In the record business, there's always a million reasons why something doesn't hit big, whether it's timing, the label, the songs, the world, the economy or even the alignment of the stars. Everybody usually gets the blame, but there's no way to change it. By mid-year not everything was grooving in Lobosland. And that's when it happened. The group recorded the title song for the new film "La Bamba," and before you would say "vamonos" Los Lobos had a Number One single in America, were selling-out large venues and became world famous for their new screaming version of Richie Valens' '50s classic. There was no way to have seen it coming at the start of the year, but indeed 1987 actually became The Year of the Wolf. We were all thrilled for the band, and platinum record plaques were passed around to the Warner Bros. staff like candy. The popularity and commercial success were the same, whether they wrote the song or not. It set Los Lobos up for a career that is still vibrant today. Onward through the smog, I say, and don't look back.

In as classy an act as I can recall in the rock & roll business, for the multi-platinum follow-up Los Lobos went back to their earliest roots and recorded the acoustic gem LA PISTOLA Y EL CORAZON. Maybe it was a way to deflate sales expectations of having another "La Bamba," but more probably it was something they had wanted to do for years and now that they had the clout of a big-seller under their belt Lobos could pretty much do whatever they wanted. It was a beautiful and timeless collection of songs, one that will surely live forever, and let the band that once called themselves "just another band from East L.A." take their fans on an unexpected excursion into another side of their musical life.

It had been 30 years since LA PISTOLA was released when I went to the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to see Los Lobos three months ago. I had crept into the publicity department at Warner Bros. in '88, and worked with the band for many more albums. It was always an honor to hold that job. The way Lobos can write everlasting songs and then perform them with the kind of spirit that calls in the angels is nothing short of divine. Dozens and dozens of live shows proved that to me through all these years, and when I stood in front of the stage at the Nokia and the band strolled out my heart was jumping around like a caught catfish. And then there it was: the opening chords of "Will the Wolf Survive." It was as majestic as anything I've ever heard, and also felt like a song Los Lobos was playing in their backyard just for me. Chillbumps sprouted up and down my body, and I could feel tears running down my face. Sometimes the music of the spheres opens up on us, like a summer shower, and there is no other way to react except to give in to the cosmos and thank whoever you can find inside yourself for allowing life to last this long. Surely there is a reason for such a gift, and at the same time it is likely we will never discover what it is. What we do come to understand is so often reasons are overrated. Better to give in to the unexplainable and let the magic wash over us like a fountain of eternal gratitude. And then start to dance.

Bill Bentley

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A Band of Brothers (Part 1)

The unending wonder of rock & roll bands begins when two or more like-spirited souls meet and decide to take a wild-eyed run at destiny. No matter that it is long odds anyone will ever hear them, or somehow a life’s pursuit can be won. That's because the music contains a magical potion which overwhelms the bloodstream, making hope a physical phenomenon shared among musicians. No matter the extreme odds against success, or even the chance to actually learn to play music remain a dream, the music itself becomes a lifeblood, something it is completely impossible to live without.

David Hidalgo and Louie Perez met in an East Los Angeles high school in the early '70s. Each of them had wide-open ears about modern music, listening to albums by Fairport Convention, Randy Newman and Ry Cooder, along with all the songs on Top 40 radio. It got mixed up in their Mexican-American blood, creating a synthesis only shared by them. It was like an omen presented itself, one that promised an original conglomeration of styles and sounds. A fortune teller might even have been able to see what lay ahead: Los Lobos.

Once Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and, originally, Frank Gonzales had found their way into the fold of the band, history opened its arms and took the aggregation in. The Mexican-American community in California had a long and proud history of offering diversity in rock & roll. It wasn't really talked about, but the powerful passions involved could not be ignored. Everything that got added to mix, whether it was exotic harmonies, pounding percussion, ultimate syncopations and even an extreme approach to barreling tempos, felt like the youthful excursion that was rock & roll needed the extra spice. History is funny that way: accidents become the glue that holds everything together. No one figured this out in advance. The musicians just did it because that was what was inside them. Their own self-expression held the keys to a new kingdom.

At first, Los Lobos performed many nights of traditional Mexican-American music at weddings, backyard parties and various neighborhood events. The quintet was learning to play, and always sought out the unexpected instruments found at neighborhood pawnshops and music stores. It must have felt like a new world had opened up, and as men in their early twenties life was all about discovery. There were no fences or even norms for them to worry about. In English, Los Lobos meant The Wolves, and they roamed their sonic environs with the freedom of the band name's inspiration.

Los Lobos' first foray out of East Los Angeles was in 1980 when they were chosen to open for John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols band Public Image, Ltd. at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. The Olympic had been home to boxing, wrestling, music concerts and all kinds of other nefarious enterprises over the years, and was an exciting destination for the young band from East Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the audience was not open to their music, and their set ended in an early closing and an audience unwilling to listen. But when you're a Wolf, you must remain a fighter, and Los Lobos held their heads high and waited for another day. Music is a long game, and the only sure road to failure is to quit. There would be no quitting by Los Lobos. They held their music close to their hearts, and had no exit plan. The band had a mission. Now they just had to throw open the door to new possibilities to see where that path could go.

In 1981 I had started producing shows in the dank, dark basement of a questionable Chinese restaurant in Hollywood called Cathay de Grande. The decor downstairs was as bad as the food upstairs, but none of that mattered. Once again, freedom was the currency of the day, and booking Texas friends like Sir Douglas Sahm, Joe "King" Carrasco and Stevie Ray Vaughan was an express ride to nocturnal bliss. The nights were an upended rush of nocturnal grooves, with the audience of 100 driven to temporary nirvana all in the name of rock & roll. One evening Dave Alvin of the Blasters came by, and passed me a cassette tape he'd been given by a band hoping to play in Hollywood. The musician had waited for Alvin outside the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, and had a gleam in his eye. He'd asked Alvin to listen and see if there was a place for them in the exploding wash of roots music exploding in Los Angles. When I got the tape, I noticed it only had the word "David" written on it, with a seven-digit phone number. This was before area codes ruled the world.

I soon listened to it, and was spellbound by what I heard. Obviously recorded live in a living room, the band tore into their first song like famished banshees, and never let up. An accordion collided with a fiery lead guitar, while the rhythm section twisted and turned like downhill skiers flying at the speed of sound. What the group lacked in sophistication they more than made up for in unbridled bravado. This was music that comes along once every decade or so, if luck holds up. I immediately called the number and reached David Hidalgo, explaining I wanted them to open a show at Cathay de Grande. I could pay $100, and they could play an hour set. We came to a quick agreement, and when I asked him the name of the band, he said with about as much pride as I've ever heard over a phone: Los Lobos. I broke out in goosebumps, thinking “now that's a band name I'll never forget."

When the show night came around, Los Lobos arrived early, unpacking their instruments and grinning ear to ear. Soon enough their friends from East Los Angeles showed up, sending out waves of pride you could almost touch, with many dressed to the nines, clearly ecstatic to be at their neighborhood band's very first show in Hollywood. 1981 was still a time that to play Hollywood meant the gates off success would be opening shortly, and their fans would not miss such a momentous event. When the first downbeat opened Los Lobos' set, I couldn't believe my ears. They were playing a classic Flaco Jimenez song, and doing it well enough that Jimenez would probably approve. I had spent the '70s in central Texas following Flaco around, from dirt-floor cantinas on a street nicknamed Blood Alley in San Antonio, to a taping of "Austin City Limits." He was a true Texas hero, and someone who lived in a different world than the rest of us. And now here I was, in the sweltering basement of a Chinese restaurant in Hollywood listening to the music of my youth. Life is rarely better than when there is concrete proof that the circle will actually remain unbroken, and that it's not a phony line on a fortune cookie. I knew instantaneously and with absolute certainty at the end of the song that my life would be powerfully impacted by this band of brothers calling themselves Los Lobos. Very often visions flash in front of us, and if we are fortunate enough at the time to have our eyes open and our memory engaged, a gorgeous glimpse into the future is presented. One that we will always remember as a turning point well-taken.

At the end of the show I went to the club owner to get $100 to give the band. And walked right into a chainsaw. When I told him it was time to pay up, the owner just laughed and said "No, I will not be giving you Los Lobos' dough." Cathay de Grande always had its own dark business ethics, but this was below even that level. "Why pay them?" he told me. “You'll never hear of them again." A flash of light went before my eyes, and all I could think to do was break a beer bottle on the bar and yell, "Pay or die." A pacifist at heart, I gambled that shock value would count for something, and luckily it did. I got the $100 and went back to David Hidalgo to deliver the cash. I also remember telling him it was one the finest nights of music I'd ever seen. Before long, the group was opening for the Blasters at the Whisky, and playing other clubs all over California. An amazing thing was happening, and to see it at its start is like winning a trifecta at Hollywood Park. For me, it was just the start of a friendship--both professional and personal--that has lasted almost 40 years and has no sign of slowing down.

Coming Part 2: Greatness, Slash Records and the Texas Border

Bill Bentley

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A Forever Friend

Life ain't for everybody, but everyone surely has their time. For some it can stretch forward forever, like they're linked to the eternal stars above and it will never end. And others flare across the sky like comets, sharing a cosmic rush with those lucky enough to be in their presence. There is no way to change that fate, it seems, but rather accept whatever it may be. Musicians can be like that. They may explode into our world, sometimes pointing the way for a decades-long path. Others fill our souls with so much feeling it seems like they were always there. And then they are gone, their music becoming a living memory of inspiration.

Janis Joplin was a down-to-earth galaxy of emotions. She wasn't just a singer. Joplin was a vibrational force who single-handedly twisted blues into something much bigger than that. What the woman did was like modern art, taking sounds that started as slave chants and then using them to unlock a brand new universe of boldness. Along the way she showed both men and women how to open up a private place within themselves to allow the rest of the world to come inside. Giving that gift to others is something so many aspire to, and so few ever achieve. For Joplin, she had to, because she suffered from that deadliest of diseases: loneliness. Singing was the only medicine that worked. While heroin might have finally stopped her from breathing, it was the loneliness that really killed her.

Growing up in Port Arthur, Texas in the 1950s was a prescription of disaster for girls with a deep artistic streak. Conformity was the prevailing religion there, no matter what church was the actual worship of choice. To color outside the lines was considered a near-mental illness, and dealt with accordingly. Ostracism and ridicule were the punishments du jour, and each was applied aggressively to Joplin. She liked reading books, listening to blues and running with a wild crowd during her youth. She spent years dodging the dark looks and verbal darts aimed her way. Many saw her as an Outcast with a capital O, and steered clear. Luckily she found enough male friends as running buddies in Port Arthur, and once she heard Bessie Smith's records Janis Joplin had an everlasting friend. The teenager was home free, taking off on the road to self-discovery and inner expression. Little did anyone know then the world would be changed by the way she so openly shared her spirit, and would come to call her simply Janis. Once the singer opened her mouth to sing, it would be impossible to think of Joplin ever again as a stranger.

When Joplin was called to San Francisco from Austin in 1966 by Avalon Ballroom impresario Chet Helms, it was to hopefully join Big Brother & the Holding Company. She had lived in San Francisco a few years earlier, but hit the wall with some self-destructive habits that got her sent back to Port Arthur. Her Bay Area friends were worried, and could feel her opportunities were narrowing down to nothing. Joplin tried being normal back in her hometown for awhile, but like so many bohemian-inclined Texans found her way to Austin looking for some bigger room to breathe. She'd started her musical life there in the early '60s, singing with the aptly named Waller Creek Boys and becoming part of a folk music contingent who hung out at Kenneth Threadgill's combination gas station-beer joint. But like many early endeavors, it didn't last long enough for stage-two to kick in. Joplin's second-time around in Austin lead her to auditioning for brand new psychedelic pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators until Helms made the call. Considering that the University of Texas fraternity crowd had just voted Janis Joplin "Ugliest Man on Campus," leaving town likely looked a wise move. Friend Travis Rivers loaded his car with Joplin and a suitcase, swung by singer-songwriter Powell St. John's place to pick up his newly-written gem "Bye Bye Baby," and off they went into the sunset. The road was wide open and the traveling pair filled with hope and wonder. It was a time when overplanning was an undesirable option. America felt like a new adventure was rushing in, even if it was only visible in neighborhoods in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and a few other enlightened areas. It was a time of uncertainty to be sure, except for one thing: change was coming and colorful choices were there for the taking. It was not a time to be left behind.

When Janis Joplin hit the Haight-Ashbury district in 1966 minds were being blown on a daily basis. On every corner, in most apartments and all through Golden Gate Park was a parade of sweetness and swirls. Without a doubt a youth revolution was being born, and entry was open to anyone with an open heart and a curious mind. The rock & roll bands based in the Haight had kicked open the doors of perception and ushered in an unlimited assault on what had come before. "Furthur" was the password and going back was not an option, because there was no back to go to. It probably took only one ten-block stroll down Haight Street across Stanyan into the park for Joplin to find her inner-groove thing start to twang full-tilt, and one song sung on the rooming house basement stage at 1090 Page with Big Brother & the Holding Company to snap that she'd found home. Life is like that: there are millions of unexplainable links that come and go, until finally The One hits full-force with an irrefutable realization that all the others were just a warm-up leading to The Now. Her freak flag was finally fully unfurled.

The next four years for Janis Joplin were the kind of breathtaking ride very few humans get to take. The early times with Big Brother forged a sister-brotherhood bond often found in a new band which becomes so close and savvy that mind-reading becomes the new norm. The group had been a loud, somewhat aimless aggregation pre-Joplin. With her exploding on song after song as their singer, the quintet emerged as an out-of-body experience on their best nights. On their not-so-best, there was still no-one like them. When Big Brother got booked to perform at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967, their then-manager would not allow them to be filmed for the proposed D.A. Pennebaker film. But once everyone there experienced the onstage explosion of everythingness emanating out of Joplin, minds were quickly changed and the band was allowed another set the next day to ensure their exposure to the world once the Monterey concert movie was released. Columbia Records eagle-eye Clive Davis immediately zeroed in on signing Big Brother to his label, and erstwhile Bob Dylan manager Albert Grossman outmaneuvered the hometown team and added Big Brother & the Holding Company to his elite stable of artists. It was like a rock & roll trifecta had occurred in that coastal California town, which would set up the coming of Janis Joplin as a musical force of nature, one that could not be stopped. Little Girl Blue became the Queen of Rock & Roll, and was never toppled until she fell on her own sword.

Loneliness, like a dark night, does not ever really disappear. And as every single box on the list of immortality would get checked off by Janis Joplin, the feeling of being apart from others kept returning. Pills, powders and Southern Comfort could sometimes wrap the pain in a paper bag, but eventually the bag would be torn open and the aloneness came back. Often when she was surrounded by thousands of adoring fans. The childhood wounds of being a stranger in a strange land in Port Arthur cut so deep that true healing was never an option. Managing the slices and dices took a busload of courage, but a steady solution remained beyond Joplin's grasp. The human mind is a cunning beast, and seems to feed on confusion eerily masked as contentment. Until it isn’t.

When Janis Joplin flew into Austin from Hawaii in July 1970, the world was hers. She was going to start recording a new album in Los Angeles, but first wanted to attend her earliest mentor Kenneth Threadgill's 60th birthday party. Joplin was only 27 years old, but had the outward soul of eternity on her side, and carried it well in a shimmering silk outfit and feather-topped kitten heels. The celebration was being held at a party barn 10 miles from Austin, with a small stage set up outdoors. When she first saw Threadgill backstage, Joplin took off the ring of flowers she'd worn from Hawaii and put them around the man's neck, saying, "Here you go Mr. Threadgill. You need a good lei." She'd been using bawdy humor her whole life, like the Ipana toothpaste shield of protection, never giving in to those early years of being picked on, laughed at and not invited to her schoolmates' parties. Joplin may have had the last laugh at her childhood bullies, but the hurt was still there. When it was time for her to sing a few songs for Threadgill, who had supplied her first stage to sing on, she sat down on a bale of hay holding an acoustic Gibson guitar, backed by old Austin friends Chuck and Julie Joyce. "I'm going to play some songs by someone you've never heard of, but you will someday. His name is Kris Kristofferson." And then Janis Joplin went right into "Sunday Morning Coming Down." Naturally, she had chosen the ultimate theme song of loneliness, the kind that makes the heart freeze with an aching emptiness. When she sang the line, "There's something in a Sunday that makes a body feel alone," it was like every one in the audience had a group cry together, their king-sized tears hitting the bone-dry Texas dirt they were sitting on. Joplin saw it happen right in front of her, and at the end of the song ripped off one of her snappy cackles knowing she'd nailed her listeners to an inner cross. Without wasting a moment, she began singing, "Busted flat in Baton Rouge waitin' for a train and feelin' near as faded as my jeans." Joplin hadn't recorded "Me and Bobby McGee" yet, but there was something that felt so strikingly familiar about the words it wrapped around the audience like an old friend. By the end, the few hundred people sitting in front of her had melted together into one. Their fellow Texan stood up and took a small bow, raised her right hand above her head to wave and then was gone. Almost like the Lone Ranger. We were all speechless, quickly realizing words didn't exist to describe what we'd just witnessed.

When we heard three months later that Janis Joplin was dead in Los Angeles, like it always does when death walks in the door, the body felt alone. Her loneliness became our loneliness, one that would be impossible to shake. For someone who seemed to be so invigorated by life and music, she obviously spent many of her days on earth wondering what it meant and where it would lead. And while there is no final answer, the clues seem to suggest it will always be about the enjoyment of the journey and not the inevitable final destination, which is already known. Playwright August Wilson once wrote, "This be an empty world without the blues," and in so many ways Wilson could have been writing about Janis Joplin herself. The young woman from Port Arthur had learned that lesson early, and used the blues as her calling card to living, turning hurt into happiness and despair into deliverance. For that, Little Girl Blue's spirit will forever shine on.

Bill Bentley

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A Perfect Disaster

Rock & roll is a tricky business. Bands are formed with grand visions of musical wonder, and enough hope to fill a universe. Once songs have been written, live shows performed and the path initiated to a recording studio for sessions to record the debut album, there is little thought of anything but ecstasy. Even with different band personalities hitting the inevitable push and pull of human interaction, the group stays sacred. It is them against the world, and no matter how sticky label negotiations and ego expressions portend inevitable flare-ups, there is always the sanctity of the original spirit to fall back on. It starts as them against the world, and a new band is truly a beautiful thing to behold, either from on or off the bandstand.

Few groups began with more power and promise than Moby Grape. Their origins felt like a cosmic fate had put them together, and once the earliest rehearsals happened, no doubt each member looked at the other and knew they had found a sonic beauty to soon share with the world. The Grape were centered in San Francisco in 1966, though they weren't really part of the city's life before then. Guitarist Jerry Miller and drummer Don Stevenson came from the Pacific Northwest. Guitarist Peter Lewis was living in Los Angeles, the son of Academy Award-winning actress Loretta Young. Bassist Bob Mosley was based in San Diego, while guitarist Skip Spence was a free spirit who was born in Canada but grew up around Santa Cruz before joining the first edition of Jefferson Airplane as drummer in 1965. The natural wonder of this new quintet was that each one sang and wrote songs equally as incredible as the others. They could veer from pin-dropping five-part harmonies on ballads of exquisite gorgeousness like "8:05" and "Someday," and then come right back spinning out high-velocity instant rock classics like "Omaha" and "Hey Grandma." In their own undeniable way, there wasn't another American band like them.

Conveying the kind of musical promise groups like Moby Grape possessed brought out the sharks of the music business. San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood had opened the door to a perceived promised land for rock & roll. Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service made it seem like the counterculture had achieved a lifestyle of such peace, love and understanding that perfection lay right down Haight Street heading right into Golden Gate Park. While mayhem had raised its ugly head in America with race riots and Vietnam War protests, San Francisco held out the hope that a whole different world was being born there, one based on more trust and less treachery. Whether it was true or not then, the future is always constructed on possibilities of a better life. It is what moves life forward and holds off despair and disintegration. Once record labels snapped they could sell a musical soundtrack to a brighter future, out came their checkbooks and all that it brings.

Moby Grape's management played the money game hard and fast, and the band ended up being Columbia Records' big bet, along with Big Brother & the Holding Company, on Bay Area rock & roll. Those were heady times for the Grape, who knew their awesome strengths inside and out, and they started work on a debut album that still stands, over a half century later, as one of the strongest ever recorded. When three guitars, bass and drums lock into interstellar overdrive like Moby Grape's did, there is no sound on the planet as joyous and inspirational. The skies unlock an ethereal energy and send sound waves to those listening, amping up an inner twang inside human hearts open to the experience. There is no way to really describe it, but rock & roll's life force is very often the most powerful thing on the planet, which explains why it became the sound of youth all those years ago--and has never been replaced. It is the only constant in the artistic timeline of the past century to offer such solace and strength for those tuned in and in need of such precious gifts. And in 1967, Moby Grape was ready to release the biggest gift of all. Until reality raised its scary head and came close to ending it as soon as it had begun.

For some reason not seen at the time, the Grape's self-titled album came out on the same day in June 1967 as The Beatles' SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. An innocent mistake, no doubt, but one that guaranteed anything else released at the exact same time would likely be overlooked. Like another one-two punch of unexplainable misfortune, the cover of Moby Grape's album featured an alluring photo of the band in front of a Marin County antique store. Except for the fact, and it's a huge one, drummer Don Stevenson is sitting in a chair shooting the finger at the photographer. Naturally, in 1967 that was a big no-no, one that caused many radio station programmers who received the album in the mail to write a big "Fuck You" on the cover and send it back to Columbia Records' promo whizzes. Then, to add insult to idiocy, Columbia decided to release five singles simultaneously to show their ultimate belief in the band's music. It's best to remember one single's chances of being added to a radio station's current playlist is a miraculous occurrence. Five singles? Straight into the wastebasket. Who did Moby-whatever think they were? And that wasn't the end. Over-the-top release parties in San Francisco and Los Angeles were exactly the opposite of the Haight-Ashbury hippie credo of a lifestyle centered on simplicity and inner soul, so within a matter of days Moby Grape went from being the Great Rock Hope to the perfect example of The Man trying to commandeer the counterculture's authenticity with dishonest hype and commercial chicanery. Bye bye Moby Grape.

Still, the band opened the Monterey International Pop Festival in '67's Summer of Love, though their manager would not allow them to be included in the film of the three-day event. An American tour followed in fits and starts, and by the time Moby Grape wheeled into New York to start sessions for their second album, Skip Spence was experiencing extreme mental problems that eventually led him to take a fire axe from their hotel to the studio to try and attack a fellow band member. Sometimes it seems like bands aren't meant to stay together, especially when fire axes are involved. Spence ended up in Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric ward, while the other members continued to tour and record. Clearly, the bloom was off the Flower Power that had helped the original hippie movement find its birth, and to add the ultimate insult to injury, Moby Grape, once they'd pulled the plug on the group, would be locked in a decades-long legal dispute with their original manager on who actually owned the name Moby Grape And dear Skip Spence, after he was released from the hospital in December 1968, drove a motorcycle to Columbia Records' Nashville studio and recorded the solo album OAR over a several day period, playing and singing everything himself, only to see it sink without a trace upon release in early 1969. Spence himself found his way back to the Santa Cruz area and spent the next thirty years in a tormented struggle with mental illness and poverty, one that finally ended with his 1999 death. Being a monstrous fan of the OAR album, I decided to produce a tribute collection and found 17 artists to each record one of the original's songs. MORE OAR was released in 1999, and included artists like Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Beck, Alejandro Escovedo, Jay Farrar, Mudhoney, Flying Saucer Attack, Greg Dulli and others sharing their own unending souls with the eternal spirit of Skip Spence. When the recordings were finished, I took an advance cassette for Skip Spence to hear. It turns out he was in a coma in a Santa Cruz hospital. I sat with him an hour and sent thoughts his way and received some back from him. Leaving the tape with a nurse, I asked it be played for Spence when he regained consciousness. A week later he did, and as soon as the tape's 17 songs ended, Skip Spence died. With, I was told, a smile on his face.

Even though MORE OAR was caught in a label dispute between Birdman Records and its distributor that caused it to be pulled from release, it has miraculously now found a new home and will be re-released in 2019 near Spence's April birthday. Which in its own way shows the circle will remain unbroken, and the magic of rock & roll will not be denied. Belief is everything, it eventually becomes obvious, and to believe in music is to find the hidden key to a well-spent life. One that never ends.

Bill Bentley

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Crescent City Queen

Nothing is stronger than the human spirit. Nothing. It creates civilizations of unending wonder, defies the odds of destructive despair and allows citizens of the world to move forward. It also provides each of us the strength needed to face hardships, accept love and let the power of human kindness enter our hearts. Without spirit, the world does not exist. Instead, it becomes a mechanical place of missing meaning.

These are trying times. It often feels like the boundaries of what we can withstand are being built higher and higher. Countries are being split apart, trust disappearing faster than can be tallied and a darkness descending on what we fear the future will look like. It is the perfect time for persuasive passion, a time to look at others from the past and find in their center a formidable feeling of joy. No one fills that bill better than the soul queen of New Orleans Ms. Irma Thomas. She has been singing in the clubs of the Crescent City and the concert halls of the world for over 60 years, never blinking in the face of adversity and staring down seeming failure with such strength there can be no question she will survive. Like her hometown itself, Thomas knows that the only way to look is forward, and to gather the goodness all around her like the gold it truly is. The singer has made recordings of eternal life that will be sung as long as there are voices to sing them and there are ears to hear. The woman has pointed the way like the national treasure she is.

Irma Thomas was born Irma Lee in Ponchatoula, Louisiana in 1941. It didn't take long for the short move to New Orleans, finding in that mysterious city a brand new life. By the time she was 19 years old, Thomas had married twice and had four children. And also had started singing. There was something wide-open in her voice, like she didn't have to filter it to express the kind of winning soul being woven into the fabric of new American life. Her first single, "Don't Mess with My Man" captured perfectly the changing culture of the country. After World War II, freedom was the ticket. Evil had been knocked down in Europe and Japan and the population was ready to roll. New Orleans, no stranger to freedom or rock & roll, laid out the red carpet for singers like Roy Brown, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, Larry Williams and so many more, and it seemed like the entire town was dancing in the streets and constantly lighting up the night with the sounds of blasting saxes, devious drumming and rollicking piano. The future had arrived, and nobody could sit still.

There are parts of New Orleans bathed in darkness, like life there didn't need to be exposed to the prying eyes of normal civilians. The music of early bandleaders Tommy Ridgely and Dave Bartholomew were offering a soundtrack to offset the coming conformity of life under President Dwight Eisenhower and the worries of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. The sounds of the Crescent City, once so aptly described as "easeful antics of absolute insignificance," handed a permanent pass from those concerns. Instead, it was anything goes up and down Canal Street once Roy Brown unleashed "Good Rocking Tonight," Fats Domino let loose with "The Fat Man" and Little Richard ripped apart the radio airwaves with "Tutti Frutti." This was a psychic earthquake called rock & roll, and nothing would ever be the same again.

Irma Thomas had the great good fortune to fall in with the local Minit Records in the early '60s, and an amazing collaboration with songwriter-pianist Allen Toussaint. Her voice felt like it was born to sing his songs, including "Ruler of My Heart," "It's Raining" and so many more. On New Orleans days when it seemed like the rain would never stop, Thomas' 45s were played constantly on local radio, barroom juke boxes and sung by street car riders and short order cooks. They were everywhere, and perfectly captured the sublime craziness of the city.

There is something permanently askew about New Orleans. It could be the early mixture of cultures from the French and Spanish mingling with Native Americans there. Or maybe it had to do with all the slaves arriving from Africa, bought and sold in open-air markets that branded the spirit of America with shame forever. Being a port city brought the addictive temptations for those with the appetites, not to mention the battle cry cacophony of foreign musics. Add in the treacherous summer humidity and heat and it's no wonder it got tagged "the city that care forgot" all those years ago. The cultural rule book had been torn up and set afire from the start and there was no going back.

Irma Thomas was likely looking for bigger pastures when she left Minit Records and signed with Imperial. She always had an eye for stepping up, and with a family to care for a new label might be the boost she needed to make a real national impact. Her first song for Imperial in 1964 was one she wrote herself, a rarity, as she reached as far down inside herself as anyone can go. Titled "Wish Someone Would Care," it starts: "Sitting home alone thinkin' about my past / wondering how I made it and how long it's gonna last / success has come to lots of them and failure's always there / time time waits for no one and I wish someone would care..." It completely grabs the question marks of anyone who tries to make a stand, and conveys the feeling of loneliness of being out there on your own. It ends: "Some folks think you're happy when you wear your smile / what about your tribulations and all of your trials / smiles smiles hide a lot of things the good the bad the hurt all of this goes too / and I wish how I wish how I wish someone would care..." Thomas' voice soars with pain, a cry for help, sounding like a walk alone down Decatur Street in the French Quarter at four in the morning. It would go on to be the biggest hit of her life.

Thomas' follow-up on Imperial in 1964 started with good omen. Co-written by a young Randy Newman, "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)," began to get overshadowed by the B-side, "Time Is on My Side." Released shortly before the Rolling Stones' version, the song was co-written by Jerry Ragovoy and originally released by trombonist Kai Winding. But once the Rolling Stones' single started climbing the charts, Thomas' effort for Imperial got less and less notice. Finally taking a job at a Montgomery-Ward department store, she continued to record and while never giving up, she was probably wondering what happened to all that promise. Still, Irma Thomas, made of steel and possessed by a voice from heaven, trusted something good was always around the corner. Sessions in Muscle Shoals, an unreleased album for Atlantic Records and even a concept album produced by Swamp Dogg for his Fungus Records imprint in 1973 threatened to relaunch her, but it was not to be. Returning to New Orleans in 1975 and marrying Emile Jackson, her future manager, the woman quickly solidified her role as Soul Queen of New Orleans, even if the rest of the world didn't always notice. She was singing with a voice that had grown even stronger with experience, and an emphatic feeling for the unpredictable ups and downs of living that could send chills up and down the body. Along with Jackson, she opened her own nightclub, the Lion's Den, right next door to their Irma's Bail Bonds, conveniently located near the New Orleans Parish Prison. The lady didn't miss a lick.

In 1984 I became once-again possessed by New Orleans music, and produced a concert series at Club Lingerie on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles dubbed "Bill Bentley's Friday Night in New Orleans." We'd fly in different singers from the Crescent City, including Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe and Art and Aaron Neville, pairing them with a band producer Harold Battiste had assembled in L.A. called the New Orleans Natives. After seven Friday nights, I thought, "where oh where is Irma Thomas." Eventually I found her at the Lion's Den and convinced husband/manager Emile Jackson now was the time for Thomas to return to the West Coast. She hadn't played there since the '60s, and that was way too long an absence for the one of the finest soul singers alive. After striking a deal with Jackson, though because of his deep New Orleans patois I had no idea what the actual figures were, Irma Thomas and her ten-piece band lit up the L.A. night like a million klieg lights, blowing the minds of one and all in the room. Fortunately, the finances worked out and when they left the next day to return home, both Thomas and Jackson were beaming. "We'll be back," she said, and I knew it was true.

Thanks to the burgeoning popularity of the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the fine foresight of Rounder Records launching their album series "New Orleans/Modern Masters" in 1986 with Irma Thomas, as the '80s progressed the singer finally starting finding a new standing. She toured the world, an ambassador of that unique creation that has done so much to spread a joyful noise from way down yonder in New Orleans, and her current albums consistently won Grammy Awards and popular acclaim. From the 18-year-old mother of four from Ponchatoula, Louisiana who threatened another woman on her first single, "Don't Mess with My Man," to today, a singer of such renown that whenever New Orleans music is mentioned, she, right next to Fats Domino," is the first person on anyone's mind, Irma Thomas has proven that it is no accident the human spirit is wisely invested in those with the heart and soul to tend its wondrous gift. Over and over, just like New Orleans did after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Thomas looked within herself for strength, and found a way to unleash a voice capable of sharing eternal truths. On Walter Wolfman Washington's latest album, Irma Thomas joins her fellow New Orleanian on the song "Even Now." It is as timeless a testament to the vagaries of love as has ever been recorded. She sings: "I still love you sometimes sometimes I wonder how / but I'm wishing you only the best / yes I guess / we're even now." Out in the New Orleans darkness, down Tchoupitoulas Street where the streetlights sputter and riverboats let out a low moan on the nearby Mississippi River, the voice of Irma Thomas reminds us, as it has for 60 years, that love will always live in the human spirit. And for that, we can only say "Amen."

Bill Bentley

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TIM Moves In


Rock & roll bands in the Sixties wrote the holy scroll so many of us have lived by for these precious years. It may have started with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and, soon enough, Elvis Presley, but when the British Invasion bands hit, everything changed into a technicolor onslaught of unbridled joy. Maybe that was because for the very first time we saw those musicians onstage as someone we could possibly be. They were playing guitars and bashing on drums, but in ways that weren't being beamed down from above. Instead, it was coming from what seemed like next door. How hard could it be? Before, Chuck Berry was duckwalking across the stage while playing a guitar like ringing a bell? No way. Bo Diddley shaking both legs at the same time while conjuring up his juiced-up shave-and-a-haircut beat straight out of the Congo? Not in this lifetime. And as for Elvis Presley, well, that was some kind of divine inspiration deal surely the devil had a hand in and was not to be repeated.

As flat-out fantastic as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Them and Animals were in 1964, young teen-aged boys in the first-half of the decade envisioned themselves as part of that heritage. It could happen with enough practice and a full-deck of luck. Or so we thought. Those early aggregations changed everything, and once the world tuned into their power the earth shifted on its axis. And it's still shifting.

Flash forward fifteen years from 1964 to 1979, and in Minnesota a foursome first called the Impediments were dodging the massive snowfalls to practice in whatever basements they could commandeer. It was often an unholy cacophony of noise, laced with biting humor and bitching backbeats. Those on the instruments would not be mistaken for virtuosos, but virtuosos were like a virus to be avoided in rock & roll. Feelings fed the beast that drove someone to learn enough guitar chords to buckle up the courage and start a band. There was no unrealistic demand for outrageous ability. Instead, there was a soul-churning desire to be different, to matter, to mean something in the relentless cog of society's brutal conformity. Rock & roll was fueled by misfits, loners and those who could simply not succeed. It was stocked heavy with people like Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars. And once they transitioned from the Impediments to the Replacements, they were glued together so tight you couldn't pry them apart with a crowbar. They were a band, and bands became everything.

When the Replacements moved out of their basement to play corner bars and grey-walled halfway houses, early acolytes knew greatness roared among them. There was something in bandleader Paul Westerberg's eyes that demanded attention. It was like what he saw was hit by a laser, and for that fleeting moment it was the only thing in the world that mattered. It is the defining sign of everyone from the Beatles to whatever teenager is now carving their initials in a filthy bar top: nothing else counts. In the early tightrope groups must walk to survive, almost all will fail because they are unwilling to risk their lives to survive the music wars. It is an ugly business engineered by fate so that almost all who enter end up falling on their scarred face. Luckily, that's how it should be, because it cuts out the chaff of mediocre music. Thank goodness.

For the Replacements, there was no direct line to the golden road. Several albums, a couple of which were stunning summations of youthful yearnings, built a dead-on dedication of budding Matsmania. Johnny told Jimmy and Jimmy told Sue, and before you could sing the refrain of their youth anthem "Gary's Got a Boner," it seemed like the keys to the kingdom were being polished off by Sire Records and given to the band. With that gift came the kind of pressure that cracks most players, driving them to the dregs of self-destructive excess and scurrilous self-loathing. It was 1985 and the record business was becoming a blood sport so flush with money there was a mad rush to see who could spend the most. But not the Replacements. They moved into the less-than-regal Nicollet Studio in Minneapolis with producer Tommy Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone, to try their hand at climbing the greased golden pole. Did the band want success? No doubt. What Paul Westerberg and crew really wanted, though, was to mean something. They lived and breathed rock & roll, and respected its history like it kept them alive. Which it did. When you do that, the bar has been raised to the very top and no matter how daunting it looks, you have to shimmy up that pole, grease or no grease. The band's debut Sire album was going to be that shimmy. There could be no looking down or going back, because there was no back to go to. Every bridge had been burned and the only future was looming in front of them, laughing at their passion and daring them to go for greatness.

Paul Westerberg had written ten songs, and with Mars and the Stinson brothers they fashioned one more. As they started recording, surely they must have felt a pressure transmitted by a growing cult dead-sure they were the pioneers for the so-called alternative rock brigade. And daring them to fail. While arena-level outfits like Fleetwood Mac and REO Speedwagon were selling out stadiums, smaller but wild-eyed rock & roll believers were throwing their passion towards the Replacements, X and a roomful of others who stood on the outside looking in to mega-stardom. None stood taller in that narrow room than the Replacements. So their first major label release was being seen as the ramrod to batter down the door for others like them to follow. As the sessions for the Sire debut unfolded, a powerful possession overtook the quartet's spirit. New life was being born, and Westerberg's songs gathered that life on their new album. They named him TIM.

In the fall of 1985 I was in Boston, hoping to help The Del Fuegos grab some of the press action running wild in the city. I was the publicist at Slash Records, and the young Boston band were our latest heroes. I was also moonlighting as a music writer for the short-lived L.A. Style magazine, and had convinced my editor the Replacements' new album had to be covered. So one long afternoon that day in October I took a white label advance cassette of TIM and sat at a friend's desk and listened to the unreleased album. And listened to it. Over and over. There was something in the band's songs that gave me an overwhelming sense of hope. It was a realistic hope, one born of Paul Westerberg's obvious anguish at finding himself a young man in a world that might not have a place for him. At the same time, he had an un-killable courage to face down any and all fears, through a combination of sheer strength and deluded determination. I had never heard a rock & roller take on such a mountain of resistance with the razor-sharp resilience Westerberg had. I knew there was a code to be cracked in the band's songs, and I wasn't going to leave that desk until I had found it.

TIM starts with a declaration of despair. "Hold My Life" is the kind of album opener which announces there will be no retreat, and no pity will be proffered. Instead it is more of a plea. The Replacements were headed for the cliff, and weren't going to be looking back. For those willing to jump with them, the future promised to soften their fall, but not forgive their bruises. The song was an announcement that a gaggle of reckless romantics had pulled open the curtains to make their case. Rarely has a record extended such promise. Thankfully that promise, and so much more, was there for the hearing.

The next run of songs--"I'll Buy," "Kiss Me on the Bus," "Dose of Thunder" and "Waitress in the Sky"--are a written laundry list of young love and existential anguish. It takes a true bleeding heart to write great rock & roll songs. It's not about the chords or the lyrics or the studio sonics. It's about the pain and suffering promised to those who love and lose, with the songs a suit of armor worn to deflect our harshest blows. Rock & roll is not designed for happiness. Not really. Maybe one or two find their way through the filter, but almost all the greatest rock songs are hard to to listen to. And then impossible to stop. That's because they offer a way out of the heartbreak, even if just for three minutes. And it's enough. On the last song of TIM's first side the 'Mats tee up a home run and knock it completely out of the park. "Swingin Party" is such an endless meditation on lost weekends and dashed dreams that now, thirty three years later, the first chords still sting with the same bite of all those years ago. For anyone who's ever wanted to be in the middle of the fun, but deep down knows it will never happen, Westerberg wrote their theme song. The majority of the band's fans have always been those who stand against the wall at parties, watching others dancing with an easeful attitude about social niceties. Those that live and breath Replacements can only look on with jealousy, desire and guilt-inducing revenge.

Side two of the album begins with "Bastards of Young," surely the band's theme song. It is a roaring tower of barreling power, and inspires awe with its insights into the monstrous malady of modern life when it declares: "The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest / and visit their graves on holidays at best / the ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please / if it's any consolation I don't begin to understand them..." Westerberg goes on to sum it up once and for all: "We are the sons of no one bastards of young." It's the kind of ultimate sentiment built to be inscribed on the tombstones of the spiritually afflicted everywhere. It's no accident that modern blues guru Stevie Ray Vaughan was going to record the song before he met his tragic end in a helicopter crash in 1990. Vaughan heard the scorching permanence of the song and wanted to put his hand on it.

The next three songs--"Lay It Down Clown," "Left of the Dial" and "Little Mascara"--pour on the roar, best listened to with seatbelts, and reaffirm all the Replacements ever did. In their own hundred mile-per-hour way the songs are as lasting as anything they recorded in the '80s and beyond. And they are also the ultimate set-up for the closing song, one that haunts humanity like some ghost from a past world. "Here Comes a Regular," a ballad of endless sorrow, sums up in just under five minutes the often silent terror of alcoholism. It does it in a way that is as surreptitious as the disease itself, with the music giving the knockout punch at the end of the song. It is never less than devastating, and there are even moments when it is too much to endure. Because it shows without doubt that the real killer of the addiction isn't alcohol itself, but it's the shame that travels secretly with it. For that, there is no cure.

Breathless and without rebuttal, TIM ends with such gravity that for a moment life seems to stop as well. Still, nothing ends. The chance continues to once again grab the life offered to us, then hold on for all we're worth. Punishing upheavals always come and sweet uplift sometimes follows, and that is the cracked secret code we can hold out for. In playing the odds, existence evens out. After favorite bands the Rolling Stones, 13th Floor Elevators, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Velvet Underground, Moby Grape, Crazy Horse and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, it turns out the Replacements are my last favorite band. But as rock & roll has permanently branded on our hearts, there is always tomorrow. Nothing is written, and the swinging party starts again.

Bill Bentley

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The Lone Star Ranger


Dear Jerry,
You would have been 70 today. I lined up your five albums this morning on the side of the wall and started playing them front to finish, over and over. It's the best way I can get in touch with your spirit, which you shared with me so generously for 30 years. I still get warm chills of joy when I think about how much your music--and you--changed my life. And it all started so normally. Sort of.

In 1979 I was spending some quality musical time in New Orleans and picked up the weekly newspaper there, The Figaro. Almost Slim's review column was about your 1979 album GONE, or what was supposed to be your new album. More on that later. One of Slim's lines mentioned "Stax-like horns." Whenever I saw those words my soul always perked up. It was like a secret code for those of us who worshipped the sound trumpets and saxophones made in Memphis at the McLemore Avenue studio. It had something to do with the joyous cavalcade of notes filtered through a battling front of humidity and racism. The way the horns got past those challenges was a life-affirming example of what the human heart can do. It was the sound of freedom, no matter how the odds were stacked up against it.

It only took me a couple of weeks to find a promotional copy of GONE in the used bins at Inner Sanctum Records in Austin. I felt giddy when I saw the cover drawing: a multi-colored hand with the middle finger looking like Martian-inspired insect pinchers. Immediately I knew a normal artist would never have allowed that kind of image on their album. When I saw that you had drawn it, I was tipped there was some multi-dimensional boogie woogie going on inside your head.

Once I listened to the ten songs, I knew I had found a brother. Your voice came from the street, but there was an element of eternity in it too, like you'd seen the other side and wanted to let everyone know there was nothing to fear. Instead, the hereafter looked like an endless meadow of harmonious love, where people could climb on a cosmic groove and ride it forever. True soul music had been on the losing end as the '70s progressed, but these songs married the past and the future in a way I'd never heard. As my own life was clearly hitting the wall, I heard something I was positive was going to get me over any and all obstacles. In the music of the spheres there is an undeniable hopefulness that cuts through everything. I like to call it a circle of fate, because doubt simply disappears when melodies and lyrics meld into that saving grace and the light breaks through.

Now I just had to find you and what had happened to the GONE album. When I moved to Los Angeles a few months later, I figured you'd be there somewhere. Wasn't everyone in Los Angeles? Not sure why I thought that; it just came to me. I've learned to trust those visions because sometimes they're all we have. In 1983, three years after arriving, at a musician's kind invitation I went to see Leon Russell play in Beverly Hills. Backstage before the show began I saw a tall man wearing a cape leaning up against the wall. I knew, I just knew it was you Jerry, never mind that I had no idea what you looked like. So I went up, introduced myself and said how I'd been looking for you for four years. You gave me an irresistible grin and said, "Well, now that you've found you me what can I do for you?" We talked a bit, and you invited me out to a studio in Malibu where you were living then. It made me laugh because I was still a little new to the city, and here I was getting asked to join Jerry Williams at a studio in Malibu. A long way from Austin to be sure.

Driving there that weekend, looking at the shimmering Pacific Ocean out the window on my left, I felt the brush of a higher hand guiding me. How does this happen, I thought? Instantly, like always, I admitted I had no idea and never would. The why isn't the point. The trick is to graciously accept these gifts, and do your best to follow their flow. When I got to Shangri La studio on Morningside Drive in Malibu, it was obvious the place The Band used to call home had seen better days. You and your son were living in one of the sheds in back, the only people on the property. You mentioned how times had been tough, but you just knew better days were ahead. It was always about your faith Jerry, one so strong it was contagious a continent away. You told me the story how the album GONE had been deleted from release at the last minute. It had something to do with you pulling a gun on chairman Mo Ostin in the Warner Bros. Records parking lot, asking for money to record more songs. The album that was destined to finally find the spotlight never got heard past the few initial promotional copies. Of course, giving up was never on your mind.

You gave me a cassette that Saturday with nine new songs on it, and promised it was only an inkling of what you had stashed away. I left floating on a cloud of inspiration. Spending time around a true artist has always done that for me. It's probably why I found a career being around music that moves me, and trust in its power to provide.

Soon things began to rev up for you. At Warner Bros. Records president Lenny Waronker's suggestion, Eric Clapton recorded three of your songs, and one, "Forever Man," hit big. Lenny, along with A&R exec Ted Templeman, had signed you to Warner Bros. to record the GONE album. He once told me that when you first auditioned on piano in his office, you levitated a few inches off the floor when you played. And Lenny is not one to invoke those words lightly. Bonnie Raitt also heard your music and signed on as a lifetime fan. Your old Fort Worth running buddy Delbert McClinton had a Top 10 hit with "Giving It Up For Your Love," which was on the GONE album, the one that never came out.

A pattern began to appear. Other artists who heard your undeniable songs were moved enough to sing them for themselves, betting they'd connect with the world. And over and over they were right. But as we talked more and became friends, I could hear the pain in your heart that no one was listening to you singing your own songs. You always felt that's where your real strengths were: inside you. You wanted so much to share that love and it was painful to watch you wonder why it wasn't possible. The night you played a show at the Trancas club in Malibu in 1984 was going to be a breakthrough, you thought. You had several special guests scheduled to be in the band, including Mick Fleetwood on drums, and invited all your friends. Unfortunately that evening none came, including Fleetwood. So you sat onstage alone at the piano and played an hour of the most divinely-wrought music I've ever heard. It was like watching a man in communion with God, no matter that he was alone on the mountaintop. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

As false record label offers came and went, your song publishing royalties might have made you wealthy but the burning desire inside you to touch listeners directly became like a fading light in the distance. The fact that it had happened your entire career drove the knife in deeper. Your very first Atco Records release in 1970 with your band High Mountain Hoedown, produced by Charles Greene fresh from his work with Buffalo Springfield and Sonny & Cher, sank without a trace. Your debut solo album, produced by David Briggs and released on his Spindizzy Records imprint, also disappeared, along with its follow-up. The music business isn't one for the faint-hearted, but you never quit believing in yourself Jerry. Over and over you'd try again, even after the GONE disaster on Warner Bros., never hiding in defeat.

As the 1980s were ending, you kept trying to hit that spark in the record industry to light a new fire. In his 2007 autobiography, Eric Clapton described you as "an incredible, larger-than-life character who looked like Jack Nicholson and sang like Stevie Wonder...I really loved his writing. In fact, musically I loved everything about him. He could be a little overwhelming in person, but that was entirely forgivable given the scale of his talent. He was great to work with, a wonderful guy, very funny, very talented and I knew we would be friends forever." In real life, no label executives returned your call. From your big ranch in Oklahoma artists came and went to write with you, but still no one would give you a record deal. It was heartbreaking to watch it happen, and when you moved to St. Maarten in the Virgin Islands I thought it was your way of saying a small goodbye to the music world you loved so much. Still, the songs always came and your dreams somehow stayed the same.

The last email you sent me in 2005, from your account, made me feel the path ahead was calling you again. You wrote, "I am ready to give all my music to the world, because I know it will help heal the planet. My songs are sent from angels, and it is those angels who have never let me down. I know where I belong and it is in my music. When the world hears it, everything will be as it should." A few months later, on November 16, 2005, you were gone. I heard you had steered your yacht into an incoming storm, maybe chasing the sound in your head and the longing in your heart. You never came back.

A few years later I was trying to release an album of those nine songs on cassette you had first given me at Shangri La studio. But I felt one more song was needed, and through an associate was sent what I think was the last song you ever recorded. It was called "Love and Shelter," and felt like a goodbye prayer from a higher ground, one man's final request for redemption. I only listen to it on special occasions, like today, because it makes me feel like you had so much left to give. It also reminds me of our early friendship, when you would tell me of stories about joining Little Richard's band when you were only 16 years old, and the other guitarist in the band, Jimmy James, took you into a train car's bathroom to teach you the songs. James told you he'd make you a deal: if you taught him how to sing he'd teach you how to really play guitar. And how you weren't surprised when a few years later, you saw a picture of Jimi Hendrix and realized it was the same Jimmy James. And playing Jack Ruby's Dallas nightclub as a young teenager, and all kinds of other wild-eyed tales. They were never going to end.

I hear your songs constantly now, whether it's Eric Clapton singing "Running on Faith" or "Pretending," Bonnie Raitt's inspired versions of "I Will Not Be Denied" and "Real Man," Delbert McClinton's stunning "Sending Me Angels," and, yes, the Eagles "Guilty of the Crime." Through them all your undiminished soul strikes through. There you are Jerry: grinning, laughing, talking, glowing; the man who taught me that believing in yourself is the prime prerequisite in life, fueled by a passion for the world and the knowledge that we are all the same, a fantastic floating realization of the continual expression of the human spirit. And that there is no end to this evolution. It is why we are here.

Thank you Jerry. I should have known that when I first saw you in that cape all those years ago that you had come to save us all. And you tried. Good Lord you tried Jerry. Which, in the end, is your greatest lesson of all: to never quit trying. I'll think of the words in "Save Your Love," one of your early demos you gave me: "I've always wandered alone / afraid and on my own / often I would think of you / memories lost and regained / often refrain me / on days that aren't quite so good," and ended ""You've often told me your feelings / hiding down deep within / where do I begin / I'll keep on singing this song / hope you'll sing along / maybe someday we'll be friends / save your love like it means the world to you / that's exactly what your love means to me / like a spirit lost and finally set free / save your love save your love for me…"

Saving your love Jerry (aka His Majesty Jerr), saving the love,

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On Spirit Street

Very often a great artist stands alone in a party of one. It can be a lonely time, one that can test a person from all angles. Even though they might enter the world with little notice, their music can be so wondrous and compelling it is obvious it will make its way someday. Lucinda Williams did just that, starting more than 45 years ago standing on the corner of a street in Austin nicknamed the Drag. Officially called Guadalupe Street, it is directly across the entrance to the massive University of Texas. In the early '70s, there was a burgeoning collection of characters asserting their freedom around the college, whether in song, dress, music, talk or just taking a different road than most of the 45,000 students around them. It could be a joyous time of self-discovery, dashed with the character-building hardship of going up against ironclad Texas conformity. Sometimes Williams stood alone on that street, singing songs she gathered from the backroads of American blues. It was her against the world, and the woman wasn't asking any favors. She may have even liked it that way.

Watching Lucinda Williams then was almost like looking at a musical Statue of Liberty. She had an unbending stare in her eyes, like she knew what she was getting herself into but no way was she turning back. At the time, Austin had a bit of rebel spirit in its step, but also had a way of crushing those who took on tradition. The country was just getting rid of President Nixon, but no way was the Lone Star state going to let the bohemians into the big rooms of social acceptance. Myself and a handful of others had started a weekly newspaper, the Austin Sun, and because I was a professional typesetter the Sun's editor, Jeffrey Nightbyrd, said if I would help typeset the paper he'd also let me be the music editor. Never mind that I had never written a word. As Nightbyrd explained, "Neither have the other clowns I've got working here." That, in a sentence, is the true beauty of generosity: allowing someone to find themselves in public.

When I first wrote about Lucinda Williams in 1974, none of us knew her last name so in the Sun we just called her Lucinda the Folksinger. Looking back, I should have walked up to her between songs and asked her, but she had such a determined look on her striking face I was a little hesitant to enter that zone with a semi-stupid question. Whenever I could find her there, singing and playing that big acoustic guitar on the Drag amidst the incense-stick burners and bead and bell-bottom sellers, I would sit on the curb and listen. I don't think I had ever heard someone in their early twenties sing with such force. It was like she was handing out barrels of chillbumps for anyone who would stop for just a few moments and listen. I thought back to stories of how Janis Joplin had started in Austin only ten years earlier, singing in the acoustic trio the Waller Creek Boys, struggling to find her way forward. She was a book-reading intellectual who took on the bawdy ways of a blues singer, trying to bust out of her provincial childhood in Port Arthur, Texas. When the straight-laced college crowd actually voted Joplin "Ugliest Man on Campus, it wasn't long before the singer lit out on the freedom trail to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and changed the world with a wide-open soul in Big Brother & the Holding Company. There was also never a doubt that Lucinda Williams would find her own path too. There are those that project such strength and determination it is impossible to not feel their future being written in stone every day. It is one of the endless rewards of being open to tomorrow.

At first, Williams hit the typical resistance by being a woman. The Hole in the Wall, home to a slew of male folksingers, told Williams they already had a female singer, pointing to Nanci Griffith's Sunday night sets at the club. Undeterred, the superbly stubborn Lake Charles, Louisiana-born Williams kept at it, earning those early accolades the hard way until she found an audience in Austin. And played the Hole in the Wall. But that wasn't enough, so off she went to other challenges, showing the kind of resolve that every artist has to reach down deep and discover inside themselves. Others can not put it there for you. It's the hardest part of being creative, to believe beyond any doubt there are listeners in the world who will want to share your creations. It's almost always a stacked-deck against those who specialize in being unique, but that's the rules of the road and there are no shortcuts. When Lucinda Williams recorded her first album in 1978 it was appropriately for the Smithsonian Institute's Folkways label, a prized plum in the music business because of the heritage of all those who have had their music gathered there. It was originally titled RAMBLIN' ON MY MIND, and announced the coming of a new voice in American music. Its follow-up, HAPPY WOMAN BLUES, made it clear her debut was no fluke. A new road was being created by a singer who had studied long and hard how music affects the heart and soul, and had every intention of forging her own place. That's how musical breakthroughs work: start with a small rumble and never look back.

With a songwriting style that could buckle the knees and a voice that gave no quarter, Lucinda Williams began making moves to be heard. It was the start of the MTV era and mega rock bands, along with a continuing New Wave invasion and all kinds of other diversions. At the same though, a small but mighty crowd of listeners for bands like the Blasters, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lobos, Rank & File, Dwight Yoakam and others were holding court in clubs around Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and other cities. Still, Williams remained in her own world, writing songs that reverberated from the West Coast, through Nashville and all the way to New York. Her manager, David Hirshland, fought the good fight with record labels, and got close several times to making a breakthrough. But almost isn't all the way, so the fight continued. In Los Angeles then, I had fallen into a dream position of producing shows at a Sunset Boulevard spot called Club Lingerie. I liked to go for concept affairs, and in 1985 came up with an idea for an evening called "Millions of Williams." It only took a few phone calls to secure Lucinda Williams, Victoria Williams, the Williams Brothers, Jerry Williams and M.C. Marvin Williams. Unfortunately Jerry Williams pulled out when he asked for more money to assemble a 13-piece band, while Marvin Williams was detained in Houston, replaced by the semi-lookalike James "Big Boy" Medlin, an honorary Williams-for-a-day. It was a night to remember as all the Williams outdid themselves onstage. Of course, Lucinda Williams closed the show, and sang one new song after another with such breathtaking beauty that every single person who walked into the 2 a.m. night on the Sunset sidewalk knew they'd just witnessed something for the scrap book. If there was any doubt before the concert that the woman from Louisiana and a lot of other places was destined for the history books, it was a sure thing now.

Still, it took another three years before a new album came out. Titled, simply, LUCINDA WILLIAMS, Rough Trade Records, a known harbinger of the future, released it to unanimous acclaim in 1988 and the singer-songwriter has never looked back. Follow-ups SWEET OLD WORLD and CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD in the '90s kept upping the ante to where it was clear there was no competition for the kind of knife-in-the-heart songs Lucinda Williams writes with such regularity that it's like there's a super-power guiding her passion.

In life, we all look for love. It can be a lonely pursuit, and seems too often to end in despair. The glory, though, lies in that place when the door is opened and the heart soon follows. From there, a new world is born. The Sufi poet and mystic Rumi once wrote: "Don't turn away. Keep your eye on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you." Lucinda Williams has always spoken truth to the idea that love is life, at the same time knowing it can cause pain beyond belief. Her gift is showing us the way through that pain to the other side, one that breathes hope and courage against the long odds. She still stands as a party of one, with a guitar and words to continue her fight for the light to enter us all.

by Bill Bentley

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Loneliness was Townes Van Zandt's very best friend. When the young Texan first started singing, the world looked like a forbidding place to him. Van Zandt had always been different from most people. He came from a family in Fort Worth with some serious Texas history and money in their genes, but that didn't mean much to someone who saw and heard a different world for himself. He favored the hard-living Fifth Ward of Houston, and the sharp-edged attack of Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins' mighty blues. Once Van Zandt started playing the Jester Lounge there, he found onstage what he'd always dreamed of: a place that felt safe enough to call home.

The young songwriter had crystalline visions that were capable of turning into a joyous reality, but at the same time heard the undeniable sound of hearts breaking and lives tilting towards ruin. Professionals might call it manic-depression, or today bi-polar disorder. Those that lived with those feelings, though, simply looked at it as a gambler's hand they been dealt and would have to struggle with for the rest of their lives.

Van Zandt was likely someone who kept the ultimate escape hatch of suicide tucked deep in his back pocket for most of his life. Through songs and singing, he hammered out a living compromise that allowed him a place to exist and to show the world what a true troubadour was capable of.

Those nights at the Jester Lounge and then folk clubs like Sand Mountain and the Family Hand in Houston were like high-wire acts of musical majesty to teenagers like us. Van Zandt came onstage barely able to look at the audience of a few dozen people, but when he flashed a smile, it seemed beamed in from outer space with an irresistible glow. We all became permanent acolytes of an artist whose luminosity we wouldn't see the likes of again.

And when he began singing songs like "No Place to Fall," "Tecumseh Valley" and "For the Sake of a Song," not only did time stop but it became frozen forever. Our small group of five or six 15-year-old boys would turn away to wipe away our tears in secrecy, unable to show even a small touch of vulnerability with our friends. Tears just weren't acceptable in Texas then. The baseball-sized lumps in our throat made it hard to breath when Van Zandt sang lyrics like, "The name she gave was Caroline / daughter of a miner / her ways were free and it seemed to me / the sunshine walked beside her," only for the song to end in the ultimate tragedy of dying young. No one grabbed the sadness from so deep inside them as Townes Van Zandt. No one. We felt like we'd stumbled into some secret society, and shared feelings known only to the fortunate few sitting in the club. Van Zandt sang with his eyes closed so tight that it looked like they would never open again.

Slowly the singer began to make a reputation around the country. Townes Van Zandt, like so many others then, was hailed as a successor to Bob Dylan in being able to communicate profound truths with only an acoustic guitar. Who knows why, but such accolades seemed to scare him, and his fondness for drinking, rambling and gambling took over much of his life. The 1970s were always a combination of incredible possibilities, dashed with full-tilt runs into the gutter and beyond. He even titled an album THE LATE GREAT TOWNES VAN ZANDT in 1973, laughing at constant predictions of an early demise. The Texan knew the great gifts he'd been given, but didn't seem to always accept them. It was like he had tricked fate into an uneasy gift, but would do his best to head for the road to oblivion when the sky became too blue.

But when Townes Van Zandt was fully present and onstage, no matter the size of the room, his presence felt like a prophet had entered the cosmos. Wearing a time-torn fringed jacket, and projecting the hopefulness of new love, he would begin a set with often corny jokes, but it was more to earn a laugh or two, knowing the songs coming next were no laughing matter. These were tales from a torn-up heart and used up body, sung by someone who had seen the frozen moments when the end of life seems so much closer than the beginning. The ultimate beauty of Townes Van Zandt, though, was the spirit-changing glory of his music, something that constantly led his listeners out of the deep waters of despair, and so often onto the hallelujah road to redemption. For that, the artist's pact with a finite mortality made sense.

Sometimes during the '70s Van Zandt would roll into our 3 a.m. twist-off parties in Austin, fueled by Pearl beer and Little Richard records. It felt like he was plugged into an electrical socket in the wall, his eyes bouncing off all the faces that could not help but be drawn into his mesmerizing orbit. He would immediately get a dice game going, and more often than not lose everything he had. His happiness came in the chance that someday he might win, no matter the reality it was a slim chance. For Townes Van Zandt, living was the final reward, and there was no winning or losing. It was all about continuing to breathe.

Whenever I think of Van Zandt and my unlikely luck of being taken into his world at such a young age on those unforgettable nights of songs and, yes, madness, happiness and sadness become one. To try to split them apart is like splitting the atom: in the end it doesn't really matter. The immediate allure of living is what he taught, and while we all knew it could not go on forever, to find a spot to land in the present was enough for us.

Often Townes Van Zandt's song "Sad Cinderella" plays in my mind. Its unblinking ability to address the challenges of life feels chiseled in steel: "When your magazine memory has spun you around / and you realize your lovers were just painted clowns / outside your window you start hearing the sounds / where they're building a cross for to burn you / when all your bright scarlet turns slowly to blue / will you stop and decide that it's over..." Paranoia might be kicking down the door, and the endless sleep of death starts to feel like an easy answer. But it's not to be: the melodies fight against finality, and the savior of tomorrow's promise, no matter how slight, comes floating through the ozone. For that we can thank Townes Van Zandt, freedom's warrior. When he died on New Year's Day in 1997, he did not leave us. That is not possible. He is always here.

By Bill Bentley

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An unlikely prophet

In the early 1950s, semi-fresh from the end of War World II and the looming of a new day, a man from Dunleth, Mississippi found his way into a Chicago recording studio to share his soul with the world. He would become an unlikely prophet to a changing America, but he never doubted his abilities. Jimmy Reed brought a cosmic twist to the blues, bouncing curved realities with a hypnotic beat, singing and blowing harmonica in a passionate drawl fueled by memories of despair crossed with dreams of release. No other musician had ever created this sound, and Reed made it feel as natural as crossing a small-town Delta street in 105-degree heat. He would go on help integrate a nation in a solitary date with musical destiny, and show the world that magic can come from many places.

Jimmy Reed found the key to the highway on a battered electric guitar and a harmonica wedged into a flimsy metal rack he hung around his neck. His first single was called "High and Lonesome," because that's what he was. He had moved from Mississippi to Gary, Indiana to work in a meat-packing plant, where the slaughter of animals on ten-hour shifts became a way of life. Probably feeling backed into a corner and twitching to get out, Reed turned to his only card: blues. Luckily, he possessed an idiosyncratic genius at it, a fevered vision of what it would take to get heard. As he played a circular stride on guitar, sang like he talked and blew blues harp in a new language he created from scratch, anyone within earshot quickly realized this was no backroad shuffler. Jimmy Reed snatched a singular sound from somewhere out in the ozone and brought it down to the bandstand. Playing with Mississippi friend Eddie Taylor on second guitar, and about as elemental a rhythm section that ever existed, Reed injected an electricity that would not be denied into every corner of America. His first hit single, "You Don't Have to Go" was released in 1955. Elvis Presley may have been primed to supercharge rock & roll around the planet, but his fellow Mississippian had a larger calling. Jimmy Reed's incredible run of hit singles on white radio stations would introduce whites in the United States to the humanity of the African-American population. Music has always been a mighty equalizer, and as Reed's songs invaded listener's minds and hearts, the doors to equality for all races cracked open an inch.

If there is one bluesman who planted a flag for the music that had a way of slamming listeners in the heart, it was Jimmy Reed. Every young guitarist in the early '60s heard the man's endless parade of hits with maximum regularity on Top 40 radio: "Big Boss Man," "Bright Lights Big City," "Aw Shucks Hush Your Mouth," "Baby What You Want Me to Do," "Hush Hush," "Found Love," "Honest I Do," "You Got Me Dizzy," "Take Out Some Insurance," "Ain't That Loving You Baby," "Going to New York:" the sounds of Jimmy Reed became something young bands had to play at teen dances and school sock hops, or run the risk of losing their listeners. It is often said the Rolling Stones began as basically a tribute band to Reed. Guitarist Brian Jones was on a religious quest to spread the word about the blues, and Jimmy Reed was his biggest hero to make that happen. There was something about the way the chords were just short of chaotic, but became like automatic reaction to how to play guitar. As drummer Charlie Watts once observed, talking about Reed's drummer Earl Phillips, "He's really a jazz drummer when you listen closely. And when Reed would hit a high note on his harmonica and hold it there for what seemed like an eternity, that's when the molecules in the universe got rearranged and there was no other sound which made any sense. Captain Beefheart once called the bluesman's sound "one head music." He meant that if all the instruments weren't playing perfectly in unison out of one head, even the slightest variance would turn the whole thing into a tumbling mess. That never happened with Reed. It was like his recordings sprang full-born from a heart full of troubled love.

Jimmy Reed, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did more to unite the races than any other person. When I first saw him at a club in Houston in 1965, he walked onstage and on the first downbeat offered a path to another planet. One where people mingled out of a shared spirit, and would not be divided by false thoughts. He sat in a chair for most of the show, smiling that lopsided smile he flashed between songs, his left leg bouncing up and down. He started and stopped songs on a seeming whim, while his drummer and rhythm guitarist, who used his low strings to play bass, did their best to follow him. It became a seamless run at ecstasy, and without ever raising his voice Jimmy Reed led his followers to the promised land.

As the '60s progressed, epilepsy and increasing alcoholism took some of the drive out of the musician. But his innate power never left him, like the night at Austin's Vulcan Gas Company in 1968. The audience at the club included a large contingent of University of Texas frat rats who crowded near the stage and started screaming requests for their theme song, "Louie Louie." Finally Jimmy Reed had had enough, and looked down at one of them and said, "Jimmy Reed don't play no 'Louie Louie'." He then reared his right leg back and kicked the person standing before him requesting the song in the head. Stunned, the whole army of fraternity boys yelled insults at Reed before they were forced by the crowd to leave. I will forget the level of fear in the Vulcan that something tragic could easily occur. But it was the heroic act of a black man standing his ground in what was basically a foreign white land in central Texas. It showed the tough-as-nails strength of someone who did more to the bring the blues to the masses than anyone else before or since, B.B. King included.

The '70s were not good years for Jimmy Reed. Health issues worsened, as did his alcoholism. Recording contracts dried up and he was working sporadically, barely enough to stay afloat. Bad record deals and song publishing disputes robbed him of the riches he had rightfully earned. In the summer of 1976, Reed made it back to Austin to perform at Antone's, the new blues club on a shabby downtown street. Owner Clifford Antone asked if I'd like to go upstairs to meet him before he played. Once in the dressing room, I told Reed how excited the audience was that he was there. "You knows," he said, "When I wake up in the morning people had come by and shoved contracts under my door. I looked at this one and said, 'I gots to go.' I done forgot a lot of my words. The wine has got me. But I'm gonna do my best for everyone tonight." When he came out, accompanied by his earliest side kick on guitar, Eddie Taylor, and the rhythm section from the Fabulous Thunderbirds, it was like the clock had stopped in 1963. He played almost every hit song he had recorded during his glory years, and the audience were screaming and jumping up on the tables between each one. It was a night of high church for the blues, and no one there has ever forgotten it.

A month later Clifford Antone called me at my newspaper job one morning in tears. All he could say was, "Jimmy's gone." Nothing else was needed. The world had lost a musical warrior, only 50 years old and one we will not see again. Now, whenever I feel the world's confusion need to be put in place so we can attempt to understand them, I put on "Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall." As the double album plays through, everything starts to make more sense again. On the last song Jimmy Reed sings, ""Well the sun is shining on both sides of the street / oh the sun is shining on both sides of the street / I got a smile on my face for every little girl that I meet." Amidst all the anguish and unfairness in modern life, the man who sang his way into the world's heart opens his arms and takes us in. With him, we know what it means to be alive and ready to find our own place in life. We also learn that the blues is the happiest sound on Earth if you listen with your heart open wide. The Big Boss Man may no longer be here, but he's not gone. He lives forever on in his songs.


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