earth fact 40

Cats and horses are highly susceptible to black
widow venom, but dogs are relatively resistant;
Sheep and rabbits are apparently immune

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The Arctic’s Warmest 5 Years on Record: 2014-Present

The Arctic has been warmer over the last five years than at any time since records began in 1900, and the region is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, scientists said Tuesday.

The rising air temperatures are having profound effects on sea ice, and on life on land and in the ocean, the scientists said. The changes can be felt far beyond the region, especially since the changing Arctic climate may be influencing extreme weather events around the world.

Those assessments were part of the latest “Arctic Report Card,” issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency, and presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington.

“We’re seeing this continued increase of warmth pervading across the entire Arctic system,” said Emily Osborne, lead editor of the report and manager of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. “That’s having implications for both ocean and terrestrial systems.”

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U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy


By Coral Davenport and Kendra Pierre-Louis

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WASHINGTON — A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a cold snap in the Northeast, tweeting, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds.

“There is a bizarre contrast between this report, which is being released by this administration, and this administration’s own policies,” said Philip B. Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center.

All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago.

Scientists who worked on the report said it did not appear that administration officials had tried to alter or suppress its findings. However, several noted that the timing of its release, at 2 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving, appeared designed to minimize its public impact. Still, the report could become a powerful legal tool for opponents of Mr. Trump’s efforts to dismantle climate change policy, experts said. “This report will weaken the Trump administration’s legal case for undoing climate change regulations, and it strengthens the hands of those who go to court to fight them,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton.

Here’s a summary of what’s new in the report.

The report is the second volume of the National Climate Assessment, which the federal government is required by law to produce every four years. The first volume was issued by the White House last year.

The previous report, issued in May 2014, concluded with nearly as much scientific certainty, but not as much precision on the economic costs, that the tangible impacts of climate change had already started to cause damage across the country. It cited increasing water scarcity in dry regions, torrential downpours in wet regions and more severe heat waves and wildfires.

The results of the 2014 report helped inform the Obama administration as it wrote a set of landmark climate change regulations. The following year, the E.P.A. finalized President Barack Obama’s signature climate change policy, known as the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to slash planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants. At the end of the 2015, Mr. Obama played a lead role in brokering the Paris Agreement.

But in 2016, Republicans in general and Mr. Trump in particular campaigned against those regulations. In rallies before cheering coal miners, Mr. Trump vowed to end what he called Mr. Obama’s “war on coal” and to withdraw from the Paris deal. Since winning the election, his administration has moved decisively to roll back environmental regulations.


President Trump has pushed to roll back regulations on carbon emissions.CreditBrandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

The report puts the most precise price tags to date on the cost to the United States economy of projected climate impacts: $141 billion from heat-related deaths, $118 billion from sea level rise and $32 billion from infrastructure damage by the end of the century, among others. The findings come a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations, issued its most alarming and specific report to date about the severe economic and humanitarian crises expected to hit the world by 2040.

But the new report also emphasizes that the outcomes depend on how swiftly and decisively the United States and other countries take action to mitigate global warming. The authors put forth three main solutions: putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which usually means imposing taxes or fees on companies that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; establishing government regulations on how much greenhouse pollution can be emitted; and spending public money on clean-energy research.

A White House statement said the report, which was started under the Obama administration, was “largely based on the most extreme scenario” of global warming and that the next assessment would provide an opportunity for greater balance.

The report covers every region of the United States and asserts that recent climate-related events are signs of things to come. No area of the country will be untouched, from the Southwest, where droughts will curb hydropower and tax already limited water supplies, to Alaska, where the loss of sea ice will cause coastal flooding and erosion and force communities to relocate, to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where saltwater will taint drinking water.

More people will die as heat waves become more common, the scientists say, and a hotter climate will also lead to more outbreaks of disease. Two areas of impact particularly stand out: trade and agriculture.

Trade disruptions

Mr. Trump has put trade issues at the center of his economic agenda, placing new tariffs on imports and renegotiating trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. But climate change is likely to be a disruptive force in trade and manufacturing, the report says.

Extreme weather events driven by global warming are “virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains,” the report concludes.

Such disasters will temporarily shutter factories both in the United States and abroad, causing price spikes for products from apples to automotive parts, the scientists predicted. So much of the supply chain for American companies is overseas that almost no industry will be immune from the effects of climate change at home or abroad, the report says.

It cites as an example the extreme flooding in Thailand in 2011. Western Digital, an American company that produces 60 percent of its hard drives there, sustained $199 million in losses and halved its hard drive shipments in the last quarter of 2011. The shortages temporarily doubled hard drive prices, affecting other American companies like Apple, HP and Dell.

American companies should expect many more such disruptions, the report says.

“Climate change is another risk to the strength of the U.S. trade position, and the U.S. ability to export,” said Diana Liverman, a University of Arizona professor and co-author of the report. “It can affect U.S. products, and as it drives poverty abroad we can lose consumer markets.”

Agricultural risks

The nation’s farm belt is likely to be among the hardest-hit regions, and farmers in particular will see their bottom lines threatened. “Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the U.S.,” the report says. “Expect increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad.”

By 2050, the scientists forecast, changes in rainfall and hotter temperatures will reduce the agricultural productivity of the Midwest to levels last seen in the 1980s.

The risks, the report noted, depend on the ability of producers to adapt to changes.

During the 2012 Midwestern drought, farmers who incorporated conservation practices fared better, said Robert Bonnie, a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University who worked in the Agriculture Department during the Obama administration. But federal programs designed to help farmers cope with climate change have stalled because the farm bill, the primary legislation for agricultural subsidies, expired this fall.

The report says the Midwest, as well as the Northeast, will also experience more flooding when it rains, like the 2011 Missouri River flood that inundated a nuclear power plant near Omaha, forcing it to shut down for years.

Other parts of the country, including much of the Southwest, will endure worsening droughts, further taxing limited groundwater supplies. Those droughts can lead to fires, a phenomenon that played out this fall in California as the most destructive wildfire in state history killed dozens of people.

The report predicts that frequent wildfires, long a plague of the Western United States, will also become more common in other regions, including the Southeast. The 2016 Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, which killed 14 people and burned more than 17,000 acres in Tennessee, may have been just the beginning. But unlike in the West, “in the Southeast, they have no experience with an annual dangerous fire season, or at least very little,” said Andrew Light, a co-author of the report and a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute.

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woke up
to a surprise
It has arrived
overnight in the half moon’s light

the dollar coin leaves of aspen
always volunteer first to turn
blindingly bright
yellow amber peach

then the wind follows
sparking a delightful dance
ultimately untethering them
in fllittery flight
readying renewal

and every night
I wish upon a falling star
or golden leaf
that we may be more receptive
and responsive
to mother earth’s messages


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earth facts

Warmer weather causes more turtles
to be born female than male

Azara's owl monkeys are
more monogamous than humans

A single strand of spider silk is thinner
than a human hair, but also five times
stronger than steel of the same width

The recently discovered bone-house wasp
stuffs the walls of its nest with dead ants

Reindeer eyeballs turn blue in winter
to help them see at lower light levels

The extinct colossus penguin
stood as tall as LeBron James

The claws of a mantis shrimp can
accelerate as quickly as
a .22-caliber bullet

Animals with smaller bodies and
faster metabolism see in slow motion

Horses use facial expressions to
communicate with each other

By eating pest insects, bats save
the U.S. agriculture industry
an estimated $3 billion per year

A human brain operates on about 15 watts

A sea lion is the first
nonhuman mammal with a
proven ability to keep a beat

Owls don't have eyeballs,
they have eye tubes

Young goats pick up accents
from each other

A type of "immortal" jellyfish
is capable of cheating death

A group of parrots is known
as a pandemonium

Honeybees can flap their wings
200 times every second

Polar bears have black skin

Elephants have a specific
alarm call that means "human"

Wild dolphins call each other by name

Octopuses have three hearts

Squirrels can’t vomit or burp

Giraffes have no vocal chords

Lemur society is run by females

Koalas’ fingerprints are virtually
indistinguishable from humans
(& have on occasion been
confused at crime scenes)

A snail can sleep for three years

Asian elephants can do math

Gekko’s toes can stick to
any surface except Teflon

Kangaroos can’t fart

Cuttlefish have 3 hearts
and can mimic the
shape & texture of
objects around them

Cockroaches have no blood

A rhino's horn is made of hair

Slugs have four noses

Corals are not plants
but they rely on photosynthesis
to survive

A shrimp’s heart is in its head

Butterflies can taste with their feet

Bats always turn left when leaving a cave

Earth Worms have five hearts

Elephants can cry
but are the only
that can’t jump

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Jody From Montana

from the edit suite

LV 3

all pics: L.A. Johnson

LincVolt's zygote, a '59 Lincoln Continental Mark IV powered with a gas gulping 429 cubic inch Ford V-8, left San Francisco in September of 2007. George W. Bush was the President of the United States of America. War raged from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean for reasons I am unable to comprehend. War’s way, way bigger now - still don’t get it.

At the wheel sat The Driver, beside him the late great Larry Johnson. Great friends and collaborators for decades, they had a plan to make a film about their trip to turn this gorgeous car 21st Century green. I never actually saw the plan but I heard all about it. Larry and The Driver reckoned they'd drive the big Lincoln convertible to Wichita where a mechanic named ‘Johnny Magic' would somehow convert it into an electric powered piece of American automotive history. En route they'd randomly meet fellow travelers, pull out the cameras and talk about the coming demise of the petro-based transportation era and the rise of the electric vehicle age. Once the Wichita switch to e-power was complete they planned to revisit those same people on the homeward run to San Francisco in LincVolt.

It was a pretty good plan and they did meet some really cool people on the trip. But the plan changed. The Lincoln evolved. Time passed.Larry and The Driver never did make that homeward leg in LincVolt. Instead, the story took a whole new direction. We'll get to that later.

During the ongoing process of editing The LincVolt Years we've watched all the scenes with all the people Larry and The Driver talked to on their epic run. But because the plan changed and the story changed with it, a lot of them didn't find room in the final cut of our documentary series. Nonetheless their beautiful human contribution is deeply appreciated here in the edit suite and we'd like to acknowledge them by introducing you to Jody and her man.

There's just one more thing. It falls under the general heading of planning. The LincVolt Years takes you right inside the core of an idea. An idea that grew and grew then changed a few times then transformed completely on an ongoing basis. It took a pretty flexible plan to see it through. Some very cool planning stuff that we'll cover in the future.

For now though what you most need to know is that The LincVolt Years flows through a dream we all share about making the world better. And it follows the journey of a car and a team that boldly hit the open road to chase that dream. Fully armed with a kind of loose plan. So if you too are a dreamer, plan your journey well but remember the prime constant - things change.

the passenger

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Lincvolt, Love

from the edit suite

both photos: Ben Johnson

LV 2
A few months back, I returned to Shakey Pictures North HQ, a transcontinental journey to Zuma Beach, California. The object of the journey was to attend a director's screening of Volume 1 of The LincVolt Years. We'd be watching all five one-hour episodes with the executive producers. I was pretty nervous.

The Driver picked me up down on the beach at precisely 10:30 a.m. as designated. He was driving LincVolt - top down and gleaming in the morning sun. Her odometer had just turned over to 70,000 miles. I took one look at her and fell in love all over again. What an extraordinary accomplishment she is. But you'll get to watch all that unfold real soon so I'll stick to the point here: love.

The Lincoln Continental was born of an idea based entirely on love. Love of the open road, love of the great vistas of North America, love of the fusion of motion and freedom and friendship that comes on a grand journey in a big great car.

Bob Gregorie designed the Ford Motor Company’s 1st generation of Lincolns. His cars established the nameplate as a world's finest rivaling even Rolls Royce vehicles for style and quality. Each one hand crafted by Detroit's great car builders. In 1945, at the end of World War II, Gregorie left the company. In 1948 Ford stopped building Lincolns all together. But love brought 'em back.

The design team of John Najjar, Elwood Engel and Don Delarness loved the Lincoln so much they resuscitated the line. 2nd generation Lincoln Continentals made their debut in 1956 with the Mark II. A gorgeous hand built automobile that matched the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in every way imaginable, even price. The Mark II was the most expensive production car built in America in the day. They sold for $10,000.00, five times more than a regular sedan. Ford lost millions on the venture.

To keep the Lincoln brand alive with prices that people could almost afford the company stopped building them by hand. In 1957 a brand new assembly plant, designed specifically for Lincolns, Thunderbirds and, later, Ford-GTs was opened in Wixom, Michigan. The 3rd generation began to roll off the line. That's where LincVolt was born.

What's not to love about a big beautiful car epitomizing the very apex of American automotive design? She had a 430 cubic inch (7.0 liter) V-8 engine, Auto-Drive transmission, Auto Lube and a Unibody platform. There were only two options on the Mark IV, air conditioning and an FM radio. She had both. Very, very hip.

But LincVolt wasn't always the symphony of electro mechanical romance - a straight quote from The Driver - that she is today. His interest in her was sparked 30 years after her birth by a want ad in a local newspaper. She'd already been through a tumultuous love affair. Love doesn't always run smooth you know.

Stay tuned. The LincVolt Years will cover all of that later. For now here's the story of the very beginning of an epic love story that's spanned decades.

And don’t you just love love?

the passenger

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from the edit suite

photo: L.A. Johnson

I got out of Calgary at sunrise on January 20,'14, the morning after the Honour The Treaties Tour's final performance. That tour was a real important event on the LincVolt storyline. One we'll get to in due time.

It turned out to be almost 2 years after Calgary before I saw Lincvolt again. She looked great. Everything The Driver had ever imagined and then some. Her systems were way more dialed in and she was getting somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60 mile per gallon equivalency. An electric 1959 Lincoln Continental 21st century, 'the no roadside refueling dream' come true. She was approaching 50,000 clean green open road miles driven when I saw her again. It was November '15 and we were driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.


Somewhere on the PCH, 11/15 - photo: unknown

By that time we were well into editing the film that The Driver started with Larry Johnson in 2007. A film documenting the journey they took on the road to rebuilding LincVolt and Repowering The American Dream. A journey that spanned nearly a decade.

There was a lot of footage; hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours. We set up shop at the Shakey Pictures North Headquarters, pictured here, and started to piece the story together. It took nearly a year just to look at the footage.


Shakey Pictures North HQ - photo: Dave Toms

Now the film that The Driver and Larry set out to make back in '07 has become an episodic documentary series and Volume 1 is nearing completion. The LincVolt Years is fast approaching the ready-to-share moment.

We'll let you know where you can watch as soon as we know. In the meantime we'll select some of our favourite LincVolt Team out-takes and stream them. As this evolves I'll check in now and again to share some stories from the edit suite.

It's quite a trip.


the passenger

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The Electric 1959 Lincoln Continental

both pics: Haskell Wexler

When we were recording the ‘Monsanto Years’ in 2015, I met Haskell Wexler, the legendary film maker and ace cameraman/interviewer. He came out to the sessions and shot Promise of the Real and I recording our first album together. We were just getting to know one another. You can view some of that in ‘The Monsanto Years’. We were recording in Teatro, an old Oxnard Theater.

Haskell came in and just started shooting, talking to everyone and being himself. I have never seen anyone like him. One day we were visitng him in Santa Monica at his office and he came out to the car. As soon as he laid eyes on it, he had to do something with the car, so that day and part of another one he interviewed me and asked all about Lincvolt.


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Carnegie Hall


all pics: dhlovelife

I must confess that is was merely a bit of swank when we put a note in this space yesterday that I was out on assignment. Assignment, hell. I was not here to assess the profound sociological implications of short left hooks, or to watch the rangers maul the Vancouver Canucks. But I guess it is fairly rare when a guy can go to Carnegie hall for a concert by one of his own sons. Well, maybe not so rare –– but it never happened to me, before.

I suppose I did the things that a father might do, in the circumstances. I went around hours before the concert just to walk by and see the posters. Passing there in the cold wind, I thought of the other good musicians in the family who, for one reason or another (I guess there are quite a few) never made it to Carnegie Hall.

I thought of nights around the piano on a prairie farm in the 30s long before he was born, a ragtag and bobtail of us singing with an oil lamp guttering on the kitchen table nearby; of my Aunt Beatrice, and cousins Everett and Milt and Alice, all singers; my mother and sister and a niece with a beautiful voice; my brother who is a great entertainer (and became a public relations man).

It was all there in my mind, a thousand memories of fun and music, as I stood before the poster that said: Tonight. Neil Young, folk singer. The rest of it was partly obscured by a poster that read: Sold Out. Sold out not only that night, but the next as well.

I turned up my collar and kept on walking, and I will not tell you my thoughts, because they were my own.

My wife (his stepmother) and I dined a little later and then walked up the street from our little hotel through the crowds of kids outside Carnegie Hall who were imploring passersby for tickets, and offering up to $100 for a $5 seat.

Inside, it was the pure youth scene: Our generation’s kids in their casual clothes, the blue jeans patched, tight sweaters over young bosoms. We sat, I guess, like visitors from another world. We must have been conspicuous because later when the aisles were crowded with people sitting there to listen and glowing pot was passed in the dark as he sang (many of them waving it away without apparent embarrassment), no one passed it to me. I did not feel left out. My vices, such as they are, are from an earlier time.

Oh’ I guess it was just a concert. Before the lights went down I thought it was much like high school assembly –– the paper darts floating down from the overhanging balconies, the kids full of anticipation, yet patient.

But once the place was dark, there was something like magic. We all could see this dark form approaching the front of the stage and then the spotlight came on him: Tall and thin, blue jeans, checked shirt, work boots, dark straight hair to his shoulders or beyond, two guitars on a rack beside a plain wooden chair, a concert piano at his left. No music to play except the songs in his head, all his own.

He sings, if you have heard his own albums or those he made with the Buffalo Springfield, or more recently with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. . . he sings with love, not for individuals, but for the human condition. But now I’m sounding like a damn expert, instead of just a father, so I will lay off that line.

He sings in a way that twists my heart. It must also twist the heart of his mother, who was not there that night, but was on the next night. ( We were divorced when he was 15.) It is a strange feeling to be on one’s feet just watching quietly as part of a standing ovation for one’s own son, as happened several times to me that night.

And they insist that he be of them, alone. One time he introduced a new song he had as one he would do in a week or so for a Johnny Cash show. Voice from the audience: “Why? Why Cash, man?” Argumentatively.

There was fun. One ovation went on for a minute or two. When all had died down there was a nice strong young voice from high in the galleries calling clearly, in case he hadn’t understood: “That was all right!”

Once he was applauded for rolling up his sleeve. It was loose, and was getting in the way of his right hand on the guitar. You can’t beat being applauded for rolling up a sleeve.


Well, I won’t go on. The next morning six of us met for breakfast in our room, including my wife and Neil’s agent Elliot Roberts; my son Bob, who is a writer and researcher, and a friend of his. Neil said the audience was a little more aggressive in New York than elsewhere. We had a couple of easy hours. He had the second concert that night, then a flight to England on Sunday to discuss an new Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album with Steve Stills; then back to San Francisco Wednesday to the ranch he owns there, with redwood forest and black angus cattle, a place he loves.

After three days there he would go to Nashville to tape with Johnny Cash. Soon after he would leave in a concert tour that includes Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto (Massey Hall).

As is usual, a parent really can only watch from afar. The funny thing is I keep watching, and thinking of so many other times, and thinking: He hasn’t changed. And yet . . . from a boy fishing in Omemee, to a boy with his first ukulele in North Toronto, to a tall thin kid playing and singing to a full house at Carnegie hall –– what the hell happened?

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In the “not so well known” album ‘A Treasure’, a song lives that doesn’t appear anywhere else on any other album. It features a fiddle played by Rufus Thibodeaux, banjo by Anthony Crawford, piano by Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins, steel by Ben Keith and electric guitar by me. Karl T. Himmel sat behind the drums and Joe Allen played bass.

The song ‘Grey Riders’ is worth listening to if you are a Crazy Horse fan. It could have easily been done by the Horse and been great, but certainly not better than this performance by these masterful musicians. The fact that the Horse never played this song is curious. I don’t know how that didn’t happen.

I do know that today when I hear ‘Grey Riders’ and ‘A Treasure’, (so named by Ben Keith), that I think these are the greatest performances of all my time playing with the International Harvesters or any other band. It’s a collection the best takes from those touring times, all rolled up into one big show for you. A DVD was produced that includes funky audience video clips of every song. These audience films will become available to our NYA subscribers on December 1st.

When I think of all these musicians and their histories and the fact that I got to play with them, I am thankful for that. Many of them are Grey Riders now.

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Two solo nights at the Tower

photo: dhlovelife

I am very thankful for these NYA shows. The experience of playing for NYA folks sitting in the the best seats in the house is very gratifying.

Setlists were fluid. Very. Especially night two, but night one was really free and easy. We were all on a roll there folks. More power to us!

Those sold out NYA shows left me feeling good. It was like falling off a log! Plus they financed NYA, in the absence of subscriptions at this date.

See you soon. More NYA shows will be announced! Music is the gift for us all.


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photo: © Jay Blakesberg

We had a couple of great nights in the Capitol Theater. The NYA audience was wonderful. I think ‘Mansion on the Hill,’ from night two was psychedelic! We entered the void. ‘I’ve been Waiting for You’ and ‘Children of Destiny’ were highlights too. I love NYA shows because the crowds are so happy. See you at the next one I hope.


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Promise of the Real and I thank you for selling out our two shows at the Capitol Theater in Portchester.

We will see you there. Looking forward to jamming for you all!



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Broken Arrow Ranch 1971

photo: David Meyers

The album Harvest is made up of a diverse group of sources - a live acoustic performance, London Symphony Orchestra performances, Nashville studio sessions, and a session at Broken Arrow Ranch’s barn, now lovingly called the Harvest Barn, part of which is in this short film - ‘Are You Ready For The Country?’

In early January 1971, I was touring solo across Canada and in Toronto at Massey Hall, David Briggs recorded me on a 7 1/2 IPS stereo tape recorder. I think there was a multi track recording from that night but Mr. Briggs nailed the sound on the stereo recorder and we used that - saving a generation by not having to go to the master tape to re-mix. That gave the Massey Hall concert an immediate sound. Every tape generation takes you further from the original sound. The Massey Hall performance was released years later as a stand alone live album.

Later that January in Los Angeles, recording a solo Royce Hall show on the same tour with Henry Lewy at the board, we captured ‘Needle and The Damage Done’ and that was the first track that made it onto the Harvest LP.

Early in February I was in Nashville to appear on the Johnny Cash show. Broadcast from the Rhyman Auditorium, the show had just opened the week before with Bob Dylan as a guest, singing with Johnny. James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt were playing the second week’s show and I was on the show as well. Elliot Mazer, who I had just met, had an idea. James and Linda joined me in the studio for a session. Elliot Mazer chose the musicians for the session and put the whole thing together. ‘Harvest’ would have never happened without Elliot. He is great. He was at the board, recording. We captured ‘Bad Fog of Loneliness’, ‘Old Man’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ that first day. James and Linda sang with me, overdubbing on the choruses and James played banjo with us live on Old Man. These were all brand new fresh songs that I had been performing on my solo tour. The sessions were an amazing time with Kenny Buttrey on drums and I could not believe how great he was, so locked in with my right hand. He had his drums set up so he could see my hand on the guitar. Tim Drummond played bass and Ben Keith was on steel guitar. These were great musicians and wonderful people. They were so tuned in to what I was doing; it was easy going and that was the beginning of life-long friendships between us. Ben Keith played with me for over 40 years. Tim Drummond was with me for a very long time as well. What a wonderful group of musicians they were. Elliot got a pure clean sound, using a bit of tape repeat on my vocal. He mixed on the Quad-8 console at Quadrafonic Studios on Nashville’s legendary 16th avenue, where many historic studios were located at the time. It was part of Nashville’s famed Music Row. I was over my head with good fortune and luck combined! Elliot Mazer was key to Harvest’s success.

The next month I was doing a solo concert at Royal Festival Hall in London England and had booked the London Symphony Orchestra for a recording session at Barking Town Hall. Jack Nitzche was arranging and producing the live session. Glyn Johns was at the board. We captured ‘A man Needs A Maid’ and ‘There’s A World’. The sessions were filmed by Vim Vanderlinden and we will soon be premiering unseen footage here at the Times Contrarian. Both songs were included in ‘Harvest’. This again, was an amazing experience. For me, everything was new and I was living the dream.

Soon April arrived and we were back in Nashville recording with Elliot Mazer at Quadrafonic Sound Studio. I had more songs- ‘Out on the Weekend’, ‘Harvest’, ‘Journey Through the Past’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’. John Harris, pianist, joined us for the session. You can really hear him on the song ‘Harvest’. Tony Joe White played electric guitar on ‘Dance Dance Dance’. The first two of those songs, ‘Out on the Weekend’ and ‘Harvest’ made it onto the album. Then we headed home. (More footage from that session may exist and the archivist is looking for it now. If it is found, NYA will share it with you soon).

A few months later in September we were at Broken Arrow Ranch, my home for a year since September 1970. We recorded in the barn on a stage built by John Snodgress, Carrie’s brother. Carrie is the mother of my oldest son, Zeke, who is an important part of our archives team. Those were some great times! The stage was built from old barn wood to be ready and looking good for some filming with the band. We played ‘Are you Ready for the Country’, “Alabama’, and ‘Words’, the subject of a previous article here in the Times-Contrarian. ‘Are You Ready for the Country’ was written at the ranch shortly before the barn sessions happened. It’s a simple song based on an old blues melody that has been used many times. I thought it would bring some welcome relief from the other songs.

The raw film we see here is found in the (9/26/71) info-card for ‘Are You Ready for the Country’. I particularly like the groove of this recording as Tim Drummond lays it down with Kenny Buttrey, while Jack plays slide guitar, something I had never heard him do before that time.

Occasionally you can see Tim Mulligan, who is my incredible live-sound mixer and mastering engineer and has been since shortly after that time. Tim is the young man moving around in the background. He helped produce some of my albums such as ‘Comes a Time’.

That’s how Harvest was made and those songs have left a mark on me and many of the people I see in my life today. If you are one of those people, a deeply felt thanks for being there.

ny / NYA

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by Bob Young and Diane Marshall

This is a song from the North, from one of your Canadian friends. We Canadians are very concerned for our old friend, the USA. My brother Bob is singing this solo acoustic rendition. Bob co-wrote this song and recorded it in Ontario, where the Youngs come from. We wish the best for the USA.


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Broken Arrow Ranch 1971

photo: David Meyers

Around the end of September 1971, I was recording the album ‘Harvest’ with Elliot Mazer in my barn at Broken Arrow Ranch, my new home. I had no idea what the title of the album would be at that time. We were just out in a field behind the barn where we had been recording. I held a piece of dried cow shit in my hand as we talked. A truck from Wally Heider Recording was there full of recording equipment and the engineer running the truck was Stan Thompson.

The Stray Gators were hanging out listening around the truck as we played back a long exploratory jam of ‘Words’ that would have taken up a whole side of vinyl so was not included in the album. In those days it was important to consider that a vinyl record would only sound great if it was about 18 minutes long. If you pushed it too much further and there was a lot of bass in the recording, (which took up a lot of the grooves) it would not sound great overall and would have to be at a lesser volume.

While I was listening to the natural echo bouncing off the hills of my new home, David Meyers asked me a few questions. I tried to answer them as best I could. You can see the guys in the distance, Jack Nitzsche, Kenny Buttrey, Tim Drummond and Ben Keith, hanging around the truck listening to what is probably the best performance of Words ever. This little short film can be found in the archive info-card of the song “Words” from the soundtrack of “Journey Through the Past” a movie I made about that time.

I was 24 years old. As I look at this today, I am moved by the innocence I possessed, as I was discovering so many things for the first time, and I miss my old friends, all of whom are gone, except for the wonderful music they made while they were here together on Earth. I was so lucky to know them and make our music together.

Jack Nitzsche was my friend from Buffalo Springfield days, ‘Expecting to Fly’ as well as my first solo album, Old Laughing Lady’ and had written much of the scores for Phil Spector’s classics, plus movie scores such as ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Jack joined the band for the first time for ‘Words’.

Tim Drummond played with James Brown, Conway Twitty and J.J. Cale.

Ben Keith played with Patsy Cline on ‘Crazy’, Willie Nelson’s classic. Ben “Longgrain” played his beautiful way with many other musicians and great recordings.

Kenny Buttrey played with countless artists from The Everly Brothers’ to Bob Dylan. His part on ‘Lay Lady Lay’ is legendary.

David Meyers, the interviewer in this short film, is the cinematographer in ‘Journey Through the Past’, ‘Human Highway’, and ‘Rust Never Sleeps’. David was an essential ingredient, along with L.A. Johnson, in Shakey Pictures early productions.

Thanks guys! I have been very fortunate in my life to work along side of you all.


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Heading west, we are feeling thankful from the experience in Boston. The crowd was diverse and game. The theater a testimony to what man can do for the arts, very unlike what the digital age has done for music. The theater, once called Music Hall, was up to the acoustic challenge, delivering a sonic landscape for the audience to wander in. A good time was had by all.

Well almost all. There was a lonely scalper out front who couldn’t sell his tickets for more than they were worth. The tickets originated from NYA. All the tickets did, so everyone knew what this enterprising individual was doing. He seemed a little out of place amongst the audience who all paid a reasonable price for their tickets, because they got advance tickets through NYA and didn’t need scalpers anymore. Since we don't advertise, we only pull in the music lovers who are at NYA.

This leg of our Theater Tour is complete, but there will be more dates and NYA ‘Hearse Theater’ live streams coming as we tour the most beautiful theaters still in existence around the world, painstakingly built before the dawn of the Digital Age. In the tour of the future, the two come together with NYA Advance Tickets and livestreams, making it possible for everyone to be at the concerts, one way or another.

The audience knows one another through their shared experience of listening to original recordings of many songs played at the concert, Xstreamed in highest resolution, at NYA. It was NYA that provided early access to the tickets and sold out both shows, filling the Hall with music lovers who didn’t have to deal with scalpers.

What this means is a return to performing, similar to when I first began and no one knew my songs, so they just listened, rather than celebrating each song as it happened by calling out. It is easier to get lost in a song and fall in the groove when the song is filling the air. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does. We are giving it a chance.

The Theater Tour has produced a feeling in the crew, agents, managers, merchandise people and audience, with everyone realizing how far we have come and appreciating the gifts of beauty, artistry, history and soul offered by the greatest theaters of our time.

Thanks for attending or live streaming our Theater Tour.


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