Neil Young's new album "Roxy - Tonight's the Night Live" is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Comment of the Moment: A New Tone on Tour?

old black guitar
Neil Young's Les Paul Guitar "Old Black"

The recent post on Neil having a new tone on tour generated a bit of discussion. It does seem that the reference to Neil switching to digital equipment is highly doubtful but the use of a Hagstrom guitar seems a foregone conclusion. Here's Thrasher's Wheat's Comment of the Moment:
I have heard "rumor" of Neil exploring a new tone but I, too, am a little dubious. Neil has used a lot of combos before and the "sound" is much more dependent on the style of playing. In the late-60's early 70's he was using Old Black without the Firebird pickup in the bridge position (I think it was a Dearmond Dynosonic which is a single coil), a Gretsch 6120 with Filterons and, of course the stereo White Falcon with Filterons. Old Black was refitted with a firebird pickup. On the Time Fades Away tour, he played a Flying V with humbuckers and used a 52 Nocaster (single coils) to record much of Tonights the Night. So, his guitar tone has ranged from single coil (Fender-style and p-90s) and humbuckers.

His amp tone has changed, too. With BS, he used a Twin Reverb a fair amount and that circuit has a decidedly different tone from the rebiased 5e3 (Deluxe) and the Tremolux he paired with it in the early 70'. I don't think he started using the Deluxe with the 280 Maggie and the Exterminator until about the mid-70's. For portions of Freedom, he was actually using Marshall stacks.

Bottom line is this, his guitar tone has changed but his indiosyncratic playing style has made it seem more "unchanging". Note that the Hagstrom has a tremola - that's really important. I'm not sure how the single coils will compress but if he is amp modding, it won't matter anyway.

But, again, I am really dubious. He is such a tone freak and Larry Cragg is a major "complex wave form, no transistor" guy. If he comes out with the Hagstrom, I might be a bit surprised but I expect the sound will be vintage Neil.

More on Neil Young's Sound and Tone. Also, see interview with Neil's guitar tech Larry Cragg -- The Welder.

Links to this post:

Create a Link


At 9/27/2007 05:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't say I followed all the details of that post. But I'm hoping for a new sound. Not that I don't like Ol black's sound but something different would be cool. Guess we won't really know until we hear the album and tour. can't wait

At 9/27/2007 05:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes no difference to me because as far as I'm concerned neil's emotions are what come through the guitar regardless of what he's playing. And that's all that matters to me.

At 9/27/2007 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Neil on tour for the Silver and Gold album and he came out and did an encore of "Mellow My Mind" playing a telecaster type instrument (I couldn't tell the make 'cause I was way in the back). Anyways, the twangy sound of that guitar was a really nice sound for him (especially on mellow my mind). Has anyone else seen Neil playing his telecaster or know of an album that it's featured on?

At 9/28/2007 03:22:00 AM, Anonymous Sonic Architect said...

He's used the Telecaster on loads of things. I think he's using it for Mellow My Mind on the Friends & Relatives DVD?

The Baldwin Exterminator is a transistor amp, and Neil has used other amps over the years, as noted in previous posts. He's also used the little Silvertone tube amp when he played the little club gigs w/ CH a few years back.

At 9/28/2007 04:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil would just love this stuff???

At 9/28/2007 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the guitar sound on "On the beach" sound like a Telecaster to me, especially Reolution Blues and the title song.

At 9/28/2007 10:18:00 PM, Anonymous Bored with ya said...

I am simply looking forward to hearing him so often we place quite a bit of someone's ability on the Gear they use, meaning where would some players be without Distortion or Overdrive?
Look at how pared down Neil was for The Blue do what you do Neil, I'm there soaking it in!! And I have my own "Old Black" built to spec on Neil's with some direct help from Mr. Cragg so I know the Value of that Guitar...and man o' man!! Pure joy.

At 9/29/2007 02:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That telecaster Neil plays is the "nocaster" mentioned above. It's a Broadcaster (the tele's stylistic predecessor) with the "broadcaster" cut off the headstock sticker, before they started labeling them telecasters.

As for On The Beach, I've always wondered what he's using. Walk On is from the end of the Tonight's The Night sessions, so I'm guessing that's the nocaster. Don't know about the others (Revolution Blues, Vampire Blues, On The Beach).
He did have Old Black back by the end of the TTN tour so he could be using that.

Spin the Black Circle

At 9/29/2007 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I can tell most of you have seen him live before. I have not, and I know there will be limited opportunities to see him in my lifetime. I may never see Crazy Horse. But I was at least hoping to see him rocking on Old Black a little this tour, and I know he has the complete right to do whatever he wants, but if he doesn't rock Old Black, I will be somewhat disappointed.

At 9/29/2007 08:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While his rig might be different, and he has a more varied arsenal of guitars, I bet Old Black makes at least a small appearance. We'll find out soon.

Spin the Black Circle

At 10/21/2007 12:23:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

By the way David Crosby plays guitar on Revolution Blues


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel


Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?




(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul