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Monday, December 07, 2009

Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold and Neil Young

Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold
Photo by Jen Reel

Over the years, we've attempted to capture why Neil Young's music matters with varying success.

This year at the annual Bridge School Benefit concerts, The Fleet Foxes were among a handful of up and coming bands to play along with the big names. We found that this interview with Fleet Foxes' frontman Robin Pecknold to be just about the best summary of why we think Neil matters. (And this is for those who love to whine about inconsequential matters and refuse to get it.)

From Pitchfork interview with Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold on their latest album and influences:
Pitchfork: Is there any music you've been listening to that you think could be shaping the music you're writing?

Robin Pecknold: The biggest thing to me -- and I mean this in a totally approach-based way -- is Neil Young.

There's less of a Neil Young feeling than on the first album. But we were asked to do his [Bridge School] benefit down at Mountain View [California], and the experience of being around his crew and being an observer into his world for a few days was this crazy and inspiring experience. He seems like such a wonderful person, and it seems like he just did it the right way. He doesn't seem to have any enemies, and he just does what he wants and looks after the people in his circle.

You would meet person after person who did such and such job on the tours, and everyone had stories. There were dudes that that had stories from 1971, and everyone had nothing but good things to say.

Someone has done it the right way in this music game, and it ended up being fulfilling and good for the people in his life as well. I think that made me still want to do the recording and touring thing, after feeling not too excited by it.


More on why Neil Young's music matters.

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At 12/07/2009 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, everyone had something good to say...because they were THERE. go talk to crazy horse. see how they feel about the man these days. i've recently spoken to poncho and, well, let's just say that he's not the biggest fan of neil young you're gonna find.

At 12/07/2009 09:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Robin!

At 12/07/2009 09:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talked with Poncho, eh? Hmm.

Really, really doubt it.

nice try on spreading rumors.

The Shadow

At 12/07/2009 10:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, believe what you want. poncho is a human, just like you and me. he's not a myth. it's not the first time i've met him either (spoke to him before a greendale show) and he actually remembered me! not the name, mind you, but the face.

At 12/07/2009 12:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray every night for a Crazy Horse comeback. And Poncho is the man.

At 12/07/2009 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suspect Poncho and all of Crazy Horse to be a LIFELONG FAN of Neil Young regardless of recent happenigs. Only an ingrate turns from the source of his/her greatest achievements.

- Not Rotten Johnny

At 12/07/2009 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Not Rotten Johnny, let us use that logic. Let us say that Neil Young's greatest musical achievements have been with the band Crazy Horse. Now, if Neil Young were to turn against Crazy Horse, what would that make him?

Just askin'.

At 12/07/2009 12:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil needs the Horse, the Horse needs Neil and we need Neil and the Horse.

At 12/07/2009 01:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep : this dude is right. We need the old crazy horse

At 12/07/2009 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous Mr. Ed said...

I don't care how crazy
They might be..

Horses' can't talk!

- Mr. Ed

At 12/07/2009 01:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Askin' -
I see your point on that. I've not heard that there has been this turning away in either direction from the horse or rider. Though the Horse has been out to pasture far too long I'll agree. From firsthand experience I can tell you that keeping the vibe isn't always easy. Fandom of others is a fickle fate frequently festered from and for fools.

- Not Rotten Johnny

At 12/07/2009 02:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But they play like nobody, and they run faster than the electric band...

At 12/07/2009 02:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would Neil be without the Horse? Probably still Neil Young.

What would the Horse be without Neil? A band called the Rockets that is a footnote to a footnote of the '60s.

I think Pancho and the Horse are grateful of their associations with Neil Young. Just my guess.

At 12/07/2009 02:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, Neil without the horse means :
- no Everybody knows this is nowhere,
- no Tonight's the night,
- no Zuma,
- no Rust Never Sleeps,
- no Ragged Glory,
- no Weld,
- no Sleeps with Angels,
- no "When You Dance", no "Like a Hurricane", no "Lotta Love", no "Big Time", no "Going Home"...

At 12/07/2009 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Neil young would've made it without the horse and not vice versa. A different creature perhaps, but that train was heading for the station since it pulled out. THANKFULLY we don't have to spend much on what would've been, but rather to foucs on what is. The albums and songs were written by Neil, but the experiences that led up to the 'feel', well, that would have put a new spin on the dial.

- Not Rotten Johnny

At 12/07/2009 03:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, the last Neil's magic moment is with...Crazy Horse, with the epic "Going Home".

At 12/07/2009 04:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree with you man but "Shining Light" is a great song too. "Singing a Song" and "Te Way" are pretty cool too. "Going Home" is a masterpiece.

At 12/07/2009 04:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Hidden Path was right up there with some of the CH classics like LAH, DBTR, CtK.

Jo in SoHo

At 12/07/2009 05:08:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Well, America..

I've just been through the desert on a crazy horse with no name

without Neil, it wouldn't be the same

Coz in the desert
ya can't remember your fame

It felt good, the songs,were never lame

Now Neil's moved on, with a new horse to tame

he's got a filly, that everyone's wantin to blame

She's Neil's ride, now a mare
but she's Neil's eternal flame

like Yoko and Linda
She's a special part of the game

But with Neil, she puts them to shame

Without Neil, the horse have no claim

He's moved on with a new horse to tame (reprise)

He's moved on with a new horse to tame

At 12/07/2009 07:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil will come around to the horse when he feels ready and when he does the music will feel sooo good, because the time will be right, only Neil can dictate that timing ... in the interim, while i love Neil as much as the next rustie, i have to agree he wouldn't be where he is if he didn't have a ruthless side to him, hence the comment that no one has anything bad to say is a bit naive ... after 40 years+ he's left his share of causulties his wake thats just a fact ... my take on it is that Neil places the muse and the flow of songs and song writing ahead of all else ... thats a vital component of his persona and his MO, i think on charlie rose he said he drops everything when he feels a song coming ... i forgot exactly how he put it but it was darn eloquent ... like he's subservient to that force ... so... he's just more loyal to making the music that he's feeling than to making everyone around him feel good ... so right now the horse is out of favor, thats why he only plays w/ csn once every 7-10 years ... thats why we got FITR as opposed to what people expected ... thats what TTN was after Harvest ... I also think Pegi gets that about him and she gives him that space which is why they've lasted ... in the same way her role in the band in my view is the same as described above when Neil pivots into the next genre she won't necessarily be part of it because when it comes to his music his loyalty goes with the music and the muse not with the current or former band members family or not .... and thats not a comment on her abilities I leave those decisions to Neil he almost never dissapoints from a musical perspective ... just one man's view...

At 12/07/2009 08:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scholars and Rogues blog is having a Tournament of Rock – Legends:

Quarter Finals: The Rolling Stones vs Neil Young

Show your love and get him into the finals!

At 12/07/2009 09:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, no band has ever ripped off Neil Young and CSNY like Fleet Foxes. They're even worse copycats than America (the band)!

At 12/07/2009 09:54:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

10:14 -

Ever heard the expression that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

At 12/07/2009 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not fer nothing, but that there "Lampoon" there --- Nice.


At 12/08/2009 06:51:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

S.O.N.Y is it true......

is it it...

I knew it! I knew it all along!! lol

the sock doc

At 12/08/2009 09:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know flattery will get you everywhere!

The wife calls me a son of a something or other.

If anything it's closest to hoping it's B.O.N.Y. (as in brother...)


At 12/08/2009 11:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of beating a dead "Horse"...

I would be very surprised if we see Neil team up with the Horse again. I just don't see it in the cards. He's commented several times on how much he enjoys playing with his current line-up because they can do the whole thing, whereas the Horse is a "one trick pony" (but fun).

He seems most at home in the company of Ben Keith. They're buds and cut from the same cloth. Pancho and Billy...well, they have less and less in common with where Neil is at and where he seems to be headed. Ralph -well, I can see him playing drums on tour again, like he did during the Chrome Dreams tour. Ralph has become an excellent drummer and always fit Neil well. Billy cannot hold a candle to Rick and Pancho is just sloppy. Why bother with sloppy.

At 12/08/2009 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billy is the man, and his album is far better than Neils last CDs... In fact, the Horse is the best band Neil ever played in. For example, I dig the electric band but Crazy Horse plays with the Heart.
And I've heard since 1981 that it's the end of the horse. So I just hope this 6 fuckin long years without the guys will be soon over, and that the Horse we'll be back.

At 12/08/2009 11:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry the horse "will" be back (I'm italian guys, sorry for my english).

At 12/08/2009 04:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone who thinks that neil has found nirvana with this new band and that he'll never go back hasnt followed neil for all these years ... he will get bored and move on to something fresh ... eventually the horse will come back into the mix ... if csn makes it back into the mix you can be sure the horse will be back in their too

At 12/08/2009 04:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, have I got this wrong - what about Toast? Wasn`t that supposed to be with the Horse?

Jill (keep on bloggin`...)

At 12/08/2009 05:37:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Jill, I assure Toast and horse were never going to be a combination! Why?
1. You could never spread it
2.Marmelade will always be the choice of spread

so no more rediculous, inane comments, ok!

Luv Doc

At 12/08/2009 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Doc for putting me right there, but of course you`re wrong -the choice of spread will always be Marmite.

Sorry Doc, I forgot - it`s your job to make ridiculous and inane comments round here!

luv Jill (keep on bloggin`...)

At 12/10/2009 12:02:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Thanks Jill, ....I just knew I had a purpose!!!


At 2/02/2010 01:06:00 AM, Blogger ANTIQCOOL said...

Neil Young is a legend and his own man.

People say some of our stuff sounds like Fleet Foxes, can't see it myself but I'm not complaining.....a great band with a sound philosophy :-) Pete : Antiqcool.


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