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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Search of International Harvesters Material

International Harvesters Tour, Costa Mesa, CA - 10/24/84
Photo by Robert Matheu

Well, it looks like the folks over at Shakey Pictures are looking for some Neil Young archival material from the International Harvesters era.

Hi Thrasher,
The Neil Young Archives team is looking for any rare film or video footage that collectors and fans may have of the International Harvesters band.

In our library we already have their performances on Austin City Limits, Live Aid, Farm Aid and Nashville Now.

Now we are reaching out to the community for contributions.

If you or someone you know has Harvesters footage that isn't what is listed above, they can send the details to me.

I will get you in contact with the appropriate person in the Shakey Pictures production crew to send it to.

Thanks for your help and the great dedication to the community on Thrashers Wheat.

-Archives Guy

So, if you can help out, we're sure the Shakey Pix guys would love to hear from you.

The International Harvesters era -- which ran from roughly ~1984 - 1985 -- produced some wonderful country twang moments in Neil Young's career. The band consisted of 2 band lineups:

International Harvesters Band #1
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Spooner Oldham
Tim Drummond
Karl T. Himmel
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

International Harvesters Band #2
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Hargus Pig Robbins
Joe Allen
Karl T. Himmel
Matraca Berg
Tracy Nelson
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

(Bonus points for correctly identifying each player's instrument.)

From a Funhouse album review of Old Ways by Steve Peck:
The International Harvesters were a swinging band that added a lot to the quality of Old Ways, and this is Neil's most realized country effort to date. One enjoyable aspect of the album is his use of Waylon Jennings for vocal harmonies. Waylon and Neil's voices blend well together, and Jennings is one of the best harmonizers around. Willie Nelson shows up to duet on "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?," adding further to the record's country credentials. This period of Neil's career is even more significant if you look past the Old Ways album, and take into account the subsequent International Harvesters tour, with its performances of several exceptional, unreleased songs, "Interstate" and "Grey Riders."

YouTube - Neil Young w/ International Harvesters & Nicolette Larson - "Homegrown" at Farm Aid II

Some more International Harvesters video:

YouTube - NEIL YOUNG SOUTHERN PACIFIC 8/17/85 - 1985-08-17, Canadian National Exhibition Grandstand, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

YouTube - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings 1984 - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings Sept 20 1984 'Nashville Now' TV show Are You Ready For the Country?

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 1 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 1 includes intro, Field of Opportunity and the first part of the interview.

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 3 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 3 - Amber Jean, band intro's and the closing moments of the show."

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At 6/24/2010 12:53:00 AM, Anonymous Simpson said...

Don't forget this exceptional performance of "Grey Riders" from the same show as "Southern Pacific" here at

Archives Guy, if there's no other performances on video of these songs please put these into the next set! These are two of the Harvester's strongest songs!

Another thing, that I ask as a huge fan of filmed performances, please do not leave out live concert footage that could be found elsewhere. I know those DVD's and BD's can hold a lot of material. Just saying my favorite thing of the Archives are the videos. I worry about the later sets, where there is plenty of repeated material that could be included but is just written off. "Like A Hurricane," comes to mind. It's been played and filmed so many times but every single version of that song is so different. I would rather fork out the extra money to get all the footage officially from Neil's team rather than purchase bootleg DVD's.

I'm just saying like if you have every song from Farm Aid and Austin City Limits on video, please include every song, even if they were already in the first boxed set! Every band plays every tune differently and every filmed performance is filmed and edited differently!

Sorry for ranting, just letting you know what one huge fan (and probably others) would like to see in the sets!

So excited for the Volume 2!

And please do not leave out the original "Time Fades Away" or all of "Muddy Track!" I have it on DVD and it's such a great film! I love the editing in it and it tells such a fantastic story of that tour without the documentary feel! Seriously is a walk in the band's shoes on the road and captures tour life better than anything else I've ever seen!

Okay, I'm done now! Peace and love!

At 6/24/2010 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to see Muddy Track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 6/24/2010 11:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe Neil and the gang don't have more video from that tour sitting around the ol' vault.What the heck?As to reaching out to the bootlegers. Zepppelin did the same thing for their AWESOME Zep DVD.With great results I think.Great period in Young's career me thinks.I guess the Harvesters material will be included on Archives vol.3.?Still can't wait for vol.2 though.Me and a million other people right?!!

Rancho Relaxo

At 6/24/2010 01:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/24/2010 02:17:00 PM, Anonymous Simpson said...

"Muddy Track" is an exceptional home movie filmed by Young and company on their 1987 tour in Europe. Some amazing performances, candid interviews, and great backstage stuff propel this truly amazing film. Shows how boring and lonely life on the road could be but also how amazingly fun it's gotta be. Neil has his own camera named Otto which he talks to and is very comical. I never get tired of watching this, even though it's not a regular movie. It's edited together to tell a story and it's really amazing how well I think it works out. Believe me, if you are a NYCH fan, then you will love "Muddy Track!"

At 6/24/2010 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!Just got done watching the Southern Pacific vid.MAGIC!!That has got to be the best take of that song EVER.Rufus was making it sound like there WAS a train right up on stage with them.BITCHIN'!!

Rancho Relaxo

At 6/24/2010 08:33:00 PM, Anonymous BigChief said...

I was fortunate to attend a couple International Harvester shows and to me one of the highlights of the performances was the amazing Rufus Thibideaux. Every time Neil would glance over to Rufus it would bring a big smile to his face. You really sensed that Neil was having a good time playing with that band. I hope Neil had the opportunity to thank "that old country fiddler" as he intended according to the lyrics on 'One Of These Days' as I was saddened to find that Rufus had past away on August 12, 2005. While reading todays post by Thrasher, I decided to go to Wikipedia and see if they had any information on him. Upon noticing the article began with the word 'was', I sort of had a sense that the article wasn't going to end in a happy note. Although having had his own rather obscure career of his own as a cajun fiddler, backing many well known country artists over the years, I would have really loved to hear him tell some stories about life on the road and in the studio with the likes of Neil and what a whole different world that must have opened up for him. Rufus Thibideaux Jan 1934 - Aug 2005 R.I.P.

At 6/24/2010 10:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The performances of Southern Pacific and Grey Riders are among my Youtube favorites. There are also performances with the Harvesters of Motor City and Hawks and Doves on there as well.

For you fans of Rufus Thibodeaux, check him out playing In the Mood on Youtube in a clip from an old Ralph Emery {Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man} Show.

Rusted in KY

At 6/25/2010 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Archives Guy said...

Thanks for the post, Thrasher...and for the commentary by followers.

We are still looking to unearth other Harvesters film and video footage, so if ya have anything contact me at:


-Archives Guy

At 6/26/2010 04:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be good to have material from the original incarnation of Old Ways too.

At 7/17/2010 03:19:00 PM, Anonymous lester said...

anybody got the 1985 austin city limits show with the harvesters?
am looking for a copy as mine got taped over(love vhs???)
am willing to $$$


At 7/18/2010 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish i had a copy of the austin city limit show too. meanwhile, here's a video on youtube.


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