This Neil’s on Fire: A Classic Cut Reborn
Photo by Kevin James
Since last month's release of Canadian Celebration of the Band, there's been a lot of buzz around the cover track "This Wheel's on Fire" with Neil Young and The Sadies. (Listen to sample tracks on Amazon.com.)
From The Star | This Neil’s on Fire: A classic cut reborn by Greg Quill:
“They had intended to record it with acoustic instruments,” Producer Peter J. Moore says. “And Neil was supposed to record his bit four months earlier, but performance schedules and a sore throat kept pushing it back.”
“There’s a knock at the door, and Larry Cragg, Neil’s guitar technician, is standing there, asking how he can get ‘the rig’ into the studio,” Moore says.
Young’s guitar rig — a famously mystical contraption made up of a battered, modified vintage Fender amplifier boosted by several custom-made sound-processing devices, distortion effects and a number of reverb plates, linked together and gaffer-taped to an assembly that rests in a huge black box — can’t be turned sideways, for fear of displacing loose but vital objects, Moore was told.
“So we had about six guys lift it over the driveway fence and into the backyard, where it was unpacked, and the rig was rolled into the studio’s piano room through patio doors that had to be removed.”
“Then Neil left, and went back into the piano room where his amp was, and closed the door. I could hear him practicing scales in there with the piano, warming up his voice . . . then things got very quiet.”
“Suddenly, the piano room door flew open, and without a word, Neil rushed into the studio, picked up his guitar and whacked out this enormous chord. He was going for it.”
“That was a killer take. Luckily the recorder was still running.”
Part fury, part ecstasy, “This Wheel’s On Fire” by The Sadies, Hudson and Young is a defining event on A Canadian Celebration of The Band, a three-minute explosion that captures all six musicians at their best, and delivers a heart-stopping wallop. It sounds extemporaneous, immediate, too big for the room – it’s as good as rock ‘n’ roll gets.
For more on sessions, see The Star | This Neil’s on Fire: A classic cut reborn.
(Click to Zoom Cover)
Also, for complete track listing, sample tracks, and more, see Amazon.com: Canadian Celebration of the Band.
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