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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Producer David Briggs and Neil Young

Neil Young and Producer David Briggs, 1995
Photo by Pegi Young
(Click photo to enlarge)

Neil Young's erstwhile Producer David Briggs -- who passed away in 1995 -- was integral to the recording of most of Young's most acclaimed albums beginning with "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere," in 1970.

Here's a photo of Neil Young and Producer David Briggs, en route to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 1995. The photo is by Pegi Young.

From a Neil Young Interview in MOJO Magazine on David Briggs influence:
    Neil: "He told me what was wrong with my performance at Bob-Aid (1992 Tribute Concert to Bob Dylan). Everyone else was telling me how great it was. He didn't belabour the fact that it was great. His opinion was: 'Yeah, it was great, OK. It was great BUT forget about that because what was wrong was... this, this and this. You sang it in the wrong key, your voice was too low, the drums weren't tight enough 'til half-way through... No-one'll probably notice but... It's not usable.' (Laughs) And I always listen to what he has to say and take note of it. "
"There certainly weren't any recordings of Neil Young and Crazy Horse that David Briggs wasn't involved in," Joel Bernstein recalled.

Artist James Mazzeo, longtime Neil collaborator said of Briggs:
David Briggs had the capacity to make you feel like an integral part of the whole picture no more or no less than any other part of that picture (or song or Album) than even Neil himself.....Neil (and myself) respected David on the highest of levels when we all were working alongside his illuminations.....David was a brilliant light for all of us to work in.....he could take from us our self doubts and shadows and devour them gone....he was like a black light and the best of us came forth and glowed in his presence ....i miss David and i send 'Thank you's' to his spirit with every new piece i create.
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At 1/27/2013 08:19:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Even the strongest bladed sword needs sharpening at times. I think that's what Briggs was for Neil, the sharpening stone, the honest critic, the unbiased judge. He let the music speak, and had the talent to detect the subtle chagnes needed to bring it out fully. It is difficult for someone to have a completely objective take on their own work/art. They see it only thru the eyes/heart that created it. I always loved that story about when Neil asked Briggs to list his best albums, they were all the albums Briggs had worked on.

It's also now hard to think about the short life Briggs had. I'm 51 now, I can't imagine not seeing tomorrow.

At 1/27/2013 09:50:00 AM, Blogger setlistthief said...

"And there ain't nothin' like a friend, who can tell you you're just pissin' in the wind."

SONY, your comment touched me. So many wonderful, and honest people, have passed through Neil's life, Briggs, Danny, Ben, LA. I would imagine it is terribly humbling for Neil, who himself has been near the end, to realize how important all these friends have been to his own life and career.

I myself am hitting 54 this year, and starting to realize what a short run this life really is, no matter how old one gets.

At 3/18/2014 10:09:00 PM, Blogger theloner said...

very moving comments.. Death of loved ones really change us..One at a time. I'm 49 and I just cant believe it And I lost quite a few along the way...Happening more often lately. Make sure ya live it all up!I think neil looks happier than ever And i believe its because of all he has lost, And he realizes how fradgile we all are


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