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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Neil Young & The Bottom Line Club, New York City

The Bottom Line Club, New York City
(Click photo to enlarge)

The thirty-ninth anniversary of Neil Young’s legendary 1974 appearance at New York’s Bottom Line club falls today – May 16.

This fabled show – an unannounced acoustic set of eleven mostly new songs performed in just over an hour – was captured for posterity by an anonymous, prescient taper; something all Neil Young fans should remain eternally grateful for. At the height of his song-writing and performing powers and in the middle of a sustained burst of creativity, Neil Young – almost certainly aided by illegal substances – delivered an unforgettably powerful acoustic performance that has stood the test of time. An astonishing five of the eleven songs played that night were début performances and even more astonishingly 10 out of the 11 were unreleased at the time. Yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo. Of the eleven songs performed only “Helpless” had been officially released. The show itself had a wonderfully feel-good, happy vibe. Both Neil and the audience were very loose and Neil was in a humorous, storytelling mood. If you’ve never heard the Bottom Line tape you need to go listen right now!

To commemorate this anniversary all round Neil Young fanatic Bernie B. Shakey has re-visited the Bottom Line performance and, over 16 fascinating pages, takes us back to those long ago days of 1974. Full of press clippings, rare photos, historical facts, anecdotes, transcripts, commentary, and contemporaneous news items it makes for a wonderful read. I am pleased to say that this article will be published exclusively in the June issue of Broken Arrow, published by the Neil Young Appreciation Society. (Although fingers crossed Bernie will choose to subsequently put it up online to make it available for everyone to read! Always a good home for archiving here @ TW.).

Thanks Bernie!


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At 5/16/2013 02:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't wait to read that. thanks Bernie!

At 5/16/2013 07:16:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

this tape was the first bootleg of Neil I ever had and really elevated my interest in him from casual fan to near fanatic. Ok, bonafide fanatic. Changed my way of thinking about music as well. Until I heard of Time fades away I thought this the holy grail of it all.

At 5/16/2013 10:34:00 AM, Blogger mark said...

>> An astonishing five of the eleven songs played that night were début performances and even more astonishingly 10 out of the 11 were unreleased at the time.

..... i wonder how many of those attendees were bitching the next day about how Neil didn't play any of the 'hits' last night ?
....... the 'new stuff' is what's kept the Shakey one relevant for over 40 years now.

At 5/16/2013 02:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how do i get to the 'tape'.....

At 5/16/2013 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous HarryO said...

Anonymous: Perhaps the easiest way to hear this archival recording is on YouTube; here is the link

At 5/16/2013 03:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am working on a new Neil fanzine at the minute and have just finished a little piece on this myself! Its not 16 pages though. Its a classic bootleg and a great story.

My fanzine should be out for the UK shows in June - won't be as good as Broken Arrow obviously but hopefully people may like it.


At 5/16/2013 05:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find a lossless torrent of this show here. you'll need to register at the site.

At 5/16/2013 06:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I've never heard mentioned, but I think, based one Neil's pre song rap, that 'Long May You Run' was written earlier on the same day of the show.

Does anyone think the same thing?
Just going from memory here, but Neil says 'I was just passing thru you know...bought a bus to go on the road with...and I wrote this song for my car'

Feel free to pull out the exact quote and correct me, but I believe Neil is saying he wrote this song today, inspired by buying his new tour bus, and thinking back to his first, Mort.

Either way. I put that down as the definitive performance of that song. To me the show also includes the definitive performances of 'Pushed It Over The End' and 'Pardon My Heart'. Maybe even a couple others.


keepin' T.O. alive

At 5/17/2013 01:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a song I wrote for my, uh ... I'm just passing through, you know, and, uh, I, uh, wrote this song for my car. I bought a bus today to go on the road with, you know, can't stand all those airplanes anymore. It's a big bus, it's got lots of room in it. ... Here's a song I wrote for my car.

At 5/18/2013 06:04:00 AM, Blogger La Johnson said...

1974 saw Neil writing some of the best songs of his career and we all knew that at the time, likewise we know NOW his recent out put will not be viewed in the same way in 2042!

At 5/18/2013 11:18:00 AM, Anonymous mel said...

anonymous. could you please repost address for concert google says it cannot locate. thanks. all the best.mel.

At 5/18/2013 09:45:00 PM, Anonymous proud doubter said...

close to securing a Billy Idol ticket for Mt Winery, next sunday. great venue and great supporter of BSB and a great guitar player, Stephen Stevens, and a front guy named Billy. on face Billy and Ol NY, not a good match, but a match made in goodness and respect. Billy does Bridges and its always great.

At 5/19/2013 03:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone uses Dime, both the Ry and Neil sets are still up in a single torrent:


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