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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Comment of the Moment: Archives Guy on ‘Live at the Cellar Door’

The Comment of the Moment is by Archives Guy on Neil Young’s ‘Live at the Cellar Door’ is a window into D.C.’s musical past - The Washington Post with some tantalizing hints.

But first, the setup question by Kimball:
Hey Thrasher and other friends,

I have my Cellar Door vinyl and I have my CD. I have not yet listened to them though. Waiting for the right time. I checked Sugar Mountain and it says no known recordings or boots exist from the 6 Cellar Door shows in Dec 1970. So this is a truly fresh look into the past.

Its interesting to consider the Performance Series releases.
Canterbury House Late 1968,
Riverboat Early 1969;
Cellar Door Late 1970,
Massey Hall Early 1971

Neil shoehorned the Cellar Door in at position 2.5 after the others were released with integer indexes. I can't wait til a raw Time Fades Away show is released at position PI (3.14159...)

This is great. But I have a question for Archives Guy: What in the world is up with not having a high resolution digital release of Cellar Door? I'm looking for a 24/192 blu-ray or DVD-Audio. Is it Pono or nothing from this point forward? That's fine as long as Pono makes it across my home's threshold. (Not ignoring the high resolution of the our analog vinyl, I just find the simplicity of using high resolution digital so convenient and pleasing.

Please keep us buried in bits out here!

Over to you Archives Guy!

Your question will be answered in a short time and I think you will be pleased with the answer.

-Archives Guy (to busy to log in)
OK, thanks Archives Guy. Now back to work at the Shakey Pictures shop. Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part.

But good things come to those who wait .. or so we understand. ;)

Happy holidays to you & yours!



At 12/18/2013 08:17:00 AM, Anonymous Mikey said...

I want to add one more question - Why the hell the Cellar Door album isn't available for download for those who bought Archives Vol.1 on BluRay? I thought it was the point of buying it - downloads with newly discovered material... So disappointed that now I have to buy it and I have to buy it with a CD quality...

At 12/18/2013 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The download content following the release of the Archives Blu Ray set has been hugely underwhelming. The idea was great and a major reason why I went for the Blu Ray version.

As much as I love the Archives I do feel somewhat misled that I have had to buy so much subsequent material and so little has been made available for download.

At 12/18/2013 09:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I changed my mind about hi-res audio.

Like most of us, I was guilty of saying how much better it sounded, without ever really challenging my assumptions. In fact, If someone plays you a CD and tells you it's hi-res, it actually sounds really good. It works in reverse, too.

It's easier to fool people's brains than it is to fool their ears.

The Flying Scotsman.

At 12/18/2013 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Archive Guy your tease won't work with me this time. You and the person you represent are rip off artist to the extreme. Al said it perfectly.

At 12/18/2013 10:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...I haven't purchased Cellar Door, and have no intention of doing so. I am waiting for the free BD-Live download, which I am sure is coming.

Neil knows by now that trust is very hard to regain once it is broken. The best way for him to sell more records is to honor his promises.

I don't consider him to be a rip-off artist. The jury is out as whether the same can be said of Archives Guy.

The Flying Scotsman.

At 12/18/2013 11:36:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Guys - OK, yes, the Bluray download thing wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Color us as disappointed as anyone about that.

We don't think the full story of that has ever really been communicated. If we had all the facts we would share. But from what we understand, this failure wasn't a Neil/NYA/Shakey Pix scam/ripoff.

Our understanding is that this was a massive technology industry failure on both the hardware and software sides that caused the whole download concept to fail.

All that said, you do realize the album was streamed for free. Certainly you guys could hack that easily enough, right?

In the meantime, we're playing our 180 vinyl album with the legibly printed lyrics sheet. Because sound matters. :)

At 12/18/2013 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have the vinyl and it sounds amazing !!! Only see an informational insert and not a "legible printed lyrics sheet"

At 12/18/2013 12:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they tried hard to make it work and it failed, that's completely acceptable! But I think in this case, they could still make it work if they really wanted to.

We give attention (and money) freely to the artists we trust. So sure, we can cheat, go and listen on soundcloud instead. That's not the point! It's a matter of principle, a matter of trust. It's about having the integrity to follow through on your promises.

I completely trust Neil to be true to his art, and I admire him for that. But anyone who still trusts his team's marketing approach needs to have their head examined.

In other words, I still love his music, but nowadays I am wary of being asked to pay for it! Perhaps understandably, I'm worried it will just be another broken promise. And I don't think that's really my fault.

The Flying Scotsman

At 12/18/2013 12:17:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@unknown - yes it does sound great! As for the lyrics sheet, we need to double check?!

@The Flying Scotsman - again, our understanding is that this was all way out of Neil & crew's hands. The technology of the manufacturer's failed. Also, there seemed to be some deep flaw in the whole approach so the concept was abandoned rather than fixed. Again, from what little we know. But it would behoove the Shakey Pix folks if they had come forward with some statement on all of this. Maybe they did and we missed it?

Regardless. back to the good news from AG. Our thinking is that whatever they're referring to in this post is there way of making it up to all of us who made an investment.

Similarly, look what Neil's doing about the canceled CH shows? Afterall, we all thought that 2013 was it for the Horse. Now they will ride again!

How can it possibly be any better to be a NY fan? Seriously. What do you want?

Can't you be happy with what's avail? We sure are. Like a dream come true.

See you @ Carnegie Hall!

At 12/18/2013 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... a massive technology industry failure on both the hardware and software sides that caused the whole download concept to fail ..." Well, somehow that's exactly the point that I am afraid of for the questions that will be answered in a short time.

I still have my copy of Rust Never Sleeps that I bought on the day it was released and it still works great. No failure on both the hardware and software sides for RNS. Only black vinyl and a great cover in a touchable size.


At 12/18/2013 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do I want? Promises to be kept, that's all. It's not hard. If you can't deliver on something, then don't confidently say you can. Otherwise it creates unnecessary tension between fans and the artist, which benefits nobody.

But overall I think we largely agree on this Thrasher, especially about the live dates and the good time it currently is for fans.

Happy holidays,

The Flying Scotsman.

At 12/18/2013 01:49:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

Who cares if you "trust" Neil? I certainly don't. Do you need to post it to the world to make yourself feel better or something? If you don't trust him THEN DON'T SUPPORT HIM. But no, you feel you have to broadcast it to all of us for some weird, unknown reason.

It's incredibly tiring to come here for news and instead read someone acting like a 12 year old who got their trip to Disneyworld cancelled.

At 12/18/2013 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

On the subject of the releases - I kind of like the notion that we now have, in amazing quality, a release from 1968, 69, 70 and 71. To go along with the live 80s performances and 1992 one. Can't wait for more years to be filled in.

And if they don't get filled in? Such is life - Neil has given us more than 20 artists' worth of material in his time, I don't feel hard done by in the slightest. It would be arrogant of me to be so.

At 12/18/2013 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Who cares 'if you don't like my opinion'? Do you need to post it to the world to make yourself feel better or something? If you don't like me THEN DON'T SUPPORT ME. But no, you feel you have to broadcast it to the world for some weird, unknown reason.

It's incredibly tiring to come here for respectful, friendly discussion and instead read someone acting like a 12-year-old who got their trip to Disney World cancelled"

The Flying Scotsman.

At 12/18/2013 02:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The disappointing thing is all these shows are edited down to a single cd... Neil should release the entire cellar door ... Riverboat .... Etc recordings as box sets ....edit nothing from them ... Archives guy please check out the miles Davis box sets and the grateful dead website for ideas and inspiration ! These guys have incredible box sets of entire sessions !!! Neil should do the same

At 12/18/2013 04:28:00 PM, Anonymous Luc said...

I think Neil is a little bit more "complicated". He wants perfect audio quality, which is (quite logically and normal)not available for all of his concerts in the past. I bought the Archives vol I on blu ray. I expected more downloads too. And there is still so many stuff to come, and to be released. So...I wait. I enjoy what I already have. I listen to unknown or forgotten juwels on Internet, live audio recordings, bootlegs,....
I'm present as much a i can, whenever he's in the neibourghood.
And...I'm thankful for everything he gave, not pissed of for what I did not get, cause...he gave me already much more than I could expect. So, I'll always keep in mind what he once sang : Look out for my love. It's in your neighbourghood...

And what the 2014 CH Tour concerns : it is my belief that 2013 was indeed a Farewell tour for the Horse. And since they had to call it to an unexpected end, they feel they let the fans down, and want to make up. So once more : I'm just verey thankfull I have (once more) the opportunity to see, hear and live it.
Merry x-mas to everyone out there. Don't let frustration take over.
Special Thank you and wishes to thrasher & Thrashette for all that work, even when critics throw hard punches.

At 12/18/2013 04:48:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Luc!

Look out for *our* love.
It's in *our* neighborhood.


At 12/18/2013 05:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which of the following will be get in 2014: (in order of likelihood)
Solo covers album
Crazy Horse album
Archives II
Any archive performance release
An archive special release
Early Daze
CSNY album

At 12/18/2013 07:05:00 PM, Anonymous eastsidecellardwellar said...

As someone who didn't buy into either the Blue-Ray or the DVD audio format, I must point out a few things. First of all, I was 14 years old when Everybody Knows This is Nowhere came out. I loved the hell out of it and with the release of Deja Vu and After the Goldrush, I was hooked (as it turned out for life). I wore out ATG...yes, back then eveything was vinyl. Fast forward to about 15 years ago when my yearly hearing tests started heading south....a lifetime of loud music, working in a forge shop, and the natural deterioration of hearing as part of the aging process. I honestly can't tell much difference between a high bitrate mp3 and DVD audio anymore. I simply don't care whether I hear every subtle nuance of the source as originally recorded. Yes, those low bitrate mp3's sound kinda thin. But a good stereo system and a little tweaking of the equalizer or a little adjustment through audacity compensate for much of the shortcomings in these 58 year old tired ears. I bought the regular version of the box set....sounded just fine to me! Those of you who, like me, grew up in the early years, certainly must have gone out and bought every damn low-fi bootleg you could get your hands on. In my college years, I would fall asleep to the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion concert which in retrospect, sucked audio quality wise. But that was the thing to hear if you wanted something other than the few live Neil songs on Four Way Street. Then there was that nice version of Birds on Wooden Nickel, and later I scored the Boulder boot...several years later the Carnegie Hall boot showed up too. But now I have all these new releases just as Neil recorded them. I don't need those early boots anymore...they basically suck now. So you might imagine the audio quality of even the standard CD is like manna from heaven for my ears. Thanks Neil! Sorry about buying all those boots, but it's tough being a fan when the artist holds onto all the good stuff for so long. I don't give a damn about the blue-ray and the DVD audio and the PONO...what you released starting with Canterbury and finishing with Cellar Door brings back a part of my life when I had the world by the tail and loved the hell out of every minute. As far as the fan expectations go, was worth the wait. Now everyone is bitching and moaning about not getting this or not getting that with the box set. You should have been in my shoes when I first heard the Cinncinati boot with Crazy Horse and halfway through Down By the River, the song faded out...didn't get the rest of that for almost 20 years. My point thankful that the artist is releasing this material at all...many of us original fans are approaching the big dirt nap age, and I although I ain't racing anybody to the cemetary, I'll be listening to these early releases on the way down the road until I get there. As to what's left from the early solo and CSNY years...seems there was a killer version of Country Girl from Houston from back then...and that Carnegie Hall concert was recorded too, so the vaults are not yet cleared out. So I guess I will add my voice to the chorus of "Bring on Archives II"...I'm ready

At 12/18/2013 07:40:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

ESCD...good points, sorry about the hearing loss.

I echo your sentiments on finding the boots along the way. It didn't even start for me till, I dunno, '90? '88?

The thing I do recall so much is the unbridled excitement of hearing some new unknown, typically live, Neil rock and roll to expand the horizons of my understanding of his artistry, integrity, intensity, and mastery of songs, vibes, storylines and all out effort.

These shared tapes and later cd's deepened my own musical appreciation of Neil and CH, and also lead to some growth in my own experiences, both paying and writing, that without it I don't think would have happened. I would be AM radio, or some early FM sound, no alternative and expanded feel or appreciation of music itself. It continues to affect me every time I catch the Farm Aid, Bridge concerts and other new material as I can appreciate the talent and commitment that Neil has had his entire career.

It's his way of life, his DNA that keeps him on this road to new discovery and delivery, and through this exposure I feel the growth that he shows which in turn continues to enlighten me about the muse, and his muse.

We are fortunate fans to have him still here, still creating and also still true to the inner voice that has moved him along the whole time. I'm glad he can't help himself but to do it and respond to it. It's the never ending wellspring of impression on his heart and soul and the continual outpouring of his feelings that bless us so. And it is true of the past releases and the future output that we've yet to hear.

I don't complain about whatever format there is when it comes to new recordings to experience. I can't remember not being excited by it. And the best thing is that the more you listen to it the better it gets.

At 12/18/2013 08:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Archives Guy!Now what is happening with Volume 2?Good news on that would make us happy.

At 12/18/2013 11:14:00 PM, Blogger Kimball said...

Thanks for the spotlight Thrasher!

Yes, I am one who is satisfied with whatever Neil decides to release, its his creation and he can do what he wants.

If I had to guess, I'd say maybe a high resolution blu-ray or DVD of the Cellar Door show might be hidden in the stash box of Vol II, which must be coming out in 2014 (maybe maybe maybe?)

Hey, does anyone remember that video of Neil driving Lincvolt across Texas and singing along to the whole Fork In The Road record? I remember it aired on Vimeo or something like that for a limited time and they said it was coming out on blu-ray. I'd love to find a copy of that to watch while we wait for the official release. Maybe it will be a special feature to the Lincvolt movie when it comes out.

A humble request to thrasherswheat posters/commenters - lets all take a deep breath before we post a rabid rant and think about the spirit of the artist whose work touches us all and the tireless caring service our respectable host provides us at this site. Maybe chip off a few sharp edges and take stock in what we've received as fans. By the tone of some of this I'd swear Neil had stolen your stereo or something.

At 12/19/2013 10:03:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@eastsidecellardwellar - Thanks! We hear you exactly.

For long time Neil fans this is all like lost treasure hat we thought we'd never even hear. We never even knew existed!

Living in the 70/80's was like the Dark Ages compared to today with instant access to everything at the push of a button. Back in the day it would take literally years to track stuff down and usually it was a total POC.

ps - no dirt naps anytime soon for us all, ok??

@ SONY - thanks, as always. Yes, the DNA that keeps him on this road to new discovery and delivery. We've been enlightened as well on the journey thru our past, present & future. The Muse is all there is. Listen. Listen. Can you hear The Muse all around us?

@Kimball - it's all good.

If Neil says its going to be good, well, then based on the track record, it probably will. You have to be in the game for the long hail tho. Many are quite impatient. Granted the clock ticks on, but last we checked, we all seem to be living longer. Neil shows few signs of rust and we think he's out to outlast Willie. ;)

Yeah, we've come to similar conclusions. The Doubters take their frustration out on Neil. Really, as we all know, you have to fight that battle with yourself to gain that inner peace. We try and help folks find that inner peace. As you know, once you find it, it is a nirvana state. Obviously, many search and few find.

Folks sometimes ask us, so how do you & thrashette do it? We just say it really is simple. Everything you need to know about life and love is in a Neil song. No mystery. No secret. It's all right there on the record.


At 12/19/2013 12:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil has a right to release music any way he sees fit....he owns artistic control.

Fans have a right want what they want.

As for Neil's whole Archives experiment, I am a huge Neil fan who has been hugely disappointed in this whole experience. IMHO, it has simply become a misguided Vanity Project for Neil, built on too many empty promises.

As for PONO.....I have no interest whatsoever and will never invest in the technology.

Thrasher, you explain away the whole BluRay Archives debacle as though it were a technology mistake by the hardware and software vendors. Please elaborate with details on this.

If you have no details, then you're simply making excuses. Neil is also culpable in this debacle, he was a willing participant who trumpeted this technology to the heavens.

Still love Neil, still love his music.....but i proceed with caution anytime he speaks about technology innovation. His track record from a technology perspective is not impressive, IMHO (though i hope he proves me wrong)

Lionel Trains bankrupt
LincVolt - just what has he built?
Archives BluRay - failure
PONO - TBD (good luck!)

I give him a ton of credit for trying and's just that I'm no longer interested.

for me, it's simply about the music.


At 12/19/2013 02:18:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Anon @12:40:00 - OK, here's a deal for you.

We did the research and were satisfied.

So how about you do the research and we'll post it here?


We're always @

At 12/19/2013 04:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Thrasher - I have no need to do research on this. The unfortunate results speak for themselves. Neil Young Blu Ray has been a failure. Neil Young has participated in this failure.

So be it, life goes on.

Let's hope Vol 2 Archives is a success. Let's hope the Archives get released and everyone is happy.

If not, again, life goes on.

BTW, it's OK to not always be in 100% in agreement with what Neil opts to do. I don't believe in blind Hero Worship. Our heroes make mistakes, they're human after all, and it's OK for a fan to disagree with them.

I stand by my statement that Neil hasn't always been successful when it comes to technology innovation.

If i'm wrong, so be goes on.

You, Thrasher, shouldn't always be so sensitive when a Neil fan chooses to criticize His Neilness. Neil will survive even if you're not always blindly defending him. He's a big boy, you should be one too.

Try to be objective and you'll have a lot more credibility.

Peace & Ubuntu

At 12/19/2013 04:16:00 PM, Anonymous Jon In Hershey said...

What ever happened to peace love and understanding with us all Neil fans?

I will buy everything and anything Neil decides to release from now and until I am dead (40+ years away) and I am not going to bitch, complain or moan about what Neil decides to release or not release. I love his music and I am happy he decides to release and share anything with me!

Archives Guy, I'm really hoping 2014 is a big multi-release year!

Thanks, Neil and crew for caring enough about audio quality and giving us music the way it should sound. Thanks should go to NY, Elliot Roberts, Tim Mulligan, John Nowland, John Hausmann, Will Mitchell, Eric Johnson, Mark Howard, Dave Lohr, Chris Bellman, Ben and Hannah Johnson!

At 12/19/2013 04:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil has given fans plenty of Archival material over the last 8 years, some great material.

BluRay was a bust, unfortunately.

I still believe the Gold Standard for Archival releases has been set by one Bob Dylan. His Bootleg Series has been amazing from Day 1, beautifully packaged and copious liner notes etc. He also releases FULL live shows, which is something Neil typically doesn't do.

I love Neil a ton more than Dylan, but Dylan has blown Neil away (Like a Hurricane) when it comes to how an artist might offer hardcore fans a piece of the Archives.

Kudos to Bob!

At 12/19/2013 05:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archives Bluray is only a failure (as people are calling it here) in terms of the BD Live updates.The sound quality and the navigation features are reasons to continue in a Blu Ray format.
Neil has given us fantastic archival material going back to the Buffalo Springfield box.I guess my frustration is I know how much more incredible stuff is just sitting there just waiting for his OK before I can hear it.
It is my own mortality that makes me frustrated for its release.Neil's music has been a major part of my life for 45 years and the Archives is the pinnacle of it.I want to enjoy this stuff in my lifetime.

At 12/20/2013 12:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sound quality DOESN'T matter if there's nothing to listen to.

Seriously, the mind doesn't remember the sound quality, only the quality of the music. This is what drives interest in bootlegs and the aspect of fan mentality that musicians rarely grasp. This is why fans want multi-disc box sets of the complete Bluenotes shows but will likely get an edited 1cd of the most polished performances/best sound quality.
This disparity between fans and musicians own perception of what they want to listen to will always exist unfortunately.

At 12/21/2013 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a Neil Young fan since before I knew it. I liked the Buffalo Springfield but never focused on the individual members. Then in 1969 I got EKTIN and officially became a life-long fan, even in the eighties when a lot of people jumped ship. I have been to nearly thirty Neil Young concerts and loved every one. I bought the blue-ray archives because I want the best quality, wether I can tell the difference or not. The additional download idea was great, but not a deal breaker. I won't buy the Cellar Door even though I think it sounds great. I have bought enough of the same old songs sung in a different way. If I were Neil, I would ...oops, I am not Neil! I will continue going to his concerts, not knowing when it will be the last one. Neil ain't so "young" anymore. Hey Neil, Thanks for doing it your way. Walk on!

At 1/07/2014 08:00:00 PM, Blogger Blaine said...

OK, I bought the Blu-ray edition. The content is terrific, sound terrific. The set is overwhelming, really! What care he put into this and I am grateful that he shared this. Of course, I paid for it but what other artist would share this huge part of his life with his fans. Thanks, Neil. Now, regarding the downloads; yes, it's pretty sparse and that is a little disappointing but not a big deal to me, actually. What is confusing is that the hardware is deemed a failure! Where's the failure? I downloaded the content and played it without a glitch. What's the failure?

At 1/09/2014 05:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want Live at the Riverboat on vinyl! Why no vinyl release on this one? I have all the NYAPS albums on vinyl... it goes 00,02,2.5,03,09,12.... why no 01? I'm thinking down the line, when all of these performances are released... I'd like to have them all on my shelf together and complete. Put out The Riverboat on vinyl... please.


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... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat