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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young @ 1997 Horde Festival Memories

Neil Young - 1997
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
(Click photo to enlarge)
The Comment of the Moment was inspired by an earlier post on 1980's Roadtrips with Neil Young as My Co-pilot by Dan S.:
One of my most cherished memories with Neil was at the Horde festival 1997 @ Portland Meadows in Oregon. It was an all day event and Neil and Crazy Horse were the headliners, but there were several artists on the bill like Primus, Morphine, and Ben Folds Five to name a few.

There were several stages set up throughout this huge race track area and my friends and I had set up close to the main stage where Neil and the Horse were going to play at the end of the day. It was July 13th and hot as the dickens, so I walked over to this area where they had a bunch of fire hoses shooting water to cool folks off, and as I was walking back to my group of friends I heard someone announce a surprise guest on this tiny little stage set up.

I turned around and out walks Neil with his acoustic guitar about five feet away from where I had stopped. He sits down and proceeds to play ten or twelve songs solo to around twenty people who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. It was sublime to say the least. I can't remember every song he sang but I do remember Heart of Gold, Comes a Time, and Needle and the Damage Done. By the time he was done and walked off this little stage, I turned around and there was this huge crowd that had gathered while he played.

It really felt to me at that moment as if Neil was playing those songs just for me, and although the crowd grew behind me as word began to spread, I had no idea that anyone else was there. It was just such a beautiful moment, and completely impromptu. No one saw it coming, and there I was having my own private little concert with Neil Young.

I still have the ticket stub for that day, $36.00 for the whole day and ten bands. Those were the day's.
I'll never forget how it felt in that moment. Just amazing!
Thanks Dan! Great Neil roadtrip memory. Yes, we recall those side stage mini concerts. However by the time the tour reached the east, Neil seemed to do few and fewer. Of the 4 or so Horde shows we made, waited patiently each time to no avail. Larry would bring out the guitars. Then 45 minutes later, take them away.

So good on lucky you!

More Neil Young 1997 Horde Memories from Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, California on July 11, 1997.

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At 6/02/2016 06:56:00 AM, Blogger anon said...

1997-07-13, Early Show
Portland Meadows, Portland, Oregon, USA
HORDE Festival
1. On The Way Home
2. Out On The Weekend
3. Sugar Mountain
4. Comes A Time
Tape Exists:

At 6/02/2016 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Ric Miller said...

I was was pure.

At 6/02/2016 11:22:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

I believe this tour kicked off at Shoreline. Unusual as tours seem to start in the east. Id heard he was going to play solo on small stages and did catch his last 3 tunes on one. Sometimes he was joined by Popper. Primus was allot of fun that day also.

At 6/02/2016 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Ric Miller said...

I was was pure.

At 6/02/2016 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Andy said...

Killer bill! I was only 10 at the time. Neil sadly wasn't on my radar yet.

At 6/02/2016 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Pabst said...

I was so bummed when Neil didn't do a solo set at the Jones Beach stop. I remember standing around a lot, just hoping, maybe, crossing my fingers. Fortunately, we had decent fake Ids and could drink overpriced beers!

At 6/02/2016 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

He did solo sets at 10 of the first 15 shows, none at the final 14.

At 6/02/2016 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Keith McCarthy said...

My dad and I were at the Arts Center show in NJ that August. We waited right in the front row of that tiny stage, hoping for the solo set. A little later, Neil walked by with Elliot Roberts and I shouted out "Hey Neil!?" in my 12 year-old voice. He gave us a wave and continued on his journey. Probably in search of some homegrown.

At 6/02/2016 06:10:00 PM, Blogger Chris Harrison said...

He did the same thing in Phoenix during that as hell as I recall, he told us all to keep hydrated. Reading this memory triggered mine...same scenario, except it was Larry Cragg who I just happened to spot setting up 15 minutes beforehand who told us. An almost identical experience.

At 6/02/2016 09:17:00 PM, Blogger Dominic Holdem said...

ya gotta love memories. "10 or 12 songs", eh? looks like it was 4. i got to see 3 side stage performances that year, and neil played "too far gone" in columbus after i requested it. so there. i also saw some epic jams with members of morphine, primus, and medeski martin and wood. i was at the epic thunderstorm show in chicago when the power went out (but neil and the boys kept playing).

that was a HELL of a tour.

At 6/03/2016 02:38:00 PM, Blogger RichieCruz said...

Ahhh,1997..... The year I got burned by the dreaded "Ham Sandwich". Neil and the Horse had played the Catalyst the night before, but I missed it. So the next morning I went down to the Catalyst hoping for an announcement of a 2nd show. Sure enough, it was happening. I waited patiently in line on a beautiful Santa Cruz day, and finally got a ticket to a Neil Young Catalyst show. I was in high heaven.

I went back home, got my mind as hazy as possible, then stumbled downtown to have my dream come true and see Neil and the Horse at the Catalyst. As I'm getting near, I notice there aren't that many people hanging around. I started to get a bad feeling and sure enough, there's a sign posted on the ticket door window: Tonight's Hippie Dream show has been cancelled...... Ugh.

The story is Neil cut his hand making a ham sandwich......a ham sandwich..... I would have happily volunteered to make Neil's sandwich for him, just keep him away from the knives, please.

Almost 20 years later, and I still get sore anytime I see ham.......

At 6/03/2016 03:50:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

I remember the sandwich incident. as I recall his comment was "If Id known it would jeopardize the tour I would have eaten the thing whole" 9 songs solo for the opening show Shoreline (re Sugar Mountain).

At 6/03/2016 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Dominic Holdem said...

you guys really believe that ham sandwich story? HI-lariious!

At 6/03/2016 10:58:00 PM, Blogger RichieCruz said...

Not saying that I necessarily believed it, just reporting what the official line was.

There's many stories that I've heard about how Santa Cruz was a haven for Neil to do certain things that he probably couldn't do at the ranch, but you gotta take these stories with a grain of salt.

At 6/05/2016 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Geez... I guess 19 years can really mess with your memories. I remember it being a short set, but I really thought it was more than just four songs. Oh well, my post was really about how it felt in that moment.

At 6/05/2016 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Hey Dan, no worries. Tough crowd here @ TW sometimes but they mostly mean well.

But you're right, it's all about the feeling first and foremost.


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