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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Neil Young + Booker T. & The MG's: "Like A Hurricane", Concord Pavilion, Concord, CA - June 12, 1993

As Neil Young's 2017 sabbatical continues, we've been plowing deep into the Thrasher's Wheat Archives Vaults.

Recently, we posted a video of Bryan Ferry covering Neil Young's "Like A Hurricane" live in Montreal, Canada.

Reaction was -- how shall we say -- a bit underwhelming. But never fear. Or comments don't fail me now, as Scotsman has suggested an alternative -- semi-vintage Neil Young with Booker T. and the MG's at the Concord Pavilion, Concord, CA on June 12, 1993.

Scotsman comments:
This version (from the 1993 warm-up tour with Booker T) is a great demonstration of why I hold the late eighties/early nineties period in such high regard.

Neil's lead guitar playing was at it's most accomplished, it's most eloquent, and the slow-burning intensity of the performances was at an all-time high. A masterclass in pacing and focus.

Down By The River from the same gig was equally good.
Thanks Scotsman! We're enjoying.

And while we're on the subject of nothing too much really -- as Neil's self imposed sabbatical continues -- so just what is the song "Like A Hurricane" all about you might inquire?

From the Uncut Magazine interview (December 2004), Neil discusses "Like A Hurricane". The song was written in July 1975 after Young had just undergone an operation on his vocal chords after a cocaine-fueled night with friend and La Honda neighbor Taylor Phelps in the back of his car, a Desoto Suburban.
"All it is is four notes on the bass.

Billy [Talbot] plays a few extra notes now and then, and the drumbeat's the same all the way through... Sometimes it does sound as if we're really playing fast, but we're not. Its just everything starts swimming around in circles. "We were all really high, fucked up. Been out partying. Wrote it sitting up at Vista Point on Skyline. Supposed to be the highest point in San Mateo County, which was appropriate. I wrote it when I couldn't sing. I was on voice rest. It was nuts - I was whistling it.

I wrote a lot of songs when I couldn't talk."
For more, see Neil Young Song Lyrics Analysis.... "Just Another Line in the Field of Time" ...

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At 4/14/2017 01:12:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've seen Neil close to 20 times, in all different configurations, and even though I'm a Crazy Horse guy first and foremost, this Concord show with Booker T & The Mg's was the best Neil show I ever saw. I was third row right in front of Neil and we were making serious eye contact the whole night. Incredible show, by the encores Neil was on FIRE!!!

The next night in Santa Cruz wasn't quite as intense, but still real good. Santa Cruz got a better "Down By The River", in my eyes.

Thanks for posting, Thrasher. And great call by the Scotsman......

At 4/14/2017 02:17:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I saw Booker T & the MG's at the LA Forum and I was astounded at the intensity and power of the band and Neil Young was killing it, no doubt. Seeing Neil sing Dock of the Bay was a special treat. But when they played Down by the River I got a chill up my spine that hit me like ice water in my veins (yes, that is also how Neil says he gets at times when playing). I have never had that kind of thing happen before or since, out of hundreds of shows. Neil Young is always excellent, from my experience. I am so glad I have seen him play 20 times or so by now. That was a special show. Cinnamon Girl. Southern Man. Motorcycle Mama. They did not play the epic Live to Ride which I cannot wait to hear in Archives someday (please!).

I am proud to say I am the Lucky Winner of the Ultimate Music Guide to Neil Young! I have started reading it and this is one excellent booklet! This made me so happy and I have already learned a few things I didn't know about his history with Briggs in the early years, for instance, that Briggs picked up Neil hitch hiking! The book will be a welcome and useful, entertaining and humorous addition to your Neil Young library. Again, thank you very much! I love your blog, still the Best Web Site on the Internet! Thank you SO MUCH Thrasher for keeping on blogging in the "free world." Your web site brings me joy in your ongoing study of the great Neil Young, who continues to Kick Ass in his live performances even still and write and perform vital music up to the present moment. I liked what Jeff Tweedy said, something about looking forward to the another Neil Young album just as he expects to see the sun rise again and again. I feel like I won the lottery in a funny way when I see Neil Young perform live.

I am very impressed with Peace Trail. Neil performing that material on harmonica, standing, without a guitar at times, blazing the harmonica like nobody ever has in the history of the world. I am dead serious. Nobody has ever played the harmonica that "Hard" through distortion. The delivery was incredible and impressive (Boise 2017). I must say I agree with Scotsman's points. Its so cool to have a place where the hard core fans can soak it up in all its ragged glory. -Alan in Seattle

At 4/14/2017 03:31:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ RichieC - that's great that you attnded this show. We made the Booker T tour also for a couple of east coast stops. Man, Steve Cropper Duck Dunn & Booker T. We think Neil was really trying to recognize some greats up on stage with him and perhaps spurred him on to greater heights.

@ Alan - so glad you're enjoying the Ultimate Music Guide to Neil Young.

It is a tasty little package isn't it? And Tweedy is right about just being grateful that there's always a Neil album out there on the horizon.

So keep on soaking it up in all its ragged glory! exactly

At 4/18/2017 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I also saw the Booker T tour at the Portland Medows race track on a full moon. What a preivlage to see Neil with such a group of gifted musicians.. It was a magical night, and Neil just seemed joyful throughout the entire show.


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