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Saturday, August 26, 2017

RARE: "Cowboy Movie" (instrumental) w/ Neil Young and PERRO (1971)

Here is a rare version of what has come to be known as "Cowboy Movie", an instrumental song from David Crosby's 1971 project called PERRO.

PERRO or more formally known as the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra, featured Neil Young among many other major artists, such as:

David Crosby
Jerry Garcia
Neil Young
Phil Lesh
Paul Kantner
Jorma Kaukonen
Gregg Rolie
Jack Casady
Mike Shrieve
Mickey Hart
David Frieburg
Grace Slick
Joni Mitchell
Graham Nash
Laura Allen
Bill Krueztman
Steve Stills

The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (PERRO) recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco during 1971. There is some degree of controversy on whether this is Neil Young or Jerry Garcia on the guitar solos. We hear hints of "Down by the River" and Ol Black that seem unmistakably Neil and not Jerry.

The instrumental song known colloquially as "Cowboy Movie" and posted here on YouTube is actually the opening credits scenes from the classic "Once Upon A Time In The West" by Italian / "Spaghetti Western" Director Sergio Leone. The film stars Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, Gabriele Ferzetti, among others.

enjoy! (Thanks HoundsThatHowell!)

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At 8/26/2017 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

This is clearly our Hero, Neil Young, ripping it up here in a way that Jerry Garcia never would or could. The guitar work is unmistakable. Neil Young, absolutely. Jerry was a noodler, not a ripper. Garcia played with notes while Neil is blowing shit up with Old Black. Neil's technique and style are evident. I saw Jerry Garcia perform 40 times from '85 to '93. I think I can tell. I have seen Neil now 19 or 20 times since '88. The truth is, my time spent at Neil Young shows was far more worthwhile.

A distinction between Neil and the GD is that The Dead never wrote a song by themselves. They were a cover band, largely. They played Dylan songs all the time, Howlin Wolf songs, Stones songs, old Folk songs, Buddy Holly, Blues and Soul songs. They sure didn't write "Turn on your Love Light." Sadly, the original songs were always better than the Grateful Dead versions. With Neil Young, if he covers a song, he will likely make it his own. Dock of the Bay is in a category by itself, so despite how great Neil's version was live, only God could outdo Otis Redding's original.

The GD had songwriters who wrote for them. Robert Hunter and John Barlow wrote the songs. The Dead band came up with the music and the delivery. Their harmonies sucked. Bob Weir suffers from white boy obstacles as a singer & musician. Brent Mydland did a lot to prop up the vocals while playing the Hammond B-3 organ, but then he OD'd in '90 and that stopped.

Neil can write, play, and sing. Onstage, he is very hard to upstage for the musicians lucky enough to join him. Neil was working out, getting exercise while Jerry was shooting coke and smack. Every Junkie's like a setting sun. Neil Young is still the gun.

I am beyond excited that Neil and Promise of the Real could potentially tour in the near future! I will travel to see them if necessary. They put on a tremendous live show which some cranky old timers would do well to witness. I will see you there, up on the rail.

Alan in Seattle

At 8/26/2017 11:48:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Love that passion, as always, Alan.

A harsh but honest appraisal on the Dead you've got there. We saw Jerry and the Dead back in their heyday of 70's, 80's, & 90's and got off that train and hit the peace trail w/ Neil.

Actually, we found many Dead Heads on the Neil trail after Jerry went out to hang with the real stars, far, far away, but oh so close to the moon beams...

Alan, you've brought up an interesting discussion here.

We've been through the whole Bob and Neil or Ronnie and Neil, along with a cast of thousands.

So how about Jerry & Neil?

At 8/26/2017 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Hounds That Howl said...

No controversy on the guitarist as it is Neil and Garcia. This is an alternate take or mix and is on Crosbys box set release. On If I only Could Rmember My Name album both guitar parts are played by Garcia. Thanks to Tom at Sugar Mountain for setting the r cord straight.

At 8/26/2017 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

With all due respect to Alan, comparing Neil and the Dead is a unfruitful debate. There is no point in comparing guitar players as each individual brings their own personality to their approach. Neil Young is a extremely gifted guitarist who can make one note have more emotional impact than many guitars could produce with twenty. Jerry Garcia was equally gifted but in a entirely different way. Garcia played every note on his guitar thousands of times, yet every solo was completely different each and every time.

What both share is the gift for playing in the moment with passion and technique. It is important to note that both men had great respect for each other as musicians, and worked together many times over the years. Each of us will gravitate to a particular style of playing, so Alan has every right to his opinion. I for one have much respect for both men, and the beautiful music they create.


At 8/26/2017 02:24:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Hounds That Howl - thanks again on hooking us with the link.

So both Neil and Jerry? Might we hear Jerry in left channel and Neil in the right channel?

And thanks as well to Tom at Sugar Mountain for always setting the record straight.

@ Dan - excellent summary there.

agree that both share the gift for playing in the moment with passion and technique.

respect the men. honor the music.


At 8/26/2017 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Joe Werfelman said...

I like the dead 67-69. To me they were at
their peak. Killer live shows during those years. the early 70's they went into
what we would call today their Americana
phase. They were good then. When they temporarily split in 74/75 I got off the bus
and began to get into Neil very heavily.
I think Dylan in the 60's and Neil in the 70's
reached their creative peaks and the records they produced in those decades set
a very very high bar. All three artists had challenging situations in the 80's.
Jerry was using heroin,Dylan was drinking
heavily and was trashed at many shows and
Neil,I think,was dealing with Bens situation
Neil and Dylan came out for the better while
Jerry went to the other side
Neil and Dylan to this day continue to grow
and follow the muse.
On another note I think Hichiker is going
to be awesome as everything Neil did in
the 70's was.

At 8/26/2017 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

The Ol' Neil vs Jerry argument? Man, I feel like it's 1989 again! I was a huge Neil fan before I started going to Dead shows in 1990, and my Deadhead friends always were asking me, "Jerry or Neil?", "Neil or Jerry?". Hell, in 1989 most of them didn't even understand why i even liked Neil Young. Of course, "Ragged Glory" came out, and they never questioned Neil's greatness ever again, but even to this day, I get asked who I think is "better".

There is no answer for me to that question. Both Jerry and Neil are the most important musical figures in my life, and probably will always be that way. There are many reasons for that, but i think integrity is the main one. For both men, the integrity of the actual music was the most important thing, and that means the world to me. Neither man was EVER a sellout, and both men were absolutely DRIPPING with soul.


Anyone who thinks Neil was a better guitarist than Jerry should get their ears cleaned out or something. Neil is an excellent, still underrated guitarist, but still not up to Jerry's level. On a good night, NO ONE was up to Jerry's level, not Hendrix, Clapton, Page, or any other guitar god you could think of. When the magic was happening, no one could do what Garcia could do. And that's the fact, Jack!

And the Dead were far more than a "cover band". People really still believe that? They didn't write their lyrics, but Robert Hunter was as much a member of the band as Jerry was.

And the studio version of "Cowboy Movie" that was on the actual album features Jerry and Jorma Kaukonen, just to be accurate.

At 8/26/2017 08:35:00 PM, Blogger Joe Werfelman said...

"Hendrix was the best. There will never
be anyone better". Neil Young 1987

At 8/27/2017 05:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan: In my experience it's actually the younger fans who are the most appreciative of his core work (either solo or with Crazy Horse) and the least interested in his other bands.

Young people appreciate things that are original, undiluted, close to the source. Just look at how 76-year-old Bob Dylan is still an iconic figure. How the authentically-unpolished politician Jeremy Corbyn received a rapturous reception at Glastonbury in the UK (and the same for Bernie Sanders in the US). And how the Rolling Stones still routinely attract people less than a third of their age to their gigs. The fact that 175-year-old Keith Richards looks (and sounds) ready to implode at any time is part of the appeal. The history of it all means more to those who weren't there than those who lived through it and became numb to the change.

In other words, nobody wants to hear a version of F*!#in' Up without Poncho's chest-punching guitar or Ralph's tribal drumming and backing vocals. And it is the young mind which is most likely to notice the difference.

This is also in keeping with my own anecdotal experience. At the Crazy Horse London gig I attended in 2013, I was surrounded by groups of teenagers who knew the words to Mr Soul as well as I did (they were passionately singing along). At the same venue in 2016, queuing to get in and then standing 10 rows back from the stage, I didn't see more than 5 people who were younger than me. And I think the demographic of recent record sales/streaming listens/ticket sales would draw a similar conclusion.

So if anything, it's the "cranky youngsters" you have to convice to go along, 'cause they are the ones either not paying attention at all, or else still listening to Rust and Weld and Freedom because that's where the magic is captured.

I agree a POTR collaboration is the best thing for this year, and I'm excited about it too. Because of course, personal preferences aside, Neil's muse is king. And a Crazy Horse collaboration without the inspirational incentive for one would clearly be a disaster. These things have happened in predictable cycles for 50 years; he gets drained by one thing, moves onto the next. Of course, there is also their advancing age and health problems to consider. So I think what people are saying is, "let's hope there is still time for another cycle or two". That doesn't mean they are "cranky old-timers", in fact it is probably quite the opposite.


Incidentally, I've noticed a similar thing with Steve Earle. For some reason, the solo gigs of his I've seen have drawn a significantly more varied and youthful crowd than those with his band. I've noticed a lot of students at the solo gigs. I'll speculate that people value that intimate storyteller/lecturer aspect of Steve's gig even more than they do his musical ability.


At 8/27/2017 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Acoustic FeedBack said...

I think I have to chime in here on neil vrs jerry. Here's the answer, they are both great.

At 8/27/2017 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Neil played Gretsch White Falcon stereo on this and not the Old Black. This version is the original one with Crosby vocal out of the mix but you can hear him barely in the background. For Voyage BoX they took the definitive vocal and added to this version. Ciao Stefano

At 8/27/2017 05:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/27/2017 07:39:00 PM, Blogger African Mango said...

Wow. A little maturity goes a long way. Slagging Jerry for the sake of a Jerry vs Neil zero-sum comparison is ignorant, judgmental and incredibly immature. Grow up, guys: enjoy both Neil and Jerry.

At 8/27/2017 10:18:00 PM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

I don't know if either is better but my dad can beat up every one of your dads!

At 8/28/2017 12:14:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

A bit of a harsh appraisal regarding Jerry and the GD. Firstly, Neil vs. Jerry is a false set-up ... its oil and water ... Neil, as Scots points out, is at his best when his bandmates give him a lot of space to shine, Jerry was an integral part of the ultimate jam band experience, part of a unified music making machine the world has never seen before or since ... Jerry was the spiritual and musical heart of the most iconic American band that played continuously for 25 years ... Neil is a mega talented solo act that trades bands and genres continuously ... the GD have arguably the most iconic songbook in the business (although one could make an argument for Neil or Bob too) ... calling the GD basically a cover band is, putting it nicely, a (gross) misstatement. Regarding the GD's songwriting process, Hunter and Barlow were integral members of the band and community and their songwriting process was totally integrated w Jerry and Bob's collaborations ... Neil wrote some of his classics quickly and alone - one in 5 minutes on a napkin (Mr. Soul) but we don't criticize Neil by saying he cheated on his albums because Briggs was producing ... your comments on Jerry's health and addiction issues was hurtful, he brought joy to so many people for so long, putting him down for his illness to pump up Neil is unnecessary ... music isn't a competition ... the reality is both of these guitarists and acts are among (if not the) elite acts of our time ... no need to bash either, lets celebrate both!!


At 8/28/2017 12:52:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

Well said, Dan1

At 8/28/2017 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Dan1: I could not have put it any better than you just did. Jerry Garcia is among my all time favorite musicians, and Robert Hunter's lyrics ore some of the most remarkable ever committed to paper. Their partnership produced a catalogue of songs that will endure for generations for their melodies and their lyrical significance.

The same can be said for Neil Young, but these are two completely different universes, so a comparison is irrelevant. Each approach has validity and purpose, and both will stand the test of time. The same can be said of Bob Dylan, as his command of arranging words seems almost supernatural and remains unparalleled.

Of course there are many others I could add to this, but this discussion focused on Jerry and Neil. Yet when songwriting and melody are discussed, Bob Dylan could not be left out.


At 8/28/2017 09:27:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dan1 - As others have noted, well stated. Thank you.

@ Alan - as always, your passion is to be commended. Never lose that spirit.

@ All - just to clarify, it was never our intent to set this up as Jerry vs Neil. Likewise, w/ Bob & neil or Ronnie & Neil. Note the "and" and not "Vs."

Music isn't sports. Just one of many reasons why we support the arts over athletics.

At 8/28/2017 04:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jerry or neil ??? --- neil or jerry ??? --- who ****ing cares ??? --- I play neils songs --- through one of jerrys old fender amps --- jerry painted flowers on the front --- who the **** paints flowers on a FENDER ??? --- jerry , that's who , neil has more respect for his equiptment ...

At 8/29/2017 08:57:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey folks, just listened on phones and I'm sure that's Neil on the right, but could that be Stephen on the left? He's always foiled Neil on Neil's songs... Not Jerry , no disrespect, I love him! Not Yorma, who else could it be?
Aĺl the best
Jim South Coast NOW Aust

At 8/29/2017 08:57:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey folks, just listened on phones and I'm sure that's Neil on the right, but could that be Stephen on the left? He's always foiled Neil on Neil's songs... Not Jerry , no disrespect, I love him! Not Yorma, who else could it be?
Aĺl the best
Jim South Coast NOW Aust

At 8/29/2017 11:06:00 PM, Blogger mark said...

as Konwakiton said "jerry or neil ??? --- neil or jerry ??? --- who ****ing cares ??? ---
..... what i wanna know is why Crosby's vocal is buried to the point you can just bearly hear'm in the breaks
.......... the man's wailin', but you can hardly make'm out
..... i always did like 'IICORMN

...... peace, Jerry .......... sheesh, folks are still arguing about'cha

At 8/31/2017 04:09:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Well said. Agreed.

At 9/01/2017 07:01:00 PM, Blogger das814 said...

No need to diss Jerry or the Dead. Neither art nor music is a competition. I enjoy them both and many others for their differences and unique abilities.


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