Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Video of the Moment: "Cortez, The Killer" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse @ Warsteiner Hockeypark, Mönchengladbach, Germany - 2014)

The Video of the Moment is "Cortez, The Killer" from the concert Neil Young & Crazy Horse on 2014-07-25, Warsteiner Hockeypark, Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Scotsman comments:
I just came across this youtube video of Cortez The Killer from 2014, and I think you would all enjoy watching it. It's with the Billy-less version of Crazy Horse (so, not really Crazy Horse, but still a powerful band with another great bass player). And I'm sure some of you here were in the audience that night and will enjoy hearing this again. It's great to see Rick Rosas in action, though unfortunately in one of his last live performances with Neil.

In particular, check out the guitar solos between 9:00 and the end of the song (the last 4 minutes or so). This is when the song really takes off. And it features some of the very best guitar playing I have heard from Neil in the last 5 years.

And in 2014, Neil had already started to cover up his own musicianship with "extra stuff" (in this case, not orchestras or choirs or extra guitarists or record booths, but backing vocals wailing away over his lead guitar). Now, I generally liked the backing singers on this tour, but in this case the song really takes off when they let Neil play the lead part unaccompanied.

It's often that way. For me, Neil has never been a stereotypical jamming guitarist, trading licks or contributing to an intricate collage of sound; he sounds best when he's playing a old-school solo, the centre of attention. With the band being the rock-solid foundation for his instrumentals, a furnace for him to rise out of.

This is what Neil Young does. With nothing there to cover up his playing, he's given a choice for the song to either pathetically collapse or to head for the stars. Be great or be gone, as David Briggs said. And nine times out of ten, this "do or die" tension is the catalyst for the song to ignite into something truly awe-inspiring. Just listen to the blend of serene beauty and ugly viciousness in his guitar playing, the instinctive and dynamic interplay between Ralph's drumming and Neil's guitar, with the raw chest-pumping power of Poncho's guitar driving the song along.

For a few years now, Neil has struggled with Cortez. The versions with the Electric Band in 2007/2008 tended to fall a bit flat. On the Alchemy tour with the Horse, the arrangement never really came together. It was almost as if the band had somehow forgotten how to play the song, everyone on a different page to each other. And the rare POTR versions in 2015 seemed to go on forever without Neil's playing ever really igniting; treading water. Without either Poncho on guitar or Ralph on drums, the chemical reaction doesn't happen, the test tube doesn't explode (which is what we all wanted to witness in chemistry class, wasn't it?). The magic doesn't happen.

But here in 2014, it all came together. Neil's guitar playing takes us to the moon and back, and the story of Cortez chills us to the bone. And on an emotional rollercoaster like Cortez, what more could you possibly ask for?

Thanks Scotsman! Great suggestion and thanks for sharing.

As others have suggested, only Neil could capture the majesty of ancient empire, the greed and barbarity of the conquerers, and make it rock with soul. And it should be noted how well "Cortez" fits into the time traveling Neil Young's New Album "Hitchhiker".

More on Neil Young Lyrics Analysis: "Cortez The Killer".


More concert reviews of Neil Young & Crazy Horse on 2014-07-25, Warsteiner Hockeypark, Mönchengladbach, Germany. Also, see Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour .

More on the late, great Rick "The Bass Player" Rosas.

Rick Rosas: 1949 - 2014
Liverpool, England - July 13, 2014
Photo by Paolo Brillo

Labels: , , , ,


At 9/06/2017 10:43:00 PM, Blogger ForeverYounger said...

Not really Crazy Horse proper w/o Bill Talbot......
(I know, Not REALLY CrazyHorse w/o Danny Whitten either)
But Holy Crap! Rick Rosas has been gone over 3yrs already? wow. sad how time waits for no one.

At 9/06/2017 11:53:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

What can you say? A very different feel from most of the versions I've heard, but very, very good. It seems to me that the lead guitar is very Greendale like. Interesting sound.

A Friend Of Yours

At 9/07/2017 02:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9/07/2017 02:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9/07/2017 05:14:00 AM, Blogger joe lookout said...

too slow, a bit tedious, and choir has got nothing to do with it.....

best versions to me: Zuma original and the one of Live Rust (with that kinda reggae final)

At 9/07/2017 07:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foreveryounger: Yes, I mentioned that it wasn't strictly Crazy Horse without Billy, though still a good band. All of Neil's bands with Poncho on rhythm guitar sound great. As Niko Bolas said: "He's the glue...(without him), it falls apart". I'm always a bit disappointed when Neil does a project without Poncho, because he contributes so much and always pushes Neil musically to give that extra 10% in his performance. He's the most important sideman that Neil has, second only in stature to the late David Briggs.

Joe lookout: Cortez is supposed to start slow and sparse, because that's the part of the song when he is still "dancing across the water", before the bloodbath; It's only near the end of the song that the massacre occurs, and that is when the musical fireworks start.

In general: For me, the absolute best live versions of Cortez are from 1991 on the Ragged Glory tour. Most versions from that tour feature some of the most razor-sharp and soulful guitar playing of Neil's entire career, with the backdrop of the Gulf War clearly inspiring the very dark, very focused performance (Cortez would be followed in the setlist by another "invasion" song, Powderfinger). Those 1991 versions also start slowly and calmly, gradually building up from a serene opening to an intense terror-filled guitar explosion at the end of the song. I love it when a Neil Young performance builds in intensity, rather than starting on one level and then staying there throughout. There are some great versions from 1976 and 1996, as well.

So if anyone wants to hear Neil's led guitar playing at its absolute best, pick a random bootleg from mid February-April 1991 and listen to Cortez The Killer. I know that Neil and the band also hold these versions in very high regard.

The Live Rust version is alright, but on this song I tend to prefer the more intense and moody versions where he "gets serious" and cuts through to our hearts with his guitar playing.


At 9/07/2017 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Scotsman..... I was blessed to see the Ragged Glory tour twice. The first night was April 9th in Portland OR. and two nights later in Seattle WA. on April 11th, and both shows were exceptional on every level. The sound was memorable in it's intensity. Not just loud but penetrating. The Horse and Neil seemed connected musically, but also spiritually as well. It was like they were one cell swimming up stream against the currents of the times with intention, focus, and determination. Those are two shows that validated the power of music to move mountains and connect to something greater than the individual parts to create something that transcended entertainment. Both nights provided a perfect example of non violent protest with intensity and passion. Not to mention four individuals playing completely in the moment as a single entity with a united spirt of confidence and purpose. For me these shows were a transcendent moment in my life and the impact resonates within me to this day. Amazing!!!


At 9/07/2017 10:32:00 AM, Blogger joe lookout said...

@Dan: lucky you!

At 9/08/2017 08:24:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Regarding the loudness of that Ragged Glory tour, I've been to 300-400 live shows in my 47 years, including seeing bands like Slayer and Mettallica in their heyday, and NONE of those shows have equalled the loud intensity of what i experienced at the Providence Civic Center in February of 1991.

Social Distortion, Sonic Youth, then Neil & The Horse......that was 3-4 hours of the loudest shit I have ever heard. Seriously, you could almost see the sound waves shaking in front of you. My buddy's girlfriend, a lovely Deadhead hippie chick who was expecting "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man", had to leave the arena halfway thru The Horse's set because it was too much for her! Blazing sound......

At 9/09/2017 04:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan, thanks Richard! Always great to hear about these 1991 shows. They were so good that the tapes sound good at any volume!



Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... 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