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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lost Neil Young, Joni Mitchell Concert Recordings From 1968 Unearthed | Rolling Stone


Rare concert recordings of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell from 1968 have recently been discovered.

From Rolling Stone by Daniel Kreps:
Live performances by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, recorded at a student ministry on the University of Michigan campus in 1968, were among the professional-quality recordings unearthed by the Michigan History Project.

Seven-inch reel-to-reel audio tapes featuring concerts by Tim Buckley, Odetta, David Ackles and Dave Van Ronk were also among the recordings made at the Canterbury House, an Ann Arbor, Michigan venue that hosted counterculture events in the mid to late-Sixties.

The Michigan History Project recently acquired the recordings, with the non-profit organization now seeking a record label interested in releasing the concerts.

“We learned of the existence of the tapes about six years ago,” Michigan History Project president Alan Glenn said in a statement. “They were in the possession of a private collector. Then they disappeared, and we were afraid they were gone for good. But a few weeks ago they resurfaced, much to our surprise and relief. Now our first priority will be to get them transferred to a digital format, then make sure that the original analog tapes are safely archived.”

All of the recordings were made with the consent of the performing artist, the Michigan History Project added.

Michigan-based mastering engineer Chris Goosman added of the recordings, “These from Canterbury House aren’t audience-recorded bootlegs but first-rate soundboard captures made on professional equipment. It’s an amazing collection with the rare combination of being well-recorded and also well-preserved, and that makes it even more historically significant.”

Young performed three concerts, November 8th through 10th, 1968, at the Canterbury House, with the November 9th and 10th concerts featuring prominently on the archival release Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968; the November 8th concert remains unreleased. It’s unclear which date(s) the Michigan History Project is in possession of.
From NPR's All Songs Considered on Canterbury House recordings in 2008:
Neil Young was horribly nervous before the performance and had to be coaxed from his hotel room by his manager Elliot Roberts and the minister of Canterbury House, Dan Burke. Burke tells NPR Music he remembers Neil Young huddled in Young's hotel room bed, too scared to perform. He told Burke no one would want to hear the Buffalo Springfield tunes or his new tunes. Young was afraid he didn't have enough material. But he was eventually persuaded to take the small stage.
Here's more on the Canterbury House series of shows in Ann Arbor, Michigan from comments by Jim McKelvey:
Here is hoping the next "huge drop" is another recording from Ann Arbor, Michigan done in 1969. It is my hope this "huge drop" would be everything played on October 16th, 1969, warts and all. The "second" Canterbury House series of shows in Ann Arbor, Michigan was a "one off" solo show during a six week break for the debut of CSNY as a live band.

The Canterbury House show was the only public appearance by Neil Young from September 20, 1969 to November 9, 1969.

Would be curious about the details of this second booking in Ann Arbor since Neil Young's booking guarantee would have been much higher after joining CSNY and the high profile Woodstock appearance. Relatively unknown for the first appearance but this second one his star was clearly on the rise. At the time of the second appearance the songs "Cowgirl In The Sand" and "Down By The River" were major underground hits on FM radio, in Michigan anyway where I was listening, the summer of 1969.

Like the Bernstein tape I think we have early and late sets but doing "Country Girl" three times leads me to believe if it was one day there might have been an afternoon show, too?

In the archives under "Country Girl" from "Deja Vu" there is a little minute video snippet from this second Canterbury House appearance explaining how "Country Girl" was written in sort of a timeline fashion.

https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/video?id=1Hzl5c3MRx8&_k=jc4mck

Clearly from listening to this archival tape it is a pristine recording that I hope is considered for a spin in the archives sometime soon because of its historical significance in terms of Neil Young's live shows.

Where the first appearance in Ann Arbor would draw songs from the Buffalo Springfield and his first solo record the second appearance had those songs "plus" maybe the live debut of his songs on Deja Vu (released 3/10/70), Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (released 5/14/69) and After The Gold Rush (released 9/19/70). Some of tunes played for the second appearance didn't see the light of day for a long time but this was the time period when they were freshly written (i.e. 'Everybody's Alone,' 'Wonderin', 'Dance, Dance, Dance') . There is even a Mynah Birds tune called "It's My Time" played that might be the only time he ever played that tune.


https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/info-card?track=t1966_0000_01&_k=527oqf


It will be interesting to find out if this was all acoustic guitar or if there was a piano or banjo for this second Canterbury House show?

1969-10-16, The Canterbury House, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Solo
On The Way Home / Helpless / Dance Dance Dance / I've Loved Her So Long / Down By The River / I Am A Child / Everybody's Alone / Wonderin' / Oh, Lonesome Me / Flying On The Ground Is Wrong / Country Girl // On The Way Home / Helpless / Cinnamon Girl>The Loner / Birds / I Am A Child / Everybody's Alone / Dance Dance Dance / The 1956 Bubblegum Disaster>It's My Time / Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere / The Old Laughing Lady / I've Been Waiting For You / Here We Are In The Years / Wonderin' / Down By The River / Country Girl // Down To The Wire / On The Way Home / Helpless / Flying On The Ground Is Wrong / Dance Dance Dance / Birds / The Loner / Everybody's Alone / I Am A Child / I've Been Waiting For You / Country Girl

Set list courtesy of Ghosts On The Road

1968-11-09, The Canterbury House, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Solo
On The Way Home / The Old Laughing Lady / Mr. Soul / Expecting To Fly / The Last Trip To Tulsa // The Loner / I Am A Child / I've Been Waiting For You / Broken Arrow / Birds / The Last Trip To Tulsa // Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing / Out Of My Mind / I Am A Child / If I Could Have Her Tonight / Flying On The Ground Is Wrong

Did I get this all right because it is such a surprise to see this show in the Sugar Mountain archives?
Also, historical records on the Canterbury House and Ann Arbor for context:


Thanks Jim!

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Sugar Mountain Live: 1968
Performance Series by Neil Young - 2008



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7 Comments:

At 7/28/2018 05:59:00 PM, Blogger Jim McKelvey said...

Thanks Thrasher for the combo reporting of mine with NPR and Rolling Stone. Love doing research and had hoped Rolling Stone might have confirmed what I'd found but doesn't look like they saw what I wrote here. Did get a sweet note from the Archives Team that my request had been noted about putting the 1969 recording on the Neil Young Archives adding, in part, "While we don't know when or if we will be able to add the recordings you mentioned, rest assured they're on our wish list too—we want this to be as comprehensive as possible. We've made a note of your request. Keep checking back."

By the way, there are many of these "archives" around the country that musicians like Jayme Stone & the Lomax Project, Anna and Elizabeth along with others are mining for out of print material to bring back to life onstage. Link below has a real interesting perspective of going through the archive collections scattered across the country by Anna & Elizabeth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Scy1MfmGJM

At the Southern Folklife Collection they got all the soundboards recorded at the legendary McCabe's Guitar Shop in L.A. that are being transferred from tape to digital right now if you are anywhere near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The list of performers that were recorded at McCabe's reminds me of the back of the Buffalo Springfield "Again" LP that you can see at this link:

https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/20511/

Up in Ann Arbor, Michigan the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan, I've been told but can't confirm, got all of the nightly recordings of the Ark Coffeehouse that goes back decades of many a legendary musician. Couldn't find anything under Ark Coffeehouse or David Siglin but maybe you have to go in person?

https://bentley.mivideo.it.umich.edu/home

Here are a few more links to Neil Young introductions to songs from the unreleased 1969 series of performances in Ann Arbor, Michigan from the Neil Young Archives and available to listen to now in addition to the "Country Girl" intro mentioned above:

Long "Down By The River" intro at the 2nd Canterbury House show in Ann Arbor, Michigan 10/16/1969:

https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/video?id=cwLSgONhddY&_k=89tmv3

"Oh Lonesome Me" intro 2nd C.H. in A2:
https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/video?id=Jb7bb7jVwxo&_k=ykztge

"Everybody's Alone" intro 2nd C.H. in A2:
https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/video?id=L38rRMUCEHU&_k=i2gdnk

"Dance, Dance, Dance" intro 2nd C.H. in A2:
https://neilyoungarchives.com/#/video?id=bJcHnUef6FI&_k=akb382

 
At 7/28/2018 06:31:00 PM, Blogger Jim McKelvey said...

Oops, one more thing...here is a list of the performers who played the Canterbury House over the years from 1967 on and they list three nights of Neil Young in 1969:

https://www.setlist.fm/venue/canterbury-house-ann-arbor-mi-usa-43d2872f.html

 
At 7/28/2018 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

I got real excited when I saw the title of this post, right away started thinking Troubadour or something. A bit of a let down to read on and find it is of a show that’s already been released in pristine recording. The Joni set could be real interesting though.

 
At 7/31/2018 01:36:00 PM, Blogger Lone Red Rider said...

@Jim McKelvey- That reply you got from the Archivist is, unfortunately, a canned reply. At least the portion you copied into TW is. The Archivist does not know that we talk to one another :-). I had asked her a similar question about the inclusion of the Rhino BS Box Set tracks into NYA, and that was her reply verbatim. In a sense, it makes me feel better that there may not be a blocking reason preventing their eventual inclusion. Now I understand her response to be as broad as possible and covering the most possible cases of what is not in NYA but perhaps should be.

 
At 8/01/2018 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Jim McKelvey said...

Since the 2nd visit to the Canterbury House in 1969 has been transferred from reel to reel to digital and the introductions to songs posted already in the archives I'm still hopeful the music will see the light of day but the question, as always, is when?

Plan to stop by the Ann Arbor archives of the Canterbury House and Ark Coffeehouse in the next few months when I make a trip up to Michigan to see my brother and an exchange student we hosted a few years ago. Will drop off my published reviews from the Ark for their archives, too. Some were in weekly Variety and I did a wrap up on the Ark for the Detroit Free Press entertainment section one Friday, too.

This should give me "researcher" access to the archives, I would hope, and will post what I find. Thanks for posting those reviews of Neil and Doc from the Michigan Daily way back when.

The musician I've seen the most in my life is Doc Watson so look forward to hearing his recordings, too. Guy Clark has heard "Columbus Stockade Blues" immortalized in "Dublin Blues" but I've heard Doc Watson play a tribute to his son, "Nights In White Satin," that left everyone onstage and in the audience in tears.

Doc Watson playing "Nights In White Satin" at the Bottom Line (but I heard it in the Walker Center at Merlefest): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXWmSfyK28s

 
At 8/01/2018 03:13:00 PM, Blogger Syscrusher said...

For what it’s worth in the NYA V1 booklet under the title ‘Archives Selected Tracks’ there includes the following songs from Canterbury House 1969.

Wonderin’
Country Girl
Birds
I Am A Child
Everybody’s Alone

And it says “Canterbury House/A.A. #2,3,4.” What does that mean? Also says “Master Log”.

 
At 8/07/2018 01:37:00 PM, Blogger Jim McKelvey said...

Syscrusher, since he played "Country Girl" three times it gives me the impression there were three shows in 1969 at that just "critical period" of his career when he went from clubs during his solo career to arenas with CSNY. I'm sure you'll have to agree it would have been an iconic list of "freshly penned" songs to draw from for these shows in 1969. The show #1 was in 1968 and then shows #2,3 & 4 at this perfectly placed amazing juncture of his career would be in 1969, but just a guess.

I'm going to these archives of the Canterbury House the week of the 19th this month so should come home with a lot more information for a freelance story I'm working about archives, archivist and curators in regard to the Neil Young Archives (NYA), Bently Historical Libary (BHL), Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) and the Ark Coffeehouse archives. Also reached out to the archivist at NYA to see if they need onsite help with the BHL for scans or whatever since I'll be there.

Look who was recorded at the soundboard and played at the Ark Coffeehouse (almost everyone but Neil) . Many of these performers' recordings would include their first public performance or first time they toured with this list just going on and on:

http://theark.org/about/history/whos-played

 

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