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Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2020 Tour | #DontSpookTheHorse #MoreBarn


When we say, "Don't Spook The Horse", we mean it -- and so do other Crazy Horse fans.

Last week, Neil Young announced that a Crazy Horse Tour "may have to wait" due the global Coronavirus. This was after Neil Young reversed himself the previous week and announced that he would tour with Crazy Horse this year -- after all -- even though he had clearly stated that he had no concert tour plans for 2020.

Then -- in another simple twist of fate -- Neil Young announced "We Are Going To Book This" on "Chompin At The Bit - Crazy Horse Barn Tour" | NYA.

So things change. They go viral. We change your mind. Or is this the #BigShift or what?!

The Comment of the Moment is from the post "Neil Young & Crazy Horse Tour: "We Are Going To Book This" | NYA" by the intrepid Scotsman:
I can relate strongly to the idea that "the show must go on!", but I do think some caution is in order when it comes to Coronavirus.

Deaths so far have been very low (not a particularly reassuring observation, I realise, if you are one of the unlucky ones), but we are still at an early stage.

Containing a virus is very difficult at the best of times, but if and when it starts to spread freely between people en masse, multiplying rapidly, it has the very real potential to be far more extreme in the damage done.

Less dangerous than smoking? Smoking isn't highly contagious, except amongst teenagers. Less dangerous than the flu? Only because it hasn't infected many people. Yet.

My point is not to inspire raging PANIC among us all, but perhaps a dash of caution is well advised. So make sure you wash your hands regularly.

And in the meantime, keeping animals crammed together in cages by the hundred-thousand is playing with fire with this sort of thing, as well as being particularly unpleasant for the animals. Leaving them off your plate is probably the single most effective thing you can do to help the environment and animal welfare, as well as a step towards ensuring that these sort of viruses remain an exception.

Anyway! Self-righteous lecture over.

Neil seems to have been changing his mind about a Crazy Horse tour roughly every 5 minutes since May 2018, hence my reserved level of enthusiasm so far. But you know my thoughts: there are few things as enjoyable as a Crazy Horse tour (although POTR deserve great credit for a fantastic Euro tour in 2019, retaining their unique dynamic whilst letting a lot of the spook back in).

And the urgent truth is that their probably aren't all that many years left when a Crazy Horse tour is a particularly viable option. In 2020, I think they have to take things a little more easy than they have in the past: a 50-date Weld-esque experience was exhausting for them even 30 years ago. The most exciting prospect for Crazy Horse is watching them burning; not watching them burn out.

But I think a tour, a fairly relaxed one in terms of schedule and show-length, would do them all a world of good. And I hope Poncho is doing well and will be back onboard, I really do. I think he adds so much to Neil's music. But either way, second guitar remains in very safe hands: I thought Nils Lofgren's contributions to Colorado were just fantastic.

And if Coronavirus does necessitate show cancellations, as I think it might? I think Crazy Horse should do some shows anyway. But do them at home, behind closed doors without a paying audience. Not a singer without a song, but a live concert without a live audience. The solution: broadcast them on NYA, either live or as edited highlights.

If the Horse can't come to us, we shall go to them! It would be an opportunity to try something a bit different.

Thanks Scotsman, as always. Regarding the Coronavirus, the only cure we've found so far is to turn off the news and build a garden. We're washing our hands regularly, also, and that's working ... so far.

And while it is a frivolous lavish luxury for us to contemplate a Crazy Horse 2020 Tour with either Poncho or Nils, we know many others can't afford such flights of fatuity fancy.

Well, no matter what, it keeps us searching for The Holy Rail.

Rusties on The Rail: In Search of The Holy Rail
Berlin, Germany - June 2, 2013
Photo by thrasher
(Click photo to enlarge)

(More on More Barn! page. Thanks MB Brad!)

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At 3/04/2020 07:17:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I read this AM, that a health care worker, told to self-isolate after testing positive, attends an event putting dozens at risk! I hope to make it to a show this summer..somewhere

At 3/04/2020 01:47:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Scotsman, this virus has origin in bats, but your point about animal crowding for meat processing is right on. working on these issues as you speak..

At 3/04/2020 04:30:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The risk is on Neil and the Horse to tour or not. If they decide to tour then it’s down to each individual if it’s worth the risk. Fear is a powerful thing, but there comes a point when one must ask themselves if that fear is justified or not. Just going outside is a risk. Most car accidents are within three miles from your home. Does this keep us from driving? For some, maybe. But most of us are willing to take that risk. This virus is real, but is it a big enough risk not to interact with other people? Do we just lock ourselves in our homes in fear?

We are all very aware that the media likes to sensationalize everything, but this is a serious issue for everyone on our planet. Is it a reasonable idea to be carful? I think so, but I’m not sure we need to panic just yet. Prudent thoughtful action may be required for now, but if things progress further then perhaps we should be more carful. Time will tell what the next move will be, and for now there is no tour booked.

It’s going to be curious to see what transpires over the next few months, but at this point I’m not panicking, but I am concerned.


At 3/04/2020 06:13:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Why not both Nils and Poncho, maybe bring the Horse back to the Jack Nitzsche days. Poncho stays on guitar, and Neil and Nils trade off on keyboard. Or even do a 3 guitar attack on some tunes.

I think we can make this work, yes?

At 3/04/2020 06:41:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Outstanding suggestion! I like it...a lot

At 3/05/2020 04:19:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

The problem with the 3-guitar thing has always been that there's only so much room in the soundstage. So whilst an enticing idea on paper, adding "more" doesn't necesssarily make each player sound bigger, and often it makes them sound smaller.

Likewise, you can fill a tower block with more people, and all it does is give each person less room to occupy.

That's why Neil's guitar sounded like a real hurricane when Micah moved over to the synth, and as small as one of the overdubbed mosquitos when they were all thrashing away at their guitars on Love And Only Love.

The 3-guitar arrangement worked okay with Pearl Jam, I thought. And the guitar/keys combination often sounds great, though, because they are instruments residing in different spaces, tonally. The Bluenotes were a great example of a big band that were arranged brilliantly to give Neil a lot of space. Poncho and the MGS as a live band, another fantastic one where the two guitars and keys meshed brilliantly.

With a tight-knit band like Crazy Horse, I think any change to the line-up is going to have a profound influence on the chemistry of the sound, which may or may not be a good thing. There's just something special about the Poncho line-up, the hard edge he brings to the band (and several other of Neil's bands) just helps take it all up a notch into top gear. And a record like Sleeps With Angels shows that just the four of them are capable of conjuring up a surprisingly intricate and delicate sound, as well.


At 3/05/2020 04:27:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

...thumbs up, AS!


At 3/05/2020 04:31:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Dan S, Unknown:

I think it's one of these things that needs to be nipped in the bud, as much as that remains possible. No panic is going to be helpful, but some caution now (both as individuals and from our respective governments) to limit the speed of its spread might well save us a lot of grief later.


At 3/05/2020 05:36:00 AM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Scotsman, it's funny you mention Pearl Jam, I just listened to the 8/25 Belgium show from that '95 European tour, and I was pretty blown away. I had forgotten how good they sounded together, at least for that one tour. The feedback sections especially were very intense, levels I've only heard Neil reach with the Horse.

There's no way Neil and Pearl Jam were gonna have anything long term, but it's too bad they never got together for a mini-tour here and there.

I hear you about a 3 guitar sound crowding things up on stage, but these guys are old pros, both Nils and Poncho are good at laying back when it's needed. Whether it's Poncho, Nils, or both, I'm starting to get the Horse itch. Let's hope Neil can make this happen when the time's right.

At 3/05/2020 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Chemistry is the key element in music of any kind, and that chemistry can be intensely magical. The Beatles weren’t quite there until Ringo joined the band. His influence should not be underestimated. Pearl Jam would never have happen without Eddie Vedder, and things really began to elevate to even greater success when Matt joined on drums. There are too many examples to list here, but suffice it to say that chemistry is the key to the creation of music with longevity and greatness. Imagine the Doors without Jim Morrison. Or Jim Morrison without the other three. Chemistry.

I agree with Scotzman that the three guitars idea looks great on paper, but for the most part I think Neil has always been more successful with the less is more philosophy. Of course there have certainly been some exceptions to that rule. Poncho may just be permanently retired, so the point may be moot, but..... if he were compelled to go on one more ride on the Horse, I don’t believe anyone would be disappointed. Poncho brings something unique and exquisite to the sound of the Horse. Something no one else can. So I guess we’ll all just have to wait until we get official news on exactly what Neil has planned. Until then I suppose we can all continue theorizing.


At 3/06/2020 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

...I'm very much looking forward to the Mirrorball Live album. I'm not a huge Pearl Jam fan in isolation from Neil, but I agree, it would have been good to see them do a few more shows together. I haven't listened to the 1995 audience recordings in a long time but remember enjoying them a lot.


At 3/06/2020 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Scotsman, you might be interested in this little bit of information given your previous comment. In Iowa, where I am doing research, there are 6,200 hog farms and in 2019 they produced 48 million feeder hogs for slaughter. All of the large operations, which means most of the operations, are confinements. High tech, animal confinement. Grave consequences for the environment, especially in the Gulf Of Mexico. Neil's complaints about Monsanto were or are important but GMO's not the main issue (in any sense). Well, except that GMO's play right into the "maximization of yields." It is going to take huge efforts to dismantle these systems and right now it is not going so well. I will be in Europe this summer presenting some of this research. It makes me really happy to hear someone from outside my usual circle with your thoughts and sentiments. Everything right now, or close to everything, is working to support the infrastructure of this web of corporate/international trade/government


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