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Monday, November 09, 2020

CGI Poncho, "DIGITAL MAFIOSO" & Return To Greendale by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse

"CGI Poncho"
Return To Greendale  @ ~00:26:00

OK, rusties, if things haven't been shakey enough for you lately in Neil World, then hang on for this one ... CGI Poncho?!

Say what?  Yep, Poncho has been replaced in the film  Return To Greendale by "CGI Poncho", a jacket and fedora hat wearing facsimile of Crazy Horse's Frank "Poncho" Sampedro.

BEFORE: Poncho w/ Spirit Talk Shirt
"Falling From Above"

AFTER: "CGI Poncho"
"Falling From Above"


In fact, in a Letter to Editor on DIGITAL MAFIOSO | NYA, Neil was asked directly about the switch: "When did Poncho dress like the great Benmont Tench III while playing the keys during the live Greendale tours?"



Neil blithely replies to the charges of  "photoshopping" a member of Crazy Horse as  "the wonders of science!"


 Return To Greendale | NYA

Even now as NYA promotes Return To Greendale,  the "real" Ponchoo can be seen sitting stage left on keyboards on the front page of Times-Contrarian.

Well, we know that the "aimless blade of science" cuts both ways, sometimes deeply. And this is what we call "junk science". And it hurts us to say that we -- the citizens of Greendale -- demand to have our real Poncho back.

Check out "Be The Rain" from Return To Greendale by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse.



"Return to Greendale" - Limited Edition Box Set
Neil Young and Crazy Horse


More on "Return to Greendale" - Limited Edition Box Set by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

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At 11/10/2020 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I do not understand the motives or reasons for doing this? I mean, what is the purpose?

At 11/10/2020 09:18:00 AM, Blogger GordonHobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/10/2020 09:21:00 AM, Blogger GordonHobs said...

Is a name change necessary, too - Donald Young / Neil Trump jr.?

At 11/10/2020 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Thos said...

My guess is that Poncho ‘retiring’ is actually a falling-out between them, and that he has been removed from the film and recent CH albums for that reason. There’s scant evidence of keyboard parts in the audio, so I guess he’s been removed from the mix as well? A real shame if this is the case.

At 11/10/2020 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Thos said...

Also makes very little sense from an authentic ‘Archives’ point of view. Heaven knows he’s fallen out with many bandmates over the years, including CSNY, but hasn’t tried to hide their identity or contributions from NYA. Very very odd.

At 11/10/2020 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Thos said...

Also this sort of digital editing can be very expensive. Might help to explain the price of the blu-ray box set...?

Am merely speculating here, this could all be fake news!

At 11/10/2020 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Harm said...

Maybe Poncho's look didn't fit the overall aesthetic of the movie. Maybe the logo on his T-shirt was deemed offensive. Or maybe Poncho didn't like the way he looked. It's no secret he was unhappy with the small role he played during the main show, even if he agreed to sit out the sessions (judging by the sound of Return to Greendale he could have played electric piano on the studio album as well, wouldn't have hurt the record one bit). He was basically brought along for the encore only. Ironic that the man who kept playing with Neil when when the rest of Crazy Horse was cast aside is now no longer in the band himself.

At 11/10/2020 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Tom said...

The back of Poncho’s shirt refers to an album by Tonight Show bandmate Kevin Eubanks. 🤷🏽 Hardly seems that would be the reason.

Good grief. Hope it’s not a falling out; if so,these grown men sure know how to hold a grudge.

At 11/10/2020 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

As I’ve said before, speculation is a dangerous pass time.

Peace 🙏

At 11/10/2020 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Wtf is going on with Neil these days? He is becoming quite the businessman, and now dabbling with CGI to boot? He's really starting to fit in nicely with our modern world of greed and phoniness.

Truthfully, I'm really starting to wonder if Neil is actually making these decisions anymore.

A phony Poncho? Yikes.....

At 11/10/2020 07:23:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

In an archive this is unacceptable behavior. Obviously Neil did it and doesn’t want to say why by that comment. It’s total BS if you ask me!

At 11/10/2020 09:12:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

To me it’s just the hilariously weird sort of thing we should expect by now from Shakey Pictures. And it’s fun to try to decipher why such a bizarre decision was made. In the end, Return to Greendale is a piece of art that Neil Young has produced, and as such he has the full right to make “artistic” choices.

When it comes to the audio itself, I find this version far superior overall to the studio album. Frank Sampedro is a major reason why. His soulful electric piano bounces off Neil’s guitar just like when their Les Pauls are face to face, only softer, more subdued; headphone listenings bring out his work just high enough in the mix to sparkle at the right times. And inarguably these Wurlitzer parts make for a fuller, more satisfying sound. Of course, the performances are often more natural and engaging when this band takes its songs to the stage. That difference is even more pronounced with Poncho back in the fold. In 2003, Crazy Horse were not Crazy Horse without all four of those guys. Take my advice; don’t spook the horse.

Regarding CGI Poncho: I am so grateful this post exists, because I have to admit I have squinted a few times at the screen trying to figure out exactly what was “off” about that man’s appearance. For a while, I was nearly convinced it wasn’t Sampedro at all, possibly Ben Keith standing in while Poncho quit for the night to fly out early to his other gig. When the full movie was released, I could positively ID the axeman, but something still wasn’t sitting right.

There are a few key ingredients that make this a Bad Neil Young Movie: the awkward juxtaposition between the original film and the stage presentation, the hokey acting-out of every last plot point (complete with perfect lip-syncing and choreography), the cringeworthy dance party that rounds out the extravaganza. The mystery of CGI Poncho is just another sprinkle of ugly into Return to Greendale’s aesthetically questionable video stew.

At 11/11/2020 12:34:00 AM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

Big Oil is the curse eh ?
Peace and love in the fantasy world of the hippie dream .

Just finished a natural world Canadian tradition .... the harvest of a deer , a wild animal that lives free .
Reverence was given to Mother Earth ... that allows us to be human ... in humility and respect.
We used some gunpowder and good ole Canadain Crude oil to drive our truck to harvest this animal .
Traditionally ( before Oil ) our forefathers didn't have the luxury of ATV's or Jet Planes to pollute the sky as Mr Young does as he preaches the sins of oil .
Shame on you Neil Young !

At 11/11/2020 01:03:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Neil sold his place in Hawaii and maybe it was for the jet fuel. CGI Poncho must be weird to see; I have not seen video. But your awesome Canadian Oil (which we Americans enjoy also) is going to ruin the planet. Global Warming will kick human asses right into extinction. You are not an Environmentalist. Neil Young is, even if he had a jet. I love the Artist’s body of work. A few poorly planned releases won’t change that. But if I resented him enough, maybe I would stop listening to his music. “I can quit any time I want.”
Alan in Seattle

At 11/11/2020 01:04:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I take that back. Maybe you are an “Environmentalist. Enjoy the deer.”

At 11/11/2020 01:05:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I take that back. Maybe you are an “Environmentalist.” Enjoy the deer.

At 11/11/2020 01:55:00 AM, Blogger Fort Mac said...

G-Day Alan ... how's it goin eh ?

Ya .... I am an Environmentalist , I harvest wild deer , wild speckled trout , wild grouse , duck .. goose .. wild garlic , wild morel mushrooms and much more that Mother Earth provides us .

How fitting is it eh ... Mr Earth and his new found Americana Citizenship .
Borders closed ...he ain't driving his caravan of oil burning buses back to Canada anytime soon .
Northern man don't need him around ..anyhow ... he's a turncoat yellowed bellied Yankee now !
I drive a truck that burns gas ... I don't have the luxury of Lintvolt .... do you ?

At 11/11/2020 02:07:00 AM, Blogger JWG24 said...

I'm skeptical buying from Neil these days. Got burned on PONO and I purchased "Once An Angel" only a buck or so, but it disappeared from my playlist and can't get it back. There were many many great years, but not so much since I saw him at Red Rocks in 2015 or 16?

At 11/11/2020 08:39:00 AM, Blogger markeeee said...

Could it be that Poncho has been replaced by the Devil character from the Greendale film? Is that the idea? Or maybe there's some kind of continuity error they're trying to cover up?

At 11/11/2020 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Off topic & may be old news but Timeline now shows Rust Bucket release date as 2/26/2021.

At 11/11/2020 10:13:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

Who wants to revisit the mediocracy of Greendale anyway. I mean really? Its an absolute rehash of every melody and note the guy ever performed. Meh. The story has aged as well as a Betamax video tape. Sampedro was replaced by a different version of himself? who gives a damn but the over analyzing self flagellating dweebs who regularly come her. Other than that pearl of wisdom, have a good day!

At 11/11/2020 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Phil said...

@Peacelover: Rust Bucket delayed because Poncho must be replaced by Daryl on Blu-Ray and a team of CGI experts have hardly worked for 3 months to change the NY haircut.

At 11/11/2020 06:22:00 PM, Blogger Powderfinger said...

Long time reader, first time commentator.

I think this is simply reprehensible. Seems very petty. I believe this whole album and film is from the Second Toronto show of Greendale, so cannot see how this could be a continuity issue. Even if that was an issue, it’s an insult to remove him from the film. There is obviously a falling out Ralph’s comments of FB seem to indicate that.

It’s a shame...

At 11/11/2020 07:18:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ everyone - thoughts appreciated (even you Ft Mac!)

@ tomatron - thanks COTM @

just trying to lighten the mood with some much needed humor.

@ wsanjose01 - sorry, it's just what we do around here @ TW!

@ Powderfinger - welcome and always nice to see a 1st time commenter pulled out of lurkdom and Speakin' Out!. :)

altho, sorry to see this news about being down on a frown did so.

so, what did Ralph say?

At 11/12/2020 02:40:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Don't know if anybody noticed, but the cover and the inner sleeves of Return are to be seen in the archives now (click on cover in the file). None of the photographs that come with the double album is showing Frank Sampedro.

At 3/15/2021 10:57:00 AM, Blogger GordonHobs said...

Is that a real Poncho? I mean/Is that a real Poncho or is that a Sears Poncho? No foolin’(Frank Zappa, Camarillo Brillo, 1972)

At 3/15/2021 11:03:00 AM, Blogger GordonHobs said...

Is that a real Poncho? I mean/Is that a real Poncho or is that a Sears Poncho? No foolin’(Frank Zappa, Camarillo Brillo, 1972)


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