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Monday, January 25, 2021

INTERVIEW: Drummer Chad Cromwell Discusses Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Mark Knopfler | Rolling Stone

Prairie Wind Band
Ben Keith, Neil Young, Chad Cromwell, Rick Rosas, Spooner Oldham & Karl Himmel
(See The Prairie Wind Sessions by Neil Young)


Rolling Stone interview series Unknown Legends features long-form conversations between senior writer Andy Greene and veteran musicians who have toured and recorded alongside icons for years, if not decades. All are renowned in the business, but some are less well known to the general public. Here, these artists tell their complete stories, giving an up close look at life on music’s A list. In 2020, we featured the edition with drummer and songwriter Joe VitaleThis edition features drummer and songwriter Chad Cromwell.  (Thanks Lars from Denmark!)

From interview with "Drummer Chad Cromwell Interview: Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Mark Knopfler" by Andy Greene | Rolling Stone:

Rolling Stone: Tell me about meeting Neil Young. I’ve seen Neil say he first saw Rick Rosas at Farm Aid with Joe [Walsh] in 1987. Did he meet you there as well?

Chad Cromwell: Yeah. We were playing a gig with Joe [Walsh] at Farm Aid [in Lincoln, Nebraska]. 

Neil was there, obviously. I remember him coming on the bus to hang out for a little while. For a while, starting with Farm Aid, we talked about the possibility of putting a four-piece band together with Joe, Neil, me and Rick. It just never came to be. We danced with the concept for a while, but it never happened. Joe did sit in with Neil at Blossom [for “Tonight’s the Night” on September 3rd, 1988].

Rolling Stone: How did you wind up recording with Neil on the Bluenotes record?

Chad Cromwell: The guy that gets the credit for that is an engineer named Niko Bolas. 

Niko and I met on a record in Memphis that he was engineering for Rob Jungklas. We were working on his first record. Niko was hired to come in as an independent engineer to record those sessions. Niko and I became very good friends. I actually rented the second bedroom of my apartment to him while he was there. We became very, very good friends.

He was the reason that job happened. Neil just wasn’t happy with the drummers he was bringing in to do this blues-rock thing he was doing, a horn band. The cats that were coming in to play for him, that just wasn’t their wheelhouse. And so Niko said, “I know this guy in Memphis that can do this shit in his sleep. He’s a natural for this job.”

Neil, uncharacteristically, agreed to work with someone new. That doesn’t happen that often with him. He operates a fairly tight circle with his musical families. I got at least invited to SIR in Hollywood to take a swing at it. I rolled in there, Niko introduced me to him and Neil just looked at me, put his hand out and went, “Hey man, I’m Shakey.” That’s how we started. An hour later, we’re out there swinging. We were done tracking the record two or three days later. It kicked ass. 

We just got right on it.

Neil Young, Chad Cromwell & Rick Rosas
Bridge School Concert - 21 October 2006 (?)

Rolling Stone: To go back a bit, the critics were a little hard on Fork in the Road. I dig some of those songs.

Chad Cromwell: There was some interesting stuff on that. 

But he was fixed really hard on the LincVolt thing at the time and very, very car-centric, as he’s always been. There was definitely a theme going on with that. You know, what’s cool and what’s not cool is such a subjective thing. That record will probably never compete with Freedom or Harvest or records that are career records, but that’s always been the case with Neil. He’s never been driven by what sells the most records, but what allows him the creative thing that he’s gotta get out, whatever it is.

Look at Trans. That was one of those records that Geffen sued him over. “Why aren’t you making commercial records?” Well, who is to say what that is?


Full interview with  "Drummer Chad Cromwell Interview: Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Mark Knopfler" by Andy Greene | Rolling Stone.

Larry Cragg, ?, Chad Cromwell & Rick Rosas in Studio recording "After The Garden" for "Living With War" album by Neil Young - 2006 



At 1/26/2021 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

"Hey man, I'm Shakey"



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