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Saturday, February 06, 2021

Inside Neil Young's Former Topanga Canyon Home Studio: After The Gold Rush Studio & Walking Tour

Neil Young's 1970's home in Topanga Canyon 
A cool, short video "Inside Neil Young's Former Topanga Canyon Home Studio: After The Gold Rush Studio & Walking Tour" by Hiking4Life. (Thanks HtH!)
Video shows  Topanga Canyon neighborhood, as well as, interior scenes of the house where Neil Young lived and recorded "After The Gold Rush" album.


The house in Topanga Canyon is also the cover of NYA #1, Disc #2 - Topango Canyon: 1968-1969.

 Archives #1, Disc #2 - Topango Canyon: 1968-1969
(See Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About
The Neil Young Archives But Were Afraid To Ask)

Also, see  50th Anniversary of Neil Young's album "After The Gold Rush" by Harvey Kubernik.

 After The Gold Rush by Neil Young
(Click photo to enlarge)

Uncropped photo used for cover of After The Goldrush with Graham Nash in foreground
GALLERY OPENING: Two Takes On Neil Young by Joel Bernstein & Henry Diltz
Photo by Joel Bernstein

 Also, see Discovering After the Gold Rush: The Story Behind The Album Cover

"After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young 

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At 2/06/2021 11:52:00 AM, Blogger tomatron said...

That was really good! The guy’s a great tour guide.

At 2/06/2021 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Thanks for posting this, and what a wonderful tour of such an iconic house. I always wanted to know what the inside was like, and this video really captures the vibe very well. I also enjoyed the drive up through Topanga canyon, with all the interesting art along the way. Very cool stuff.

Peace 🙏

At 2/06/2021 02:44:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

glad folks are enjoying the tour Topanga Canyon.

really wonder if that was the piano Nils played Southern man on?!

the other thing for us is that we can never keep straight Topanga & Laurel Canyon. we've been in both long ago but never really had the geography straight back then.

It seems that today much of the musical history focuses on Laurel Canyon. But obviously much history in Topanga as well.

kind of wonder how much the histories of the 2 canyons have merged together?

At 2/06/2021 04:50:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Never been to either canyon (not yet anyway) but I always enjoyed the images of this house on the Archives Vol 1, so it’s fun to see more of the space and I love that it continues to be kept as it was. Speaking of the Archives and Neil’s habitations, the official “video” for Daughters has now joined Homefires as the only to be released from the Old Homestead disc so far. Verrrrrry slow rollout of these modest vids in advance of the retail date in March, with Pocahontas arriving two weeks earlier. Viewed individually they don’t do much, but would make for a nice visual album if released in playlist form like on the first volume.

At 2/06/2021 11:21:00 PM, Blogger hippiedream said...

Thanks thrasher. Great find.

At 2/07/2021 02:40:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I used to hike in Topanga river with my friends. There was a lot of old cars down there with bald tires that had slid off the always-dangerous Topanga canyon road in years past. We had a blast down in the river gulch. It was pretty and there was lots of hopping from boulder to boulder as we traversed it. There was a rope swing there which was epic.

Random thought: I just remembered that I haven't listened to the Booker T album in a long time, which features Neil on electric guitar. Do you all know that album? It is pretty awesome! Other than Neil with Warren Zevon on those 2 songs, and Neil with PJ on I got Id and Long Road, the Booker T album has got to be some of his hottest side work. Anyone agree? Anyone have any other Neil guest spot songs or albums to recommend? Alan in Seattle

At 2/07/2021 02:42:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

PS-I wrote Neil a fan letter on NYA but I can't even figure out how to read his pages. Navigating the non audio music content is beyond me (other than Hearse Theater). Thrasher, and all. Would you keep an eye out for a reply, if I should somehow be so lucky!?

At 2/07/2021 03:58:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

So cool to see inside his former house! And the piano from ATGR was maybe still there!

At 2/07/2021 07:24:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


Open ”MENU” top left corner.

Click on “NYA TIMES-CONTRARIAN”, which brings you to the front page of The Contrarian (Page 1).

On the horizontal menu you click on “Letters To The Editor”, which brings you to page 2, where the letters to Neil are found. Scroll down, and you might find your letter (and Neils comment) if published.

To the right on page 1 (just above the horizontal menu) you can navigate through the pages. A click on “NEXT” will bring you to page 2, another click to page 3 and so on.

The Contrarian has a lot if information, so it can be a bit difficult to find what you are looking for, but I hope this helps you for a start.


At 2/07/2021 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

In the former incarnation of Neil Young online there used to be a page, where all his contributions to other artists' records were listed: Later it disappeared, maybe because it was deemed to be a distraction from the real content. Some of the records listed then indicate who was around at the time: Cree singer and songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie for instance. I agree that "Potato Hole" (the Booker T. & The MGs album Alan mentioned) is infact one of the noteworthy contributios, while others are just footnotes.

At 2/07/2021 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Thank you Kim! I only recently tried to find it as a paying member. Dionys knows whats up. Zevon's Neil songs might be a footnote, but I really like them. Gridlock and Sentimental Hygiene.

We'll see if Neil answers the letter. Mostly I just said thanks for the music and good times. I forgot to mention I had seen him play 28 times! I did tell him that despite dropping a lot of cash for his albums and shows, I came out ahead on the deal.

I saw the Grateful Dead 40 times, but then I got into better music, and real songwriters (the Dead used songwriters). In the long run, the Dead were more limited and had a lot less power than Neil Young. I also forgot to tell Neil that of many hundreds of shows, his live performances were always the best I had ever seen. I have seen Los Lobos around 24 times, the only other artist(s) to hit the high numbers. Seeing them open for NY&CH on Alchemy tour was wonderful! Alan in Seattle

At 2/07/2021 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Great video, thanks Thrasher. I had no idea how remote, rustic, it seems.

At 2/07/2021 11:51:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Kim - thanks for assist here!

@ Alan - fyi, the mobile app for TC is pretty errr .lame. very slow load and navigation is difficult at best as you note.

better off w/ desktop mode.

@ Dionys - good re-collection. it's pretty sad how NYA lost the entire legacy website.?! how did that happen? what a f up?

all the Greendale town & characters. gone. all the LV garage feeds. gone. hopefully a better backup plan now on NYA.

@ Abner - and the video doesn't even begin to capture the remoteness. definitely check out if ever in the area.

as we mentioned we spent an afternoon driving around the areas pre GPS.

can't recall which landmark we were trying to find, maybe it was Lookout Studios?

We were up in either top of Topanga or Laurel. asked someone if they knew and the said next canyon over.

so be a easterner from the flatlands, you think, ok, no problem.

but turning around, going back down the mtn, and then back up another steep, twisting canyon road takes forever. lie we said, pre GPS the only way you could get your bearings was to try and see the Pacific and figure that's west.

we did eventually find Lookout Studios. maybe another trip years later. that's a fascinating story for another day. somewhere around there is location where TV series MASH filmed exterior scenes that were supposed to represent Korea?!

Just to give an idea of how wild and unworldly the area is.

as everyone says, the areas have a very strange, unsettling vibe. if you ever go, be sure to get out well before sunset. oddly, it gets dark in the canyons, about 30 mins before sunset...

At 2/07/2021 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Ya, up on top of Topanga there was an amazing lookout, and there was an Ild caboose up there that someone had hauled up and in. Lots of folks used to drop acid up there.

At 2/07/2021 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

TC = Times Contrarian? I never use the mobile app for NYA. Thanks!

At 2/07/2021 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Alan: I have never disagreed with anything you have ever posted here, but I must take exception of your assessment of the Grateful Dead.

Robert Hunter is perhaps the most gifted lyricist ever, and Jerry Garcia had a remarkable gift in taking those words and creating some of the most adventurous and powerful music ever written. What a team they made. John Perry Barlow was equally gifted with the art of wordplay, and Bob Weir took those beautiful words to creative heights that have endured with grace and magic. Throughout their 30 years as a band the Grateful Dead spent those years evolving and changing, continually searching for the sound, and allowing their fans to play an important role in their quest.

Peace 🙏

At 2/08/2021 03:56:00 AM, Blogger Simon said...

How great to see inside the house! About 5 years ago I spent a week in Toping, and hunted down the house. ATGR is probably my favourite album of all time, having heard it since I was a young kid from the backseat of the car, so to stand in front of the house on Summit Drive was like standing in the Sistine Chapel (which I've also been to, and was less impressive!)... As i stood there, staring at the house, I could almost feel the music, the "spirit of Topanga" that Neil talked about. I could imagine him so clearly looking out from those big windows down towards the Country Store, probably stoned one afternoon writing "Helpless", or maybe stitching together the disparate parts of what became "Country Girl", or figuring out the solo to "Tell Me Why"... Anyway I didn't dare knock on the door, my heart was already thumping in my chest just looking at the place, but as I pondered it before turning, a fucking coyote ran across my path, and stopped a moment and stared back at me before going on his way. Pretty perfect really! Incidentally, the house where we were staying was right next door to Toping Skyline Studio, that Dylan mentions in his Chronicles amongst other albums.. It was empty and run down so i hope someone has bought it now...


At 2/08/2021 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Old Man Coyote most likely met you there, to remind you that there are subtle differences between the Sixtine Chapel and a run down wooden structure at the end of the road into a remote canyon in the vicinity of that other American town which wasn't even there when I painted the chapel. Sometimes it is really difficult to accept that above all, art is about communication...

At 2/08/2021 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/08/2021 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ : Michelangelo, your paintings in the chapel are exquisite and they have inspired millions. They have transcended time and fashion, and are a marvel to the eyes. After the Gold Rush has endured for over fifty years and is a true masterpiece and it also has inspired millions. I’m convinced you would agree that it has also transcended time and fashion, and is a marvel to the ears.

Both remarkable and timeless.

Peace 🙏

At 2/08/2021 01:17:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Thank you sir! In a good night there was nothing like the Grateful Dead! And I had a lot of fantastic nights with the GD. You just helped me reassess my judgements on them. Sometimes I wished they could harmonize like CSN(Y), which reveals a respect I have for those guys, contrary to my recent shit talking. I got sober in 1990 and perhaps this has affected my willingness to look back fondly at my many misadventures and fun times with the GD. I loved Brent Mydland and his death “took the wind out of my sails” to a large degree. Stevie Ray Vaughan also died that year. I saw him play 3x. My fanaticism for Neil Young is far larger than my adulation of the GD delivered. But they really did have a lot of great songs. Many tunes in their live shows were cover songs by other bands. But I credit the Dead for introducing me to a lot of American music from the days of old. I became a huge Dylan fan and a Howlin Wolf fan after hearing the Dead cover them. I also grew up listening to Dylan with my parents, but CCR got a lot more play. I am sorry to disparage one of your favorite bands. I admit I have been too willing to dismiss them. I still love them. You have honestly influenced my feelings towards the GD in your writing. Thank you Dan. Have a fantastic day. I am about to drive downtown and I am gonna throw on some GD live. Alan in Seattle

At 2/08/2021 01:23:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

“On a good night, there was nothing like the GD.” My sobriety lasted 17 years and then I did some more research. I got into NY sober but have been to many shows when my feet were not touching the ground. I am an extremist. With me it is often “All or nothing.” I love NY’s music more than any other, even the great Bob Dylan (and I am a big fan of Dylan). I think the Energy in the music is what does it for me. If anything, I would say the Dead maybe “Noodled” too much. But I would argue that point with my younger self!

At 2/08/2021 02:08:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...


At 2/08/2021 02:14:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Alan : No apology necessary my friend.

I got sober in May of 1999, and I only got to see the Dead once in 78 @ Autzen stadium in Eugene @ the first Oregon Jam, and their set started out promising but as a whole it wasn't that great. I didn't fully get on the bus until 2011. Since then we have happily spent a small fortune catching up with all the releases including all the box sets. I agree they were not a sharply honed vocal group, but they created something very similar to Neil, which was their willingness to play in the moment, flaws and all.

Sobriety can certainly effect how you see and hear things, but it doesn't change who you are, it just changes what you do. You and I share a similar taste in music, especially with Neil. Yet I've only seen hime live, maybe seven times. The many misadventures and fun times while you were drinking should be celebrated, as they are partly responsible for the person you are today. And from what I know about you through your many posts here on Thrashers Wheat, you are a passionate, honest and remarkable man. I'm glad I could help you in your reassess the Dead, just as you have helped me reassess some of your favorite artists that I had come to under value, so thank you.

peace 🙏

At 2/08/2021 04:13:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

@Dan. I didn't intend to compare ATG with the Sistina paintings, because as works of art they both stand on their own. Three years ago I happened to visit "Big Pink" and witnessed Dylan-Band aficionados revering that basement. I liked what I saw, thanks to the generous owner, we had a look inside. But I am afraid it didn't look like the Sixtine chapel either.
When I saw the original Apollo 11 command module at the entrance to the NASA museum in DC, now that moved me to tears. I guess that's one of the things that seperate us beyond the Atlantic, in Europe we still think we see the difference between art or mementos of genuine human aspiration and another roadside attraction. But as I conceded before before one's wooden shed at the end of a canyon road might be someone else's Sixtone chapel. But my opinion maybe is just like Mark Twain's "Tramp Abroad"?

At 2/08/2021 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Dionys : Well put, I remember watching the moon walks live on T. V. amazed that it was even possible. And had I had the opportunity to actually see the command module I would have been moved to tears as well. I can certainly appreciate the difference between art or mementos of genuine human aspirations. That was a wonderful observation, thank you.

Peace 🙏

At 2/09/2021 01:37:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Dan, I listened to the start of England '72 today. It sounded great. I favor the gamblin' outlaw fare, perhaps. I play guitar and I like to do Minglewood Blues, Me and My Uncle. The Dead didn't write either of those songs, but they introduced me to them. Bob screws up the lyrics for Mexicali Blues. I wish I had a dollar for every time I saw him screw up Truckin' live, but he was great also. I seem to recall him saying he is dyslexic in a interview maybe. One of my all time high points for Bob Weir was him doing Estimated Prophet in Oakland 1986. He turned into a shrieking skeleton, in my eyes anyway. They did make a lot of great music.

At 2/09/2021 03:27:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Thank you for your kind words Dan. I am currently rising like the Phoenix once again, reinventing myself. A good friend, deceased now, taught me a phrase I would live better by when I am trash talking CSN, for instance: “There’s no accounting for taste.” Neil fans are wildly diverse in what their favorites are. Some want him to do acoustic, some electric, some solo, CH, PotR, etc. As I have said, I love damn near all of it. Another songwriter I follow is Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. He is a huge Neil Young fan. He looks forward to every new album just like the rest of us. Peace.

At 2/09/2021 06:01:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

One of these footnotes again regarding GD and NY: There is a track on bass wizard Rob Wasserman's album "Trios" which includes Neil Young and Bob Weir on a track called "Easy Answers". Another track features Jerry Garcia and Rob Wasserman. Wasserman's solo acoustic bass interpretation of the Stones' "Satisfaction" is a real treat.

At 2/09/2021 06:04:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Note to self: One should not write comments in between video-lessons with students in a different language, because the grammar and the spelling will be messed up.

At 2/09/2021 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Thanks Dionys. I will look for that. - Alan

At 2/09/2021 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Alan.... yes Bob Weir is dyslexic, as I am as well. He always seems to have trouble with Truckin’, and for some reason I always find it comforting to see someone with the same issue I have rise to such position in life. Much like Neil, the Dead never tried to hide the fact that they were human, and humans make mistakes. Neil even mentioned how he likes to screw up occasionally on his Town Hall performance.

@ Dionys : You’re absolutely right, Trios is a great record.

Peace 🙏

At 2/09/2021 08:20:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Dan: Ya, other than Truckin’, I don’t recall Bob screwing up much. One time I saw the band flub Uncle John’s Band at Irvine. Mostly they played very well at the 40 shows I attended from ‘85-‘93. I listened to China Cat -> I Know You Rider from England ‘72 today. I thought it sounded great. The “juxtaposed” guitar riffs in that song are terrific. My enjoyment of the band is growing after a long period of dormancy. Sobriety has been very good to me, and I have been lucky even when I went missing. Kudos to you for not following in Pig Pen’s footsteps in that regard. I just went for a bicycle ride and I am feeling a great natural endorphins buzz. Thanks HP!

I listen to a fair amount of non-Neil music. Variety is the spice of life. I am a huge Hendrix fan but have been listening to him less. I like to give my favorites a rest here and there to keep it fresh. With Neil, it’s more like avoiding certain albums for long periods of time. I am now jonesing to listen to ATG again after a long time away. The Topanga house tour and hearing the piano from Southern Man (really?!), I am ready! Alan in Seattle

At 2/10/2021 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Alan: We have the Europe 72 box set, and it really stands as a testimonial to what the Dead were capable of for an entire tour. There’s not a bad show on that whole tour. Of all the Dead we own.....if there was a fire (God forbid) the Europe 72 box world be the first thing I’d grab, once my family was safe.

I also take long breaks with my favorite artists, as there is so much great music to enjoy. Returning to a particular artist after a long break can be inspiring and enlightening. The Beatles for example is a real revelation after a long break. Those guys are literally their own genre. My wife once said that “ there’s Rock, Jazz, Country, Bluegrass, Classical, R&B, Funk, Soul, Electronic, Rap, Heavy Metal, Etc......... and the there’s The Beatles”.

I’ve been listening to Hendrix since his first album came out, and you need to check out the new release from his concert in Maui 1970. The second set in particularly is just a mind blower. It’s one of his most relaxed performances and you can tell all three of them were having a good time.

Peace 🙏

At 2/11/2021 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

During this video it is mentioned that Neil wrote Powderfinger for Lynyrd Skynyrd, but due to the plane crash they never had a chance to record it. I can’t ever reading about this but if it is true it would have been fascinating to hear their version of one of my all time favorite songs.

Peace 🙏

At 2/12/2021 03:33:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dan - maybe just comment bait, but this is right in our strike zone here @ TW.

trunks of memories on this one.

From the definitive "Ronnie and Neil: Laying to Rest the "Feud Myth" Once and for All"

Drive By Truckers guitarist Patterson Hood explains the song "Ronnie and Neil":

"I wrote this song to tell of the misunderstood friendship between Ronnie VanZant and Neil Young, who were widely believed to be bitter adversaries, but were in truth very good friends and mutual admirers..."

"Now Ronnie and Neil became good friends
Their feud was just in song
Skynyrd was a bunch of Neil Young fans
and Neil he loved that song
So He wrote "Powderfinger" for Skynyrd to record
But Ronnie ended up singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to the lord"


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