Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

INTERVIEW: Ralph Molina, Crazy Horse's Drummer w/ Neil Young | Perfect Sound Forever

Ralph Molina
Photo © Corrina Jones


Crazy Horse's drummer Ralph Molina was interviewed recently by Perfect Sound Forever's John Wisniewski & Jason Gross on working with Neil Young and he shared a few interesting details on his 50+ year career in music. (thanks Richard T & Dr J!)

Perfect Sound Forever: What kind of equipment (drums, sticks) do you like to use?

Ralph Molina: I have an old Ludwig set that I've used on many recordings and tours. It's like wearing a comfortable old shirt.

Last couple tours, I used Craviotto [drums]- the Ducks' drummer [Johnny Craviotto] began building them. Neil asked if I'd use them and I said 'fine.' But I prefer my Ludwigs. I started with Promark [drumsticks], 5b sticks, down to 7a Promark. Now I use cool rods. While recording Greendale, I was using sticks, and I was so much louder than Neil and Billy for those songs, I picked up a pair of [Promark] Cool rods, and the feel and blend was aces. I hit hard enough on my drums, with touch of course, that I've used them the last couple of tours.

PSF: Any fun(ny) Neil stories to share? The best I've heard is when he rowed Graham Nash to a lake/pond on his property, with barns on each side blasting out music, and Neil yelling "I want to hear more left barn!"

RM: Of course, but you'll have to read my book. There are too many.

PSF: So, you have a book coming out?

RM: Not 'til after I'm through playing.

PSF: It was just announced that a live album is coming out in February called Way Down in the Rust Bucket. Any thoughts on that particular show that was recorded for the album?

RM: That album was recorded during what we called 'the bar, club tour.' 

We were really grooving, getting ready to go out on the Ragged Glory tour. I remember Neil calling me, excited as crap- 'Ralph, you've got to hear these tracks, shows we found, it's the real shit man.' 

Me, I don't get excited, LOL. 

He said he was so happy that he had, I think he said, 8 cameras filming the show. He said we did 3 sets that night. I never thought we did 3 sets, but we did. It was from the Catalyst, a bar, club near San Francisco. But I've got to say, it was great. 

After those shows, we were all hot and ready to go on our tour. 

From what I remember, we were having too much fun. But I must say, 'great call, Neil,' to record that particular show. 

I guess he felt it would be a magical night. It was.

Full interview with Ralph Molina on Perfect Sound Forever's by John Wisniewski & Jason Gross.

For more on upcoming "WAY DOWN IN THE RUST BUCKET" -- both a film and double album -- by Neil Young w/  Crazy Horse, scheduled for release on February 26, 2021, see here.

More on Crazy Horse's Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot.

Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot - 2017
Photo by Ellen Goffin

Also, see Crazy Horse's Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot & Frank "Poncho" Sampedro @ MusiCares Honors Neil Young - Los Angeles, CA - 1/29/10.

Crazy Horse
Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot & Frank "Poncho" Sampedro

MusiCares Honors Neil Young - Los Angeles, CA - 1/29/10
Photo by Joni Milken-Noah

"OK, who wants a drumstick???" 
(says Drummer Ralph Molina)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

A Day On The Green, Hunter Valley, AUS - Mar 9, 2013
Photo by Davey Bob
(Click photo to enlarge)

Labels: , ,


At 2/02/2021 08:22:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

great interview - whatever happened with Poncho, I'm glad it hasn't affected the release of WDITRB - but if Poncho is a hologram I'm gonna be pissed


At 2/03/2021 01:48:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

right, a "hologram Poncho" really would be problematic.

but Poncho seems to be real on all the preview clips. yeah that Greendale fake Poncho really was very strange. even by strange neil standards.

At 2/03/2021 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Very interested to read his book.......but I’m not in any hurry Ralph, you still got a lot of tours left in you. I can wait.

And I agree.... the whole CGI Poncho was a big disappointment for me. Disrespectful actually. I know Poncho didn’t play a big part in the Greendale portion of the show but he was on stage, and he was part of the band. When asked about it on the Letters section recently, Neil’s response was “ I just felt like doing it, its great to be old and get to do whatever you want”. That’s Neil for ya’.

Peace 🙏

At 2/03/2021 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

even though this might have been a joke, it is still somewhat unfortunate. It might be the case that the older we get the more responsibilities we accumulate. Doing whatever we want is generally not a good way to go. Neil is not a philosopher, that is for sure.

At 2/04/2021 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

my guess is that it's about money...whatever went down that ultimately led to Hologram Poncho

At 2/04/2021 12:46:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - well, some say that Neil is a philosopher. maybe not as classically defined, but maybe of his genre.

afterall, anyone who coined the phrase "Why do I keep fuckin' up?" has encapsulated the most existential question known to mankind.

or at least more succinctly than Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Sartre, or Nietzsche. don't ya think?!

@ Jonathan - that would be sad, altho not surprising.

ps - might you drop us an email sometime, please ? thrasher ATSIGN

At 2/04/2021 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I give Neil a great deal of credit for finding these phrases that are around but no one seems to make poetic. My favorite is "too far gone." Damn, this is perfect and "piece of crap." I think "why do I keep fucking up" was in my subconscious all through life!!! Neil made it present and gave me a way to laugh at it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat