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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

NYA FIRST LISTEN/WATCH: ‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’ - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse

‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse


‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’ -- the live album and film documenting Neil Young w/  Crazy Horse at Catalyst Club in 1990 is now available to subscribers on


‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse


The RUST BUCKET tapes have been called "the missing link between Ragged Glory and Weld".  (Thanks Scotsman!)

The film and double album of ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’ will be released on  February 26 2021, with pre-orders available now.

Deluxe Box Set Edition (DVD, 4 LPs, 2 CDs)
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)

As noted earlier, a complete multi-camera video (6 cameras!) was discovered in the NYA vaults in 2019. Produced and Directed by the late LA Johnson, the Neil Young & Crazy Horse concert was filmed on November 11, 1990 at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California. (See Sugar Mtn for more details). Consisting of 3 sets, plus encore, the video is titled WAY DOWN IN THE RUST BUCKET. 
Also, check Comment of the Moment: RUST BUCKET PREMIERE NOW PLAYING: "Country Home" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 1990 WELD Rehearsals | NYA .


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At 2/24/2021 10:16:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

“don’t let this ‘un prick ya now, yer gonna get tetanus from this ‘un here”

At 2/24/2021 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

I am thrilled to be watching Rust Bucket tonight on NYA. Best $20 I ever spent! This was a peak moment for the band. Neil is blowing me away with his ferocious playing. Country Home and Bite The Bullet remind me of a show I caught at the Old Princeton Landing, along with Danger Bird. This is the stuff! I may end up buying physical product in audio format of one variety or the other. You know I’d buy a Blu ray! I have the keys to the kingdom on NYA; I get to cherry pick what I feel I really need to own. There is an avalanche of releases coming and I don’t see how I can keep up, tho I did for 30 years. God it’s great to be a Neil Young fan! Video evidence of why he is Numero Uno for me. Farmer John, classic cover! I told my wife this video will be playing for me in the afterlife, with her by my side. I know Neil will be there playing live too. He might’ve gotten pissed at a few sound guys but that will never keep him out. He brought in the Harvest, decade after decade. Oh yeah! Thank you Neil Young! Alan in Seattle

At 2/24/2021 10:53:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

I love it! From the pocket. Way down in the Rust Bucket!

At 2/25/2021 01:00:00 AM, Blogger SkyandStars said...

I am incredibly excited to be watching 'rust bucket' It is Neil and the Horse on fire. As they play most of my favourite album of all time 'Ragged Glory' and arguably better than the 'studio' versions is a bonus. It certainly wets my apertite for the extended versions to be released later this year. Toast to go and I can die happy, hopefully after a few more years of listening said albums.

At 2/25/2021 08:33:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

My copy of the box set turned up a day early in the UK. UK Greedy Hand delivering early, who'd have thought that given the NYA Vol.2 shambles. It is a magnificent package, so well put together. Delighted to see individual colour sleeves for each LP, unlike the Bluenotes box which just had paper sleeves. Also really cool different sleeves for the DVD and CD. Superb.

At 2/25/2021 10:13:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ tomatron - right. gotta watch out for the rusty hand ...

@ Alan - glad you're enjoying.

As neil, says "this is for you"! Danger Bird is amazing. unbelievable this was 1st live performance?!

ps - great letter on NYA. thanks for TW shoutouts. :)

@ SkyandStars - and hopefully many, many more years !

@ ANDREW - great news! at last after all the heartache & disappointment.

I know you and others were extremely upset over the poor service. so maybe the corner has been turned and better days ahead.

let's make 2021 the year that 2020 should have been.

live & love life

At 2/25/2021 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Danger Bird, incredible.

At 2/25/2021 12:04:00 PM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

Just spotted LP4 in my box has the side 7 label on both sides. The LP plays the correct tracks but labelled up incorrectly. Anyone else got the same? Doesn't bother me, pretty cool actually.

At 2/25/2021 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Neil's greatest band by far...and that's saying quite a lot.

I don't know how many who comment here are audiophiles - I don't consider myself one I just know what sounds good to me.

And a few months ago I purchased a pair of KEF LS50 META speakers; they are considered bookshelf speakers but boy is that a misnomer.

These things are absolutely amazing in their clarity and their bass for such a small speaker; I cannot wait to blast WDITRB on them!

At 2/25/2021 02:14:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

so good

At 2/25/2021 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Gobichou said...

yes, "Danger Bird" is the masterpiece of the show, I agree totaly with you "Abner Snopes"!....

At 2/25/2021 02:55:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Another thing that just appeared is the video for NYA2 Stringman (Look Out For My Love version) on YouTube only so far. Not to take away from the awesomeness that is Rust Bucket! I watched half the movie last night, through Danger Bird. Gonna watch the second half tonight and pick up the vinyl locally tomorrow! Rust Bucket Cowgirl is so epic and hilarious! But I think for me the vinyl will be my preferred format since the film is sooo long, haha. Really vibing out to those solos!

At 2/25/2021 03:22:00 PM, Blogger Roberto said...

Started watching, grinning, sweating and headphones blasting as hard as possible.

Thanks so much to NY, to TW and to CH

#Stay #Safe


At 2/25/2021 04:33:00 PM, Blogger Roberto said...

A plea to Mr Neil: please sell us the HD file of CiTS it is so beautifully broken that no boot can even sustain the pairing.
I'll buy it for first, swear

Roberto, Roma, Italy

At 2/25/2021 04:48:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Glad everyone is enjoying the prerelease of Way Down In The rust bucket on NYA. I can't wait to experience it, but I have decided to wait until tomorrow and experience it on my home stereo on vinyl first........ I know I'm crazy, but this release is incredibly important, and I want to really feel it through a high quality stereo system.


At 2/25/2021 05:37:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Still waiting on my deluxe box to ship. Still says "Shipment ready for UPS." Hope it arrives soon, but I just couldn't wait. I managed to wait for Homegrown on vinyl, but failed do it this time. While listening I couldn't help but think that this was Neil at his guitar playing peak. Just incredible.

At 2/25/2021 09:48:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

It is one of the best recordings of that song!

At 2/26/2021 12:37:00 AM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

It has probably been mentioned before, and I missed it. This is also the TNT Studio 2 disc "FEEDBACK IS BACK" bootleg.... this very show, except they didn't include Cowgirl In the Sand for spacial reasons, probably. But as boots go, none of the photos used were from this show. It finally sunk in when I got to Don't Cry No Tears and the false start..... and now I see, a guitar switch. I remembered that clearly from years ago, and dug out the Boot.

So far, I have not gotten any notification at all from Greedy Hand for the Deluxe arrival, and I am in Burbank, home of Warner Brothers.

I wonder when Neil got his WELD bowl haircut.

At 2/26/2021 01:10:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Pretty sure Rust Bucket is my all time favorite live Neil Young show so far. I love the energy, the passion, the song list. The delivery. The band. The Godfather of Grunge is a laid back country rock Hero. He treats his fans to this intimate performance. So glad LA Johnson captured all of that! I got a chuckle from the irreverent laughs by Poncho & Neil after the line “When time was just a joke.” Ha ha ha! Duration and intensity unmatched? It’s a dream come true. I will need to get my hands on the physical product. Who could have predicted it (kidding). Alchemy was a very fun tour and I am looking forward to that live release, but this Bucket of Rust has quenched my thirst. And that is saying a lot for an addicted Neil Young-ologist! Alan in Seattle

At 2/26/2021 01:29:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

@Thrasher. What a thrill to get “published” on NYA and get a personal reply from Neil! My wife and kids know I am “over the moon” with it. Not many rock stars would take the time to reply, much less give “Tech Support” to a flailing fan. I worked all day and didn’t have time to reflect much until tonight. My letter to Neil wasn’t perfect, but what is? Had to throw in a trademark grammar error for my English Professor Dad (UCLA x 36 years). NYA and TW: the 2 most worthwhile hangout spots on the entire internet! Alan in Seattle

At 2/26/2021 01:32:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

@Thrasher: Reviews are saying Rust Bucket is the live debut of Danger Bird. -Alan

At 2/26/2021 01:34:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

I meant to say that RB was my all time fave Live album by NY.

At 2/26/2021 05:20:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Greetings friends at Thrasher's.

I'll let loose some of my impressions shortly, but first I have a question for you.

When Way Down In The Rust Bucket was first broadcast as a weekly series of videos, it featured the stereo multi-track mix. Whereas the version now being broadcast on NYA has a more "rustic" mono soundtrack.

If you are an early bird who already has the dvd, can you tell me which mix is used?

After the Vol 2 fiasco I vowed never to buy a physical Neil Young box set again - at least until the marketing and sales department a) get better at their job and b) stop weaselling and learn some respect.

(That said, I would quite like the dvd - but don't tell them that.)


At 2/26/2021 09:18:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2/26/2021 09:31:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

@scotsman 2.0 Stereo. Sounds great. Obvs the footage isn't so sharp, hence no BluRay version. Still damn good, reminds me of the old VHS tapes of Neil I used to trade.

At 2/26/2021 09:38:00 AM, Blogger tomatron said...

Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth gave him that haircut on the tour!

At 2/26/2021 09:49:00 AM, Blogger ANDREW BYROM said...

Just noticed that the back of the DVD states: Duration 3 H 52 M. Incorrect, it is 2 H 52 M.

At 2/26/2021 09:59:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Scotsman; I believe that Neil mentioned in response to a letter, or in an earlier article that indeed it was the first live version of Danger Bird. Or perhaps it was John Hanlon ? I’ll do some digging and get back to you.

Peace 🙏

At 2/26/2021 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Scotsman: Yes indeed it was the first live performance of Danger Bird according to John Hanlon who mentioned it in a very early article on mixing the tapes on 11/4/19 located in the Surf Shack section on NYA. You need to scroll down for awhile before you get to the article, and it’s just titled The Catalyst, paragraph twelve.

Peace 🙏

At 2/26/2021 11:22:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Scotsman: good to see you and looking fwd to your thoughts.

as noted here last year on:
RUST BUCKET VIDEO PREMIERE: "Dangerbird" - Neil Young & Crazy Horse, 1990 Rehearsals Video | NYA + J. Hanlon's Notebook on CITS

Neil writes on NYA:

This, in 1991, was one of the first times we did ‘Danger Bird’ since it was first recorded for ZUMA in 1975. It’s not perfect but it is the real horse, way down in the rust bucket.
be well

Last year, we watched DB don't know how many times on repeat.
can't wait to check out again when RB arrives soon.

sublime in it's majestic beauty.

seriously. the 1st concert performance of Danger Bird filmed w/ 6 cameras w/ soundboard audio?!

check out thread comments like this:

"if any rustie ever wanted proof of a living and loving god, here you have it.

30 years later, Danger Bird emerges. fully formed and epically transcendental in its majesty unfurling across the CATALYST Club.


At 2/26/2021 12:49:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

One of the cameras looked out of sync too. Funny how “bootleg” an official release can come off, haha. I just called my local record store to hold me a copy of that deluxe edition! Heading over to pick it up...

At 2/26/2021 03:48:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Way Down In The Rust Bucket - Impressions of the Inextinguishable Scotsman

I'll start by saying just this:

You know you have a special Neil Young album in your hands when even T-Bone sounds like some sort of masterpiece.

Need I say more?

If the answer is "yes", then here's some context:

Long-time readers here know I think Weld, the record of 1991's Ragged Glory tour, is Neil's best electric live album.

It's also seriously intense. The musicianship, already pretty damn fierce on Ragged Glory, has by this point dropped all pretence of mellowness. The guitar solos have become ruthless enough to slice through steel.

And the best synopsis I can give of Way Down In The Rust Bucket is this: it's the sound of Ragged Glory transforming into Weld. With a looser setlist than the latter, and without the explosions of noise, the guitar strangulations, or the frenzied eruptions of feedback.

The sound at the warm-up Catalyst gig hasn't yet mutated into the (regimented, Gulf War inspired) brutality of the following 50+ shows. But it has started to. You can hear it developing, intensifying - sometimes mid-song.

Many tracks agreeably gallop (or chug) along, in no great hurry to get anywhere. And then Neil's lead guitar suddenly escalates and has you by the throat. There's a slightly Jekyll and Hyde feel to it.

You get the sense, even without the onslaught of the Gulf War, that the Ragged Glory tour was always destined to be a mighty affair.

(And you can also hear the seeds being sown that would grow into the Old Princeton Landing series, 5 years or so later.)

It's an epic 2 hour+ album packed with songs fresh from Ragged Glory. Along the way we get an abundance of Crazy Horse classics (Cinnamon Girl, Like A Hurricane, Cortez The Killer...) and a generous scattering of mind-blowing ultra-rarities (Danger Bird, Surfer Joe, and yes, T-BONE) that Neil would banish from the setlist straight after the warm-up gigs.

The more "cheap and cheerful" material here (Farmer John and T-Bone again, as examples) is mostly included as an entirely-justified excuse for Neil to go berserk on his Gold Top guitar for extended periods. Behind the *appearance* of the relaxed vibe of this period is a musician more focused than ever.

The Catalyst gig is looser than the '91 tour; but it's not *that* loose. Neil and the band road-tested most of the songs the previous night, with several of the others also appearing well-"rehearsed".

The same cannot be claimed about Sedan Delivery: thrillingly, the band are clearly re-learning how to play it, on-stage, after a full 12-year absence from the setlist.

The song staggers around uncertainly, more than once threatening to careen overboard (a bit like me as I write this column). Then, against all odds, it gets second wind and concludes with an explosion - Neil lurching into a warped guitar solo that will strip the paint from your walls.

This nightmarish sound is the twisted result of him using (abusing?) an old Alesis reverb simulator; one of the effects units within the big red box that you'll see at his feet at all his electric gigs.

(If you found that last sentence boring to read, that's because you're not a lead-guitar fanatic. Bottom line: this is an album not remotely suited to anybody unwilling to become a lead-guitar fanatic.)

(Continues below)

At 2/26/2021 03:50:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

(Continued from above).

Like many of you, I'm sure, I think the decision to fade out the audience noise between songs is an odd one. It kind of leaves the record halfway between an immersive concert experience and a series of isolated tracks.

An analogy: a fish can survive in a pond or in an aquarium, but not half-way between the two.

And yes, I like Rust Never Sleeps - a hybrid exception that proves the rule. But I think producer David Briggs would have preferred to seamlessly crossfade the audience chatter on Rust Bucket, instead of leaving gaps between the tracks. Would that have made Rust Bucket an even more thrilling experience? I err towards "yes". You decide.

Overall, the sound mix is fantastic. It has warmth and energy and (literally dozens of) guitar solos as piercing as razor blades. Billy Talbot's bass on this album is the warm and inviting kind: impactful, but not the room-shaking earthquake you'll enjoy on "studio Greendale", if you crank up your subwoofer.

The one real disapointment is an unavoidable one. Cowgirl In The Sand has been excluded because of technical reasons. This is one of the elite Poncho-era versions of the song, and its absence is an annoyance.

Still, it's out there on bootleg in decent quality, and also on the DVD version of the new album.

(Are there any rascals out there who were sneaky enough to find a way to download the video stream of Cowgirl, last year? That means you have the stereo soundtrack of it from the multi-track, too. Just patch it into the album playlist and smile broadly, by all means.)

The question on all our lips:

How on earth has a classic gig like Way Down In The Rust Bucket remained unnoticed in the vault for 30 years? What in heaven's name has the Archives team been doing for 3 decades?!

It's odd. It's weird. it's perplexing.

But, in 2021, what a treat for us all.

Thanks NY and NYA. It's an album that I think people are going to enjoy listening to for many years to come.

...And thanks for reading, everybody.


At 2/26/2021 04:00:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thank you, Andrew! Yep, I enjoyed the old VHS-sourced films, too.


At 2/26/2021 04:03:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Dan: think you might be talking to Alan here (?) and not me. But I'm happy to pretend to be Alan for this one comment.

Alan. ;)

At 2/26/2021 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thrasher: it's an awesome song (and version), isn't it?

I also like the one on Year Of The Horse - probably my favourite. The second half of the Cal Expo '96 show it is sourced from would be a good addition to the Concert Timeline on NYA.


At 2/26/2021 04:59:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Inextinguishable Scotsman - So glad you could drop in and share your thoughts on the Horse and Rust.

It would be interesting to try DB back to back w/ Year Of The Horse & Bucket.

ps - see "Smell the Horse": Ragged Glory Extended + Comment of the Moment: NYA FIRST LISTEN/WATCH: ‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’ - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse

May The Horse Be With You & Yours!

At 2/26/2021 06:38:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

Scotsman, this is the kind of killer content for which I frequent the Wheat. The contrast of the mellow vibe of Rust Bucket with the intensity of Weld was quite apparent to me from the getgo, but your observation of the brutality to come as illustrated by Neil’s solos’ entry gives me a new listening angle when I fire up the turntable tonight.

The deluxe edition is the one I ultimately decided on, mostly because I’ll be able to see how they play 20 different songs any time I get the urge to try them out myself. I’m actually kind of pleased with the choice to have each track fade out. My car’s CD player does not smoothly transition from track to track - a fatal flaw. But the trip home from Waterloo Records didn’t give me any grief in this regard; each track was already faded out before it could clumsily segue into the next. And with so few songs on each album side, it seems like a practical solution for the vinyl tracklist, even more so.

Of course this fades issue and the missing Cowgirl don’t apply to the video edition, which with its full between-song banter (only cutting for set breaks), boxy image frame, and shak(e)y tape wobbles, plays like a high-end VHS bootleg, albeit with a perfect soundboard mix. Blu-ray would have prevented the lower video quality from compounding somewhat, but the DVD is fine, just fine with me.

At 2/26/2021 08:18:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

long live Crazy Horse

At 2/26/2021 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Aer Stephen said...

@ Flyingscotzman...

At 2/27/2021 08:52:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...



At 2/27/2021 08:53:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

My pleasure, and thank you for sharing it, Thrasher.

At 2/27/2021 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thank you Tomatron, and great points there all round.


At 2/27/2021 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Harm said...

The sound of the hi-res, even if it was recorded on 24/48 digital sins awesome. Such a great mix and the performance is stellar as well. A must have release even if the editing is a bit harsh between the songs. Would have appreciated cross fading like on Weld. And of course it's a pity that CITS is missing due to technical problems.

The DVD adds a lot in terms of ambience, but unfortunately the stereo mix is a lot narrower on the DVD, almost mono sound. And there is more low end, which makes the sound a bit muddy. I don't know why they did this, maybe to make the patches on CITS a bit less jarring. Overall it's still pretty good, but nowhere near as good as the CD, LP or hi-res. Hopefully Neil'll clarify this in his LTTE.


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