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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

REVIEWS + INTERVIEWS: ‘Rust Bucket’ by Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse + Frank “Poncho” Sampedro | SPIN

‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse
"Let me go on record as saying that I think this 'Way Down in the Rust Bucket" is the best Crazy Horse record we ever recorded.
 I love it! "
~ Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, Rolling Stone -  March 2, 2021


As previously posted,  Crazy Horse's Frank “Poncho” Sampedro has said that ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  is "the best Crazy Horse record we ever recorded".

So how about the critics?

From Neil Young / Crazy Horse: Way Down in the Rust Bucket Album Review | Pitchfork by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

As silly as it sounds, “T-Bone” provides the key to unlocking many of Way Down in the Rust Bucket’s charms. 

It’s not much of a song—there are no other lyrics than “Got mashed potatoes/Ain’t got no T-Bone"—yet hearing Crazy Horse lock into a primal rhythm then remain there for nearly seven minutes, as Young delivers each repetition of its lone line as if it’s a new punchline, is as invigorating as his elongated solos. 

There’s a direct line connecting this rave-up with “Farmer John,” a frat-rock classic from Don & Dewey by way of the Premiers that wound up as a touchstone on Ragged Glory: They’re party tunes played by a band intent on having a hell of a good time.

See full review of Neil Young / Crazy Horse: Way Down in the Rust Bucket Album Review | Pitchfork by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. 

From Neil Young #60: Way Down In The Rust Bucket| Everybody’s Dummy by Wardo:

The focus throughout Way Down In The Rust Bucket is the music. 

Very little of the between-song chatter is included, and every track fades to silence after the song is finished, with a minimum of crowd ambiance. (The video portion, simultaneously released on DVD, included all the chatter, tuning, and false starts, as well as the night’s performance of “Cowgirl In The Sand”, which apparently had audio issues.)

Of the many projects teased from Neil Young Archives throughout 2020, this was a welcome installment in the growing catalog. 

Hard to believe, listening over 30 years later, these guys were considered “old” then.

See full review of Neil Young #60: Way Down In The Rust Bucket| Everybody’s Dummy by Wardo.


Köln, Germany - July 12, 2013
Photo by Roel van Dijk's
(Click photo to enlarge)


From Neil Young Guitarist Poncho on the Band's Best Show | SPIN by Ford:

SPIN: Was there something heading up to those shows in Santa Cruz that made you all want to capture it? Everyone sounds like they’re at the top of their collective games. 

Frank “Poncho” Sampedro: Quite honestly, I didn’t even know they ever found [the tapes] until two or three weeks ago. 

Really, I had no clue. I never heard the bootlegs. That was just a product of Larry Johnson wanting to do it and Neil gave in and let him do it. That’s our home turf and a big weed-growing community. What better place to start the tour — and this wasn’t a warm-up show — than there? It wasn’t about preparing for anything in the future. It was about going out and having a good time. I watched the video and it amazes me. It seems like I was mesmerized by [bassist] Billy [Talbot]. He’s over the moon having so much fun prancing around, singing, playing. I was just looking at him going wild. And he even turned into our emcee that night. It was amazing. 

I’d never seen him do that.

SPIN: What do you remember getting off stage that night, if you remember anything at all? 

Frank “Poncho” Sampedro: It was filled with joy. 

But not only that, all our buddies were there. It wasn’t like walking out to the tour bus and going down the road. We went to the bar we hung out with all our friends. Wasn’t nobody was asking for autographs or any crazy stuff. We were just having a good time. Then a guy asked us if we went outside and we said no. Since there were big glass windows, you can hear we’re playing loud and for more than a few feet. Every place [in that stretch] is packed with people outside partying. 

So we had a block party we didn’t even know.

See full interview of Neil Young Guitarist Poncho on the Band's Best Show | SPIN by Ford.

Also, see INTERVIEW: Frank “Poncho” Sampedro - Neil Young, Crazy Horse Guitarist | Rolling Stone by Andy Greene.

As the "Inextinguishable Scotsman" declared succinctly: "RUST BUCKET: the sound of Ragged Glory transforming into Weld."


Deluxe Box Set Edition (DVD, 4 LPs, 2 CDs)
by Neil Young w/  Crazy Horse 
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At 3/16/2021 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

In the recent Rolling Stone interview, Poncho said: "We had to go play in front of people before we do a tour. That was why we did it. It was just to be out there and be aware that there’s going to be a crowd."

In this new interview, he says:

"It wasn’t about preparing for anything in the future. It was about going out and having a good time."

So, which is true?


At the Catalyst in 1990, Crazy Horse are certainly having a good time.

Neil is also having a good time.

He's also preparing himself (and his band) for his first mega-size arena tour in years; and also his first since his return to Reprise Records in 1988.

(Bearing in mind the Catalyst gig was only Neil and the Horse's second electric show back together since Neil said it was unlikely he'd ever play with them again).

And of course, it's no coincidence Neil regularly wore Elvis Presley t-shirts during the 1989-1991 period. It was a statement of intent.

This was Neil's comeback period, just as '68 was for Elvis. And his gameplan was to come out fighting. That is (brilliantly) apparent from listening to any show of your choice from 1990 or 1991.


At 3/16/2021 05:17:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Lots of great points as always Scotsman.

Come Back Tour? hmmm. Funny, but of course would never refer to it as a "Come Back Tour"?

We can almost hear him say Come Back? Never left?!

Another way to look at this is that all the tours have been "Come Back Tours"!

seriously. it seems like evry tour has had some sort of over hang. Whether Danny W dying, new bands, old bands, new styles.

Did you catch Poncho on the Farewell Tour comment?

Loved that Neil plans to still be playing on his last day. The Willie approach.

rock & roll can NEVER die ...

At 3/16/2021 06:01:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Thrasher: right - artistically, Neil never left the building. But of course, he'd spent the eighties imprisoned by his record company, and the return to Reprise was his "get out of jail free" card. He made good use of it.

More on Poncho, below....

At 3/16/2021 06:02:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/16/2021 06:06:00 PM, Blogger Flyingscotzman said...

Letter To Poncho.

They say you regret the things you don't do more than the things you do. We've all heard that saying, at one time or another.

...Personally, I think that sort of philosophy can quickly get us all into serious trouble. Be wary of wise old sayings!

But, when it comes to playing with the world's mightiest rock band, perhaps it's true.

What do you think?

Speaking from no experience whatsoever, *I* think there are few better ways a retired rock guitarist can spend his time than growing organic fruit in tranquil Hawaii.

It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

But what's this I hear about you "wanting to play even more than people want to hear you"?

What's this about it being too expensive to play together, once it gets to the managers and all that stuff?

My instinctive, not-entirely-polite response? Just make some f*!#ing music - it's not that difficult.

Or don't.

That works, too, because you've already made so much that is truly magical. We don't need any more music - you've all given us so much.

But what I *don't* want is for you to be torn between two things, never really at peace with either.

And if you and Neil do want to do something together, then now's the time to start figuring it out.

The opportunity is still there. But it's possible it might not be for many more years.

I know you are aware of that. I also understand you have arthritis (and I sense that there is probably more to it than that).

But not every Crazy Horse project has to be some super-sized mega-$$$ 150-show arena tour. It doesn't have to be some formal "farewell" project, either.

I can think of many possibilities still open. I'm sure you and Neil can, too.

Either take them or don't. But don't talk yourself out of something and then regret it later. That's all I'm saying.


You say in the latest interview you don't want to disappoint anybody. That strikes me as revealing comment. So I'm now going to say something that is entirely obvious to every other person reading:

You are not going to disappoint anybody by not sounding quite as sharp as you did 30 years ago.

And you need to be very clear about that, if it is something that is holding you back.

With respect,


(Somebody reading this right now is in contact with Poncho: please pass this note onto him.)

At 3/20/2021 07:22:00 PM, Blogger forest rph said...

On a different
note, I have a questions about the tiers Neil is instituting.
Is he implying by choosing the Patron tier we might get access to preferred seats once the pandemic is over? Enquiring minds want to know!


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