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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Comment of the Moment: Remembering Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs, 1993 Concert Tour

 Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs +
 Pearl Jam and Blind Melon
Poster by Frank Kozik
(See Sugar Mountain @ 1993-09-05, The Gorge, George, Washington, USA)


Last week we posted that over on Neil Young Archives, a new Timeline Concert of  Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs from 1993 USA & Euro Tour w/ Booker T. & The MGs at Finsbury Park - London, England on July 11, 1993 began streaming.

A real monster, mega outdoor festival concert with Pearl Jam opening for Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs and then coming out for a final encore on “Rockin’ in the Free World” (which was unrecorded due to "tape ran out"), Booker T & the MGs is considered -- in retrospect -- as yet another great Neil Young backing band.

Our  Comment of the Moment: Remembering Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs, 1993 Concert Tour by Dan:

Growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s Booker T. & the MG’s were an essential element in the fabric of the times. 

Not only did they record as a stand alone entity, but they were one of four incredible groups that were the backbone of some of the greatest artists of their generation. Along with Booker T. & The MG’s, The Funk Brothers , The Fame Gang, and The Wrecking Crew, these musicians were responsible for some of the greatest music ever recorded. The opportunity to actually witness any of these players live was extremely rare for a young white kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest. So when Booker T. & the MG’s went out on tour with Neil Young, I realized that it might be my last chance to experience at least one of these remarkable groups I’d grown up admiring.

September 6th 1993…. Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, and Neil Young with Booker T. & The MG’s. Outdoors at the Portland Meadows racetrack. Perfect weather and I believe it was sold out.

Blind Melon at that time were only really known for the one song (No Rain) which I liked, but it didn’t prepare me for their live performance. These guys were totally committed to the music and they came with intensity and purpose. They reminded me of The Doors, they were reckless and spontaneous, which I found extremely satisfying. People were throwing water bottles on stage (as they did all day long) and finally Shannon Hoon stops the music and say “look, if you’re going to throw stuff up here let’s just get it over with. So on three, just throw whatever you want on stage…one two three”…..The avalanche of paraphernalia which cascaded down from above was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. One of the items was actually someone’s wallet, so Shannon picks it up, starts pulling out the contents inside and proceeds to toss everything back into the crowd. A truly brilliant performance from beginning to end. What a shame we lost him so young, they were an amazing band.

Witnessing Pearl Jam in 1993 was such a gift. They were so young. Still finding their own sound and navigating the fame that had been thrust upon them. Still feeling like they had something to prove, and they came out swinging. The purest form of intensity can really only come from the young, still hungry and angry about everything. This is what I experienced watching Pearl Jam perform that beautiful day in the sun. How anyone could walk away from that, and not forever be a devoted fan of Pearl Jam is unthinkable. One of the most raw performances I’ve ever experienced.

I had already seen Neil in concert several times by this point, but the excitement I felt this time was a little bit different. I was going to be witness to a historic pairing. I got into Neil with ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’, but but Booker T. & The MG’s had been with me since the early 60’s, so I spent much of this concert focused on them. Neil of course was in top form, and seemed to be relishing every single second getting to play with these four legends. There was an effortlessness in each and every note played that night, which has left an indelible mark on my soul. 

I was spellbound throughout the entire experience, and I feel truly blessed to have been there.

I still have the ticket stub….

ADULT $26.50
Produced By MCA Concerts
Neil Young
--X—Rain Or Shine—X—
No Coolers/Cameras Please
Mon. Sept. 6, 1993 4:30PM

Peace 🙏

Neil Young with Booker T & the MGs 
+ Pearl Jam & Teenage Fanclub 
Finsbury Park - London, England on July 11, 1993

Thanks for the memories Dan!  

We saw the 1993 tour between Portland and England, along the U.S. East Coast.  More specifically, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Our opening bands were Blind Melon and local act The Connells.

BTW, a review noted that "Blind Melon has reached a puzzling level of popularity" and compared Blind Melon to  "Jane's Addiction covering The Grateful Dead"?!

and, we too, still have the ticket stub….somewhere ...

BTW#2, have you read A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon  by Greg Prato?

A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon  
by Greg Prato 

Here are some recollections of touring with Neil Young as an opening act in 1993 from the chapter titled 'Neil Young and Lenny Kravitz Tours/Rolling Stone Cover'.

More on Remembering Neil Young w/ Booker T & the MGs, 1993 Concert Tour.

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At 1/14/2022 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Vinny Mochan said...

Saw them in Glasgow they played a suberb/soulful only love break your heart
Vinny Mochan

At 1/14/2022 12:08:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Great stuff from Dan, thanks

At 1/14/2022 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I was at the Walnut Creek show in Raleigh too. What an evening!

At 1/16/2022 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Setz said...

Always a big fan of Neil playing his catalog with different musicians. It challenges everyone one involved, fans included! So it got me wondering, how many different people has he toured with and could anyone else have had a longer list?

At 1/17/2022 10:35:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Setz, I have been a Neil fan since I was 15 (or whatever) and I have the same damn question! I will bet money that the complete list is on this site, scroll around and you will probably find a complete list of everyone Neil has played with, even that great concert with Barry Manilow in Paris 1979. (Dan, I looked up Barry Manilow and could not help myself here).

At 1/17/2022 01:37:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Vinny - yes, those audiences like Dublin, Glasgow are almost as soulful as Booker T & MGs themselves.

@ Unknown - oh yeah, what an evening! And the 2 opening acts were memorable as well. :)

At 1/17/2022 01:37:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Setz & Abner - funny you should ask.

Believe it or not, when we started up an alternative to TW long ago, the mission of Thrasher's Blog was "Neil Young and the Music He Influenced from alt-country to Grunge".

We attempted to catalog every performance intersection of Neil's. Alas, the futility.

We did make it past 50 before aborting. But Thrasher's Blog still continues to rack up the hits.

The very 1st post in the series was on Bob & Neil and we went from there with all the obvious like Buffalo Springfield & CSNY before moving ti the obscure.

We titled it "50 Reasons Why Neil Young's Music Matters".

Not that we really needed any proof, but here are 50 reasons why Neil Young is the second most influential singer-songwriter of the 21st century still performing today.

Hopefully, you'll find it interesting. It's been a lot fun. Enjoy!

Bob Dylan and Neil Young
John Lennon and Neil Young
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young
Pearl Jam and Neil Young
Joni Mitchell and Neil Young
Paul McCartney and Neil Young
Keith Richards and Neil Young
Jimmy Page and Neil Young
Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young
Buddy Miles (Jimi Hendrix drummer) and Neil Young
Pete Townshend and Neil Young
John Entwistle and Neil Young
U2's Bono and Neil Young
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young
Elvis Presley and Neil Young
Booker T. and the MG's and Neil Young
Willie Nelson and Neil Young
The Monkees and Neil Young
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young
Carlos Santana and Neil Young
Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young
The Allman Brothers Band and Neil Young
Led Zeppelin and Neil Young
Stevie Nicks and Neil Young
Dave Grohl and Neil Young
Emmylou Harris and Neil Young
Johnny Cash and Neil Young
Patti Smith and Neil Young
Clarence Clemons and Neil Young
Buffy Sainte-Marie and Neil Young
Sonic Youth and Neil Young
Jackson Browne and Neil Young
Jerry Garcia and Neil Young (Search)
Grateful Dead and Neil Young
Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young
Elton John and Neil Young
Jerry Lee Lewis and Neil Young
Van Morrison and Neil Young
Tom Waits and Neil Young
Ben Harper and Neil Young
Levon Helm and Neil Young
Warren Zevon and Neil Young
David Bowie and Neil Young
Lucinda Williams and Neil Young
Miles Davis and Neil Young
Leon Russell and Neil Young
Diana Krall and Neil Young
Donald "Duck" Dunn and Neil Young
Johnny Rotten and Neil Young
Sid Vicious and Neil Young
Phil Ochs and Neil Young
Leonard Cohen and Neil Young
Los Lobos and Neil Young
Nils Lofgren and Neil Young
Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders and Neil Young
David Byrne (of Talking Heads) and Neil Young
Lou Reed and Neil Young
Randy Newman and Neil Young
Roger Waters and Neil Young
Sheryl Crow and Neil Young
Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young
Wilco and Neil Young
Nels Cline (of Wilco) and Neil Young
Jay Bennett of Wilco and Neil Young
Jay Farrar and Neil Young
Les Paul and Neil Young
Richard Thompson and Neil Young
Bert Jansch and Neil Young
Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) and Neil Young
Beck and Neil Young
Rick James and Neil Young
Kathleen Edwards and Neil Young
Brian Wilson and Neil Young
Merle Haggard and Neil Young
Bob Mould (Husker Du) and Neil Young
The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson and Neil Young
Norah Jones and Neil Young
Jakob Dylan and Neil Young
Gov't Mule and Neil Young
Ron Sexsmith and Neil Young
Devo and Neil Young
Jewel and Neil Young
Nirvana and Neil Young
Paul Simon and Neil Young
Randy Bachman and Neil Young
Matthew Sweet and Neil Young
Jonathan Richman and Neil Young
The Cowboy Junkies and Neil Young
The Everly Brothers and Neil Young
My Morning Jacket and Neil Young
Nicolette Larson and Neil Young
Elvis Costello and Neil Young
Merry Clayton and Neil Young
Chris Cornell and Neil Young
Bettye LaVette and Neil Young

and on & on & on

Six degrees (or less) of separation from Neil Young !

At 1/18/2022 03:22:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Tracy Chapman and
Rob Wasserman and

At 1/19/2022 05:57:00 PM, Blogger Setz said...

Wow and Wow again! You never know what at silly inquiry can spark in these parts. Like a new llama...peace

At 1/19/2022 08:39:00 PM, Blogger Setz said...

The benefits, festivals, awards ceremonies and more is impressive, and way more than I had in mind. I was referring more towards how many Neil has actually toured with on the road. Might have to spend some time with Sugar Mountain and add it up.

At 3/18/2023 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I was there too. And imagine this..I go to the beer garden to order a pint of amazing Pacific Northwest microbrew beer. I'm waiting on line to order and suddenly Neil Young appears with an acoustic guitar. He motions to the small crowd under the obscure beer garden tent "shhh!" In other words, don't announce to the whole f*ckin' concert that I'm over here and about to play an unscheduled micro set! Then, he proceeds to play 1 or 2 or 3 acoustic unplugged songs under the beer tent, to at first 20 people, and then 40 people, and then 140 people, and then I lost the entire concert seemingly rushed the small beer tent! haha. It was a very cool experience, and I felt very lucky to have been there! Of course, Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, Booker T and the MGs with Neil Young were incredible too that day! It was one of the greatest concerts I've ever attended for sure! A great memory that will live with me forever!


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