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Monday, December 05, 2022

Comment of The Moment: Neil Young's 'Harvest Time'

Neil Young in the Barn
photo by Joel Bernstein/courtesy of Gary Strobl
(see  PREVIEW TRAILER: Neil Young: Harvest Time)

The Comment of The Moment is from post Film Review: Neil Young's 'Harvest Time' | Variety by Jim: 

Went Sunday afternoon to "Harvest Time" in North Carolina and the 92 seat theater was also pretty full. I'd guess about 70 people of various ages. 

I thought it was great and was surprised how quickly it went. Was thinking the film was heading to Nashville toward the end but then it didn't go there. 

Sat in the front row so I could think about what was going on. When you sit close to the screen your eyes have to interact with what is going on so at movies it is important to sit close. (Words of wisdom from the film master who warned of entrainment further back in the theater. Robert Altman taught me that trick over breakfast when I was a young lad during a propaganda discussion and his film work for the government on Lookout Mountain in Laural Canyon.)

Did the idea to film start after Johnny Cash show and recording that night with Linda and James? 

Guess this HQ recording of the Johnny Cash show appearance linked below could be considered an outtake of the movie but it also when the birth of the "Harvest" sessions, right? 

Did the Stray Gators first get together on February 6, 1971? The Johnny Cash Show aired on February 17th, 1971 but was recorded ten days earlier on the 7th in Nashville according to Sugar Mountain. 

In the NYA files it says "Old Man" and "Bad Fog of Loneliness" were recorded on the 6th with James/Linda on both, "Dance, Dance, Dance" recorded on the 7th, "Heart of Gold" was recorded on the 8th again with James/Linda. 

Wonder if the band did the basic tracks on the 6th and then vocal overdubs were done by James/Linda on the 8th? 

Recording date: 

Release date and the Neil Young segment: 

Loved all the piano close-ups with Jack and Neil in the movie. Wish they would have interviewed the LSO musicians as they left the session to see what they thought of the song and the rich hippie who played with them. 

While watching the movie was thinking I wish they would have done a concert film, like Red Rocks, for the Grey Riders with Hargus "Pig" Robbins. Anyone who saw that tour knows what I'm talking about. Hargus didn't take the emotional level of songs up just a notch, it was several notches, to the point that Neil hasn't released the good stuff yet he did with him. Having seen the Grey Riders three weeks before the first Farm Aid I was ticked that they cut away from the show for "This Old House." 

What a great version of the song that got kind of ruined by CSNY. 

Whenever I talked with Neil Young one to one he always looked directly unflinchingly into my eyes the whole time while giving thoughtful answers. It was interesting what he said disliking fame in the movie and he could see that weird vibe the way people acted and in their eyes. 

[Full disclosure: I was an employee of weekly Variety from 1979 to 1992 ] 

My roommate produced an Altman film series and had guests each week. This was while I was working evenings at a hospital. I'd wake up and in the kitchen would be director Robert Altman, actor Elliott Gould or screenwriter/director Joan Tewkesbury in the midst of having a fantastic breakfast. I'd brush my teeth, grab some coffee and join in bright and early for me. 

Regrettably I didn't put what I learned from my roommate to work and have a Neil Young Festival. Man, that would have been fun...I would have had both David Briggs (LA and Nashville) one week, Joel Bernstein another, Elliott Roberts, maybe Ben Keith for the musician side, Ron Stone and maybe Elliott Mazer.

 Thanks Jim. Yes, a really delightful Neil experience, made even more special by his absence from the stage for over 3 years now.  I think were all pretty thrilled to see Neil these days even if its from 50 years ago.

So many highlights for us...

  • Neil, Stills & Nash all jamming on separate pianos in the studio
  • The jeep ride thru the Redwoods trees
  • Neil kissing Carrie delicately
  • Elliot telling a poor taste joke 
  • Drummond's pump pipe scene
  • seeing the young L.A. Johnson recording sound

But missed Bruce Berry scene somehow?  Anyone recall where BB shows up?

Well, that's entrainment for you! 

More on PREVIEW TRAILER: Neil Young: Harvest Time.

Neil Young's 'Harvest Time'
 (Click photo to enlarge)


Harvest 50th Anniversary Edition Deluxe LP Box Set
Release Date: 12/02/2022
 (Click photo to enlarge)
Harvest by Neil Young - Released on February 1, 1972

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 12/06/2022 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

We finally got our Harvest 50th yesterday (we went with CD instead of vinyl because of price, just like the 50th After the Gold Rush). The packaging is lovely and the book would definitely be easier to read had we got the vinyl box, and unfortunately the sound on the BBC Concert DVD is noticeably distorted throughout. The CD sounds great, so this has to be a manufacturing defect. I have been reading on an audiophile site that everyone is hearing the same problem. Has anyone else noticed this problem?

Harvest Time was just wonderful. What a trip back in time, and the unreleased music included here are all just completely stunning. Just this film alone makes this a must own release. Neil looks so happy, and there are some real vulnerable moments throughout the film. Hopefully the record company will be willing to replace all the BBC discs with proper audio. This has become a tad too common lately.

Peace 🙏

At 12/06/2022 10:32:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

well, that's a bummer Dan. sorry to hear about the troubles.

yes, saw that as well on the audio on BBC.

quality control ... whether you want it or not.

glad the Harvest film's ok. definitely a trip back in time w/ a "rich hippie".

as chaotic as those times were, it's so nostalgic.

really makes you think about livin'...

At 12/06/2022 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

….agreed…. I definitely felt like I had been transported back to 1971. The whole barn sequence at the beginning was truly remarkable, and you could definitely smell the barn. The scene with Neil playing his banjo lying on his back at home was also incredibly intimate. I almost felt like I was intruding on his privacy, but he obviously was comfortable enough to leave it in. I’m also surprised that the unreleased music included in the film wasn’t added to the bonus CD, as I was genuinely impressed with everything, including the jams where they just stayed on the steady riffs. Very cool indeed.

I sent a letter concerning the distortion on the DVD through NYA, so I’ll share any information I receive.

Peace 🙏

At 12/06/2022 11:55:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

as mentioned on another thread, so many highlights for us...

Neil, Stills & Nash all jamming on separate pianos in the studio
The jeep ride thru the Redwoods trees (smell the Gators!)
Neil kissing Carrie delicately
Elliot telling a poor taste joke
Drummond's pump pipe scene
seeing the young L.A. Johnson recording sound

But we totally missed Bruce Berry scene somehow? We inquired if anyone recalls where BB shows up?

Here's a response bacK from Thomulus:

Bruce berry was in a scene towards the end where neil is playing banjo on a bed with a bunch of people in the room. He’s shown for a moment and doesn’t say anything (unless he says something off screen). I tried to reply to your actual article but google was giving me a runaround

At 12/06/2022 05:00:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

I've also noticed the sound issue on the BBC dvd. I was pleasantly surprised previously when there was a sound issue with the Way Down In The Rust Bucket dvd, having ordered that from the Greedy Hand store they of course had my details and out of the blue a while later a replacement with the correct sound arrived. This time though I bought the Harvest 50th CD set from my local HMV store here in England, and I have a receipt, which if Neil / Reprise chose to go down a similar path of replacing the faulty disc is the only proof I have and would have to submit it to them.

Other than that, what a delight it all is! I tend to overlook Harvest somewhat, but my god he was on fire then wasn't he!!

At 12/06/2022 08:00:00 PM, Blogger rolandthompsongunner said...

Correct on the Bruce Berry spotting. I think it's when Neil is singing Out on the Weekend. If you blinked, you may have missed him.

Saw HT in a mostly full theater on Sunday. I'd say the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. It was a nice group experience.

Agree with Thrashers highlights above and would add:
-Before the piano jam, there's a hilarious vocal section with Nash, Neil and Stills that features a rotisserie chicken (Neil- "you think they're high in there"), Stills busting Neil's chops for the melody of Words sounding like Cinnamon Girl, and a Nash ghost story. All gold.
-Elliot Mazer. I've heard his name a ton over the years and have seen a few pictures. This movie made him 3D and really demonstrated how hip he was at the time. It was nice to see him.

Neil's interview with Gil Gilliam is wonderful as well.

What a wonderful experience overall. Loved hearing the Stray Gators jam.

At 12/07/2022 09:36:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/07/2022 09:46:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/07/2022 10:13:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12/07/2022 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Here’s the response I received from NYA concerning the DVD sound distortion issue.

Hello Dan—

Thanks for reaching out and bringing this to our attention.

I can confirm we are currently investigating this issue and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience,

—The Archives Team

Peace 🙏

P. S. Sorry for the multiple messages, but I just woke up and my brain hasn’t joined me yet.

At 12/07/2022 05:32:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

I finally read the rest of the variety piece after being turned off by the writer's reference to Neil's ongoing "Anthology" series.

He mentions Gil Gilliam as if he'd never seen the kid before, which means he hasn't seen Journey Through The Past.

I really can't stand lazy journalism.

At 12/07/2022 09:07:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Harvest Time has some priceless footage of Stills & Crosby and Stills & Nash joining Neil for harmonies. At least some of these sessions were mentioned to be in New York. Does anyone know when/where exactly these overdubs were tracked? Since they followed the barn sessions, which were the last thing taped according to the file cards, this info would change the known time frame of the recording of Harvest.


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