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Monday, March 06, 2023

Comments of the Moment: Neil Young Bootleg "Ducks 1977" | NYA

(Click photo to enlarge)

An interesting discussion in the our rustie grain communities rising from the recent Bootleg Single "Little Wing" on Neil Young Archives from Ducks 1977 -- part of the Official Bootlegs Series.

Essentially, the question is whether Ducks 1977 is technically a bootleg release?

Here are the Comments of the Moment on  Bootleg Singles: Neil Young Archives - Ducks 1977 & Rainbow 1973:

Blogger Dionys said...

While this might be a tad too academic for the casual fan, the only way to have "heard it like in the old days" would mean you were at the Ducks' concerts. The venerable editors of the German fansite "Rusted Moon" are pointing out, that "High Flyin'" is a compilation of tracks taken from five different Ducks' concerts. While "Bottom Line" and all other OBS releases do have some original bootleg ancestry "Rusted Moon" claim that a bootleg called "High Flyin'" never was published before and therefore they it should be considered to be an original release. I am sure there are knowledgeable archivists who can sort this out. Is Neil Young re-writing release history by publishing a pastiche or was there a genuine "Ducks" bootleg titled "High Flyin'"? And where did the artwork come from?

Addendum: Some sources claim that "High Flyin'"contains studio material also, recorded at Magical Devices Studio.

3/05/2023 05:10:00 AM

Blogger Ron said...

There is an Infocard for the High Flyin' album on the Timeline on NYA and you can see the credits on it.

It says it was recorded July 29th to august 23rd 1977 and lists several venues that the songs/performances were recorded at including Magical Devices.

There are also credits for the artwork/photos.

The track list includes Gone Dead Train which I presume is the old Crazy Horse song - looking forward to hearing that one again!

3/05/2023 08:37:00 AM

Blogger Dionys said...

Ron, thank you for this obvious information. Sometimes one gets lost in the digital world instead of going straight to the original source. Apparently Jim Phillips is a well known poster artist who did work for Moby Grape and also created the poster that was used as artwork for "High Flyin'". However, the original question was, whether there ever was a Ducks bootleg titled "High Flyin'".

3/05/2023 10:25:00 AM

Blogger Ron said...

I thought it was worth posting about the album infocard because when the bootleg singles were first available it wasn't accessible, but yesterday I noticed it was. I had been looking as I was keen to see the full track listings for both albums.

And sorry but I don't know if High Flyin was a ever a released bootleg at the time. I am no expert on bootlegs but the few I am familiar with were all recordings of a single performance so perhaps not. But then as you say where did the artwork come from especially as based on who did it it seems to be of that era?

I guess someone will know and and all will become clear in time. In the meantime I am enjoying listening to both the singles. Little Wing is perhaps the more interesting to me given its uniqueness and sound quality, but I am also enjoying the more straight forward performance of Human Highway. Looking forward to listening to both albums in full.

3/06/2023 04:59:00 AM

Blogger Phil said...

Personally, I haven't found any trace of an identical bootleg to High Flyin'!
With excerpts from various concerts and studio tracks recorded, it would make more sense for this album to be either in the "Performances" series or in the 'Special releases'¨ series... Maybe Neil Young not being able to choose between the two decided to put it in the bootlegs series ! Again, it's neilyoungian logic. 

Besides, it's bootleg number 2 of the 6 series... But why??? However, I am delighted with this release.

On the other hand, for the "Rainbow", I don't really understand the interest to release a concert with a bootleg sound when we already have a similar concert with the Roxy.

I understand the approach for unique concerts like the Bottom Line in 1974 but here, I only see the interest for superfans (of which I am one). Commercially, it's not very understandable to have both professional and amateur recordings in the OBS series...

Thanks for the comments folks!  Never a tad too academic for the our rustie grains "superfans" communities. 

So, in summary, as Phil observes: typical "neilyoungian logic" prevails.



More on Bootleg Singles: Neil Young Archives - Ducks 1977 & Rainbow 1973.

Neil Young - August 1977 
Catalyst Club, Santa Cruz, CA 

More on The Story of Neil Young’s Short-lived Santa Cruz Band The Ducks | Good Times.  Also, see Duck Tales by Patrick Mead posted to on 06 Jan 1996.

More on  Neil Young's Official Bootleg Series.

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At 3/06/2023 12:04:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

So "High Flyin'" is in a new category within the novel category of "official bootlegs". It might be called a "Highper Boot", which is a might-have-been-boot that needed to be invented to fill a gap because there never was one. Now that's what I call real post-post-modernism. I would like to move the resolution that there should be made a best of compilation of official bootleg tracks ... oops, - hold it! - there already is a playlist on NYA that could be used for starters...

And poor pitiful me thought that Dylan's latest Bootleg Series product (Vol.17) containing part of Bootleg Series Vol.8 already "knocked out the barrels bottom" (German figurative speech marking embarassment and admiration).

At 3/06/2023 01:08:00 PM, Blogger zuma11 said...

I don't get the fuss. Who cares what series it falls under. Royce Hall wasn't a real bootleg either. He is releasing 25 professional quality Ducks tracks that have been hidden away 45+ years.

At 3/06/2023 01:14:00 PM, Blogger zuma11 said...

Carnegie Hall wasn't a real bootleg either. The bootleg was from a different show.

At 3/06/2023 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Scientists and collectors share an obsession: order and system. Whole feuds if not outright wars were fought over generations when trying to canonize texts, music, or art. Sherlockians for example can debate endlessly about their canon and whether something should be in it or not. So 25 new professional quality Duck tracks are a reason to celebrate. In waiting for the exciting unheard of stuff quirky people like me (being a scientist and collector) celebrate by musing over the existential question whether Neil Young records should be stored in release order, sectional order (ORS, PS, SRS, OBS, NYA) or in completion order. Increasingly I am leaning to the latter because Neil Chameleon Young as a human being and a musician could not possibly have been Neil Toast Young, Neil Noise & Flowers Young, Neil World Record Young and Harvest Neil Time Young within one year. Hell, I figured out what "I used to be a woman, you know" possibly could mean and 45 years later I went along for the ride when "A Letter Home" was released during a decade long crusade for sound quality.
On the other hand there are these insane people who lend their guitars to "good friends", have their teenage children go through their record collections unattendedly or borrow sleeping bags of unknown origin, really big crimes, you know.

At 3/06/2023 02:34:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ zuma - see Dionys reply and then you'll better understand the "fuss".

seriously tho, we're just having a little fun here w/ typical "neilyoungian logic".


@ Dionys - love that. after all, aren't we all just scientists and collectors?

hypothesizing away and filing it all away for posterity

At 3/06/2023 04:08:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Of course, I don't care if this unexpected (2 years ago who imagined to get a 3 vinyls Ducks recording !!!) High Flyin is an OBS or PS or SRS or anything else ! I'm just happy it is released.
But I find so funny to understand the Neil logic. The new announcement today of a rerelease of Time Fades Away a few months after the CD is another example...

At 3/06/2023 06:18:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

stamp collection? why did that always strike me as paradigmatically annoying? something similar to the "history buff" who dresses up like General Sherman in April (or whenever). I share the fanaticism for Neil Young without any of the chronological or other sorts of obsessions with details or order.

Perhaps it is because Neil is just so much a part of my own history that almost any song connects. I am sure it is the case with all of you.

Chaos will always strike. Although I do love systems!

The Ducks thing is a dream come true, I cannot believe all those songs I have never heard.

At 3/06/2023 06:43:00 PM, Blogger mrtew said...

I was just listening to On The Beach and during the song Motion Pictures the line "The Ducks are Callin'" jumped out at me. He goes on to say, "Well, all those people, they think they got it made, but I wouldn't buy, sell, borrow or trade anything I have to be like one of them... I'd rather start all over again." It felt like a reference to joining a band and just being one of the guys which seems like it led to this record.

At 3/07/2023 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

In order to make a connection like mrtew one needs to know that OTB's "Motion Picture" was created before the Ducks episode happened. So sequencing the stamp collection does make sense to me. Without some order on my book shelves I would be lost completely.
Also hunting and gathering are archaic traits of human nature. Getting hold of some items which are now in my stamp collection on the European continent took me quite some effort that sometimes needed some special justification. Finding a copy of Citizen Kane Jr. Blues in a Boston record store in 1987 is a totally different thing for me than for the Bostonian. But then there is the example of vinyl TFA, which never was that difficult to find in continental Europe but obviously was hard to find overseas.

At 3/07/2023 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

You would find a photo of my office bookshelves to be either funny or horrifying. I know the book I want is there somewhere.

At 3/07/2023 02:50:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

After working for 30 years at a plain kitchen table last week my trusted carpenter installed a custom made office desk at home. Within this last week it was overflowing with stacks of paperwork already. But when it comes to several thousand books, records and CDs I have to comply with my wife's expectations. My office room is part of the living room separated by movable bookshelves running on rails, thus if need be we are able to extend the little space we have. By American standards we are living in close quarters, and space is a key issue. A book, a record or CD I cannot find in a blink of the eye is as if I don't have it at all. Some of my analog data pile is stored away in trunks and chests but I will have to part with those books because they are no longer of use to me if I can't see them from time to time.

At 3/07/2023 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Between the lines: German teachers are subsidizing their employer by working part time in home offices and traditionally maintain their own private libraries if they are teaching language and literature related subjects. Classes are from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm, the remainder of the day I work at home.


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