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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

INTERVIEW: Micah Nelson on Joining Neil Young and Crazy Horse: ‘I’ve Been Rehearsing for This My Whole Life’ | Rolling Stone

Particle Kid (aka Micah Nelson)
photo by thrasher 
  (Click photo to enlarge)

A major interview with Micah Nelson on Neil Young's upcoming  “Love Earth Tour”: w/ Crazy Horse where the guitarist, "who cut his teeth on the road with dad Willie, breaks down his journey from loving the band as a kid to actually joining the band.

From Micah Nelson on Joining Neil Young and Crazy Horse: ‘I’ve Been Rehearsing for This My Whole Life’  | Rolling Stone by Andy Greene:


Rolling Stone: Tell me what Neil Young’s music meant to you as a kid.

Micah Nelson: Neil was always just kind of this being, this overarching energy in my life, and that music is always there. 

But it would kind of come and go in cycles. I would sort of venture off into these other worlds, and then he would come back into my life in these moments that always were so prescient, so synchronized, and exactly what I needed at that moment to remind me about rock & roll, and rawness and just honesty and songwriting and how that transcends everything else in production or sonics…All that shit.

There’s just something so primal and primitive about Neil, especially when he is with Crazy Horse. I saw them at Golden Gate Park at the Outside Lands Festival in 2012, it was a full circle moment and just sort of a slap in the face. It reminded me what I felt like I’d gotten too far from. 

Neil Young & Micah Nelson
Song of the Day - 5/29/18: MONSANTO YEARS


Rolling Stone: When did you learn you were playing Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Tonight’s the Night straight through? [see Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse @ Roxy Night Club, Los Angeles, CA - September 2023]

Micah Nelson: About a week before. 

He said, “Oh, hey, we got Nils back.” So I had already kind of started learning all Nils parts on guitar and I was like, “Okay, this is what I’m going to be doing.” And then, “Oh, great, we got Nils. Okay, cool. He can play all his original stuff.” And Neil says, “Listen to the Ben Keith stuff.”

I don’t know how to play the pedal steel. I had never played the lap steel. So I’m like, “Okay, shit, I can probably fake this on my Telecaster with some delay and a volume pedal.”

So I started learning how to kind of fake the parts and get the spirit of the parts down. And then once we got there, Bill Asher was tech’ing at the time and he said, “Hey, I’ve got this lap steel that I made. It’s got palm benders on it, so it sounds more like a pedal steel. You can make it bend to the fifth or the fourth or whatever.” I was like, “Yeah, I’ll try it out.” And that was two days before the show.

I basically spent the next 48 hours learning Ben Keith’s parts on the lap steel with the palm benders and doing the best I can. And thankfully this is Tonight’s the Night where the guys making this record were fucked up out of their head. This is drunk Ben Keith. And so I was like, “Okay, I can fake this.”

But I also ended up falling in love with that instrument, and it was so much fun. And this is the story of me and Neil. He pushes me all the time to be better. 

And those types of experiences where you’re under pressure of making the music as good as it can be, I think have made me a better musician and a better person.

Full interview @ Micah Nelson on Joining Neil Young and Crazy Horse: ‘I’ve Been Rehearsing for This My Whole Life’  | Rolling Stone by Andy Greene.

 Also, see INTERVIEW: Micah Nelson -- Channeling Neil Young's band Crazy Horse | Guitar World.

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At 3/20/2024 06:25:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

This is an excellent interview with a truly gifted musician. He has all the necessary qualities to be involved with Crazy Horse, and I thought that almost instantly when I saw him play with Neil for the first time. This was on the Noise & Flowers BluRay, and I was completely mesmerized by his musical approach, as well as his creative choices he utilized not only on the guitar, but on the keyboard as well. As he said in this interview, the chaos and uncertainty are essential for rock and roll, and required to take off musically. I wish I could attend even one performance of this upcoming tour, just to be able to experience the magic that will be oozing out of these guys. Hopefully Neil will at least record the shows, if not film them.

Fingers crossed.

Peace 🙏

At 3/21/2024 02:56:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

The Particle Kid has been around quite a bit himself. He may be younger than the other band members, but none of those has ever played with a Tuareg Desert Blues Rock band. In 2019 Micah Nelson did just that with Tinariwen:

At 3/21/2024 08:13:00 PM, Blogger GDTRFB71 said...

Particle Kid is touring California right now, going to see him in Ojai this Saturday, for $15

At 3/21/2024 08:16:00 PM, Blogger GDTRFB71 said...

West Coast tour, playing OR & Seattle too

At 3/21/2024 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Thanks for the info, I see that he's playin 2 shows in Santa Cruz next week. I'll check out one for sure.

At 3/21/2024 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Thanks for the heads up GTRFB7, I will hit that show! Great video of him with Willie doing a song called “Die When I’m High” :

I had been not seeing too many shows I wanted to attend this Spring and Summer, especially at a low price!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/21/2024 10:10:00 PM, Blogger GDTRFB71 said...

I added that comment just for you

At 3/21/2024 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

@GDTRFB7 : I appreciate it! Thanks! I work pretty close to that venue, got some buddies that want to go to the show also. I have seen Lukas Nelson with Promise of the Real, and they are great. As with Lukas, Micah also has his Dad’s great voice. I had never even heard of that club before, and I easily could have missed this show.

I like your “handle” …. I saw the Grateful Dead play that song so many times. And what a great song it is! Written in 1927, covered by many, including Woody Guthrie! Right on. “On a good night, there was nothing like the Grateful Dead.” Especially if that good night involved psychedelics!

Talking about the Grateful Dead makes me think of Dan, who has a very high opinion of that band. Dan could use a Neil Young / Horse show all right. Next leg hopefully will include Boise as well as Europe!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/22/2024 02:58:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

For those unfamiliar with the acronym GDTRFB,the song : “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” as covered by the Grateful Dead.

At 3/22/2024 07:41:00 PM, Blogger GDTRFB71 said...

I like this version;

how'd you like that boys?

At 3/22/2024 09:27:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I'm unable to click on that link, when is it from? I may have heard it already. I got a GDTRFB at my first show in 1990, but not too many more in the around 50 shows I saw after that. It was kind of rare in the late years.

At 3/22/2024 09:31:00 PM, Blogger GDTRFB71 said...

I am not sure which season or which episode but it's from the Andy Griffith show, it's a 45 second clip

At 3/22/2024 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Classic! Here’s an older version by Woody Guthrie :

And a cool Grateful Dead video made with a live recording :

At 3/23/2024 12:00:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Got my Particle Kid tickets. Righteous! April will be a good month for seeing Micah Nelson!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/25/2024 12:52:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/30/2024 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Check out this cool live Particle Kid Album from 2020. I appreciate his Art. He is the real deal, a very creative artist No wonder Neil wants him in the band. He wails! Micah is very good, very talented, like his brother Lukas & Promise of the Real. I look forwardd to seeing him play live on tour before he rejoins the Horse! Thanks again GDTRFB7 for the heads up! I could have missed that.

Your brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/30/2024 11:07:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Micah Nelson / Particle Kid band are very good! He is a creative and talented songwriter & performer. He does have a command of his instruments & puts on a great show. I look forward to seeing Particle Kid soon! Check out this live album:

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 3/30/2024 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Micah Nelson is a talented player and performer. What a unique and creative Artist he is! Check out this live show recording:

Your Brother Alan in Seattle


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