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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Comment of the Moment: Winterland Stories & "Greensleeves"

Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA - 1985
photo by Chris Horn 
(Click photo to enlarge)

Here is a  Comment of the Moment on a TW posting from 2008 on Winterland Stories.
The legendary Winterland Arena in San Francisco, CA  played host to hundreds of concerts over the years including the famous "Last Waltz" concert of Bob Dylan and The Band's final performance.

From comment by Eric S.: 

Been a while since I've been to this great site. Glad to see it's still here! 

I've read pretty much everything on Thrasher's Winterland pages over the years, and have a comment of my own earlier in this Guest Book. But one thing I didn't see anywhere (and it could be I missed it...getting older:) ), was a mention of Greensleeves playing over the house system at the end of each concert when the lights came up, when you knew there wouldn't be anymore encores, and whatever you had imbibed/ingested/smoked was starting to wear off. That great orchestral version of Greensleeves, always a little scratchy, always somehow calming you down. 

You'd shuffle your way outta there, through the trash on that dirty old floor, moving along with the other happy blasted zombies, and out into the night air....usually in the wee hours.

To this day whenever I hear Greensleeves (or even What Child Is This around the holidays), I'm taken right back to all those nights at Winterland. Fun, mind-altering, exhilarating nights with my friends, good times, good smoke, and the best music of all time. 

Cheers to all you old fellow Winterland folk! 

Take care now.

Thanks for the memories here Eric!

As background, in the spring of 1985, Chris Horn took some photographs of Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA, being torn down. The photos were stored for many years and a project developed toward donating copies to the SF Museum and Historical Society.

In addition to the photos, Chris gathered stories from people who attended performances while Bill Graham put on rock shows at the venue (1966 - 1978).

Presented for your enjoyment - photos, stories, links and a complete list of performers during the Bill Graham years.

Check out Winterland Stories

"Winterland Stories" author and Rustie Chris Horn was interviewed by the local San Francisco TV station KGO-TV CH7/ABC on the 30th Anniversary of the "Closing of Winterland" 12/31/78.

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At 6/18/2024 10:09:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

blast from the past.

kind of a trip that we still get comments on posts running on decades old.

whenever these comments float across, we're always doing the deja vu.

our fond memories of Chris H @ Bridge. Those SF days & nights.

so as we've said before, we do read every TW comment. While we may not comment, please know that everyone's opinions are valued.

freedom of speech ... use it or lose it.

At 6/18/2024 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Scott Bunn said...

I didn't know "Greensleeves" was played at Winterland! I wrote a piece on Neil and Leonard Cohen covering "Greensleeves" within months of each other in 1974:

At 6/18/2024 02:33:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks for this excellent Greensleeves analysis Scott! Who knew? Never knew Greensleeves was so traditional going back 1580?!

This is an excellent song history tying in two of Canada's favorite sons: Neil &
Leonard. Recommended highly.

Well, Neil's still here and still concluding w/ the Bill Graham tradition of Greensleeves as walk out music post-concert. So there's that to be very grateful for.

At 6/18/2024 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Excellent article about Greensleeves in link above. Thanks Scott!

What greater natural power is there “on Earth” than the tides? I imagine Neil writing these lines in 1995 and thinking “As the moon pulls on me, I am affected like the ocean. Heck, I Am The Ocean!”

The moon pulls on “me” so strongly, like the emotions I feel.

I feel I finally understand the song title and finale better.

Dear Neil. Please play I’m The Ocean at Boise!

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 6/18/2024 05:34:00 PM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/19/2024 08:02:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Off topic here….. I just picked up a mint copy of Old Ways on vinyl, and it has been a very long time since I’ve listened to this album (I do own it on CD), but I really enjoyed it. It has aged beautifully. If you haven’t listened to it for awhile, check it out and let us know what you think.

Peace 🙏

At 6/20/2024 02:20:00 AM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Dan, I've always been a fan of Old Ways. Actually, except for Life, I think it's the best of the Geffen albums. Definitely got that over-produced glossy 80's sound, but there's some good tunes to be found. I know I'm in the minority, but I even like Neil's take on The Wayward Wind.

I will say, though, that the only Geffen album I listen to with any regularity is Life.

At 6/20/2024 07:43:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Richie Cruz : I agree with you on Life, it’s a fantastic record. It certainly has that eighties production, but it really fits those songs perfectly. I recall Neil saying at the time that this record would be appreciated more in the future than how it was originally received. I definitely think it stands up as one of several high points during the Geffen years.

Peace 🙏

At 6/20/2024 09:21:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I love Old Ways, especially Misfits. It is one of my theme songs.

At 6/21/2024 04:09:00 AM, Blogger Greying Rider said...

Does anyone have any news about Neil and the band? Last two dates of the first leg "postponed due to illness" and I've not seen an update since. No new Letters to the Editor posted since then either.....

At 6/21/2024 07:54:00 AM, Blogger Ron said...

Really enjoyed reading Scott's article on Greensleeves and Neil and Leonard. Like probably most of us I have been aware of Greensleeves from a young age, but never really paid much attention to the lyrics. I certainly hadn't clocked that 'heart of gold' was mentioned in them! Also appreciated Scott's thoughts on the links to other Neil songs and lyrics from the same time - well worth reading.

I have also been reading with interest the posts from Victoria Cavaleri in the Artists section of Times Contrarian on NYA. She offers a very personal take on many of Neil's songs and lyrics which I have found fascinating. e.g Cinammon Girl and The Old Laughing Lady. Her art is pretty cool too.

@Greying Rider - I have noticed that too - hope all is well.

At 6/22/2024 12:28:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Misfits is in a class of its own. The released Old Ways album (or what NY calls Old Ways 2) sounds a bit fragmented and sketchy to me. Flickers of what could have been? I’ll be interested to hear what NYA vol 3 has to tell us about Old Ways 1. My main reservation on Neil’s “back to the country” phase is that the generic trappings are laid rather thick at times (like too muchBearnaise sauce). Granted my knowledge of country and western is not encyclopedic, but some of the songs sound like bordering on pastiche. From a writer’s POV, I understand the appeal of working with a particular genre. I also like to think I’m pretty eclectic, but not all idioms will work equally for all audiences. We all carry expectations and prejudices into the listening experience.

Mind you, cannot fault the musicianship most evident on the live International Harvesters record. Southern Pacific, Back to the Country with Rufus Thibideaux tearing it up on fiddle is one for the ages. Could (and have) listened to Grey Riders on repeat ad infinitum—that’s a good example of Neil blending his own instincts with the genre. Then again, you have Nothing is Perfect, which sounds like you accidentally changed over to watching reruns of Hee Haw.

The best parts of the Harvesters almost make me wish Neil had gone in more of a bluegrass direction. I’m thinking of tracks like Southern Pacific, Grey Riders. The Old Homestead from Hawkes & Doves would be a great fit, too. The whole first side of that album (Doves) has a creaky, William Faulkner-ish “American gothic” mood going on—aside from the three pterodactyls, which add a Kurt Vonnegut-like dash of science fantasy. “…. So it goes.”

Hope the Horse is soon back to full health.


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