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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Ghost of David Briggs and Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse's “Love Earth Tour”

Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse
Bristow, Virginia - May 11, 2024 
photo by thrashette
(Click photo to enlarge)


The "Ghost of David Briggs" has hovered about the 1st Leg of Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse's “Love Earth Tour”.

Neil Young and Producer David Briggs, 1995
Photo by Pegi Young
(Click photo to enlarge)


Nearly every song played on the tour was produced by  David Briggs as we discussed in our post WRAPUP: Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse's Love Earth Concert Tour Leg #1 - Statistics, Links + More.  Thus far, the “Love Earth Tour” has drawn relatively deeply from the Briggs produced albums Ragged Glory (6 songs), Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (4), Zuma (4) and Rust Never Sleeps (3).

As noted in the recent Rolling Stone article by Andy Greene, the Love Earth Concert Tour "may seem like a greatest hits set, but is actually a homage to the mastermind behind the band's best work, producer David Briggs." A careful analysis of the Crazy Horse set songs (excluding the solo set) shows all songs produced by David Briggs except "I'm The Ocean".

"How Survivals, Grief and Legacies Unfold in American Music"
by Caryn Rose @ 2019 Pop Conference at MoPop - Seattle

The late David Briggs was Neil Young's producer on several key albums including Tonight's The Night, Zuma and Ragged Glory. Briggs' influence on the recording process has been lauded as a major contributing factor to Neil Young's recording success bringing a unique "discipline" to the process.

Year of the Horse
Neil Young & Crazy Horse 

The "concept" for the 1996 tour and film soundtrack "The Year of the Horse"  came from longtime Neil Young and Crazy Horse producer David Briggs:

"Probably more the fifth member of Crazy Horse than anybody could ever be," says Frank "Poncho" Sampedro. Shortly before his death in November of 1995, Briggs was looking ahead to the coming year and told Young, "This is the Year of the Horse ." According to Young, Briggs also told him: "All you have to do now is get closer to the source. Keep getting purer and purer."

(source: official Crazy Horse Reprise Records Biography, May, 1997. PR for Year of The Horse, directed by Jim Jarmusch.)

Be great or be gone.” 

~~ Neil Young quoting Briggs, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream 

Neil Young Albums Produced by David Briggs (Thanks Tom!)

1968 - Neil Young
1969 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
1970 - After the Gold Rush
1974 - On the Beach
1975 - Tonight's the Night
1975 - Zuma
1977 - American Stars 'N Bars
1978 - Comes a Time
1979 - Rust Never Sleeps
1979 - Live Rust
1981 - Re-ac-tor
1982 - Trans
1985 - Old Ways
1987 - Life
1990 - Ragged Glory
1991 - Weld
1993 - Unplugged
1994 - Sleeps with Angels 

Artist James Mazzeo, longtime Neil Young collaborator said of David Briggs:

David Briggs had the capacity to make you feel like an integral part of the whole picture no more or no less than any other part of that picture (or song or Album) than even Neil himself.....Neil (and myself) respected David on the highest of levels when we all were working alongside his illuminations.....David was a brilliant light for all of us to work in.....he could take from us our self doubts and shadows and devour them gone....he was like a black light and the best of us came forth and glowed in his presence ....i miss David and i send 'Thank you's' to his spirit with every new piece i create.

 Also, see:

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At 6/11/2024 12:17:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

I forgot that Briggs was on board for Trans and Old Ways. He is surely missed; Elliot too.

At 6/11/2024 03:42:00 PM, Blogger tomatron said...

In addition to all those legendary Briggs records we can add so many of the archival albums from the last couple of decades, some of which were considered for release at the time: Massey Hall, Hitchhiker, Roxy, Odeon Budokan, and Rust Bucket, along with his significant contributions to Songs For Judy, Dume, and Chrome Dreams, some amazing sounding work! Although I don’t know that Briggs’s ghost along for the ride on the Love Earth Tour would have supported postponing and rescheduling Texas twice and then leaving it all up in the air for weeks, with still no word at this time of writing. (Kidding! Mostly.)

At 6/11/2024 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I got a feeling there's quite a bit that Neil has done in the last five years or so that would have Mr Briggs a little confused. The least of which is wondering whatever happened to that wooden Indian that used to be part of the band.

At 6/11/2024 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/11/2024 09:28:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Heck, if someone who died five years ago (as opposed to 30 years) somehow came back to life, there’s probably a lot they wouldn’t recognize in the world today. Earth changes. People change. Times change. It’d be a little concerning if anyone were exactly the same bow as they were in 1995.

“The world's spinning madly, it drifts in the dark
Swings through a hollow of haze
A race around the stars
A journey through the universe ablaze
With changes”

-Phil Ochs, “Changes”.

At 6/11/2024 09:28:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

*now, not bow.

At 6/12/2024 02:30:00 AM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Was there a difference between the 1965 David Briggs and the 1995 version? Ehhh, probably not much.

And let's always remember, just because things change, they don't always change for the better. Folks that stick to the core values that shape them are pretty impressive to me.

At 6/12/2024 04:37:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/12/2024 09:03:00 AM, Blogger wardo said...

Re: the wooden Indian -- Woody is still backstage. Neil said something to the effect that he'll be back onstage when "they get their land back."

At 6/12/2024 06:00:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

Keep learning, keep growing—these are core values for me. Change is constant (paradox). That’s a major source of anxiety, since changes can bring both benefits and drawbacks. I think the most important question is how one applies those core principles to new situations or knowledge—in other words, the choices we make.

A well-founded, morally sound principle doesn’t on rely on circumstances being the same as they always were. Endurance requires flexibility. Simply put, new data sometimes leads to a revised opinion or a fresh hypothesis.
Abner may be able and to help here with proper philosophy. I’m stuck on art metaphors.

Principles are like colors: the exact same paint, straight from the bottle, can look a little different on paper depending on the hues you put it next to or mix with. Ambient light also has an effect. On top of that, everyone’s eyes are unique. Yet color is basically a way of perceiving light, and we’re all using the same light to see.

Sir Isaac Newton’s experiments with clear prisms, “breaking” light into wavelengths producing the appearance of different hues, shows diversity in the universal and the universal in diversity. Both appear to be the same “substance” observed from different vantage points.

At 6/13/2024 09:10:00 AM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Meta : Excellent analogy my friend. Change is the only real constant in life, yet it is the one thing we humans resist the most. I am nothing like the person I was twenty years ago. To quote Frank Zappa; “without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible”. We are all works in progress and there is never a finished product until we die. After that…. who knows, but those who resist growth cease to move forward, and stagnate. There will always be the opportunity to become a better version of ourselves, but it isn’t always easy or pleasant. But the difficult challenges tend to reap the most benefits, as long as one is willing to do the work.

Peace 🙏

At 6/13/2024 10:37:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Woody is gone out of sight for the same reason the Horse got a new name. Neil is being aware & avoiding criticism with these changes. It makes a lot of sense to me. Neil respects the Natives and does not want to appear to disrespect them. He is awake and paying attention

Your Brother Alan in Seattle

At 6/13/2024 12:03:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

There is no logical or empirical inconsistency in these two propositions:

Change is a constant
some value is universal (such as generosity)

Value, the universal, adjusts according to context and the intelligent agency of a person. The value of "human liberty" has, of course, changed internally as we make "moral progress."

What MR says about growing and learning are a necessary condition for the possibility of moral improvement. Some people hold on to "tradition" in the face of radically changed circumstance. Just think of sexual ethics. This is the slip into dogmatism.

At 6/13/2024 03:37:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

I would add that from dogmatism, it may be easy to drift toward authoritarianism. Or at least to start implementing ideological purity tests, etc. At that point, we’re in the territory of the “thought police”.

On balance I think impermanence, the principle that “all things must pass”, can be both the struggle and the beauty of life on earth. In my own life, I sometimes find a certain amount of messy change more tolerable than deep stagnation. Both can be stressful; sometimes one or the other is more dominant.

“For everything there is a season.”

“Daylight is good at arriving at the right time.”

At 6/17/2024 03:11:00 PM, Blogger ethanwinograd said...

David Briggs also produced Spirit's 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus which sits with Tonights the Night in my all time Top 5. I was so pleased when I found that out.


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