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Neil Young and “Crazy Horse”

Neil Young journeys through a shaky career in the movies

Bernard ShakeyAdrian Mack at the Georgia Straight writes about the Bernard Shakey Film Festival currently touring the country.

The latest showing was held July 31, Aug 1 – 4, 6 and 10, at the Cinematheque, a 194-seat theatre in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown.

Mack writes: “Musically speaking, we love it when the chaos of this singular singer-songwriter’s imagination coheres into something inexplicably moving—think of the bizarre imagery that gives ‘Powderfinger’ its unlikely force, or the silver spaceships of  ‘After the Goldrush’—but we’re less forgiving when he applies the strategy to the seventh art.

“This movie was made up on the spot by punks, potheads, and former alcoholics,” is how Young described Human Highway, an improvised home movie self-financed over four years to the tune of three million bucks, and then released in 1983 to the same howls of derision that seemed to greet everything the musician did in the ‘80s.

Viewed now in its director’s cut, Human Highway is far more entertaining than its critics allowed, Mack said.

As for Young himself, Mack calls his uninhibited performance as uber-nerdy car mechanic Lionel a “true marvel.” What millionaire rock star has ever elected to make himself look this goofy? “Jerry Lewis movies, Japanese horror movies, The Wizard of Oz—it’s all in there,” was Young’s appraisal of this brazen and unapologetic mess; a vanity project perversely free of anything remotely vain.

According to the article:

Bernard Shakey’s first ever celluloid credit appeared nine years earlier with the infamous Journey Through the Past (1974). Young made the film as Harvest was turning him into the world’s shorthand for sensitive rustic hippie. Along with the album of the same name, it helped transform Shakey’s reputation as something quite different, raising its auteur’s gambit of not giving a shit to dizzying heights. Journey Through the Past obliterated everybody’s expectations, but if the subsequent panning of the album was understandable, the film deserved better.

If we see Shakey now as a man with a steadfast loyalty to his own muse, and a sincere indifference to your opinion, this movie clued us in 40 years ago. Its value as cinema, meanwhile, is best summed up by long-time collaborator Larry “LA” Johnson, who praised Young’s primitivism. “He will try stuff people more knowledgeable than him would never think of trying,” he said. “He’s the naïve explorer.”

The explorations of Muddy Track (1987) might provide this retrospective with its towering moment of dreadful inspiration. Young was in Europe with Crazy Horse when his entire world went into free fall, and his diary of that disastrous 1987 tour, captured with a video camera named Otto, is unmissable. “What I’m looking for is anything bad,” he tells a small crew at the beginning. “If people get uptight while you’re filming, don’t stop… Anything that happens that’s going wrong, I want it.”

Cue endless sheets of freezing European rain, riots, numerous cancelled shows, bad shows, worse shows, band fights, more band fights, painfully bad interviews, and the pitiful sight (and sound) of Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina trying to wrestle with synth-drums. Muddy Track is a terminal document from what should have been the end of Neil Young’s career. “It was a tour with a bunch of people that hated each other, hated what they were doing, and it showed,” said producer David Briggs.

Significantly, the gonzo humour is also still intact. In fact, Young is straight-up nuts in Solo Trans. “I got way into that guy,” he said, of the greaser Shocking Pinks persona he adopted at the time. “I was that guy for months. He was out there. It was a movie to me. Nobody saw it but me, but who gives a shit?”

“Nobody saw it but me, but who gives a shit?” What a great title for this must-see weekend of films.

Also Included: Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Neil Young Truck Show (2009, directed by Jonathan Demme), and Dead Man (1995, directed by Jim Jarmusch).

Read more at http://www.straight.com/movies/499606/neil-young-journeys-through-shaky-career-movies

 

 

Uncut interview with Poncho

British Summer Time 2014 - July 12thThe end of the year issue of Uncut contains Michael Bonner’s long-version interview with Frank “Poncho” Sampedro.

Bonner writes: “I thought it might be nice to share the full transcript – it’s over 6,000 words long, and covers a lot of ground. We started off talking about the current state of Billy Talbot’s health, the Crazy Horse bassist who’d suffered a minor stroke earlier in the year. For the record, our interview took place on November 3, 2014; a few days before the death of bassist Rick Rosas, who’d deputised for Talbot during the band’s 2014 tour dates.”

Poncho’s favorite memory of Neil from this year?
“That’s hard to think of right at this moment. I could tell you a couple from the year before if I had time to think about it. When we played the Bridge School the last time, we were doing the encore where everybody comes out and sings, we were playing “Rockin’ In The Free World” all acoustic. For some reason, Neil took off his guitar and gave it to Lukas Nelson. He was having a great time playing it. And Neil was trying to give us hand signals of where to go and I was just laughing, “What the hell is going on?” But anyway, months and months after that, we were on the road, we were just getting ready and I said to Neil, “I have a question, it’s really been bothering me, I want to ask you.” He said, “Go ahead.” I said, “Why did you give Lukas your guitar? Did he ask for it, or something?” Neil said, “No, we were just up there playing and singing and he was playing air guitar and I kept looking at him, I thought, ‘Wow, he needs a guitar.’ So I just gave him mine.” I think that’s really cool. It was just like this thing that happened. That was a great moment with Neil. On this last tour, when he started giving away the t-shirts, ‘Protect The Earth’ and everything, he was just so overly sincere about the whole thing. It did bring a good feeling to me. And at the same time, it stresses me out because I just don’t know how to reach everybody and hw to make a change in this world. It’s really frustrating.”
Thanks to Tom Hambleton for bringing this to our attention

 

ECHOOOOO Neil – another Euro tour date

Better a little late with this news than never.

Neil Young adds Liverpool to his growing list of tour dates in Europe this summer.

Echo ArenaYoung and his band Crazy Horse will play Echo Arena in Liverpool on Sunday, July 13.

Fans were left disappointed last year after they cancelled their UK tour, including their Liverpool ECHO arena date, writes the Liverpool Echo.

They had been due to launch the opening night of the Liverpool International Music Festival.

They took the decision after Crazy Horse guitarist Frank ‘Poncho’ Sampedro broke his hand.

The Canadian singer songwriter played the city’s Empire theatre in 1973 as part of his Tonight’s the Night tour with The Santa Monica Flyers.

Echo Arena seats 10,000.

new EURO TOUR Date: NY & CH – Colmar

Alchemy Tour logo

Alchemy

Alchemy European Tour 2014

NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE

Friday, 8 August 2014.

http://www.foire-colmar.com/fr/vendredi-8-aout-2014/

COLMAR ALSACE LORRAINE FRANCE

57,50€ + frais de loc.
Ouverture billetterie: 19/02-10h00
Infos & Réservations +33 (0)3 90 50 50 50

updated Iceland: tourdate Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Alchemy Tour logo

Alchemy

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

07 Jul 2014 , Laugardalshöllin, Iceland

Tickets On Sale 10am Monday 10th February; 95 and 115 Euro

Neil Young & Crazy Horse to play Iceland on July 7th

05 Feb 2014 13:30

It is a great honour for ATP to announce that Neil Young & Crazy Horse will perform their first ever show in Iceland on July 7th 2014. The show will take place at Laugardalshöllin in Reykjavík on the Monday before ATP Iceland, which will be held from July 10th – 12th.

:: Read More: www.atpfestival.com/events/neilyoung.php

:: trailer

 

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Random Quote

There\\\'s no real way to describe this show. I mean, there are cardboard cutouts of cars up there. At points, it looks like you\\\'re watching a high school play. It\\\'s worth seeing just for the spectacle of it all.
by Jimmy McDonough, St Louis Post-Dispatch, 6 Aug 03.

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