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SF Examiner: Poncho Interview

Crazy Horse’s Frank “Poncho” Sampedro enjoying the fruits of labor, literally
By: Tom Lanham | 10/17/12 4:01 PM
Special to The SF Examiner

It isn’t exactly a Batman-Commissioner Gordon arrangement. But when Neil Young needs the guys in his old backing band Crazy Horse, they’re there, says guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro. Recent sessions, the first in nine years, were for “Americana,” a reworking of vintage American folk songs. There’s also the new two-disc “Psychedelic Pill,” which they’ll preview at the Bridge School Benefit in Mountain View this weekend. “I love ‘Americana’ because those were the songs my mom sang to me,” Sampedro says of “Clementine” and “Oh Susannah.” “We played our ass off on that stuff, and I looked at Neil and said ,‘Isn’t it cool how we just sound like us no matter what songs we play?’”

So you live in Hawaii now, where you grow exotic fruit?

I grew up in Detroit, and I’ve always had a garden. When I moved to Hawaii, I went to this natural farming class with this guy from Korea named Master Cho. He has this whole other technique of farming that he learned from the Japanese. So I took the classes, where you grow mold and you ferment stuff, and then you spray it back on the plants. So I passed that class. And then one day I get a phone call saying Master Cho was coming to Hawaii to give a master class where you could become an instructor. And they wanted to bring him by my house. So I called Neil — who lives in Hawaii — for support, and he came by and watched it all go down.

Was Master Cho suitably impressed with your skills?

That morning, I didn’t know what to do — should I pull weeds? Clean up the garden? But I said, “Hell, you know what? I’ll do what my mom always did!” I ran to the store, bought some apples and made Master Cho some apple pie. It was still hot by the time he got there. So he invited me into his master class, and now I have a degree to teach natural farming. So mangos, papayas, bananas, pineapple — I’ve grown all of that.

Do you ever just get sick of fruit?

Oh, no! My freezer’s full of it! And in Hawaii, there’s a whole culture of sharing and trading. So I give stuff away, and the next thing I know, some mahi-mahi shows up or some lamb. And nobody’s stressed out, there’s nothing going on there in the entertainment world, and every conversation you have is like, “Did you see that cloud that drifted by yesterday, that big one?”

sfexaminer.com/entertainment/music/2012/10/crazy-horses-frank-poncho-sampedro
__________________
thanks go to Shar

Neil On Fresh Air

Terry Gross has another interview airing today about the book …

David Letterman – Neil Young

Neil-Young_David-Letterman_27-9-2012

click for full rez

Neil at Letterman’s show, Thursday 27 September 2012, explaining his new gadget, the pono digital music player.

“that’s what she said.”

 

 

Appearance on Letterman this Thursday

Thursday, Sep 27

Regis Philbin
Neil Young
Lupe Fiasco

Reminder: Waging Heavy Peace was released Sept 25.

“we got books to sell”

NY Times: Neil Young comes clean

September 19, 2012
Neil Young Comes Clean
By DAVID CARR

Driving down the hill above his ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains, south of San Francisco, Neil Young took a deep whiff of the redwood forest momentarily serving as the canopy for his 1951 Willys Jeepster convertible.

“I can still remember how it smelled when I first pulled in here — I was driving this car,” he said, recalling the trip in 1970 when he bought the place and named it Broken Arrow, after the Buffalo Springfield song.

The author of some of the spookiest, darkest songs in the American folk canon seemed jolly on this late-August day. Even if he was accompanied by a reporter, generally not his favorite species of human, the motion soothed him. “I’ve always been better moving than I am standing still,” he said.
Young, 66, spotted this land out the window of a plane banking out of San Francisco four decades ago and now owns nearly 1,000 acres of it. His song “Old Man” is a tribute to the caretaker who first showed him the place.

“I ran out of money, so I had to sell some of it,” he said. “That’s O.K., because it was too big. Everything happens for a reason.” He kept his eyes on the narrow road through the giant redwoods.

It was hard to reconcile the affable guy motoring along on a sunny day with his past incarnations: the portentous folkie of “Ohio,” the rabid anti-commercialist who gave MTV the musical middle finger with “This Note’s For You,” the angry rocker who threatened to hit the cameramen at Woodstock with his guitar. He was happy partly because he was here.

“For whatever you’re doing, for your creative juices, your geography’s got a hell of a lot to do with it,” he said. “You really have to be in a good place, and then you have to be either on your way there or on your way from there.”

We would spend a few hours creeping along — he drove slowly but joyfully, as if the automobile were a recent invention — on our way there or on our way from there, the ranch where Young lives with his wife, Pegi, and their son, Ben. His longtime producer and friend, David Briggs, who died in 1995, hated making records here, deriding the hermetic refuge as a “velvet cage.”

read all on NY TIMES, Neil Young Comes Clean (has also a nice photo of Neil)

Random Quote

Thank you Pete my friend, for all you have done for us. We sing in your voice about the things that matter, the story of the people and their struggle, with a laugh and a cry.
by -- Neil Young on the Passing of Pete Seeger, 28 Jan 2014

Neil Young on Tour

  • Neil Young on Tour

Sugar Mountain setlists

Tom Hambleton provides BNB with setlists, thankfully. His website is the most comprehensive searchable archives on the Internets about anything Neil Young related setlists. Goto Sugar Mountain.

Other Neil News

  • Neil Young News

Rust Radio

  • http://www.rustradio.org/

HH-Radio + NY Info

  • http://www.neil-young.info/
  • NY-Info-Radio

Human Highway

  • http://www.human-highway.org/

Oh My Darling Clementine

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