Neil Young posts video about philosphy behind latest release – A Treasure – available in CD, DVD and Vinyl


June 3, 2011

For our first Fresh and Frozen feature on June 5th, your friendly neighborhood Crustacean / DJ will play a track from the new Neil Young release A Treasure, recorded with the International Harvester band in the ’80s.  During the decade leading up to his 1989 timely Freedom album (propelled by “Rockin’ in the Free World” which he penned while the world witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall) Neil put out a series of albums with divergent musical styles: Synth-Pop, Rockabilly, Country and Blues releases.  Short “Lobster Tale” – The blues contingent, The Bluenotes, with Crazy Horse’s Frank “Pancho” Sampedro switching from Guitar to Hammond B-3 Organ and a horn section.  For their tour of Northern California nightclubs, Neil asked me to be the on-stage announcer who brings the band on stage.  As the 11th Bluenote, I had a new appreciation for Neil’s guitar playing.  There was an entire movie plot around the band and it’s manager selling out the tour to “Zonk Cola” without the musicians knowing.  Sadly, it never became a Shakey Pictures release.  Would have given more context to the song “This Note’s For You,” which had the lyric “Ain’t singing for Pepsi, Ain’t singing for Coke.”  Keep in mind, Neil Young is among a handful of artists in our generation who have never sold their songs for commercial endorsements.  Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen are also in that truly exclusive club.  “Shakey” was also Neil’s bluesman persona, and on that tour, no known Neil Young songs were played.  Just THE BLUES.  Funniest incident on the tour was a club in Salinas where a fan in front of the stage kept demanding “Play Cinnamon Girl, Man!” At one point, Neil as Shakey asked; “How much did you pay to get in here?”  “Ten dollars” the patron replied (remember, this was 1987).  At that point, Shakey fished a $10 bill out of his black jacket’s pocket and said “Here’s your money, there’s the door.  We’re The Bluenotes, and we don’t play those songs!”  The guy took the money and headed towards the exit, but later in the set, I saw him happily dancing around the front of the stage again.  But, I digress.  This is about the International Harvester band tour.  That country-tinged group had some of the finest players to ever grace a stage in Nashville.  One of them, the late great Ben Keith, passed away last year.  He was an extraordinary person and musician in Neil and Pegi Young’s extended musical family.  I always enjoyed being around him.  Occasionally I return to the Redwoods above Woodside, where I first lived after moving West from NYC.  Last time we saw each other was at the bar of The Mountain House on Skyline Boulevard, up the road from his Broken Arrow ranch home.  Damn, Ben will be missed.  Glad I got to raise a glass with him one last time.  Let’s let Neil tells the story in the video. http://www.neilyoung.com/treasure-technotesvideo.html

 

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