Neil Young
13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 10
Transformer Man

I recently acquired Chris Davis’ fantastic Jerry Garcia compilation, “8 Days of Jerome” and thought that somebody should do the same for Neil Young. Well, taking my own advice I embarked on this little project in May 2011 and, hoping others will enjoy it, decided to share. The title, “13 Days of Neil” is an obvious rip-off from Chris and Neil (Lucky 13), but feel free to call it whatever you want. Neil’s birthday is on 11/12 and this set contains 14 volumes. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Vol. 10 Transformer Man Neil’s ‘80s discography may be somewhat even. Geffen sued him after all. But his live performances were awesome. From the solo Trans work to the Rusted out Garage tour, the Bluenotes to the International Harvesters and finally, the Lost Dogs, Neil zig-zagged all over the musical map (let’s not forget the Shocking Pinks). This volume documents only a tiny leg of the trip he took in the ‘80s.

The lovely and talented (and late) Sam Kinison opens the show for us. Wow, do I ever miss him! Neil lets Driveback tell Sam to fuck off-oh, oh, aughhhhhh! Bad News Beat is a rarity from that ’86 tour. Inca Queen is a lovely song with a strange middle section. If you listen real hard, you can hear a lovely acoustic piece in Sample and Hold. However, it is the raunchiest song Neil’s ever written (“when you energize, and see your unit come alive”). I was at that performance of Opera Star and it’s as amazing today as it was back then. The epic Sixty to Zero (soon to become Crime in the City) with a gorgeous sax break follows-with every listen I think to myself that those idiot talkers in the audience have no idea that they are in the presence of greatness. Southern Pacific and Box Car make me think that, in another life, Neil would have been a conductor or engineer. Road of Plenty before it became Eldorado leads us into a magnificent Ordinary People to close out Volume 10.

Stupid Fucking Guy (Miami, 1986-10-29)
Driveback (Crazy Horse, Miami, 1986-10-29)
Bad News Beat (Crazy Horse, Philadelphia, 1986-09-17)
Inca Queen (Crazy Horse, Atlanta, 1986-10-22)
Sample and Hold (Crazy Horse, Atlanta, 1986-10-22)
Opera Star (Crazy Horse, Miami, 1986-10-29)
*Sixty to Zero (Bluenotes, Toronto, 1988-08-19)
Southern Pacific (International Harvesters, St. Petersburg, 1985-09-17)
Box Car (Spokane, 1989-02-23)
Road of Plenty (Crazy Horse, Miami, 1986-10-29)
Ordinary People (Bluenotes, Hoffman Estates, 1988-08-16)

The selection process for this compilation was quite simple. I attempted to pace the songs in a loose chronological order, creating counterpoint with slow and uptempo tunes, and above all include versions of songs that I can enjoy over and over. In that sense, this is more of a retrospective than a greatest hits or best of compilation. Basically, it’s just a bunch of songs that just seem to go well together. Of course, the fact that Neil is so prolific made this project fairly mind-boggling simply in terms of available material. Clearly, I avoided any officially released material, or any that was likely to be released in the foreseeable future.

This collection is also a showcase for the great people and bands with whom Neil has played over the years: Danny, Bert, Nicolette, all those Nashville players, Crazy Horse, the Stray Gators and Santa Monica Flyers, the Springfield, CSN, Pegi. Listen closely and you’ll hear all of them at one point or another. This goes out to Long Grain in particular. If not for Ben Keith, I fear there would be no Neil Young as we’ve come to know, and love, him.

A word about compilations: I compiled these performances for my personal listening pleasure, and share them for the same reason. There are many Neil Young compilations available out there: “Archives be Damned 2000” (and 2006), “Acoustic Masterpieces,” “A Perfect Echo.” Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released “Archives.” Nothing beats the original tracks themselves. This compilation is not meant to replace any of the aforementioned. It, simply, is what it is.

I urge you to seek out the original performances (they’re all available somewhere). Thank you so much to the original tapers and uploaders and all who share this great music (what we do here at DIME is a rare and precious thing). And, of course, thanks, Neil.

November 2011

Lineage: All recordings obtained from various torrent sites (DIME, Trader’s Den, HungerCity, TapeCity, Zomb): FLAC > WAV > CD-R > FLAC (8) > DIME
Notes on Sound Quality: All Audience Recordings except as noted, the SQ is Excellent to Excellent+ throughout except*
*SQ is Fair to good
Convert to lossy for personal use only
Please support this artist-purchase official recordings, attend live performances regularly, and visit the websites:

RustWorks, Vol. 1: Sugar Mountain
RustWorks, Vol. 2: Heart of Gold
RustWorks, Vol. 3: Tired Eyes
RustWorks, Vol. 4: On the Beach
RustWorks, Vol. 5: Interstate
RustWorks, Vol. 6: This Old Guitar
RustWorks, Vol. 7: Let it Shine
RustWorks, Vol. 8: Out of the Blue
RustWorks, Vol. 9: Into the Black
RustWorks, Vol. 10: Transformer Man
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part I: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part II: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 12: Stringman
RustWorks, Vol. 13: Borrowed Tune
RustWorks, Vol. 14: Looking Forward