13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 3
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. 3: Tired Eyes starts us down the Doom trilogy path. We begin with the Danny Whitten penned tune about scoring dope, Come On Baby, Let’s Go Downtown. Gotta love those jangly guitars, signature Young lead fills, and funky lyrics (“and I got lotsa’ gas”). Winterlong, dedicated to Whitten, follows complete with jingle bells. The electric and acoustic performances of New Mama show what risks Neil will take with a song-the power of that electric version a startling contrast to the delicate acoustic rendition. With Albuquerque we get the same black and white image. Traces is a wistful little piece that, in hindsight, doesn’t really belong on TTN, but was on the acetate anyway. We close with the rest of the album as performed with the Gators and the Flyers. My favorite piece from the album, Borrowed Tune, is TTN’s After the Gold Rush. Neil didn’t feel like getting high, though, he was already wasted listening to the Rolling Stones. Finally, the Bluenotes, with a little help from Joe Walsh, completely demolish the title song.
“I'm going to try and play something now. I've got a song about a 'straight dog' who took no drugs, no hard drugs, nothing at all. Believe me...according to some rumours I'm dead already, but I'm standing here...believe in nature. I'm not Catholic but I believe in a sort of confession....here tonight, ladies and gentlemen. I want to sing a song for Danny...Whitten who can't be with us tonight. I can feel the Jose Cuervo but I think that what I want to say is getting across. I'm talking slowly about a good friend of mine and I don't want to discredit his name. This is a song for him. Perhaps I'll sing fifty songs for him this evening. You never know..."(Neil Young, London, 11/5/73)
Come On Baby, Let's Go Downtown (Crazy Horse, Cincinnati, 1970-02-25)
Winterlong (Electric Band, New York, 2007-12-13)
Mellow My Mind (Boise, 2007-10-18)
New Mama (Stray Gators, New York, 1973-01-21)
Nil's tune (Nils Lofgren, Manchester, 1973-11-03)
New Mama (Nils Lofgren, Manchester, 1973-11-03)
Speakin' Out (Morrison, 1992-09-15)
Roll Another Number (Crazy Horse, Santa Cruz, 1990-11-13)
Albuquerque (Santa Monica Flyers, London, 1973-11-10)
Albuquerque (Houston, 1999-06-01)
Traces (Studio, 1973)
World on a String (Santa Monica Flyers, London, 1973-11-10)
Tired Eyes (Santa Monica Flyers, London, 1973-11-10)
Lookout Joe (Stray Gators, New York, 1973-01-21)
Borrowed Tune (Buffalo, 1973-01-14)
Tonight’s the Night (Bluenotes w/Joe Walsh, Detroit, 1988-09-04)
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.
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
NOT FOR SALE-SHARE FREELY
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